Romy Hecht is Assistant Chair of Undergraduate Affairs and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where she teaches history and theory of landscape architecture and undergraduate core studios since 1998.
Her courses seek an understanding of landscape as something that is visibly man-made and cultured, hence not a stage created to conceal the hand of man and manufactured to resemble unspoiled landscapes through décor featuring green grasses, trees, and bushes. Her research focuses on theory, history, and criticism of twentieth-century public landscapes in Latin America, specifically on the identification, description, and interpretation of forms regarding vestiges from the past, either erased or artificially hidden. In addition, her research focuses on understanding the shaping of landscapes as a process that can be criticized in terms of intensity, frequency, causes and historical consequences of this transformation in time.
A native of Punta Arenas, Chile, she received a Professional Degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree in History and Theory of Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (1998), and a Ph.D in History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University (2009).
She has presented sections of her dissertation, The Attack on Greenery: Critical Perceptions of the American Man-Made Landscape, 1955-1969 at Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, and Rice University. Her essays have been published in Retorno al Paisaje: El Saber Filosófico, Cultural, y Científico en España (Evren), as well as in journals such as Harvard Design Magazine, ARQ (Chile), CA (Journal of the Colegio de Arquitectos de Chile), and New Architecture (China).
She is in charge and currently engaged in two research projects awarded with national grants: Landscape Readings (2010–2012) and Urbanism and/or Landscape: Reading 12 Ongoing Urban Pieces in Santiago, 1910 vs 2010 (Fondecyt, 2011–2014). Additionally, she is a tem member in the research project Urban Experiences, Transformations, Plans, and Projects: Representations in Chilean Journals, 1930–1960 (Fondecyt, 2011–2013).