Dümpelmann’s latest book explains what street trees tell us about humanity’s changing relationship with nature and the city.
Photo Yale University Press.
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In July, the Weitzman School of Design welcomed Sonja Dümpelmann to the standing faculty in the Department of Landscape Architecture.
“Sonja’s work exemplifies the importance of understanding landscapes in relation to collective beliefs and values,” said Weitzman Dean and Paley Professor Frederick Steiner. “She has also done much to shed light on the contributions of under-recognized designers.”
Dümpelmann’s research and writing focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century landscape history, and contemporary landscape architecture in the Western World, with a particular focus on the urban environment in Germany, Italy, and the United States. Her work explores the transatlantic transfer of ideas, the role of politics, technology and science, and the work of women in the field. Dümpelmann is the author of Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin (Yale, 2019), Flights of Imagination: Aviation, Landscape, Design (University of Virginia, 2014), and a book on the Italian landscape architect Maria Teresa Parpagliolo Shephard (VDG, 2004). Her edited volumes include Airport Landscape: Urban Ecologies in the Aerial Age (Harvard, 2016), Women, Modernity, and Landscape Architecture, A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire (Berg, 2013), Greening the City: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century (University of Virginia Press, 2011), and Pückler and America (German Historical Institute, 2007).
Prior to her appointment at Penn, Dümpelmann held associate and assistant professorships at Harvard University, the University of Maryland, and Auburn University; she has worked as a landscape designer at Studio Paolo Bürgi, Switzerland.