Explore NYC’s unique public park in this documentary and discover how the island came to be from founder Barry Diller, landscape architect Signe Nielsen and Park leadership. ALL ARTS Docs can be streamed on demand through their app on Apple TV, Roku, and AmazonFireTV. The full episode can also be viewed by clicking here.
Little Island, New York City’s award-winning public park in Hudson River Park by W. 13th Street, announced today that they have received a 2023 Urban Land Institute Americas Award for Excellence in Urban Open Space. Little Island is one of ten projects from across North America selected this year and now advances to the Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence, competing against projects from the Europe and Asia Pacific regions.
“MNLA is deeply honored to be part of the incredible team that designed and now stewards Little Island,” said Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, MNLA. “Our collaboration with Heatherwick Studio and so many other talented designers was a joy from beginning to end. I believe our teamwork is manifested throughout the park in the seamless integration of landscape, architecture and engineering. Little Island is a sublime gift for all visitors to experience the fusion of art, nature and culture.”
Signe was recently featured in a documentary series hosted by the former mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough in Montreal that speaks to civic responsibility and how to encourage engagement through design. An edited version of episode 2- Gatineau can be watched by clicking on the title above.
With the ever-changing intersection of our natural and built environment, landscape architecture has never been more important in both advocating and delivering responsible and beautiful design. Each of these recently elevated individuals exemplifies consistent commitment to the creation of transformative landscapes. We wish them continued professional growth and success as valued members of the MNLA team!
MNLA’s New York City-based practice is seeking one or two Landscape Architects with 4-7 years of experience to join our team to design inspired landscapes and envision thoughtful place-making.
MNLA creates transformative landscapes that connect communities and elevate ecological design. Our award-winning 27-person firm has worked to reinvigorate, heal, and mediate places for over a quarter century. Current projects are located throughout the United States and include shorelines and piers, public open spaces and plazas, cultural institutions and historic sites, and campus planning and design.
Preferred Qualifications/ Skills:
MNLA invests in its employees and offers a competitive salary based on experience, annual professional practice allowances for continuing education and licensure, health insurance and FSA, and a 401k/Profit Sharing Plan. Our team engages in active mentorship at all phases of design from concept to construction.
This is a full-time position based in New York City for immediate hire. The office currently works in a flexible-hybrid model that allows staff to balance their individual schedule with a minimum of three days in our lower Manhattan office.
All MNLA employees and interns must be fully vaccinated/boosted against COVID-19.
MNLA is an equal-opportunity employer.
Salary is $68K to 82K per year commensurate with experience.
Please send your resume and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line please indicate the position you are applying for. Limit 10MB. Portfolio should clearly indicate applicant’s role on project and work authorization status.
MNLA is participating in one education session at this year's ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture. Alda Chan, AICP, Director of Resiliency for NYC Parks, Trever Holland, Chair, Community Board 3 Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs and Waterfront Committee, and MNLA's Noriko Maeda will lead a session that speaks to the intersection of resilient design and environmental justice at New York's Pier 42.
Paths to Collective Resilience and Environmental Justice: Charting Pier 42
FRI-B06Friday, November 11, 2022
PTMoscone Center, Room 213-214
San Francisco, CA
Little Island has been awarded the 2022 Best Urban Landscape MASterworks award by The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS). Established in 2001, the MASterworks Awards honor projects that make a significant contribution to New York City’s built environment.
To celebrate this win, MNLA will be hosting an exploration of Little Island with MAS on Wednesday, November 2, 4:30-5:30PM. Please click through for free ticket info.
Signe Nielsen and members of the visionary Design for Freedom Movement recently spoke with Madame Architect to discuss the initiative, the pilot projects, and actionable change.
The Design for Freedom movement brings industry leaders together to eliminate forced labor in building materials supply chains, create true market transformation, and build a more equitable future. Please click through to read more.
