Class of 1981

Creative Climate Commitment with Susan Israel AB ’81, MAR ’86

Susan Israel AB '81, MAR '86

Susan Israel AB ’81, MAR ’86 develops proprietary programs and hands-on creative workshops for sustainability, innovation, communication and leadership with her company Climate Creatives. Susan’s Public Art installations connect communities and foster action toward a more sustainable world. Susan uses her own artwork as a personal lab for exploring ways to connect people to climate issues. Her work has been exhibited in over a dozen group shows in recent years and she has partnered with over 100 organizations.

Susan is an architect, artist, climate communicator, and social entrepreneur. In 2008, after 20 years as an architect, she decided that she wanted to do something more for our climate. What would motivate other people to do more as well? Something fun and visible. What was preventing people from acting? Fear, and lack of belief that their actions matter. Thus, Susan founded Climate Creatives to use art and design to engage people because data alone just doesn’t do it: behavioral change begins with an emotional commitment. Susan develops proprietary programs and hands-on creative workshops for sustainability, innovation, communication and leadership and shares them around the world. She uses creation of public art to focus on the emotional and cultural aspect to appeal to people around climate change instead of data, to help them feel less afraid and more connected and engage to solutions.

posted October, 2019

Doug Reed MLA ’81 and Landscape Architecture Foundation, led by Barbara Deutsch LF ’06, Honored with 2019 ASLA Medals

Doug Reed MLA '81, Barbara Deutsch LF ’06

Doug Reed MLA ’81 and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), led by Chief Executive Officer Barbara Deutsch LF ’06, are recipients of 2019 Honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Reed received the ASLA Design Medal and LAF the Medal of Excellence. Representing the highest awards ASLA presents each year, honorees will be recognized at the organization’s annual President’s Dinner during the Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego, CA this November.

DouglasReedReed is a principal at Reed Hilderbrand LLC, the firm he founded with the GSD’s Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture, Gary R. Hilderbrand MLA ’85. He has worked on a variety of projects, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and Leventritt Garden at Harvard’s The Arnold Arboretum. “Doug’s design accomplishments, along with his advocacy for our designed landscape heritage and his ability to carefully intervene in protected spaces, mark him as a rare and special landscape architect—a designer for our time and for the ages,” wrote nominator Suzanne Turner, FASLA.

This is the third year in a row that a GSD alumnus/a has received the ASLA Design Medal, meant to “recognize an individual landscape architect who has produced a body of exceptional design work at a sustained level for a period of at least ten years.” Mikyoung Kim MLA ’92 was the 2018 recipient and Hilderbrand received the 2017 Medal. Previous winners include Andrea Cochran MLA ’79 in 2014, Stuart Owen Dawson MLA ’58 in 2013, Peter Walker MLA ’57 in 2012, Richard Shaw MLA ’76 in 2009, Richard Haag MLA ’52 in 2007, and Lawrence Halprin BLA ’44 in 2003.

LandscapeArchitectureFoundationBefore joining LAF as CEO, Deutsch worked in both the private and not-for-profit sector, including ten years at IBM before making a career change to become a landscape architect. “LAF has built a remarkable legacy as the organization invests in research, scholarships, and leadership initiatives to increase the collective capacity to achieve its mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment, and to empower current and future landscape architects to use their unique skills to make change in the world,” noted nominators Thaisa Way Ph.D, FASLA, FAAR & Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA.

posted July, 2019

Deborah Karasov MLA ’81 named Chief Operating Officer for the Great Plains Institute

Deborah Karasov MLA '81

After an extensive national search, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) has named Deborah Karasov MLA ’81 as its new Chief Operating Officer. Karasov brings nearly 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience to the newly created role which will further enable GPI to advance its time-critical mission to transform the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. 

Karasov comes to GPI from Great River Greening where she served as executive director for more than 13 years, growing the geographic and operational outreach from a local to a statewide conservation leader. A champion for the environment and philanthropy, she has held roles in academia, the nonprofit sector, and in federal government. Karasov served on the Mayoral Task Force on Sustainable Development Policies in St. Paul, earned the Theodore D. Horowitz Citizen Participation Award from the City of Minneapolis’ Committee on the Environment, and earned a spot at the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute. 

Read the full announcement.

Image provided.

posted May, 2019

In Memoriam: Susan Child MLA ’81, RS ’75

Susan Childs MLA81, RS75

Susan Child MLA ’81, RS ’75 passed away at her home in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 13, 2018. She received numerous awards in recognition of her work. Within ten years of graduating from Harvard, her firm garnered thirteen National Design Awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). She was inducted as a Fellow of the ASLA in 2011. She lectured widely at symposia and schools of design throughout her career, inspiring her students and the public with a compelling narrative of design. 

