On October 14, 2021, The Cultural Landscape Foundation announced Julie Bargmann as the recipient of the inaugural $100,000 Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize. The biennial Oberlander Prize, which includes a $100,000 award, two years of public engagement activities focused on the laureate’s work and landscape architecture more broadly and is named for the late landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, is bestowed on a recipient who is “exceptionally talented, creative, courageous, and visionary” and has “a significant body of built work that exemplifies the art of landscape architecture.” The Oberlander Prize Jury Citation notes of Bargmann: “She has been a provocateur, a critical practitioner, and a public intellectual. She embodies the kind of activism required of landscape architects in an era of severe environmental challenges and persistent social inequities.”
Bargmann, a native of Westwood, NJ, is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and the founder of D.I.R.T. (“Dump It Right There”) studio. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master in Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (1987). In 1989-90 she was a Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome.
For more than thirty years as a teacher and a landscape architect, Julie Bargmann has principally focused on contaminated, neglected, and forgotten urban and post-industrial sites. According to Bargmann: “Unearthing the raw ingredients of design from waste and wastelands defines my life’s work. Both the pedagogy of my teaching and my methodology as a designer address the social and ecological imperatives to reclaim degraded land. Integrating regenerative technologies with design propositions and built landscapes embodies my contribution to the discipline of landscape architecture.” Since she started teaching and founded D.I.R.T. studio, she has created alternatives to counter the limitations of typical remediation (defined as “correcting a fault”) by offering more dynamic modes of regeneration (or, “creating anew”).
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize
On August 13, 2019, TCLF announced the creation of the International Landscape Architecture Prize, the first and only prize for landscape architecture that includes a US$100,000 award. The inaugural biennial Oberlander Prize will be awarded in 2021 to a living practitioner, collaborative, or team for their creative, courageous, and visionary work in the field of landscape architecture.
Landscape architects, artists, architects, planners, urban designers, and others who have designed a significant body of landscape-architectural projects are eligible for this award. The Oberlander Prize will examine the state of landscape architecture through the honoree’s practice, showcasing how landscape architecture and its practitioners are transforming the public realm by addressing social, ecological, cultural, environmental, and other challenges in their work.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation
The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), founded in 1998, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1998 to connect people to places. TCLF educates and engages the public to make our shared landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards. Through its website, publishing, lectures, and other events, TCLF broadens support and understanding for cultural landscapes. TCLF is also home to the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize.