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LAF was saddened to learn of the passing of Carl D. Johnson, FASLA, founder or the firm Johnson, Johnson, and Roy (JJR) in 1961 with his brother William and fellow landscape architect Clarence Roy. Johnson died in Ann Arbor on October 24, 2010, at the age of 84.
Johnson served on the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Board of Directors in the 1980s and was largely responsible for the establishment of the JJR Research Grant, which supported the LAF’s Land and Community Design Case Study Series of published books and our new Landscape Performance Series.
Johnson was JJR’s guiding force in planning and design for over 30 years. He had a special passion for drawing and watercolor, and his approach to design frequently made use of conversational graphics as sketches intended to stimulate discussion of design approaches and solutions. His talent in design and illustration were surpassed only by his ability to communicate the contributions that landscape architects make to preserve and shape both the natural and built environments. His professional legacy includes internationally significant and lasting work in the fields of restoration and adaptive reuse of historic landscapes, including of the City of Louisville’s famous Cherokee Park, what became the Lighthouse Landing Park in Evanston, and rehabilitation of the C.S. Mott Estate, Applewood, in Flint, Michigan.
Johnson was committed not only to his professional practice but to developing the next generation of planning and design leaders. He taught at the University of Michigan there for 29 years and presented guest lectures at more than 20 architecture and landscape architecture schools thoughout the continent and overseas, all while maintaining an active practice at JJR. In 1989 he retired from teaching and was named Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan.
Johnson consistently supported the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) at the local chapter and national levels. Named an ASLA Fellow in 1979, Carl Johnson was awarded the Society’s highest honor, the ASLA Medal, in 2000. With the exception of the Olmsted brothers, he and his brother William are the only siblings to have been so honored by ASLA.
For a complete biography, visit the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Pioneers of American Landscape Design.
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