News & Events | Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future

Summit Speaker: Kate Orff

Kate Orff
June 10, 2016

Kate Orff, PLA
Founder and Partner, SCAPE
Director, Urban Design Program, Columbia University

Kate Orff’s activist and visionary work on design for climate dynamics has been shared and developed in collaboration with arts institutions, governments, and scholars worldwide. She is Director of the Urban Design Program at Columbia University, where she coordinates interdisciplinary studios centered on urban systems of the future. Kate is also a registered landscape architect and the founder of SCAPE, an award winning 30‐person professional practice based in lower Manhattan, where she directs the design of all projects. The firm has won National and local American Society of Landscape Architecture Awards for built projects, planning, and communications work, and the work of the office has been featured on the cover of Landscape Architecture Magazine, LA China, and Topos, and in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Economist, and other publications.

She is the author of Toward an Urban Ecology (Monacelli, 2016) about next century design practice and developed a book and traveling exhibit titled PETROCHEMICAL AMERICA (Aperture Foundation, 2012) that draws a cognitive map of climate change causes and effects and anticipates future planning challenges for the American landscape. Featuring photographs by Richard Misrach, the book links the lived experience of communities, degraded extraction landscapes and public health issues in the lower Mississippi to national patterns of resource consumption and global waste. Kate Orff received an Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was named a United States Artist in 2012.