Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles (Portugal) has made an outstanding contribution to Landscape Architecture through his life-long commitment to his chosen profession. His achievement in all aspects of landscape architecture - landscape planning, landscape policies, landscape design and landscape education has been quite phenomenal.
The defence of democracy, the humanization of the landscape, and the quality of life of the Portuguese population are hallmarks of his civic life and professional career.
With a long involvement and initiative in public intervention, he has for decades been pioneering in delivering ideas, designs and claiming for recognition of productive landscape as recreation space. He is still actively participating in the defence of a sustainable development model for Portugal on key issues connected to planning and the environment such as Forest Policy and Green Infrastructure.
Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles graduated in Agronomic Engineering and Landscape Architecture in 1950 to be part of the first generation of Landscape Architects in Portugal. He is a founding member of the Portuguese Society of Landscape Architects APAP, which was founded in 1976, and is still active in the association.
The revolution in Portugal in 1974 brought him to the forefront of the country`s political life. In 1975 he was appointed Secretary of State of the Environment and undertook his work in environmental policies in Portugal. He was a pioneer in the defence and conservation of environmental values, the promotion of land-use planning, sustainable development and the humanization of cities. He is mainly responsible for the current legal Framework Laws on conservation, land-use planning and environmental quality. He continues to be active in the dissemination of the ideas and principles in these fields where he was a forerunner and for which he has fought unceasingly.
He has published over 100 works on various subjects, such as land use planning, the environment, urbanism, visual analysis, landscape, projects, agriculture, resource management, education and policies.
His career spans over 60 years and he has clearly ha a unique and lasting impact on the development of landscape architecture as a practitioner, in teaching, in Public Administration and as a member of various Governments. Within the Housing Department Institute he set up the Landscape Planning and Green Areas Department. He was also Minister for Quality of Life and was one of the first Portuguese politicians to call attention to ecological problems, having an influence far beyond the tiny size of the parties he has led.
Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, has, within 60 years of active work, opened many doors and minds, and has contributed hugely to an awareness of, and integration of landscape architecture. His life achievement is an example for everybody to follow and he is a most worthy recipient of this year's IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award.
Professor Mihály Möcsényi (Hungary) started to work in University education already in 1945. He was teaching landscape design and landscaping. Since 1970 he became the head of the Department of Landscape and Garden Architecture school in Budapest, Hungary. He integrated the technical and aesthetic knowledge together with an ecological and economic approach to landscape architecture education.
He started his career in the field of education, and studied at different institutions parallel to his teaching. He studied history, archaeology, art history, and economics, technical-architectural, artistic and aesthetic matters, in order to acquire and pass on a fuller, more valuable and comprehensive body of knowledge to his students. He worked as a practitioner at the same time as he was teaching and says that: "Every day we need to prepare ourselves to spend the next day useful".
His philosophy: A teacher also has to have constant, direct connection with professional practice has inspired thousands of Hungarian landscape architecture students. He also encouraged students to go abroad to widen their minds in the fields of landscape architecture.
In 1968 he officially defined landscape as "cultural product" and defined landscape as "humanized nature". This established the basis of landscape architecture and planning in Hungary as an integrative and ecological approach - , a revolutionary change from the former the purely geographical landscape approach.
Because of political reasons he asked for retirement in 1979, and started to work more internationally. He had for a long time been engaged in IFLA, and was elected Vice-president IFLA Central Region from 1982-86 and IFLA President from 1986-1990. He had an essential role in involving the Eastern European countries into IFLA and was involved in the opening up of these countries for international relationships, education and the starting up new national associations for landscape architects.
After the collapse of the communist system in Hungary in 1990, he was called back to the university and was elected as rector from 1991-93, and founded the Faculty of Landscape Architecture in Budapest in 1992.
He has clearly had a unique and lasting impact on the development of landscape architecture as a practitioner and on the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture. Mihály Möcsényi has, within 70 years of active work, opened many doors, minds and hearts to an awareness of, and integration of landscape architecture.