Facing climate change and rising sea levels, this symposium to be held at the Park Avenue Armory convenes artists, activists, and designers to engage the meeting of land with water. This afternoon activation is inspired by acclaimed director Peter Sellars’ call to “listen to the oceans,” and by director and scholar May Joseph‘s call for cosmopolitan citizenship in “fluid New York.” From the work of Indigenous water protectors who challenge extractive futures to urban planners responding to waterfront access, Art at Water’s Edge will offer an intergenerational forum for the imagination in action.
Signe will be taking part in Session 3: Where Do We Go From Here? scheduled from 4:00pm - 6:30pm. Please click through for ticket info and full symposium details.
MNLA has two tours to offer as part of Archtober, New York City’s month-long celebration of architecture and design.
On October 7, join MNLA's Signe Nielsen and Architect of Record Fabian Jabro from Standard Architects for a special tour of Little Island. No need to RSVP, just meet us at the top of the North Bridge at 11:00 am or 12:30 pm.
On October 12, MNLA's Molly Bourne will be hosting a tour of Waterline Square Park at noon. Join the waitlist here to attend.
Signe Nielsen was recently celebrated as Wave Hill's guest of honor at their annual Gardener's Party fund raiser. While making a significant impact on public open space throughout her career in New York City, Signe has also recently played a hand in the current iteration of Wave Hill, which has become more accessible under her guidance.The funds raised at the annual Gardener’s Party go towards programs like the volunteer program, which keeps the Wave Hill garden beautiful and open to the students, locals, and urban pilgrims who frequent it.
This FREE event is scheduled for July 26, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hear from national and local leaders from the park and recreation industry, environmentalists, urban planners, elected officials, and others to discuss strategies on how to enhance our community’s quality of life through great parks, open spaces, greenways and trails.
There will be three breakout sessions and conference-goers can choose from topics within the three pillars of Placemaking, Health & Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship, or attend bonus LEAF sessions from Neat Streets Miami and Million Trees Miami. In addition, there will be a Mayor’s Roundtable featuring Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and mayors from cities from across the US.
Little Island was featured in the season 2 premiere of the Smithsonian Channel's How Did They Build That? series. Design team members Celine Armstrong, Mat Cash, David Farnsworth, and MNLA's Signe Nielsen together tell the tale of how Little Island rose up in the Hudson River to ultimately become a public oasis from urban life. Please click through to view the episode.
MNLA's Little Island will be featured in the upcoming Experimental Landings exhibition. Co-hosted by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and Pratt Institute's School of Architecture (SoA), Experimental Landings interrogates how designers assert agency through the representation, organization, and formation of land. Understood as an elastic and open-ended framework of consideration this collective exhibition of work will showcase how architecture and landscape experiments across "land" address new definitions of formal practice across the themes of Artificial Earths, Seeding Resilience, Imaging Ground, and Mapping Maintenance. Opening July 8th at the Graduate Architecture and Urban Design outpost on Governors Island through September 1.
The Environmental Justice Forum (EJF)—a weekly gathering that first convened on June 16th, 2020—is a grassroots, non-hierarchical effort among MNLA staff to see and uncover the racial injustices within our communities, our work, and the field of landscape architecture. In EJF, we aim to leverage the tools of communication, listening, and planning to work toward co-creating a just and equitable urban fabric.
In EJF, we challenge ourselves and each other to understand how our personal identities affect how we design and study the public realm; we attempt to uncover historical trends, policies, and actions that have insidiously imbued racism, misogyny, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, and transphobia into our urban landscapes; we reflect on our approach to meeting and working with communities, and to studying a project site; we look inward at where we hold privilege and work toward leveraging it; we aim to consider the experiences of those with and without privilege, while centering and learning from the narratives of Black People, Indigenous People, and People of Color as we keep designing the public realm of a city that so desperately needs it.
Months into a pandemic that slowed the metronome of New York City and the globe, the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police ignited nationwide protests and a reckoning with the centuries of racism built into political, economic, social, and cultural systems of the United States. These racial inequities are intrinsic to the urban fabric. Recognizing that the ‘good’ we try to do as designers of the urban realm wasn’t always good enough and indeed often supporting systemically racist power structures, a groundswell of MNLA staff embarked on this co-learning project. Week by week, we began to scratch the surface about how isolated incidents of violence toward Black people fit within a much larger narrative of systemic racism and inequality.