Upon graduation from the GSD in 1981, Child partnered with Harvard professor Peter Hornbeck to found the landscape architecture firm Child, Hornbeck Associates, Inc, in Boston. Within months, Douglas Reed, whom Child had met as a classmate at Harvard, joined the firm, first as an associate and later as a partner when Hornbeck departed in 1984 (at which point the firm became Child Associates, Inc., Landscape Architecture). Child’s ability to conceptualize landscape, draw from precedent, and employ minimal means in her expression of place influenced numerous colleagues, including Reed, Duncan Alford, Anita Berrizbeitia, Chris Moyles, and John Grove, among others.

Read Susan’s full obituary

posted December, 2018

Firm of Wendy Evans Joseph MArch ’81 Designs Cooper Hewitt Exhibition, “The Senses”

Wendy Evans Joseph MArch '81

Studio Joseph, the architecture practice founded and led by Wendy Evans Joseph MArch ’81, has designed the upcoming Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum exhibition “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision.” Set to open Friday, April 13, the show explores how multi-sensory design can open us up to new experiences and understandings while reaching a greater variety of users. It features over 65 design projects and more than 40 objects and installations to touch, hear, smell, and see. The show is designed to be accessible and welcoming to visitors of all abilities.

“The Senses” will be on view through October 28, 2018.

Learn more.

Images provided.

Wendy Evans Joseph_the senses 3


posted April, 2018

Alumni Work Recognized with 2017 ASLA Professional Awards

Andrea Cochran MLA '79, Megumi Aihara MLA '07, Mikyoung Kim MLA '92, Andrea Cochran MLA '79, Lin Peng MLA '12, Stephen Stimson MLA '87, Gary Hilderbrand MLA ’85, Douglas Reed MLA ’81, Bruce Jett MLA '92, Charlotte Barrows MLA '06, Leo Alvarez MLA '81, Ralph Johnson MArch '73, Gordon Gill MArch '93, Katharyn Leah Hurd MLAUD '12, Charles Birnbaum LF '98

The work of Harvard University Graduate School of Design alumni is well represented in this year’s American Society of Landscape Architects Professional Awards, which recognize the best of landscape architecture from the United States and around the world. Winners received their awards at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles last October. Those honored include:


Honor Awards

Andrea Cochran MLA ’79Megumi Aihara MLA ’07 (Windhover Contemplative Center)

Mikyoung Kim MLA ’92 (Chicago Botanic Garden: The Regenstein Learning Campus)


Award of Excellence

Andrea Cochran MLA ’79, Lin Peng MLA ’12 (Birmingham Residence)

Honor Award

Andrea Cochran MLA ’79 (Telegraph Hill Residence)

Stephen Stimson MLA ’87 (Northeast Harbor, a Restoration on Mount Desert Island)

Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture, led by by Principals Gary Hilderbrand MLA ’85 and Douglas Reed MLA ’81 (Proving Grounds – A 20-Year Education in American HorticultureAgrarian Modern – The Recovery and Renewal of Manatuck Farm)

Bruce Jett MLA ’92 (Northpoint Apartments)


Honor Award

Charlotte Barrows MLA ’06 (The Olana Strategic Landscape Design Plan: Restoring an American Masterpiece)

Leo Alvarez MLA ’81Ralph Johnson MArch ’73 (Waterfront Botanical Gardens)

Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture, led by by Principals Gary Hilderbrand MLA ’85 and Douglas Reed MLA ’81 (Conservation at the Edge – Prototyping low-intervention conservation in the Patagonian wilderness)

Gordon Gill MArch ’93 (Positioning Pullman)

Katharyn Leah Hurd MLAUD ’12 (Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan)


Charles Birnbaum LF ’98 (The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin)

More information, including the full list of 2017 winners.

Photo: Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.

posted November, 2017

L. Rudolph Barton MAUD ’81 Promoted to Professor Emeritus Portland State University

L. Rudolph Barton MAUD ’81

L. Rudolph Barton MAUD ’81 has been promoted to Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Portland State University, where he was a primary founder of the School of Architecture and helped guide it to initial accreditation. He also was named a United Kingdom Fulbright Scholar for 2015 at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art (GSA). His current research and teaching at the GSA’s Urban Laboratory continues to provoke discourse on the physical and social construction of public space.

posted December, 2016