LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus), the award-winning interdisciplinary journal from the Department of Landscape Architecture, has new leadership. Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Karen M’Closkey has assumed the role of editor-in-chief, and Catherine Seavitt, who was recently appointed professor and chair of landscape architecture as well as Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and co-executive director of The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism & Ecology at Weitzman, has assumed the role of creative director.
“We’re thankful for the community of adventurous thinkers, makers, and patrons that have sustained LA+, and look forward to carrying on the tradition of pertinent, high-quality content and design that Tatum Hands and Richard Weller established,” said M’Closkey.
M’Closkey, who served as guest co-editor for two of the journal’s previous issues, LA+ SIMULATION and LA+ GEO, along with Weitzman Senior Lecturer Ken VanDerSys, succeeds Founding Editor Tatum Hands, and Seavitt succeeds Founding Creative Director Richard Weller, who is also professor of landscape architecture and co-founder of The McHarg Center at Weitzman. Hands and Weller are moving on to focus on two forthcoming book-length publications: An Art of Instrumentality (ORO Editions) and To the Ends of the Earth: A Grand Tour for the 21st Century (Birkhäuser). The LA+ editorial team includes Colin Curley (MArch’16, MLA’16), senior associate at James Corner Field Operations, and Andreina Sojo, a dual Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture candidate at Weitzman.
Founded in 2014, LA+ is a full-color journal available in print and digital formats that explores landscape architecture’s interdisciplinary potential, bringing readers a rich collection of contemporary thinkers and designers in two lavishly illustrated issues annually. “From its outset, LA+ has challenged the limits of the discipline, providing fresh perspectives and insights into the elasticity of landscape thinking. The journal is a significant contribution to both the profession and the public,” said Seavitt. In 2019, the journal earned the ASLA Honor Award in Communications from the American Society of Landscape Architects, and in 2023, the CELA award for Outstanding Communications from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
LA+ has attracted a global following among students and professionals alike for its expansive design competitions, beginning with 2017’s LA+ IMAGINATION, which invited participants to design a new island, 2018’s LA+ ICONOCLAST, which asked designers to reimagine Central Park in the wake of an eco-terrorist attack, and 2020’s LA+ CREATURE, which challenged entrants to design an intervention to improve the life of a nonhuman species. The Spring 2023 competition, LA+ INTERRUPTION, considers “how design can be used to challenge the status quo, to interrupt the jargon, to disrupt and redirect ecological and social economic flows” by showcasing the results of the journal’s latest design competition. First-prize winners Xiangyu Liu, Chengxi Zha, and Chenyuan Xu proposed the Manhattan Curtain, a superstructure made up of 630 carbon dioxide-filter membranes that would move New York City closer to the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
In June, LA+ announced the latest competition, LA+ EXOTIQUE, which invites participants to design the forecourt of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, which was founded during the French Revolution. The competition brief notes, “The Museum is not just a collection of fossils, it is an active research institution studying the evolution of life on this planet, and its occupants, both human and nonhuman … this location provides rich thematic connections to questions of colonialism, taxonomy, endemism, and exoticism.” Submissions are due October 30, 2023.
Published by ORO Editions, the print edition of LA+ is available for purchase at design bookstores and museums around the world including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montréal; the Royal Institute of British Architects, London; and the National Building Museum, Washington.