H.W.S Cleveland Visting Guest Critic Program
The purpose of the H.W.S. Cleveland endowed chair fund is to attract leading landscape designers and educators who will, not only enrich the curriculum for students and faculty, but ensure the continued prominence and leadership of the UMN Landscape Architecture program within the local and national landscape community.
To foster our commitment to inclusivity, the H.W.S. Cleveland Visiting Guest Critic program invites women, indigenous landscape architecture professionals and landscape architects of color to attend graduate studio reviews as visiting critics. This offers students from the dominant group the chance to learn from the perspective and experiences of professionals historically underrepresented in the field and further enhances our diverse students’ experiences by providing access to diverse professionals in the classroom. This is critical in our pursuit of a fully inclusive community, to create culturally and socially responsive future landscape architects, and in building and maintaining a pipeline for the nation’s pool of indigenous landscape architects and landscape architects of color.
H.W.S Cleveland Visting Guest Critic Bios | Fall 2017
NINA CHASE | PRINCIPAL
Nina is a registered landscape architect, urban designer and founding Principal of Merritt Chase, a Pittsburgh-based landscape architecture, and urban design firm. Prior to Merritt Chase, she was Senior Project Manager at Riverlife in Pittsburgh, PA, and an Associate at Sasaki in Boston, MA. Nina has significant, award-winning experience leading innovative design projects. While at Sasaki, Nina worked on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, the Strip District Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, PA. and Sasaki's award-winning temporary pop-up park, The Lawn on D. Nina also led Sasaki's Sea Change: Boston research initiative and was a key member of Sasaki's HUD-funded Rebuild by Design team. Recently, her mobile pop-up park concept, Kit of Parks, was named a winner of the 2016 KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge.
Nina has lectured at MIT and Rhode Island School of Design, and she has served as a design critic at Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Toronto and held adjunct faculty appointments at Boston Architectural College and Northeastern University. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture. She has served as the Chair of the Boston Society of Landscape Architects Emerging Professionals Committee and currently sits on the national Landscape Architecture Foundation Board. A graduate of Harvard's Graduate School of Design and West Virginia University, Nina was recently named "Landscape Architect to Watch" by Green Building & Design Magazine.
ALMA DU SOLIER | STUDIO DIRECTOR
Alma Du Solier is a landscape designer and architect with a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor in Architecture from ITESM Campus Monterrey (Mexico). Alma has 20 years of experience in the practice of design and is currently the Studio Director at Hood Design, in Oakland, CA. Alma has been lead designer for a wide range of projects from urban parks and mixed-use projects to long-term open space and resources strategic planning. She is a recurring guest lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and in 2010 was invited as guest lecturer at ITESM Campus Zacatecas, School of Architecture.
KHYATI SARAF | SENIOR STAFF DESIGNER
Khyati is trained as an architect and landscape architect with a passion for interests that lie at the intersection of media, geography, and public space. Born and brought up in New Delhi, India, she is a careful observer particularly attuned to the role of media and culture on landscape and public space dynamics.
Khyati has practiced in New York City with the New York Department of Parks and Recreation where she conducted research on storm resiliency. She is currently a project manager at Future Green Studio and leads residential, mixed-use, and public space projects of varying sizes. Her portfolio of work includes the Brooklyn Children's Museum, Whitman-Walker Health, and Admirals Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In Fall 2016, Khyati was nominated to represent Future Green Studio in the national ‘Xtreme LA Challenge - a creative design challenge for the Design Leaders of Tomorrow’ at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA.
In addition to her work at Future Green, Khyati is also a co-founder of Bil-Kul, an international design practice working at scales ranging from the domestic to the regional. Her work has been recognized and exhibited globally, including an honorable mention for the Babyn Yar Necropolis International Competition in Kiev, Ukraine and her in-residence appointment as the 2017 Metro Manila Civic Innovation Fellow in Manila, Philippines. Khyati is also a freelance writer and researcher, having written for publications such as CLOG and Metropolis Magazine.
Khyati earned a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture in New Delhi. She is licensed to practice architecture in India.
H.W.S Cleveland Visting Guest Critic Bios | Spring 2017
CHARLES CROSS | DIRECTOR OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR
Charles Cross, ASLA, is the Director of Landscape Architecture at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center; as well as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. He serves as the Faculty Advisor to the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students, and is a member of the Black Landscape Architects Network. Charles holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Western Michigan University, a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and a Master of Urban Design degree from The City College of New York. His past experience in the public sector includes the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resource and Conservation Service and the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Charles has worked in the private sector for SmithGroup-JJR (Johnson Johnson and Roy), Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects and Artist Mary Miss.
Charles completed work on the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan and a 1.4 million dollar park in Detroit’s Denby Neighborhood that will act as catalysts for renewed investment in the community. He also has conducted research on cultural assets as they relate to the Detroit River and its role in the Underground Railroad. Last November, Charles completed work as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and is part of the team receiving the American Institute of Architects Whitney M. Young Award.
With a deep commitment to social justice and public Interest design, Charles maintains a firm belief that underserved communities deserve good design, and therefore should be the patrons driving a collaborative process-not just the consumers of the end product.
MISA INOUE | LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Misa Inoue is a landscape architect in Chicago, Illinois, with project experiences ranging from small courtyards to large public/corporate/university/health care campuses. She formerly held a visiting academic position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has served on design juries at the Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, and Osaka Prefecture University.
MISAKO MURATA | LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Dynamic, open-ended spaces are key to Misako’s concept of urban landscape design. “I love seeing how people use their cities, how they adapt and reimagine public spaces. Because cities are so dense, spatial flexibility is very important.” She has Master's degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University.