Michael Blier is a registered landscape architect and founding principal of the critically recognized design group Landworks Studio, located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.
Michael’s recent work is largely urban and site specific in nature. It seeks to exploit the inherent complexities that exist between ecologically challenged sites, environmental and cultural sustainability, material tectonics, and program. Exploring these complexities results in highly performative, experientially, and visually compelling solutions to a broad set of conditions that confront the re-urbanization of disturbed land.
Michael has been teaching studios and visiting as a critic at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1991 as a means of engaging and expanding the discipline of landscape architecture, and to test the processes by which it is conceived. He also lead design studios and taught representation courses at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design from 1997 to 2010.
He has lectured extensively throughout the United States at universities including the Knowlton School of Architecture
at The Ohio State University, Penn State University, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Colorado in Fort
Collins, The Taubman School at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, The University of Illinois C/U
and Harvard University.
Green Business Certification, Inc.
Team Lead, Certification
Since 2010, Melissa has worked at Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and currently serves as a technical review expert with the LEED and SITES rating systems, as well as training internal staff and coordinating directly with local and international project teams. She manages a team of reviewers as well as perform a variety of other tasks, including development of new certification programs and creating tools and resources for project teams. Before joining GBCI, she worked as an environmental scientist focused on brownfield remediation and geotechnical solutions and as a LEED Consultant. Melissa has a Bachelor's degree in Geology and a Master's in Environmental Geology from Missouri State University.
Tennessee State Parks
Hobart Akin grew up in Blount County, Tennessee exploring the coves and mountaintops of East Tennessee. After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 2006, he took a job working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming working with at risk teens. Returning home to Tennessee in 2008, Hobart began working as a Seasonal Interpretive Ranger at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester. In 2010, Hobart joined the full time staff at the park as a Park Ranger leading tours and interpretive programs at the site and handling emergency responses. In 2012, he moved to Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore, where he worked with the living history program. While at the park, Hobart helped to design several award-winning exhibits and developed several award winging interpretive programs such as a partnership with Skype in the Classroom to bring the story of Fort Loudoun to a global audience. In 2016, Hobart received a Master’s Degree in Public History with an emphasis in Cultural Resource Management from Middle Tennessee State University. Currently, Mr. Akin works as the Cultural Resources and Exhibits Specialist for Tennessee State Parks and serves on the board of directors for the Tennessee Association of Museums as the Professional Programming Chair. He is currently involved with projects across the state including World War 1 living history efforts at Alvin C. York State Historic Park and the establishment of a living history farmstead at David Crockett Birthplace State Park.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Faculty, School of Landscape Architecture
Assistant Professor of Plant Sciences
Brad Collett is an Assistant Professor in the Department Plant Sciences with a faculty appointment to the UT School of Landscape Architecture. His teaching and research interests include landscape performance, specifically watershed stewardship through operative landscapes and low impact planning, design and development. He has published two books: Low Impact Development: Opportunities for the PlanET Region, and HydroLIT: Southeast Tennessee Water Quality Improvement Playbook. In partnership with the College of Architecture and Design’s Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism, he is co-Principal Investigator for The Tennessee River Project, a multi-year, watershed-based teaching, research, and outreach initiative that launched in Fall 2016.
Andrew Moddrell is a founding partner of PORT. He is currently leading a diverse range of public realm and urban design projects ranging in scale from a 600-acre masterplan for the Knoxville Battlefield Loop, to the design and construction of a 3-acre civic venue in Denver’s Paco Sanchez Park.
In addition to his work at PORT, Mr. Moddrell teaches seminars and design studios related to contemporary issues of urbanism as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Architecture and as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Previously, he was the 2015-16 Eliel Saarinen Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, taught at the Architectural Association in London as part of the AA/UIC Visiting School and was a Research Associate at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Mr. Moddrell was part of the advisory panel for the National Endowment for the Arts inaugural “Our Town” initiative that awarded millions of dollars to be invested in communities that are supporting the arts as part of a community revitalization strategy. He is also an active member of the Chicago Central Area Committee, helping lead the CCAC proposal for the Unlocking the Value of the Old Cook County Hospital Charrette and is part of the CCAC Young Leader Executive Committee.
Mr. Moddrell holds a B.Arch with distinction from The University of Kansas, where he was awarded the Thayer Medal for Architectural Design, and an M.Arch from Yale University, where he was awarded the H.I. Feldman Prize for Design Excellence.
