Laurie Olin: What Is Real?


In honor of a lifetime of achievement in landscape architecture and in celebration of Founder’s Day and Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, the University of Virginia awarded Laurie Olin, FASLA, founding principal of OLIN Studio, its Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture. Since the award was first given to Mies van der Rohe in 1966, only a handful of landscape architects have received the medal, including Lawrence Halprin, Ian McHarg, Dan Kiley, and Peter Walker, FASLA. Olin now joins a prestigious crew who have shaped landscape architecture by designing innovative and memorable landscapes around the world. (This is a great time for him: Olin will also receive the National Medal of Arts from President Obama next week).

Along with his acceptance of the TJ Medal, Olin gave a lecture on “Civic Realism and Landscape,” described in his own words as the “relationship between the making of civic places and the…

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