Marty Poirier, “The Creativity Continuum | How I learned about the place of art and design in culture”

Marty Poirier landscape design for the Getty Museum

Poirier will discuss the people and places that have shaped his sensibilities about his role as a designer of landscapes, along with the landscapes he has created.


For 40 years, Marty Poirier has combined insatiable curiosity with love of community life to practice landscape architecture fused with urbanity, social purpose, and aesthetics.  His designs strive to shape expressive places that people connect with.

Marty’s career is filled with assignments informed by the downtown centers in which he has lived and worked – Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cambridge, New York, and San Diego.  His work has focused on places of dense human interaction – parks, college campuses, and city centers – where rigorous site analysis and program definition are masterfully transformed into remarkable landscapes.

After 27 years of co-directing SPURLOCK POIRIER Landscape Architects, Marty rejoined mentor Peter Walker, to practice with PWP Landscape Architecture.

The recipient of numerous design awards, Poirier has lectured widely throughout North America.  He serves on the Harvard GSD Alumni Council, and co-founded the Harvard DISrupt! conference series.

Poirier finds great inspiration for his aesthetic pursuits through dialogue and collaborative projects with a diverse range of artists including Robert Irwin, Alexis Smith, Quincy Troupe, Ned Kahn, and Tim Hawkinson. This passion for aesthetics – conditioned to each setting – shapes his ongoing collaboration with Chef Thomas Keller and Laura Cunningham at The French Laundry and Bouchon.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].