As time went on, our conversations turned to questions of action: what can we do, as a group of employees at one landscape architecture firm, to work toward a more just and equitable office, industry, and city? We started small with a monthly Book Club and used guided exercises to discuss where we have and lack privilege in our personal identities. But there was an increasing need to do more, and take bigger steps. We had working meetings devoted to writing down all of our interests, ranging from developing an anti-racist design vocabulary to studying zoning practices to doing more educational outreach in high schools. These areas of interest then spawned smaller working groups, discussions, Slack channels, and action items. Some goals, like developing an equitable community engagement plan, volunteering in our local communities, and embedding our research in internal office practices and projects, continue to this day.
The amorphousness of EJF allowed us the freedom and flexibility to keep taking the group in new and/or multiple directions. If there was not enough time or personnel to accomplish a goal in its entirety, that was okay. If a goal was simply too far beyond the scope of landscape architecture, that was okay. Again and again we would confront the nagging feeling of wanting to make a difference but accepting that it was too big for us to solve alone, or not even up to landscape architects to solve it at all.
EJF’s magic and success lies in our collective commitment to keep learning and trying new things. Through trying (and sometimes failing), we learn where we have power, as individuals and as landscape architects, and where we do not. This alone is critical in our understanding of where we fit into the fight for racial, social, and environmental justice in the built environment.
We look forward to sharing more of what we’ve learned and worked on in this space and on Instagram. We hope that our endeavors can inspire others to do the same in their places of work. We have learned that our work and the workplace are not immune to politics and the perniciousness of social inequity. And most importantly, we have each other to keep the momentum going, to stay inspired and committed to making a difference, one week at a time.
These promotions represent consistent leadership and dedication to the practice, while elevating MNLA's commitment to advocacy and transformation in landscape architecture. We look forward to their contributions both to the firm and to the field this year and beyond.
JACOB KUHN, ASLA, WEDG – Senior Landscape Designer
ERIN MCCABE, RLA, ASLA – Senior Landscape Architect
YELENA ZOLOTOREVSKAYA, RLA - Senior Landscape Architect
This week, Signe kicked off the ASLA and WxLA “WxLA Wednesday Walks,” an exclusive Instagram Live series where women leaders in landscape architecture from across the country host tours of landscapes they have designed. Please click through to check out Signe's recorded walking tour of Little Island on March 2.
MNLA is seeking a dynamic student to fill our summer 2022 internship position. The internship runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, requiring a minimum of 10 weeks, and is a paid position where the student will gain experience in a variety of project phases.
Undergraduate or graduate students advancing to their second through final year of study in an accredited landscape architecture program with the following characteristics:
-A great attitude
-Graphic skills using the Adobe Suite
-Rhino 3D modeling
-GIS skills a plus
-Lumion knowledge is a plus
-Good organizational skills
What you may be working on:
-Design collaboration with project teams
-Preparation of Graphics and Construction Documents
-Attend internal and external project meetings
-Site visits to construction sites
MNLA requires all employees and interns to be fully vaccinated with booster.
The office is currently working in a flexible-hybrid model that allows interns to balance their individual schedule with a minimum of three days in our lower Manhattan office. If an intern chooses to work both in the office and remotely then the intern must have a reliable remote computer and internet service.
Deadline for submission of application materials is February 11, 2022
Selection, inclusive of video conference interviews, by February 25, 2022.
Please email letter of interest, resume with three references, and portfolio to Ms. Katrina Williams, Administrative Manager at email@example.com
Subject line shall indicate position above. Portfolio images must be sent as a single PDF no larger than 10 MB. Candidates will receive email confirmation that their material was received. No phone calls please.
Signe's talk given on October 15 at the Courageous by Design Symposium in New York City is now live. Click through to hear more regarding the role of local, state, and federal agencies in the permitting process and how those impact/frame a project.
