Talking Practice: Gary Hilderbrand

Gary Hilderbrand

In this episode of Talking Practice, host Grace La interviews Gary Hilderbrand, founding principal and partner at Reed Hilderbrand, and Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the GSD. Discussing his deep engagement with living systems, Gary describes the intrinsic properties of landscape architecture that differentiate it from the other design disciplines, and the significance of treating temporality as a medium for design. Commenting on the trajectory of landscape urbanism, he highlights the ways in which new modes of representation have impacted the scope and capacity of landscape architecture to imagine larger systems, and to engage with pressing problems of equity and climate change. Gary also reflects on the organization of his own firm as a cultural practice, its benchmarks, periods of stability, and growth, as well as the need for flexibility within the practice of negotiated boundaries.

Gary asserts the importance of trust in practice and the ways in which the pressing questions found in practice inform his efforts in the academy. For more information about Gary’s work with landscape urbanism and living systems, check out his Fall 2018 option studio, Now Arriving: A Manhattan Transit Landscape.

Gary HilderbrandGary Hilderbrand is the founding principal and partner of Reed Hilderbrand, and the Peter Louis Hornbeck Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the GSD.  As a practitioner, academic, and writer, Gary works at the confluence of landscape architecture, infrastructural design, and sustainable urbanism. His projects range from university campus design, to the intimate landscapes of residences, and to the prominent landscape renewal and design for major cultural institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Clark Art Institute, as well as the Harvard Business School, the sculpture park at the Storm King Art Center, and the expansion of the Boston Public Library. Gary is the recipient of the 2017 ASLA Design Medal, and is currently teaching a studio at the GSD entitled “Now Arriving: A Manhattan Transit Landscape,” which focuses on the redesign of New York City’s Penn Station.

About the Show

Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.  Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today.

About the Host

Grace LaGrace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect’s agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites.

Show Credits

Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Jihyun Ro and John Wang.  The show is recorded at Harvard University’s Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jerry MacDonald.


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