Talking about photography

“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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