This talk was part of a three day conference that featured leading landscape architects and allied professionals who are inventing and deploying new tools, techniques, and technologies to meet the challenges of the current climate crisis in New York City and beyond.
In Episode 3 of "The Sweet Flypaper" podcast, Marquise Stillwell re-connects with Signe Nielsen, who has spent her career thinking about design and architecture as a means of telling stories and improving lives and the environment, and continually dedicates her work and practice building spaces that positively impact the environment and people who inhabit them.
This conversation series responds to a growing need to reexamine how design powers the world and our lives, and its potential to thoughtfully – and poetically – influence societal change. Please click through to listen.
Reinventing an Audubon Sanctuary by Using a Native Tapestry is a virtual half day workshop scheduled for December 9 that will explore this question and more as it applies to the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center. Speakers include MNLA Principal Molly Bourne, Matt Gettinger, co-owner and President of Long Island Natives and Country Gardens Nursery, and Dr. Tamson Yeh, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County and Suffolk County. CEU's are available. Please click through for registration information.
Two MNLA projects are recipients of the 2021 ULI NY Awards for Excellence in Development. The Urban Land Institute’s prestigious awards program honors best-in-class development in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors that reflect responsible land use practice and creation of sustainable, thriving communities.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus at The Rockefeller University was awarded Excellence in Institutional Development. MNLA designed 1.4 acres of new open space that, for the first time, engages and celebrates the riverfront location of the campus and affords a place of respite.
Industry City was awarded Excellence in Repositioning and Development. MNLA designed the open-to-the-public Courtyard 3/4, which successfully captures the scale of, and views within, a post-industrial space.
Eve Allen, Molly Bourne, and Signe Nielsen's essay that speaks to ecologically-driven planting design that strives to enhance biodiversity at the genetic, species, community, and ecosystem levels has been published by World Landscape Architect. Please click through to read more.
Pratt Presents: Little Island explores Little Island’s collaborative design process and the role of public green space in general—a conversation at the heart of Pratt’s new Masters in Landscape Architecture program. The panel includes Mat Cash of Heatherwick Studio; Robert Hammond, co-founder and Executive Director of the High Line; Signe Nielsen of MNLA and Pratt’s School of Architecture; and Trish Santini, Executive Director of Little Island. Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times, moderates the discussion. Please click through to access the full discussion.
Outdoor Spaces is a virtual one day conference held by The Architect's Newspaper that will feature national leaders in landscape architecture. Case studies will be presented of recent projects to discuss how the relationship to outdoors has changed in recent years in light of the on-going pandemic, the urgencies of climate change, the need for new public spaces, and the drive to create more healthy and engaged relationships to our landscapes. Signe Nielsen and members of the Little Island design team will be leading a session that addresses the fine tuning of Little Island. CEU's are available. Please click through for more information.
Join the award-winning creative team at MNLA. Our New York City-based practice is looking for skilled Landscape Architects and Designers to immediately fill the following two positions:
Landscape Designer (1-3 years) Landscape Designer/Architect (3-5 years)
MNLA is a collaborative landscape architecture practice that creates thoughtful place-making and ecological design solutions at multiple scales for over 25 years. We are committed to transformation and advocacy as a living and evolving philosophy that represents our firm’s values and culture and believe that landscape architecture is more than a profession – it is an optimistic way of seeing the world and envisioning possibilities that are both beautiful and responsible.
We are seeking two highly motivated, enthusiastic, and committed candidates that demonstrate the following skills:
Strong graphic and verbal communication, fluency in ACAD, Adobe Creative Suite and 3d modeling, ability to work on a team and individually, excellent organizational abilities, strength in both remote and in-person work models, and knowledge of plant material.
MNLA invests in its employees and offers a competitive salary based on experience, annual professional practice allowances for continuing education and licensure, health insurance, and a 401k/Profit Sharing Plan. Our team engages in active mentorship at all phases of design from concept to construction. The office is currently working in a flexible-hybrid model that allows employees to balance their individual schedule while working in the office and remotely.
