Swiss educator and author Michael Jakob will discuss how Swiss designers helped shape landscape architecture history in a keynote address at “Natural, Built, Virtual,” the 19th annual Texas A&M College of Architecture Research Symposium, set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 23 in the Langford Architecture Center’s Geren Auditorium.
Coinciding with his presentation, “Switzerland, the Idea of Nature, and Landscape Architecture,” the college’s Wright Gallery is hosting a Jakob-curated exhibit, “The Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture,” which showcases the richness and variety of Swiss landscape design.
The annual symposium highlights recent research and creative work by College of Architecture faculty and doctoral students on issues relevant to the natural, built and virtual environments. It features a series of fast-paced five-minute presentations abbreviated from talks previously delivered at scholarly venues around the world.
In the keynote address, Jakob, a professor of landscape architecture history and theory at Hepia – Geneva University of Applied Sciences, will present seminal 20th century projects by Swiss landscape architects in their home country and around the world.
“Swiss landscape architects emphasize formal beauty in an ecological context,” said Jakob. “By combining design rigor with elegance, their projects respect the spirit and history of a site.”
Jakob, also a professor of comparative literature at Grenoble University, focuses his teaching and research on aesthetics, contemporary theories of perception and the poetics of architecture.
In addition to penning numerous articles about landscape architecture and urbanism, he is also the founder and head of COMPAR(A)ISON, an international journal of comparative literature and the chief editor of “di monte in monte,” a series of books on mountain culture.
Jakob has also produced several documentary films for television and is a long-time radio journalist.
The Wright Gallery exhibit, “Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture,” opens the day of the symposium and runs through December 1.
The exhibit also includes an overview of the landscape architecture history and theory and underlines the importance of exhibitions such as “Lausanne Jardins,” in which landscape architects and other design professionals create innovative green spaces for public use throughout Lausanne, a Swiss town.
The college’s annual symposium was established to underscore the influence of research on teaching and practice. It also serves as a catalyst for research-informed teaching in the College of Architecture's degree programs. And, because many of the presentations were originally delivered at scholarly venues abroad, the event also showcases the global influence of research conducted by college faculty.