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Marc RyanApril 8, 2022 @ 3:30 p.m. MDT


Re-Grounding: The Practice of PUBLIC WORK

About the Lecture:

Marc will discuss the recent work of PUBLIC WORK, the studio he co-founded based in Toronto, Canada. Toronto has served as both a laboratory and inspiration for exploring the complex processes of building a city in which the public realm is central to its quality of life. The ambiguous identity of Toronto’s cityscape at the beginning of the 21st century leaves space for the re-articulation and design of the public realm, a chance to make source landscapes more vivid in the city and re-engage the civic imagination through landscape. In this talk, Marc will explore some of the themes which drive the work of the practice and share recent projects.

Speaker Bio:

Marc Ryan is principal and co-founder of PUBLIC WORK, a Toronto-based office for urban design and landscape architecture focused on one of the foremost public topics today—the intelligent evolution of the contemporary city. Established in 2012, the studio aims to produce transformative works that invigorate the public realm, optimize and enhance the performance of urban and natural systems, and support public life by adding new layers of experience to the city. PUBLIC WORK has emerged as a leading design studio who are innovators of transforming under-utilized terrain into new urban landscapes.

Marc is a landscape architect dedicated to the design of the public realm and life of cities. Drawing from an education in both landscape architecture and architecture, his work seeks synthesis in the rediscovery of the public realm within challenging environments amidst rapid urban growth. Throughout more than two decades of practice in Canada, the United States and Europe, he has dedicated his passion, advocacy, and professional work toward elevating the role of landscape and the public realm in shaping the quality and experience of cities. His design practice focuses on projects for the public realm using landscape as a primary medium, providing leadership to uncover and create a dramatic new sense of place. He is currently dedicated to guiding public realm design, planning and infrastructure projects at multiple scales so they relate powerfully to their context and enhance the quality and experience of urban life.

Prior to co-founding PUBLIC WORK, Marc was studio director at West 8, the Dutch landscape office where he worked in Rotterdam beginning in 2005. He established West 8 Toronto in 2009 and served as design director on some of West 8’s most significant commissions in North America, including the Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan in New York City and Toronto’s Central Waterfront. Marc is instrumental in the design of innovative projects at PUBLIC WORK which reflect a synthesis between ecology, infrastructure, and public realm design - a philosophy that is at the core of his professional outlook. He is experienced in the design and implementation of public works that leverage the city’s requirements for infrastructure into a spectacular new public realm. Marc has previously worked with Richard Haag Associates, Seattle; with Todd Johnson at Design Workshop, Denver; and with Urban Strategies, Toronto.

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