Former Planning Director, Landscape Architect Among MacArthur Genius Grants Winners
"Damon Rich, founder of the Center of Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and co-founder of design studio Hector, and Kate Orff, founder of SCAPE, have been honored with 2017 MacArthur Fellowships," reports Jackson Rollings.
Rich is the former director of planning for the city of Newark in addition to his work at CUP and Hector. According to Rollings, Rich "worked with local advocacy groups to redevelop the city’s waterfront as an accessible urban parkway dotted with environmental installations," as Newark director of planning. And CUP is "a New York City-based nonprofit that develops programs to help community development organizations and public school students address public policy and social justice issues like zoning, tenants’ rights, infrastructure design, and more."
The article also puts a spotlight on the accomplishments of Kate Orff, who is the first landscape architect ever to receive the MacArthur prize: "Her work at SCAPE has risen to great prominence, with upcoming commissions including participation in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Her emphasis on ecological stewardship, however, sets her apart from peers."
For more coverage on Kate Orff's inclusion on the list of the year's MacArthur awards, see also an article by Bradford McKee for Landscape Architecture Magazine. That article also notes that Orff is the director of the urban design program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.