Martha Schwartz is a landscape architect and artist with major interests in cities, communities and the urban landscape. Her work spans from site-specific art installations to working with cities at strategic planning levels. Her focus is on environmental sustainability and the creation of awareness about how the urban landscape underwrites urban sustainability through functioning as the connective platform for a city’s environmental, social and economic health. Schwartz is an advocate for how cities can help to reduce climate change and support a more sustainable approach to diminishing resources. Schwartz continues her devotion to the built environment through pushing new boundaries and expressions as a designer. She understands design as a method through which to create social buy-in and the creation of value for public spaces. She believes that sustainability begins with a landscape-based masterplan that will enable the specific design of spaces while ensuring that the ground plane functions environmentally for flora, fauna and people. She strongly believes that sustainability is created through design and the creation of identity and a sense of place as our landscape helps to differentiate ourselves in an ever-growing uniformity of place as a result of globalization.
As principal of Martha Schwartz Partners, she has over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect, urbanist and artist on a wide variety of projects located around the world with a variety of world-renowned architects.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for her outstanding contribution to UK design; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; the Women in Design Award for Excellence from the Boston Society of Architects; a Doctor of Science from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Ireland; a fellowship from the Urban Design Institute; visiting residencies at Radcliffe College and the American Academy in Rome; an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects and most recently a Council of Fellows Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Martha Schwartz is a tenured Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a founding member of the Working Group of Sustainable Cities at Harvard University. She has lectured both nationally and internationally about sustainable cities and the urban landscape, and her work has been featured widely in publications as well as gallery exhibitions.