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Department of Landscape Architecture announces 2018 Penny White Project Fund recipients

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Department of Landscape Architecture has announced this year’s recipients of the Penny White Project Fund. This grant program was established by White’s family in 1976 to “help carry forward Penny’s ideal of a culture which emphasizes a close relationship between people and nature in a cohesive living environment.” (Winifred G. “Penny” White had just completed her second year in the GSD’s landscape architecture program when she died suddenly of leukemia in 1976.)

Eleven projects have been announced in honor of the fund’s 41st anniversary. The winning proposals were selected through a two-stage adjudication process based on originality and innovation of projects, with an eye to their contribution to pressing challenges related to the fields of urbanism, landscape, ecology. The regions of research for the selected student projects span the planet and address a range of critical conditions, technologies, and processes relevant to the advancement of the discipline of landscape architecture and contemporary urbanization today.

“From working with traditional Ojibwe rice harvesters in Treaty Territories of the Northern Minnesota River watershed to community work with neighboring villages affected by Bauxite Mines in Jamaica, this year’s awardees of the 41st edition of the Penny White Project Fund demonstrate a remarkable range of design activism that combine design, research, mapping, with complex spatial challenges precipitated by pressing concerns for environmental justice, territorial dispossession, health security, and social equity,” says the GSD's Pierre Bélanger, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and chair of the Penny White Committee. “Together, these projects extend and advance the legacy of cutting edge fieldwork, reflexive research and representation, transdisciplinary design methods, as well as counter-cartographies that the Penny White Project Fund has supported over the past 40 years.”

The following students will receive project funding for 2018:

Joan Chen (MLA '19) for “Duplicity of Landscape: Re-imaging Design Interventions in Rural Southwest China”

Lanie Cohen (MLA '19) for “Recession Ecologies in Las Vegas, Nevada: A case for how economic latencies and themed casinos provide a new model for ecological urbanism”

Mark D. Heller (MLA/MUP '19) for “Slash and Burn: Reconciling Riau’s Illegal Palm Landscape Through Mapping”

Emily Hicks and Melody Stein (both MLA '19) for “Upstream: Wild Rice, Food Sovereignty, and 10,000 lakes in the Northern Minnesota Watershed”

Jenjira Holmes (MLA '19) for “Hydrophyte Invasion: Mapping Chao Phraya’s Aquatic Ecological Structure with Water Hyacinth”

Danica Liongson (MLA '19) for “Beauty & Bounty: The Threatened Legacy of Olive Trees in the Mediterranean”

Deni Lopez (MDes/MAUD '19) and Nadyeli Quiroz (MLA '19) for “Disaster as an Opportunity: Alternatives for Debris Management at Los Perros' Riverbank in Oaxaca, Mexico”

Grace Suthata Jiranuntarat (MArch '19) and Sonny Xu (MArch/MLA '18) for “Chemical Valley: Site Investigation of Sarnia, Aamjiwnaang First Nation and CN Rail”

Isaac Stein (MDes/MLA '20) and Maggie Tsang (MDes '19) for “Lines in the Sand: Submerged Property and the Paradoxical Landscapes of Gulf Coast Barrier Islands”

Amanda Walker (MLA '19) for “Red Dirt – Patterns of Exploitation: The Case of Bauxite Mining in Jamaica”

Anson Ting Fung Wong (MLA '19) for “Stone Wall Trees: ‘Unconventional' Urban Landscape in Hong Kong”