Sylvester Baxter Lecture: “Plants in the Design Imagination” with Ron Henderson, Julian Raxworthy, and Douglas Reed with Danielle Choi

Winding path amongst shrubs fading into fog

Photo by Andreas Stavropoulos

Please join us for the Sylvester Baxter Lecture featuring a discussion by landscape architects Ron Henderson, Julian Raxworthy, and Douglas Reed, and moderated by Danielle Choi.



Ron Henderson is Professor and Director of the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Program at Illinois Institute of Technology and has held prior appointments at Harvard, Penn State, Tsinghua, and RISD. As founding principal of L+A Landscape Architecture, he has designed the Lynch Courtyard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), City Walk (Providence), Grounds of the Elizabethan Theater at Chateau d’Hardelot (France), Landfill Garden (Providence), and Jiuzhou Qingyan garden at the China Pavilion of the 2010 Shanghai Expo (Shanghai), among many projects. He writes and lectures frequently on Asian gardens and cities, including The Gardens of Suzhou published in 2013 by University of Pennsylvania Press.  An exhibition of fifteen of his Japanese cherry tree sketchbooks is currently exhibited at the US National Arboretum where he is also collaborating with master gardener, Fujimoto Kurato, on the restoration of the arboretum’s venerable Japanese cherry trees.

Julian Raxworthy PhD is a landscape architect based in Dubai. He is an Honorary Associate Professor with the ATCH Research Centre (Architecture, Theory, Criticism and History) at the University of Queensland, where he completed his doctorate entitled “Novelty in the Entropic Landscape: landscape architecture, gardening and change”. He has been a Registered Landscape Architect in Australia, where he was Design Manager for Aspect Studios, and Principal Landscape Architect for Donovan Hill Architects (now part of Bligh Voller Nield) and was also a Registered Landscape Architect in South Africa, where he was Convenor of the Master of Landscape Architecture & Master of Urban Design programs at the University of Cape Town, and Principal Landscape Architect for Wolff Architects. A graduate of RMIT University, Melbourne, he was a founder of Kerb: journal of landscape architecture, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, and at the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage (ENSP) Versailles. His most recent book is Overgrown: practices between landscape architecture and gardening, published in Fall 2018 by The MIT Press, which was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Douglas Reed , MLA ’81, is recognized nationally for design leadership and for his tireless advocacy of culturally significant landscapes. Through his diverse projects and non-profit work, he passionately promotes the wise and creative treatment of our cultural patrimony. Known for his cultivated eye and relentless focus on contemporary design expression, Reed garnered broad critical acclaim two decades ago for the innovative Therapeutic Garden at the Institute for Child and Adolescent Development. That project received the President’s Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Reed is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2011 he was recognized as a Resident of the American Academy in Rome. He was selected in 2005, with Gary Hilderbrand, for the Emerging Voices program of the Architectural League of New York City, and for the Thaler Memorial Lectureship at the University of Virginia in 2013. He lectures widely and participates as a critic on reviews for design schools nationwide. He co-authored the firm’s 2012 monograph, Visible | Invisible, which received the ASLA’s Award of Excellence in Communication.


Danielle Choi, MLA ’08, is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She teaches in the MLA-I core studio sequence and leads design research seminars.

Choi’s research concerns infrastructure, technology, and the synthetic role of landscape architecture in American urbanization. Current research projects concern the environmental history of 20th century interior landscapes, and also water infrastructure and the invention of public nature. Archival work is used as a critical component of design research methodology as the cultural legacy of these projects is maintained through present-day projects of preservation, conservation, and restoration.

Choi’s research has been published in Journal of Architectural Education, Harvard Design Magazine, and Landscape Architecture. Prior to joining the GSD, Choi taught studio in urban design at Columbia University. She is a licensed landscape architect, and has practiced with Topotek in Berlin and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) in New York; as a senior associate at MVVA, she led strategy and design of complex urban landscapes and managed large, multi-disciplinary teams. She holds a degree in art history from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the GSD, receiving the Jacob Weidenmann award for excellence in design.

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