Laurie Olin: Essays
Published by the Library of American
One of the most renowned landscape architects in practice today, Laurie Olin has created designs for the grounds of the Washington Monument, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, and Bryant Park in New York City. His recent projects include the award-winning landscape for the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Apple Park in Cupertino, and Simon and Helen Director Park in Portland, Oregon. All these and many more iconic works were realized under the auspices of OLIN, the landscape architectural firm he co-founded in 1976. Olin is also a prolific writer, and in this volume a selection of his published work has been assembled for the first time. The collection comprises articles, lectures, and essays spanning a wide array of subjects—from horticulture and education to urban history. Olin’s musings on his own creative development, the evolving state of the profession of landscape architecture, and many other topics will interest a range of readers.
As a young man, Olin studied civil engineering at the University of Alaska and earned a degree in architecture from the University of Washington, where Richard Haag stimulated his interest in landscape and the poet Theodore Roethke encouraged his literary skills. Through a long and distinguished career, he has enlivened the field with his humanistic perspectives and his multi-valenced approach to urban design. The author of several books, including, most recently, France Sketchbooks: The Travel Sketchbooks of Artists and Designers (2020) and Be Seated (2018), Olin is among the profession’s most influential voices. A Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Society of Landscape Architects, he is a recipient of the 1998 Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects Medal. In 2012 Olin received the National Medal of Arts—the highest lifetime achievement award given to an artist by the president.
LAURIE OLIN, FASLA, HON. AIA, is founding partner of OLIN and Practice Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books and essays on a range of topics related to the American landscape and the recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal from the ASLA in honor of his literary achievements.