Christopher is founding partner of PORT, overseeing all of the office’s urban design and planning work. Prior to establishing the practice, he was a senior associate at James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) in New York City where he led that office’s master planning and urban design projects.
Christopher is also an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His design work and research have been widely published in academic, professional and mainstream media platforms. His work has been recognized by the Van Alen Institute, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Graham Foundation, Skidmore Owings and Merrill Foundation, American Institute of Architects, Chicago Architecture Club, Chicago Ideas Week and, most recently, the American Academy in Rome, which awarded him the 2015 Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture.
In addition to the work of PORT shown herein, Mr. Marcinkoski’s design and planning portfolio while at JCFO included the winning competition entry and framework plan for the 18 square kilometer Qian Hai Water City district of Shenzhen, China; Brookfield Properties proposal for the West Side Rail Yards Master Plan which included the design of 14 acres of public open space at the edge of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River; the planning study of a 200-acre mixed use development including 120 acres of public open space in Stockholm, Sweden; the winning competition entry, master plan and public approval for the transformation of a 4,500-acre former penal farm into one of the world’s largest urban parks in Memphis, Tennessee; the planning and design for the redevelopment of a 1.25 mile stretch of arterial roadway in the London Borough of Croydon; and framework planning work on the 2,000-acre San Juan Knowledge Corridor, which includes the master planning and phase one design of an 85-acre Science City district at the heart of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Christopher holds a B.Arch from The Pennsylvania State University where he was awarded the faculty prize for undergraduate thesis, and an M.Arch from the Yale University School of Architecture where he was awarded the H.I. Feldman Prize for design excellence and the Christopher Tunnard Fellowship for excellence in urban planning. He was editor of Perspecta 38 | Architecture After All (MIT Press, 2006), and is author of The City That Never Was (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015).
University of California, Berkeley
Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning
Richard L. Hindle is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on patent innovation in landscape related technologies, from large-scale mappings of riverine and coastal systems to detailed historical studies on the antecedents of vegetated architecture. His writing and making explores the potential of new technological narratives and material processes to reframe theory, practice, and the production of landscape. Recent works include Levees that Might Have Been in Places Journal (2015), Infrastructures of Innovation in Scaling Infrastructure CAU@MIT (2016) and the exhibition Geographies of Innovation at UC Berkeley (2015).
The Kitchen Community
Rochelle Brahalla attributes her love of nature and fresh food to her childhood in the rural Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY. After graduating from Cornell University in 2014 with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture, she moved to Memphis, TN to pursue a passion for food justice, urban agriculture, and urban design. In April 2015, Rochelle joined The Kitchen Community team to design and coordinate construction of Learning Gardens in the Memphis metropolitan area.
Since 2015, The Kitchen Community (TKC) has partnered with Michael Hatcher & Associates to construct almost 100 vegetable gardens in public schools across Memphis. TKC is a national non-profit that builds Learning Gardens at schools in low-income neighborhoods in an effort to connect students to real food. The Learning Garden serves as an outdoor classroom for students, teachers, and school community members to garden, gather and learn about making healthy food choices. These outdoor classrooms, which are often built in neglected or otherwise inactive areas of a schoolyard, can bring a space to life with active students and growing vegetables.
Before joining The Kitchen Community, Rochelle was involved in a community design initiative in Utica, NY called Rust2Green, and worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Green Leaf, a small urban farm in South Memphis. In her free time, she enjoys collecting tropical plants and learning the magic of southern cooking.
Michael Hatcher & Associates
Michael Hatcher, owner of Michael Hatcher & Associates, Inc., a leading landscaping company located in Olive Branch, Mississippi, began his small business in 1986, both out of his pickup truck and with the help of two employees. Now, 30 years later, Michael has grown his company to 95 employees and grown out of his pickup truck and into the company’s newly completed 22-acre complex. This new facility, known as The Landscape Center, includes a 10,000 square foot office facility, raised planters and a conference room that is capable of seating 144 people.
This new Landscape Center, combined with his community involvement, continues to allow Michael to think outside of the box. Just recently the company launched their new Department of Horticulture and Outreach. This Department coincides with the company’s vision to educate the community on topics such as sustainability and urban agriculture and show how these trends can be achieved through design.
Michael’s future plans also include The Landscape Center and adding more community space, all of which would be used to educate the community on the conservation of natural resources, among other trending topics.
Michael is married to Mary Hatcher, Vice President of Michael Hatcher & Associates, Inc. They have three children, Lindsey Uithoven, Steve Strickland and Shawn Hatcher, and one grandchild, Matthew ‘Hatch’ Uithoven.