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (Canada). Despite the breadth of her endeavors, one common thread stands out: her concern for environment and people. She has continued to develop and expand her skills over a lifetime as needs and opportunities have evolved - starting at the local community level and expanding her horizons as her focus has gone first nationally in Canada, continentally to North America, to a global perspective with her focus on sustainability and matters relating to climate change.
Ms Oberlander has been producing designs for a greener future for six decades. Working initially with low-income communities, her attention has broadened to include playgrounds and parks, and latterly to more global perspectives. She has shown a deep commitment to environmental sustainability not only through her designs and the quality of her work, but also through sharing her knowledge and ideas by writing books, preparing exhibitions and presenting lectures.
Ms Oberlander continues to make significant contributions featuring collaboration with architects and engineers on projects of international recognition. Her ability to work creatively as a member of an inter-disciplinary team with architects and engineers, basing all projects on design concepts and finding technical solutions through research, is demonstrated in her long list of built projects. She has achieved an uncommonly high level of respect and recognition from members of landscape architecture's related professions of architecture, planning and engineering.
As a female pioneer in the field of landscape architecture she decided from her 11th year onward that she had only one goal; to become a Landscape Architect to design out-door spaces for the enjoyment of all in our urban environment. She was one of the first females to graduate from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and started up her own design business collaborating with modernist architects.
"I dream of Green Cities with Green Buildings where rural and urban activities live in harmony. Achieving a fit between the built form and the land has been my dictum. This can only be done if all our design-related professions collaborate and thereby demonstrate cooperatively their relevance in meeting the enormous developmental challenges facing our increasingly crowded urban regions" (Oberlander 2002).
Her motto for solving difficult tasks on each project is the five P?s: Persistence, Patience, Politeness, Professionalism and Passion. Ms Oberlander has done so with a passion and an innovative approach to her chosen profession that is a model for any aspiring landscape architect. She has clearly had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of society and the environment and on the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture and is a most worthy recipient of this year's IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award.
Photo: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, receiving 2011 IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellico Award from Desiree Martinez, IFLA President (June 28, 2011, Kongresshaus, Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by T M Ahn)
Professor Bernard Lassus (France). Professor Lassus was nominated by UNESCO. The recipient is a practitioner whose merit, talent and actions are respected internationally. Professor Bernard Lassus gained a reputation as an artist in France from the late 1950's and then explored social uses of paintings and sculptures in industrial environments. At that time he was also Professor of Drawing at the School of Architecture at the Beaux-Arts in Paris and from there helped to found the Landscape School at Versailles. In 1982 he won a significant public project for the 'Gardens of Return' in Rochefort which has continued into 2000. He helped to develop a national Landscape Policy for Motorways in France and since then his influence in landscape design through his work and teaching at various universities in Europe and the USA has grown. He has also written 15 books. He is said to have a narrative approach to landscape design, derived from the site and his brief. He has a passion for intervening in the landscape in ways that give meaning to places and to the activities of people who dwell in these places. He embraces the incongruous and the critical. Frontiers fascinate him and are at the core of his practice.
Bio (in French)
Peter Walker (United States). Co-founder of the firm Sasaki, Walker and Associates (established in 1957), Walker opened its West Coast office, which became The SWA Group in 1976. As principal, consulting principal, and chairman of the board, he helped to shape The SWA Group as a multidisciplinary office with an international reputation for excellence in environmental design. In 1983, he formed Peter Walker and Partners, now known as PWP Landscape Architecture.
Walker has served as consultant and advisor to numerous public agencies and institutions: the Sydney 2000 Olympic Coordination Authority; the Redevelopment Agency of San Francisco; the Port Authority of San Diego; Stanford University; the University of California; the University of Washington; and the American Academy in Rome. He played an essential role in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University as both the chairman of the Landscape Architecture Department and the acting director of the Urban Design Program. He was head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1997 to 1999. A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Institute for Urban Design, Walker has been granted the Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects, Harvard's Centennial Medal, the University of Virginia's Thomas Jefferson Medal and the ASLA Medal. He is co-designer with Michael Arad of the National September 11th Memorial.