Transforming Landscapes

Michel Desvigne

Michel Desvigne will address the transformation of the profession of landscape architect and its challenges, which now involve climate and ecology more than aesthetics, as was previously the case.

Currently most projects affecting the land are obviously projects that involve transformation. Our cities exist, our land is occupied. It is a question of making them denser, changing their allocation, embellishing them. We know empirically the duration of these transformations, whether they involve large landscapes or bits of the cities. We know from experience that thirty or so years are needed to form a neighborhood, and that, in addition, these relatively long processes undergo permanent corrections. The initial vision should also be able to adapt to the hazards of the economy and to changing requirements. Hence the need to design tools and methods that make it possible to integrate this idea of duration in the way sites are transformed.

Michel Desvigne is a landscape architect internationally renowned for his rigorous and contemporary designs and for the originality and relevance of his research work. He has provided landscape designs in collaboration with major world architectural studios such as Herzog & de Meuron, Foster + Partners or Richard Rogers or Rem Koolhaas. 

Michel Desvigne has developed projects in more than twenty-five countries, where his work helps in highlighting the landscapes and rendering them visible, in understanding the mechanisms at work giving them form, and in acting upon these mechanisms in order to transform the landscapes and imbue them with meaning.

Among Michel Desvigne’s most renowned awards are 2019 AIA Honor Award for Detroit East Riverfront Framework Plan (US), 2014 European Prize for Urban Public Space and 2011 France's Grand Prize for Urbanism for his continual contribution to and reflection upon the city and larger territory.

Photo© Vincent Mercier