Inter-Sections: The Architect in Conversation, Rethinking Landscape Design

Kate Orff, Photo courtesy John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Join Kate Orff for her presentation of Ecological Citizens, SCAPE’s project representing the United States for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale that explores concepts of landscape and climate tied to questions of citizenship and engagement. She will also present recent projects by SCAPE that foster positive change in communities through the creation of regenerative living infrastructure and public landscapes. Following her presentation, she will be interviewed by Alex Matthiessen, environmental strategist and president of eco-political consulting firm, Blue Marble Project. 

Orff’s publication, Toward an Urban Ecology,
will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.


Kate Orff is the Founder of SCAPE, a design-driven landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York. Orff focuses on retooling the practice of landscape architecture relative to uncertainty of climate change and fostering social life which she has explored through publications, activism, research, and projects. She is known for leading complex, creative, and collaborative work processes that advance broad environmental and social prerogatives. 

SCAPE will represent the United States at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Orff was awarded the MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Grant in 2017, the first given in the field of Landscape Architecture. She was named a 2012 United States Artist Fellow, an Elle Magazine “Planet Fixer,” and shared SCAPE’s design methodologies at the International TEDWomen Conference in 2010. Orff is also the Director of Columbia University GSAPP’s Urban Design Program. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia with Distinction and earned a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Alex Matthiessen is president of eco-political consulting firm, Blue Marble Project. He is an environmentalist and campaign strategist who has lead large-scale environmental stewardship initiatives across sectors, including building New York’s leading clean water nonprofit, Riverkeeper, into an advocacy powerhouse. Alex has served as adviser to New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s transition team, directed grassroots programming at the Rainforest Action Network, and served as a politically appointed special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He developed and launched Green Energy Parks, a joint program of the National Park Service and Department of Energy, for which he received a White House Presidential Award.

The program takes place in conjunction with Landscape Pleasures, the Parrish’s weekend horticultural symposium.

Inter-Sections: The Architect in Conversation is a series at the Parrish that pairs architects withe leading practitioners and thinkers from a variety of disciplines to explore design solutions for cultural, infrastructural, environmental, social, and geopolitical challenges. Inter-Sections brings together diverse voices, communities, and interest groups concerned with building and designing for a vibrant and sustainable future on the East End and beyond. Talks, panels, symposia, workshops, think tanks and special projects will foster an open dialogue and exchange in the fields of architecture, art, landscape design, technology, science, new media, academia, government, public policy, and others.

Friday nights are made possible, in part, by the generous support of The Corcoran Group, BNB Bank, and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder. 
Inter-Sections: The Architect in Conversation with Kate Orff and Alex Matthiessen
Rethinking Landscape Design
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 6:00pm
ticket group
$12 | Free for Members, Children, and Students
social tickets