Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

S5E7: Susannah Drake

Susannah Drake is the founder of DLANDstudio, a landscape architecture and urban design firm. Her firm has worked on urban infrastructure and public spaces in New York City and around the country.

Drake and her studio focus on urban infrastructure, and on turning forgotten parts of the built environment into community spaces that are usable, beautiful, and sustainable in light of climate change.

Drake often meets initial resistance to her proposals, whether it’s communities uncomfortable with change or people in denial about global warming. But she finds ways of working through:
If we can figure out strategies for how communities can operate in landscapes across the country that maybe are somewhat divorced from the labels of climate change…People don't want to be in harm's way. I grew up in a place where there were plenty of conservative people and plenty of liberal people. But we'd come together on how unwise it was to build your house in a flood plain.

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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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