Alistair McIntosh has over 35 years of experience practicing and teaching landscape architecture. His teaching and research at Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania specializes in the planning and design of public open space and continues to inform and challenge the standard ideas pursued within his practice. His design philosophy is informed by three interrelated questions: What is the nature of a particular site that is found within the historical and geographical circumstances of a city? How do people use and occupy civic spaces? How does the relationship between experience and physical form allow spaces to become meaningful?
McIntosh pursues the idea that urban open spaces are environmentally situated stages for the conduct of contemporary public and private social life. His work is an enquiry into the form making potential of the natural, cultural and historical processes found on a site and how these processes can be cultivated and deployed. In many regards, McIntosh’s work is a conscious search for the authenticity of built form. This awareness is illustrated in his current projects: The Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Indianapolis Waterfront and Schenley Plaza in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.