Urban Ecological Activist to Give First HOK Sustainability Lecture at U.Va. School of Architecture

September 17, 2008 — Jean Gardner of Parsons The New School for Design will give the University of Virginia's HOK Sustainability Lecture Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. in Campbell Hall, Room 153.

Gardner, whose talk is titled "The Insightful Hand: Designing for Resilience," is an activist, writer, consultant and teacher who has worked for several decades to educate designers and the public on ecological design practices. She is the founder-director of Earth Environmental Group, an organization that produces publications, videos and photographs on environmental issues, and the co-founder of Environment '90s, a coalition of more than 250 organizations in greater New York City.

With Brian McGrath, Gardner, a senior faculty member in the Department of Product, Lighting, Architecture and Interior Design at Parsons, co-authored "Cinemetrics: Architectural Drawing Today" (London & New York: Wiley), and she is the author of "Urban Wilderness: Nature in New York City" (New York: Earth Environmental Group), as well as articles on various environmental topics.

As a member of the team lead by David Rockwell for the Venice Biennale, Gardner exhibited a proposal for "The Hall of Risk" on the site of the New York Stock Exchange in 2002, to commemorate the first anniversary of 9/11.

Gardner is the recipient of special recognition by the American Institute for Architects for her teaching on architecture and the environment, as well as for her environmental activism in New York City. She is named a "Living Urban Treasure" in the "Urban Almanac: Celebrating Nature & Her Rhythms in the City."

The HOK Sustainability Lecture is the first in two-part series funded by HOK, a Washington D.C.-based sustainable design firm lead by its president, William Hellmuth, a 1975 graduate of U.Va.'s School of Architecture.

"This is a wonderful resource for the school that will enable our students to learn from the perspectives of some truly notable scholars and professionals on the cutting-edge of sustainable design," Dean Karen Van Lengen said. 

The second HOK Sustainability Lecture will be held during the 2009-10 academic year.