Landscape Architecture College of Design

Adjunct Faculty


Assistant Adjunct Professor Michael Keenan


  • BED, University of Minnesota
  • MLA, University of Minnesota


Michael is a designer, plantsmen, and professor whose work examines contemporary and indigenous landscape systems to project and construct new landscape strategies and typologies. His passion and knowledge of plants, water, and built systems inspire the creation of dynamic landscapes, gardens, and green infrastructure systems. Michael is the co-founder of the local design firm, Urban Ecosystems, with fellow graduate and professor, Samuel Geer. As Director of Design for Urban Ecosystems, Michael leads site design on a variety of project types ranging from residential to institutional to corporate landscapes. His understanding of landscape systems and attention to detail melds with his respect for construction and management processes to create living urban landscapes.

Michael finds inspiration for his academic and professional work through extensive field investigation of novel ecosystems found in heavily urbanized or industrial land as well as minimally disturbed natural landscapes. The discovery of spatial patterns, adaptive properties, and interconnectedness between plants, hydrology, soils, and human uses reveal new applications for designed landscapes. Michael’s work showcases this developed knowledge through the creation of rain water treatment strategies, novel planting typologies, and adaptive management diagnostics in designed plant communities and naturalistic urban landscapes.

Professional Experience

  • Urban Ecosystems, Director of Design [2012-Present]
  • Metro Blooms, Lead Designer [2009-2012]


Built Work

  • Apple Store Green Roof. Minneapolis, MN 2014
  • Room & Board Corporate Campus. LEED Gold Certified. Golden Valley, MN 2015
  • Courtyard Meadow, Minnetonka Moccasin Corporate Headquarters. Minneapolis, MN 2015
  • Sentyrz Supermarket Rainwater Retrofit. Minneapolis, MN 2011 [w/ metro blooms]
  • Mondale Hall Meadow, University of Minnesota Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 2016



  • The Lake Minnetonka Guide to Shoreline Gardens. Samuel Geer, Michael Keenan 2015



  • 2013
    • The Resilient Landscape: Principles and Strategies. US Green Building Council MN Impact Conference. Bloomington, MN


  • 2014
    • Stormwater Technologies: Construction Techniques. Hedberg Contractor Education Day. Golden Valley, MN.
    • The Resilient Landscape. Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course. Newport News, VA
    • Garden Design: Developing a Process. Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course. Newport News, VA


  • 2015
    • Garden Design: Learning from the Masters. Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course. Newport News, VA
    • Interactive Design Studio. Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course. Newport News, VA
    • Water in the Landscape: Turning Problems into Opportunities. Hedberg Contractor Education Day. Golden Valley, MN.


  • 2016
    • The Urban Meadow: Solutions to Protect and Restore Habitat. US Green Building Council MN Impact Conference. Saint Paul, MN
    • Managing Naturalism: A Design-Base Approach to Creating Sustainable Urban Plant Communities. Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Assoc. - Design/Maintenance Relationship Symposium. Roseville, MN
    • Shoreline Design: Gardens Between Green & Blue. Metro Summit for Lake and River Groups. Minneapolis, MN



  • Walker on the Green. Walker Art Center, Mini Golf Hole Design Contest. 2008
  • Waterosity Design Competition. University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. 2009



  • LA 8773 Landscape Infrastructure Systems III
  • LA 5772 Landscape Infrastructure Systems II
  • LA 5203 Ecological Dimensions of Spacemaking
  • LA 5202 Landscape Analysis Workshop
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