Alum Patricia Johanson Lectures at SSA

The first PLOT Vol 5 Lunchtime Lecture Series on Thursday Oct 27th 2016 featured PLOT cover artist Patricia Johanson (‘77). Since the 1960s, the artist Johanson has focused her interdisciplinary work on combining art, ecology, landscape, and infrastructure into multifunctional public landscapes. A graduate of Bennington College (BA, 1962) and Hunter College (MA, 1964), Johanson also received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the City College of New York in 1977.

In 1969, House & Garden magazine asked her, innocently enough, what the future of the American garden might look like. Her response was an outpouring of 150 annotated colored pencil drawings, presenting a radical view that merged art and ecology with urban landscapes, buildings, and infrastructure. Johanson’s titles are as prescient and evocative as the drawings themselves: “Building that Cleans its Own Water,” “Food Park: Oysters,” “Garbage Garden,” “Garden Cities: Turtle Mound,” and the image shown below, “Regional Highway Garden: Nature Walk.” Johanson continues to investigate urban architectural and environmental systems, and her current work includes projects for filtering landscapes in Dallas, Texas; Petaluma, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Scranton, Pennsylvania.