Martha Schwartz :: Lecture Recap

Photo by Mikkel Stromstad

Lecture Series Recap :: Martha Schwartz 
by Camila Mathó, BID Candidate

On the 18th of October 2011, Martha Schwartz gave a lecture in Cascieri Hall about her work with Landscape Architecture. Martha Schwartz is the founder and president of Martha Schwartz Partners. Focusing on the design of urban landscapes and public areas in cities, Martha Schwartz Partners has offices in Cambridge, MA and London, UK.

Before this lecture I had very little knowledge of Landscape Architecture. What I did know about it was just what I heard here and there from people here at the BAC. As a result, it was very helpful to me to hear Martha Schwartz’s presentation because I now have a solid example of what Landscape Architecture entails. Seeing her many works, I can understand how she is truly inspired by her clients, as well as simply, the people around her. She studies how people move in spaces and how a certain space would be most useful to them. More importantly, she educates herself about other peoples’ culture to make her projects most effective. 

I was extremely moved by how much attention she pays to other people’s cultures, especially ones that are very foreign to her. She makes it a focus of her job to figure out how people interact with each other, depending on what country they are from and what their comfort level is. It is clear that she considered the different cultures related to each of the projects she presented, because her designs are in no way similar to each other. I think it’s very important to pay attention to this because even though the designer may like or feel comfortable with one thing, the client may not. The designer must take themselves out of their comfort zone for someone else.

If you missed Martha Schwartz speak at the BAC, click here to see a video of her presentation.