Interviews

“Tensions of Change: A Conversation with Anne Whiston Spirn,”

2003, with Laura Muthler White.

“Anne Whiston Spirn, professor of landscape architecture and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has traveled the world, studying, photographing, and writing about landscapes. She has also devoted nearly twenty years to working with the schoolchildren and residents of West Philadelphia, teaching them to read and to shape the landscapes of their own urban neighborhoods. She is artist, scholar, critic, designer, and the author of two books, The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design (Basic Books, 1984) and The Language of Landscape (Yale University Press, 1998). She is currently at work on her third book, The Eye Is a Door, which will feature her color photography as well as her essays. Anne lives in Nahant, Massachusetts, at the end of a mile-long causeway reaching out into Massachusetts Bay. I phoned her at her home on a stormy Friday evening in July of 2003.”

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“Building the Urban Landscape,”

Architecture Boston, 2001, with Hubert Murray

“Anne Whiston Spirn recently returned to Boston as professor of landscape architecture and planning at MIT. From 1986-2000, she was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she chaired the department of landscape architecture and planning and serves as co-director of the urban studies program. She is the author of The Language of Landscape (Yale University Press, 1998) and The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design (Basic Books, 1984).

Hubert Murray is principal of Hubert Murray Architect + Planner in Cambridge; his work has included projects in the United States, Britain, and East Africa. He has also taught architecture in London and Nairobi.”

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“Interview with Anne Whiston Spirn: The Case for Practice Professorships,”

Penn in Ink, 1994

“Anne Whiston Spirn is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at GSFA and author of The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design, 1984 winner of the ASLA President’s Award of Excellence. Currently on leave from Penn, she is writing three books of her own and co-authoring or contributing to six more. She has also accepted invitations from the University of California Humanities Research Institute to be a 1994 Fellow in a six-month research seminar on “Reinventing Nature” and from the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC to be a guest scholar in urban studies this summer. Spirn took time from her demanding schedule to answer questions about her work and the profession of landscape architecture.”

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“Urban Nature and City Design,”

Kagaku, 2001, Kazuhiko Takeuchi (in Japanese)

“The Granite Garden: Planning for the Public Realm,”

Dialogue, Public Radio International, January 1995, with George Seay

“Let’s think about the city, the one we live in and the one we could live in if we bent our energies and resources to creating the most habitable, aesthetically pleasing urban space that we could. Now this is an entirely appropriate exercise, for beyond physical space cities occupy a place in the realm of human possibilities and are a reflection of our social spirit. To think of the city this way means having a vision of it and to help us define that vision I’m pleased to welcome Anne Spirn, author and professor in the department of landscape architecture and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

Anne you have been called, and I think very aptly after reading your work, an urban visionary. I think that owes to the depth of practical insight and, quite frankly, poetic prose you bring to your writings on urban space. I’d also say you’re something of a historian, and I’d like to start us with a reference to history.”

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