Renowned landscape architect and planner Drew Wensley has been appointed a visiting professor of practice in the University of Tennessee, College of Architecture and Design.
Wensley is chief executive officer of Canada-based Moriyama & Teshima, a globally recognized planning and landscape architecture firm. He will visit the College of Architecture and Design numerous times a semester, and work remotely with faculty and students on various projects.
“Drew is a great addition to the Landscape Architecture Program for several reasons, not the least of which is his firm’s global reach,” said Gale Fulton, chair of the UT Landscape Architecture program. “His wide range of professional experiences, including large-scale planning projects and exquisitely detailed built works from South America to the Middle East, will add a new dimension to the local and regional work in which our faculty and students are currently engaged.”
UT professor of practice positions are set up so faculty can provide detailed hands-on education in specific areas. There are about twelve such positions across various UT colleges. Wensley will relay his experiences and his professional practice activities through topics taught in the Landscape Architecture Program’s design studios.
Wensley has contributed to some of the largest and most significant city building and environmental restoration initiatives in the Middle East, Asia, and North America. In 2001, he started the vision and implementation of the Wadi Hanifah Comprehensive Development Plan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a bio-renewal effort producing a 120-kilometer-long oasis with forty-two kilometers of recreational trails, three lakes, six parks, and nearly 40,000 trees.
The project marked a shift in how environmental systems and natural resources are treated and preserved and their importance in building strong sustainable cities in the future. As a result, Wensley presented the plan to the Council for Sustainable Development and Delegates at the United Nations in New York as a leading example of sustainable urban renewal.
Wensley’s consulting work with Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), a leading urban planning, architecture, and engineering firm, on urban planning initiatives around the world led to his involvement with Philip Enquist, the UT Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments. Wensley is a contributing partner in the Governor’s Chair’s collaboration between SOM, UT, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to research and create solutions for resilient cities.
“Developing more resilient cities requires this highly integrated partnership among numerous disciplines, and I am excited that UT is becoming a hub for this type of research and practice,” Fulton said. “Graduates of our program will benefit greatly in their future careers as a result of these opportunities and experiences.”
As a leader at Moriyama & Teshima, Wensley has contributed to more than $1.2 billion of construction internationally. Projects include the new campus plan for Kuwait University, a new home for 40,000 students, and the Comprehensive Environmental Plan for the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. In Canada, projects include Calgary’s East Village Riverwalk, the Lakehead University Campus Plan, the Havergal College Campus Plan, the Canadian War Museum, and ongoing work with His Highness the Aga Khan in Toronto and Ottawa.
Wensley is a graduate of Ryerson University in Canada. His design drawings are housed at the Ontario Archives in Toronto and were recently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information about Wensley, visit the faculty profile page of the UT Landscape Architecture Program website.