GDS Tenures Landscape Artist Van Valkenburgh

The Graduate, School of Design (GSD) last month tenured the artist who constructed walls of ice on the Radcliffe Quad.

The GSD named Michael Van Valkenburgh, who has been an associate professor at the design school since 1982, to be the school's newest professor of landscape architecture.

Van Valkenburg, who specializes in ice architecture, worked with several students to design and build the seven-foot-high walls of ice that adorned the Cabot Quad last month. He constructed the walls by spraying water on mesh screens, letting the wind and temperature form the exact design.

Van Valkenburgh, one of only four tenured faculty members in landscape architecture, brings a more artistic and less functional style of landscape design to the faculty, said Professor Linda Jewell, chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture and a member of the faculty search committee which chose Van Valkenburgh.

Van Valkenburgh's appointment concludes a two-year search for a senior faculty member. The appointment was delayed because the field of architectural design is in a "period of transition," said GSD Dean Gerald M. McCue.

The faculty search committee wanted a designer whose style represented a new generation of expressive architects, McCue said.

"This is an important and provocative time for landscape architecture," Van Valkenburgh said in a prepared statement. "I am excited by recent opportunities to apply my ideas."

Van Valkenbergh could not be reached by phone yesterday.