The International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), which represents the worldwide profession of landscape architecture, announced today that Mihály Möcsényi is the winner of the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award – the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ premier award – for 2012.
Mihály Möcsényi has made an outstanding contribution to Landscape Architecture through his life-long commitment to his chosen profession. His achievement in all aspects of landscape architecture – landscape planning, landscape research, landscape design and landscape education has been quite phenomenal.
Professor Möcsényi (Hungary) started to work in University education already in 1945. He was teaching landscape design and landscaping. Since 1970 he became the head of the Department of Landscape and Garden Architecture school in Budapest, Hungary. He integrated the technical and aesthetic knowledge together with an ecological and economic approach to landscape architecture education.
He started his career in the field of education, and studied at different institutions parallel to his teaching. He studied history, archaeology, art history, and economics, technical-architectural, artistic and aesthetic matters, in order to acquire and pass on a fuller, more valuable and comprehensive body of knowledge to his students. He worked as a practitioner at the same time as he was teaching and says that: “Every day we need to prepare ourselves to spend the next day useful”.
His philosophy: A teacher also has to have constant, direct connection with professional practice has inspired thousands of Hungarian landscape architecture students. He also encouraged students to go abroad to widen their minds in the fields of landscape architecture.
In 1968 he officially defined landscape as “cultural product” and defined landscape as “humanized nature”. This established the basis of landscape architecture and planning in Hungary as an integrative and ecological approach – , a revolutionary change from the former the purely geographical landscape approach.
Because of political reasons he asked for retirement in 1979, and started to work more internationally. He had for a long time been engaged in IFLA, and was elected Vice-president IFLA Central Region from 1982-86 and IFLA President from 1986-1990. He had an essential role in involving the Eastern European countries into IFLA and was involved in the opening up of these countries for international relationships, education and the starting up new national associations for landscape architects.
After the collapse of the communist system in Hungary in 1990, he was called back to the university and was elected as rector from 1991-93, and founded the Faculty of Landscape Architecture in Budapest in 1992.
He has clearly had a unique and lasting impact on the development of landscape architecture as a practitioner and on the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture. Mihály Möcsényi has, within 70 years of active work, opened many doors, minds and hearts to an awareness of, and integration of landscape architecture. His life achievement is an example for everybody to follow and he is a most worthy recipient of this year’s IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award.
The IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award is the highest honor that the International Federation of Landscape Architects can bestow upon a landscape architect. The Award recognizes a living landscape architect whose lifetime achievements and contributions have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of society and the environment and on the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture. The award is bestowed annually on an academic, public or private practitioner whose work and achievements are respected internationally.
The IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award was launched in 2004 on a quadrennial basis. Its inaugural recipient was Peter Walker (USA) in 2005. Prof. Bernard Lassus (France) was awarded in 2009 and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander in 2011. From 2011 the award will be bestowed annually.
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe (1910 – 1996), IFLA President of Honour, served IFLA as its founding President from 1948 – 1954. He was a trained architect, town planner, landscape architect and garden designer, but his prime interest was in landscape and garden design. Jellicoe was a founding member (1929) and then President of the Institute of Landscape Architects (now the LI) and was knighted for services to landscape architecture in 1979. In 1994, he was given the Royal Horticultural Society’s highest award, the Victoria Medal of Honor.
The IFLA President, Desiree Martinez, will make the announcement in the Award Ceremony during the IFLA 2012 IFLA World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa on September the 7th.. The winner will present a lecture as part of the ceremony.
The 2012 SGJA International Jury, was chaired by Jenny B. Osuldsen (Norway) and comprised: Anton Comrie (South Africa), Alan Titchener (New Zealand), Rosa Klias (Brazil) and Fritz Auweck (Germany).