The University of Virginia School of Architecture has appointed Bradley Cantrell as the new chair of Landscape Architecture. Currently an associate professor of landscape architectural technology and director of the Master in Landscape Architecture degree program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Cantrell will assume the role June 25, 2017.
Cantrell comes to the University with a rich background in environmental and ecological design and its relationship to emerging technologies. His research investigates the role of digital media and computation in directing an environmental design process that operates as living model of landscape.
Cantrell proposes “synthetic ecologies”—infrastructure innovations that use the complexity already in nature to inform data-driven processes and environmental decisions, from river spillways to pollution remediation. “Brad’s research rethinks the relationship of landscape design to material and ecological systems through the use of computational and responsive technologies, allowing him to choreograph the forces found in nature,” said Ila Berman, Dean of the School of Architecture.
“His work is at the cutting edge of landscape architecture and he will no doubt be a tremendous addition to the UVA School of Architecture faculty. My thanks to the search committee for their leadership in bringing Brad to the School and larger university community.”
Cantrell’s previous academic appointments include The Rhode Island School of Design and the Louisiana State University Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. One of the two books Cantrell has co-authored won a 2012 American Society of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence and is used as a standard text in many landscape architecture programs; it is currently in its second edition. He is widely published in a range of peer reviewed architecture journals.
Julie Bargmann and Michael Lee, both associate professors in Landscape Architecture and co-chairs of the search committee, echoed Berman’s enthusiasm about the hire. “We are thrilled to have Brad Cantrell join us at UVA. Cantrell is at the leading edge of innovations linking computational logics, ecological analysis, responsive environments and site design. His expertise will complement that of our current faculty and be a draw for students as we continue to expand the frontiers of landscape architecture.”
“I am excited to be joining the faculty at UVA,” said Cantrell. “I have always admired the school’s commitment to craft and building that is advanced through design speculation. I look forward to working with the faculty to tune the department as we develop curriculum, collaborations, and student experiences to help form the future trajectory of the school and our disciplines.”
Cantrell received a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Kentucky in 2001, and a Master in Landscape Architecture II from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2003. There he was the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design Digital Design Prize for his innovative work in animation, film, and responsive technologies. Cantrell spent a year in Rome as a Rome Prize Fellow, where he pursued advanced studies in landscape architecture. In 2014, Cantrell was a 2014 TED Global Fellow. He has been awarded substantial grant funding for his projects and participated in both academic and industry competitions, winning significant recognition for his innovative designs. He is currently the principal architect and owner of Visual Logic, a firm specializing in responsive environments and design visualization.