More people live in urban environments than they have in the history of human habitation. At the same time, the division between those that have more and those that have less is increasing exponentially. It is in the connective tissue of cities – the landscape fabric – where opportunities for creating equity will bring all citizens together in dialogue. In his presentation, “The City is a Landscape: Empathy, Design, and the Space Between Buildings,” David Rubin, founding Principal of LAND COLLECTIVE, explores the landscape of cities, expressions of governance, and connective tissue as the great equalizer. Along the way, he presents notions for raising the collective consciousness, finding opportunities for all in multi-dimensional landscapes, and why Steven Hawking is actually a wannabe landscape architect.
David Rubin’s LAND COLLECTIVE studio focuses on socially-purposeful design strategies and includes diverse typologies in locations from Los Angeles to Rome. Rubin studied at Connecticut College and Harvard University, and he spent 21 years in practice as a landscape architect and urban designer before founding LAND COLLECTIVE. His current work is devoted to crafting landscapes that affect positive social change through empathy-driven design. His work has gained international attention for its thoughtful focus on the intersections between contemporary social justice issues in cities, and effective urban design.
Rubin is a 2011-2012 recipient of the Rome Prize in Landscape architecture from the American Academy in Rome and he has taught and lectured at numerous institutions, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and Southern California Institute of Architecture. His designs have been awarded honors from a diverse range of institutions and organizations, including the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects.