SPEAKERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Day 1
  • James Corner
    Landscape Architect
    Founding Partner of Field Operations


    James Corner is Founding Partner of Field Operations, based in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Philadelphia, London and Shenzhen. His work focuses upon the design of important urban public realm projects, which include New York’s highly-acclaimed High Line; San Francisco’s Presidio Tunneltops; Chicago’s NavyPier; Cleveland’s Public Square; Santa Monica’s Tongva Park; London’s South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Hong Kong’s Victoria Dockside; and Shenzhen’s new city of Qianhai.
    James’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, most notably the ASLA Design Medal; the Richard Neutra Award for Design Excellence; the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Architecture, and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. He holds Honorary Doctorates in Design from the Technical University of Munich and Manchester Metropolitan University. His work has been exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, the National Bu i İd i ng Museum, the Royal Academy of Art in London, and the Venice Biennale. Books include The High Line: Foreseen/Unforeseen (Phaidon, 2015); The Landscape Imagination (Princeton, 2014), and Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (Yale, 1996).
    James is Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania VVeitzman School of Design, where he served on the faculty since 1990, and as Professor and Chairman 2000-2013. He sits on the Board of the Urban Design Forum and the Government Advisory Board of Shenzhen, and is an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters.

  • Kotchakorn Voraakhom
    Landscape Architect
    Founder of Landprocess and the Porous City Network


    Kotchakorn Voraakhom is a landscape architect from Thailand who works on building productive green public space that tackles climate change in urban dense areas and climate-vulnerable communities.

    Opened in 2017, Chulalongkorn Centenary Park is the first critical piece of green infrastructure in Bangkok to reduce urban flood risk. With on-site water management, the park can collect, treat, and hold up to one million gallons of water, alleviating overwhelmed public sewage during heavy rainfall. In 2020, Thammasat Urban Rooftop Farm, Asia’s largest, was opened. Landprocess, a landscape architecture and urban design firm founded by Voraakhom, repurposed wasted rooftop space to address food and water scarcity in preparation for future climate challenges. In the same year, Chao Phraya Sky Park was realized. Once an inaccessible and incomplete sky railway, the old ruins are now whole, becoming the first realized bridge park to cross a river in any capital city in the world. In 2024, The process of making the government town more humane, The model for low carbon city for the Thailand Government complex is complete.

    Voraakhom received the United Nations’ Global Climate Action Award for nature-based solutions for urban adaptability. She was named one of TIME’s “100 Next 2019,” which lists 100 rising stars shaping the world's future each year, as well as the BBC’s “100 Women” and Bloomberg’s “Green 30 for 2020.” and has been featured in global media outlets including CNN, the Guardian and the New York Times. Voraakhom is a Global Commission on Nature Positive City for the World Economic Forum. She is the chairwoman of the Climate Change Working Group of the International Federation of Landscape Architects. Voraakhom received a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a visiting fellow and design faculty in many universities, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University in St. Louis.

Day 2
  • Christophe Girot
    ETH Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus


    Christophe Girot is ETH Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus. He received a a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from UC Davis in 1981 and a dual Masters in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley in 1986 and 1988. From 1989 to 1999 he was Chair of Design at the Versailles School of Landscape Architecture (ENSP), and then taught Landscape Architecture from 1999 to 2023 as Full Professor at the ETH Department of Architecture in Zürich. He was Dean of the ETH Department of Architecture 2019-2021. His teaching and research interests span topological methods in landscape design, landscape perception and analysis through sound and media, and contemporary theory and history of landscape architecture. He founded the Institute of Landscape Architecture (ILA) at ETH with Professor Günther Vogt in 2005, and co-founded the Landscape Visualization and Modeling Laboratory (LVML) with Professor Adrienne Grêt-Regamey in 2009. Finally, he helped launch the first Masters of Science in Landscape Architecture in Switzerland at the ETH in 2020 . His professional practice based in Zürich focuses mainly on landscape projects using applied plant knowledge, with advanced 3D topological techniques that contribute significantly to the design of gardens as well as larger sustainable landscapes like the Sigirino mound in Ticino, Switzerland. His publication “The Course of Landscape Architecture” published by Thames and Hudson in 20 16 establishes a link between past and current trends in landscape history and theory.

  • Ceylan Belek Ombregt
    Landscape Architect
    Partner of Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP)


    Ceylan Belek Ombregt is a highly experienced registered landscape architect, who has led award-winning projects across the globe, including Russia, China, the USA and Europe.

    In addition, she is a respected researcher and lecturer. Her main academic focus is on ecological issues in urban landscapes, and her research covers the sensory experience of space, smart materials, and design collaboration across disciplines.

    Ceylan is a visiting lecturer at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and Writtle School of Design (UK). She is in demand as a lecturer at international conferences and on design review panels, including IFLA, ITU (Turkiye), Croydon Council, University of East London, Greenwich University (UK), Rhode Island School of Design (USA); she is also a member of the professional review group at the Bartlett School of Architecture University College London.

Day 3
  • Peter Veenstra
    Co-founder of LOLA Landscape Architects


    Peter Veenstra is a landscape architect and co-founder of LOLA Landscape Architects, based in Rotterdam and Shenzhen. LOLA is an acronym for Lost Landscapes, which is born out of a fascination for the adventurous fringe, poetic leftover space and spontaneous nature. With the office he designed projects like Hongqiao Park in Shenzhen, Park Vijversburg in Tytsjerk, and the Adidas HQ Campus in Herzogenaurach. With self-initiated design research and curatorial work, Peter keeps on working on topics that deserve more attention in the field of (landscape) architecture. Recent research focused on post-disaster landscapes, carbon positive land use, afforestation and climate adaptation in the urban environment. In 2013 he received the Rotterdam Maaskant Prize for Young Architects and the TOPOS landscape award in 2014. In 2022, Peter co-curated the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, titled ‘It’s About Time – The Architecture of Change’. Peter co-wrote LOLA’s first monograph, ‘Lost Landscapes’, and the second in collaboration with Piet Oudolf, ‘In Search of Sharawadgi’.

INVITED SPEAKERS
Day 1
  • Jala Makhzoumi
    Vice President of IFLA
    Acting President for IFLA Middle East


    She is adjunct professor of landscape architecture, American University of Beirut, and is co-founder of UNIT44, offering consultancies in ecological planning and landscape architecture. In her research and practice, Jala pioneers a holistic approach that mediates community needs with ecosystem health, biodiversity protection and heritage conservation. Her professional expertise includes sustainable urban greening, post-disaster recovery and landscape heritage conservation. In 2019 Jala received the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2021 the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award 2021 for her outstanding contribution to education and practice.

  • Ashleigh Ward
    Indigenous Design Principal
    WSP New Zealand


    Ashleigh is a descendant of the tribes Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Konohi and Te Aitanga a Hauiti, on the East Coast of the North Island, Aotearoa, New Zealand. She is an Indigenous Design Principal and a New Zealand registered Landscape Architect at WSP. Ashleigh holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (majoring in Landscape Architecture) from Victoria University in Wellington.
    Ashleigh finds community and Te Ao Tūroa, (the natural world) at the heart of her work. Her portfolio of projects across the built and natural environment has allowed her to give agency and advocacy for Indigenous voices of Aotearoa, New Zealand – finding better solutions in creating longstanding, foundational and culturally aware authentic partnerships. For Ashleigh, as a strong wāhine Māori (Māori woman), advocating Indigenous agency and recognition is fundamental to well-being and strong, positive future aspirations. Ashleigh's goal of combining a culturally-centred design methodology with natural and contemporary urban landscapes is supported by her commitment to strong Indigenous engagement with people and place across her portfolio.
    Bringing a lens grounded in Te Ao Māori (Māori world view), in wairua, spirit, in mauri, life, in whakapapa, genealogy and rehiā, enjoyment to an increasingly urbanized world, Ashleigh’s work embodies taiao-based work – revitalizing, regenerating, and protecting our natural environments for our future generations.

  • Hayriye Eşbah Tuncay
    Professor of Landscape Architecture
    Istanbul Technical University


    Hayriye Esbah-Tuncay is the Chair and Professor of Landscape Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and a former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Renowned for her pioneering research in landscape ecology and its impactful integration into design, she stands at the forefront of shaping sustainable cities amidst climate change challenges. Emphasizing the crucial nexus between human well-being and ecological harmony, her visionary work spans urban, rural, natural, historical, and cultural landscapes.

    Noteworthy accolades adorn her illustrious career, including the Turkish Higher Education Council Scholarship, the prestigious Fulbright Research Fellowship, and multiple research grants from the European Union. As the Founding Director of HET (Habitat-Ecology-Technology), a distinguished Istanbul-based landscape architecture and urban design firm, she spearheads innovative projects that champion sustainability and climate resilience, garnering a vast number of national and international design awards and recognitions such as National Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Awards (8 times), International Idea King Design Award (China, 2013), the Aim for the Sky: The Buffalo Skyway Corridor Competition (USA, 2019) and Taksim Square International Design Competition (Turkey, 2020).

    Esbah-Tuncay holds a Doctoral degree in Environmental Design and Planning from Arizona State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona. She is a registered Landscape Architect in the Chamber of Turkish Landscape Architects and a member of ICOMOS, and Europa Nostra, exemplifying her commitment to excellence and professional advancement in the field.

Day 2
  • Gareth Doherty
    Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
    Harvard Graduate School of Design


    Gareth Doherty ASLA is a landscape architect, researcher, and educator. He takes a human-centered approach to landscape architecture, applying ethnographic fieldwork and participatory methodologies to design and theory. His work critically reassesses 20th-century approaches to the observed landscape to advance new pedagogy, tools, and techniques that address contemporary design issues of equity, identity, cultural space, and the human impacts of climate change. Doherty addresses these issues through research on designed landscapes across the postcolonial and Islamic worlds. Through what he terms “landscape fieldwork,” Doherty unravels diverse landscape narratives that have not yet been formally documented as evidenced through his books, Paradoxes of Green: Landscapes of a City-State (University of California Press, 2017), Landscape Fieldwork: How the World Can Change Landscape Architecture (University of Virginia Press, 2024), and his recent fieldwork and forthcoming publications on African landscape architecture.

  • Alexandra Steed
    Landscape Architect
    Founding Director of Alexandra Steed Urban


    Alexandra Steed, FLI, FRSA, is a dedicated landscape architect with a profound belief in the transformative power of landscapes. In 2013, she founded URBAN with the goal of bringing joy to people's daily lives through landscape design that enhances beauty and fosters well-being. Steed actively advises and serves on expert panels for organisations such as the Design Council UK and the UK Government's Office for Place, and lectures at the Bartlett, UCL. Steed's exceptional contributions to landscape architecture have garnered prestigious awards, including the WAFX Award for innovative global solutions and The LI Award for Excellence in Tackling Climate Change. Additionally, she was shortlisted for the Sir David Attenborough Award, highlighting her dedication to preserving and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystems. Her ground-breaking publication, "Portrait to Landscape: A Landscape Strategy to Reframe Our Future," cements her as a visionary shaping the future of landscape architecture.

  • Oktan Nalbantoğlu
    Landscape architect
    founder ‘on tasarım’


    Asst. Prof. Dr., Department of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

    Oktan Nalbantoğlu studied landscape architecture at Ankara University and graduated in 1986, and received his Master’s in 1988. He completed his Ph.D. at the same university in 1997.

    His research interests are urban design, urban transformation and large-scale park projects, waterfront design, and landscape restoration.

    He teaches design studios, conducts technics and material courses, and leads professional practise. In addition to his academic involvement, he has received awards from and served as a jury member in many national and international competitions and produced many realized projects.

    Nalbantoğlu has founded ‘on tasarım’ in October 2007 in Ankara, as the continuation of his design practices at different companies and offices. Since then, ‘on tasarım’ has turned out to be one of the most recognized urban design and landscape architectural offices in Turkey with a team of 40 people for twelve years.

    His career contains a wide range of architecture and landscape categories such as urban regeneration and rehabilitation projects at all scales, memorial architecture, cultural landscape, ecological design, mix-use housing environments, and coastal design.

Day 3
  • Maria Gabriella Trovato
    Associate Professor of Global Landscape Studies


    Maria Gabriella Trovato is a licensed Architect and a Landscape Architect with a PhD in Landscape Architecture: Parks, Gardens, and Spatial Planning (UNIRC and the University of Naples, 2003).


    Her most recent research focuses on Landscape in Emergency at the NMBU Center for Landscape Democracy (CLaD), Nordic Network for Landscapes and Welfare, HORIZON 2020 on Migration governance, Women in Scandinavian Landscape Architecture, EuropeAid project on Landscape Assessment and waste management, MEDSCAPES project funded by the ENPI/CBCMED, Landscape Atlas for Lebanon, and on FLRM (Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism) project funded by FAO and MOA.


    She has worked in several countries, teaching landscape architecture at undergraduate and graduate programs, seminars, and design workshops in Europe, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East. She is the chair of the International Federation of Landscape Architects working group Landscape Architects Without Borders (LAWB).


    As an architect practising and teaching landscape design, Maria Gabriella is interested in investigating new forms of urban living in a world of change and fluxing conditions. New challenges, like climate change, depletion of natural resources, conflicts between globalisation and local development, and re-localization of war refugees, are constantly shaping new equilibriums. It urges us to respond to them by investigating and proposing combinations of ecological performance and design culture

  • Alper Çabuk
    Professor of Landscape Architecture
    Eskişehir Technical University


    Prof. Alper Çabuk completed his undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture, his master's degrees in Landscape Planning and Environmental Management, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Economics. He has held positions at Ankara University, the University of Massachusetts (under a World Bank Scholarship), TÜBİTAK, American Geomatics Group, Geotech Company, and Anadolu University, where he served in various roles including Head of the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Director of the Institute of Earth and Space Sciences, and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design. Following the establishment of Eskişehir Technical University, which separated from Anadolu University in 2018, he has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design and as Vice-Rector at Eskişehir Technical University. He continues to work at the same university as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Design and Planning Accreditation Association. He is also the Director of the Institute of Earth and Space Sciences at the same university.


    Çabuk has worked on numerous national and international projects to promote and utilize technologies such as Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, terrestrial photogrammetry, and aerial photogrammetry, to research human settlements that are environmentally friendly and resilient to disasters. He has contributed to the establishment of various academic and training programs and has collaborated with numerous national and international organizations for this purpose. He has been involved in several significant planning and design projects in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, and Turkiye.

  • Murat Memluk
    Landscape Architect
    Co-founder of MDesign


    Dr. Murat Z. Memluk is a distinguished landscape architect with a PhD, who co-founded Mdesign and continues to lead its project and design initiatives. His academic journey began at Private Yukselis College and progressed with a Bachelor’s degree from Ankara University’s Department of Landscape Architecture in 2000. He earned his Master’s degree in 2003 and was awarded his PhD in 2009, focusing on "Design with Nature in Urban Space." From 2002 to 2014, Dr. Memluk served as a Research Assistant at Ankara University’s Department of Landscape Architecture.
    Throughout his education and professional career, Dr. Memluk has participated in over 30 competitions, earning numerous national awards. Beyond competitions, he has managed various national and international projects of different scales with his team. His professional involvement includes significant roles within the Chamber of Turkish Landscape Architects, serving on the Board of Directors and the Honorary Board.