0:25 Introduction by Richard Sommer
9:09 Cornelia Hahn & Susan Herrington presentation
1:00:00 Moderated discussion
On October 7, 2014, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, the 2014-15 Michael Hough/OALA Visiting Critic, joined Susan Herrington in conversation at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. Established in 2005 to commemorate 40 years of Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto and named in honour of the late Michael Hough, founding program head in Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto, this endowed position was established at the Daniels Faculty by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) and professional communities to bring an international figure in contemporary urban landscape to the Faculty annually.
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, the award-winning Canadian landscape architect, is the subject of the book Making the Modern Landscape, written by Susan Herrington, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia. In this lecture, Oberlander and Herrington discuss the book which is then followed by a dialogue with Professor Alissa North, Director of the Daniels Faculty’s Landscape Architecture program.
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander was born in 1921 and fled Nazi Germany at the age of 18, emigrating to the United States with her family. She was among the first class of women to graduate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1947, receiving a degree in Landscape Architecture. Over the past 60 years, Oberlander has collaborated as Landscape Architect in a wide range of projects with noted internationally acclaimed architects such as Renzo Piano on the New York Times Building, Moshe Safdie on the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Public Library as well as the late Arthur Erickson on Robson Square and the Museum of Anthropology. All projects are based on design concepts and studies of social, cultural and physical features of a given site. To each project Cornelia attempts to bring the mastery of the art and the science of the profession. Cornelia has always been mindful of the environment and is a leader in researching green solutions.
In the words of the Governor General in presenting the Order of Canada to Cornelia:
“Canada’s premier landscape architect, she is known for integrating her designs in the overall architectural project with the natural environment, yet always adding a unique new vision and dimension. Her expert technical knowledge is coupled with her concern for expressing cultural, social and environmental concepts in her work and is reflected in her many projects for the young, the old, and for the public at large.”
In 2011, the International Federation of Landscape Architects bestowed on Cornelia the highest honour, the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award, for her endeavors in building a greener future over the many years of her professional practice.
In 2012, the American Society of Landscape Architects bestowed on Cornelia the ASLA Medal, the Highest Honor of the American Society of Landscape Architects “in recognition of her unfaltering leadership and award-winning work in postwar landscape architecture in Canada and the United States. She is the embodiment of the multidisciplinary landscape architect who perpetually pursues aesthetic, ecological and technical possibilities to achieve worldwide community well-being.”