The Ohio State University
Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Forbes Lipschitz is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University. She teaches both studio and seminar courses in landscape planning, geographic information systems, and representation. As a faculty affiliate with the Initiative for Food and Agricultural Transformation, her current research explores the role of geospatial analysis and representation in rethinking working landscapes. She received her Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BA in environmental aesthetics from Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Legacy Parks Foundation
Carol brings over 25 years experience in marketing, public relations and event management to the leadership position of the Legacy Parks Foundation. Carol’s prior experience includes serving as Director of Marketing for the Scripps Networks; Vice President of Marketing for the Knoxville Chamber Partnership, Assistant Athletic Director for the UT Lady Vols, and public relations consultant with the Ingram Group and SRW & Associates. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Tennessee.
Legacy Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization which works to assure that our community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces, and that those assets exist for generations to come. Since July 2007, the Foundation has raised over eight million dollars for parks, trails and open space and added nearly 500 acres of parkland in Knox County.
Atlanta Beltline, Inc.
Principal Landscape Architect
Mr. Burke has been the Senior Landscape Architect for Atlanta BeltLine Inc. since early 2009, and has thirty-five years of professional experience on a range of institutional, roadway, college and university, residential, and park projects. He oversees most day-to-day design and construction efforts for all public open spaces of the project. Currently, he is the Construction Manager for the 3 mile Westside Trail and sits 2nd chair on the 1.5 mile extension of the widely popular Eastside Trail. He was the lead organizer of ABI’s Annual Organic Land Care Symposium which sought to inform the public and practitioners about the path towards a more sustainable way of maintaining our public spaces. Mr. Burke has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Utah State University.
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Campus Landscape Architect
Ted Murphy, Campus Landscape Architect at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, received his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Plant Sciences from the University of Tennessee with a focus in public horticulture. Ted has been with the University of Tennessee Facilities Services Department since 1999, where he has served in several positions. For the first 13 years, Ted filled the dual role of acting General Superintendent of Grounds and Campus Landscape Architect. During this time, he managed a staff of 40+ people and an annual multi-million-dollar operational budget. In 2012, Ted’s sole title became Campus Landscape Architect. His major focus is providing design oversight and implementation of capital improvement projects, serving as the primary project manager for site and landscape related projects on campus and as an advisor for all other projects that have a site component. Ted also assists the Landscape Services unit with design of in-house landscape projects.
City of Knoxville Parks & Recreation
Aaron Browning joined the Knoxville Parks & Recreation Department in fall of 2012 and currently serves as Deputy Director. Aaron has played a role in various projects such as Knoxville’s Greenway Corridor Feasibility & Assessment Study, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, and worked with project managers contracted to design greenways and parks. Knoxville’s Parks & Recreation Department features 95 parks totaling over 2,300 acres, 46 miles of greenways, 66 miles of trails, and 15 facilities such as Community Centers and Senior Centers. Aaron earned a B.S. from Georgetown College (Kentucky) in Kinesiology & Health Studies and a M.S. from Eastern Kentucky in Physical Education / Sports Management.
City of Knoxville
Director of Redevelopment
Dawn Michelle Foster is the Director of Redevelopment for the City of Knoxville. She came on board Mayor Madeline Rogero’s administration as Deputy Director nearly 4 years ago and moved up to Director in September 2015. Dawn Michelle oversees and manages daily staff operations for the City’s Redevelopment Areas and consults with developers pursuing development assistance when investing in the City.
Dawn Michelle’s hometown is Louisville, Kentucky. She a BS degree from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s from the University of Tennessee in Urban and Regional Planning.
Before moving to Knoxville, she worked with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in Louisville as a Construction Project Manager over several Federal and State highway construction projects. She has lived in Knoxville nearly 20 years. Before joining the City of Knoxville, she was employed by CDM Smith (formerly Wilbur Smith Associates) in CEI and in its Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning Group.
Dawn Michelle has also served on the board of several neighborhood groups including Town Hall East and the East Knoxville Business and Professional Association. Previous City boards include the City’s Board of Zoning Appeal and the Knoxville-Knox County Public Building Authority. Currently she participates with the Regional Smoky Mountain Greenway Council, City Greenways Commission and the City’s Façade Improvement Program. She is also a member of the American Planning Association, Institute of Transportation Engineers and US Green Building Council. She also serves on the YWCA Board, Candoro Heritage Arts Committee and the Knoxville Opera Board.