The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) has awarded the 2018 LAF Medal to Carol Franklin, a pioneering landscape architect and one of Andropogon’s founders. The LAF Medal is awarded to a landscape architect for distinguished work in applying the principles of sustainability to landscapes. Carol was recognized for her “career-long passion and leadership in promoting ecological awareness and sustainability.”
As an ecologically-based landscape architect, Carol has worked for more than four decades to develop environmentally-restorative institutions, parks, and communities, bringing to each project the ability to see the broader ecological picture and to generate solutions that integrate historical, cultural, economic, and environmental concerns. Carol has always preferred “ecological design” to describe her work, rather than “sustainable design:”
Ecological design suggests a richer and more complex achievement— where designers will work from a deep understanding of how the world is actually put together and from this understanding will create new “organic” designs. These designs— for buildings, landscapes, cities and regions–– will, I hope, be timeless, beautiful, and functional.
As a teacher, author, and non-stop lecturer, Carol has dedicated significant time and energy to education and public service. She served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania from 1972 2002. Carol wrote and lectured widely on American landscape traditions, art, and architecture throughout her career. Her award-winning book Metropolitan Paradise, The Struggle for Nature in the City—Wissahickon Valley 1620-2020, published in 2010, focuses on the social, political, and ecological issues in Wissahickon Park and the adjacent rural/suburban landscape.
Carol’s trailblazing work brought an ecological design perspective to all types of sites, from university campuses and arboreta, to the forgotten landscapes of landfills, highways, and pipeline installations. With every project, she sought to change minds and highlight the beauty of natural processes and the inherent value of each unique landscape.
We at Andropogon will be forever grateful to the founders for naming the firm after a pioneering species of field grass. We are all idealistic Pogonites, toiling under the banner of our leader, Andrew Pogon. Over forty years later, our staff continues to aspire to design with the same elegance and economy of our native meadows.