Professor David Brownlee, PhD at the University of Pennsylvania is an historian of modern architecture and urbanism whose interests embrace a wide range of subjects in Europe and America, from the late eighteenth century to the present. As a professor at Penn and colleague of Olin’s for over thirty years, Brownlee brings expertise in disciplines that are central to Olin’s thinking about modernity and urban design. His intellectual acumen, historical acuity and precise counsel make Brownlee a true asset to this film project.
Professor Kenneth Helphand of the University of Oregon has specifically dealt with the design of suburban open space, and focused on parks and gardens across the country. His analysis of over a century of suburban planning and his exploration of and guidance on new trends in suburban design have helped frame Olin's thoughts as presented in the film. Helphand and Olin have also known one another as colleagues for many years.
Professor Ron Henderson of the Illinois Institute of Technology is a master of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism whose work is internationally recognized and acclaimed. He has worked with Laurie Olin since 1990 (as a teaching assistant at Penn and an intern at the Olin studio). Henderson brings a great passion and intellectual curiosity to the film on the subjects of urbanism, design and landscape architecture. He is an Olin enthusiast, and a thoughtful reader, responder and thinker on the material being covered in this documentary.
Professor Alison B. Hirsch, PhD at University of Southern California completed her dissertation on the post-WWII development of landscape architecture—the era which set the stage for Olin’s early exposure to and positioning within the field. Dr. Hirsch offers an historical perspective on the changing nature of the practice over the past seventy years. She has completed scholarly analysis on the notion of meaning in landscape architecture—a concept which Olin addresses extensively. Hirsch was Olin’s student at Penn, and also had the opportunity to teach with him. She offers a unique awareness of his pedagogy and practices.
Professor and Dean, Elizabeth Meyer of the University of Virginia, has produced a substantial body of theory and criticism on the creation of new landscape imaginaries around the world. Grounded in contemporary cultural issues, Meyer challenges conventional design practice by questioning the separation of aesthetics and sustainability, cultural landscape interpretation and innovative design. Her reframing of the history of modern landscape architecture offers a vital point-of-view for this film. And her long association with Olin will help ensure authenticity, accuracy, and completeness in the film's presentation of and consideration of his ideas.
Professor Thaisa Way, PhD, teaches history, theory, and design at Olin’s Alma Mater, the University of Washington, in Seattle. She is a longtime colleague of Olin’s and brings to the film a perspective on the effect of race and gender on urban design, as well as a critical biography of well-respected landscape architect, Richard Haag, who was Olin’s chief mentor in college and beyond.
Professor Richard Weller at the University of Pennsylvania is a world-renowned researcher and designer in the planning of cities, mega-regions and nations. His knowledge of rapidly growing urban areas will inform the film and assure that its facts and statistics are thoroughly vetted. Weller’s theories and practices of landscape architecture and his long association with Olin will lend yet another critical sensibility to the project.