Press Room

  • Karen M'Closkey: 2015 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching by a member of the standing faculty
  • Evan Rose, 2015 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching by a member of the associated faculty
  • Brent Wahl: 2015 Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Undergraduate Programs:

PennDesign Names 2015 Teaching Award Winners

The University of Pennsylvania School of Design is pleased to announce recipients of the 2015 Teaching Awards. Named in honor of the late G. Holmes Perkins, dean of the Graduate School of Fine Arts from 1951-1971 (now the School of Design) the awards are given in recognition of distinguished teaching and innovation in the methods of instruction in the classroom, seminar or studio.

Dean Perkins passed away in 2004 (Almanac September 7, 2004) at the age of 99. The Perkins Award was established in 1993 by former dean and Paley Professor Patricia Conway. The undergraduate award was established by the School in 2005.

The awards will be presented at PennDesign at a ceremony on Sunday, May 17, at 4 p.m. at Furness Plaza, next to Meyerson Hall, as part of the School’s graduation activities. The ceremony will feature remarks by Marc Kushner, C'99, AIA, cofounder of award-winning architecture firm HollwichKushner (HWKN) and CEO of HWKN recently unveiled designs for the University of Pennsylvania's Pennovation Center, a contemporary structure with an eye-catching multifaceted north facade.

The 2015 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching by a member of the standing faculty: Karen M’Closkey

Karen M'Closkey, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, is co-founder of PEG office of landscape + architecture, an award-winning design and research practice based in Philadelphia. PEG's work explores the potential for new media and fabrication technologies to produce novel relationships between organic and inorganic materials, techniques which were recently highlighted in the Simulating Natures symposium she co-organized this spring.

M'Closkey, a registered landscape architect, teaches core design studios, option studios, and contemporary theories of landscape architecture. Student nominees were enthusiastic in their praise, calling out her “outstanding professional teaching and nice attitude.” She is also “very supportive of individual trajectories,” wrote another: ““Karen is able to guide students towards the materialization of their unique design perspectives through a variety of tools and techniques. She sends thoughtful emails between class sessions specific to students.”

M’Closkey was promoted with tenure in Spring 2014. She was the recipient of the 2012-2013 Garden Club of America Rome Prize in landscape architecture and is author of the award-winning Unearthed: the Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) as well as co-author with Keith VanDerSys of Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age (Routledge, forthcoming).

The 2014 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching by a member of the associated faculty: Evan Rose

Evan Rose is an Urban Designer with an 18-year track record of successful and innovative urban projects. He is the founder of Urban Design+ a full-service urban design, planning, and sustainability firm with a focus on development-ready design for both public and private clients.

At PennDesign, Rose teaches the Public Realm studio for second year urban design students.

“I really appreciate his critical and practical approach to planning,” one student noted. “He has a distinguished ability to synthesize a lot of information and draw the main points out of numerous presentations. Thanks to working with him, I am learning to think more pragmatically how to frame issues of city planning, to question my assumptions, and to develop my ideas further, all while making connections with what I previously researched.”

“Evan has provided unending amount of resources, insights, tips, and knowledge that I could ever asked for as an urban design student. His passion in urban design has motivated me to become a better student and also work harder!” praised another. “Outside from studio, he is extremely available. He also willingly takes the role of advisors when students are working on competitions outside of school. Everyone I know has all loved Evan.”

Rose has led a wide range of distinguished and challenging commissions across the United States and internationally, including the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and Poplar Point Plans in Washington, DC, the Sayreville Waterfront Redevelopment, the Brooklyn Piers Plan, the Boston Central Artery Master Plan, the Willamette River Concept Plan, the Mission Bay Plan, the Port of Los Angeles Framework Plan, the St. Louis Downtown and Riverfront Plan, the new town of Southfield, Massachusetts, and the BI Village Greenville and Kamenskoe Plato projects in Kazakhstan.

The 2014 G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Undergraduate Programs: Brent Wahl

Photographer and multimedia artist Brent Wahl teaches photography and is a Visual Studies senior lecturer in photography. Wahl’s photography, installation and time-based work has been exhibited in a variety of venues and institutions in the U.S. and Europe. In 2014, he was named winner of a Pew Center for Arts and Heritage grant and fellowship.

Calling Wahl “a skilled and innovative artist," as a teacher students found him “knowledgeable and inspiring.” 

“Brent is seemingly always around the studio and encourages that students review their work with him outside of class,” noted one nominee. “His standards and his course requirements are high, but he is understanding of individual needs. He allows students to each follow their interests and styles, whilst he provides rigor in their investigations.”

For more details on the award ceremony, visit