Sean Burkholder is the Andrew Gordon Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design and co-founder of the Environmental Modeling Lab (EMLab). He is also co-founder of the research and design practice Proof Projects, a member of the Dredge Research Collaborative, and co-director of the Healthy Port Futures project. Sean’s work bridges the seemingly incommensurable subjects of environmental monitoring and modeling that includes working with ecologists and engineers on large coastal infrastructure projects; and exploring new methods of knowledge creation that both question and supplement positivist science as our primary referent for progress and agency. This work leverages the potentials of temporality, curiosity, experimentation, and experience as fundamental endeavors to the practice of design. His first book, Five Bay Landscapes: Curious Explorations of the Great Lakes Region, co-authored book with Karen Lutsky, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in the fall of 2022. He is currently working on his second book Lakemaker: Plans, Practices, and Politics of Holding Water.
Sean coordinates the first-semester design studio (501) and offers seminars and studios on topics including environmental modeling and monitoring, experimentation, counterfactual speculation, and coastal infrastructure.