Please send your resume and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line please indicate the position you are applying for. Limit 10MB. Portfolio should clearly indicate applicant’s role on project and work authorization status. We will be accepting resumes through October 1, 2021. No phone calls please.
Associate Martha Desbiens will be participating in the latest LAND8x8 Lightning Talks, taking place on Thursday, September 9 at 6pm. Eight speakers for eight minutes each will present on the theme “Next Practices in Landscape Architecture”. This in-person event is free and open to ASLA NY members only due to increased Covid precautions. Please click through for full registration details.
This in-person event, scheduled for October 14th, 15th, and 16th and organized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, will feature leading landscape architects, as well as allied professionals who are inventing and deploying new tools, techniques, and technologies to meet the challenges of the current climate crisis in New York City and beyond. Speakers include: MNLA's Signe Nielsen, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Heather M. Morgan, Kate Orff, Lisa Switkin,Olivia Georgia, Barbara Wilks, Billy Fleming, Annette P. Wilkus, John Beardsley, MarthaSchwartz, Amy L. Freitag, Miranda Massie, Edwina von Gal, and Rebecca McMackin. Please click through for full registration info.
MNLA is pleased to announce 2021 promotions. Our new Associate and Senior Landscape Architect share our passion for creating exemplary spaces at varying scales as well as demonstrated leadership and dedication to MNLA. Our Director of Accounting is being elevated for his commitment to our staff and our clients and keeping us financially healthy. Our practice is rooted in collaboration and we look forward to their continued contributions both to the firm and to the field this year and beyond.
We are thrilled to share that Industry City, Waterline Square, the National Veteran’s Resource Center, and The Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus at The Rockefeller University are finalists in several categories in the ULI New York Awards for Excellence. The awards recognize projects that enhance the sustainability, viability, and vitality of their communities - which directly echo several of our firm's core values. MNLA is proud to have collaborated with each project team, providing landscape architecture services. Learn more: https://lnkd.in/eaZgwAy
MNLA's redesign of Bogardus Plaza in Manhattan officially opened to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 27. The 18,000-square-foot plaza made permanent the closing of Hudson Street between Chambers Street and Reade Street. It features over 800 square feet of recycled plastic lumber, 13 granite egg shaped seats with anti-graffiti coating, 80 chairs, 22 tables and 55 feet of benches. New plantings feature more than 800 bulbs, 700 perennials and ground cover, 600 ferns and grasses, and 200 shrubs. The plaza was created as part of a $7.4 million capital project that was funded by NYC DOT, elected officials and private donors and was managed by NYC DDC.
Little Island, the new 2.4-acre urban park and performance venue situated above the Hudson River in New York City officially opens to the public today. Owned by the Hudson River Park and designed by Heatherwick Studio and the New York-based landscape architecture firm MNLA, the opening of Little Island is the culmination of over 8 years of planning, development and construction.
MNLA collaborated with Heatherwick Studio to realize the park, its circulation system, and to design performance spaces including an open plaza for recreational and educational programs, as well as leading the design of the comprehensive landscape. Using the team’s 3D model, we were able to effectively determine the layers of gravel, geofoam and soils that make up the surficial topography.
“Little Island is a special place that affords New Yorkers the rare opportunity to experience a multi-sensory landscape. As one strolls through the park many destinations beckon—overlooks with unparalleled views, cultural venues with continually changing offerings, sloping lawns for picnics, and seating nooks with contemplative sights. Each of these is engulfed by a unique landscape that transitions from a rich diversity of colors and textures to open grasslands as one ascends the three hills. My hope is that visitors are surprised and delighted each time they come. This has been an amazing journey that could not have been realized without the entire design team’s extraordinary collaboration, and I especially appreciate the dedication of our firm’s Senior Associate Dan Yannaccone.”
-Signe Nielsen, MNLA Founding Principal
MNLA's Principal Emerita Kim Mathews, RLA, FASLA recently spoke with Scenic Hudson about her planning and design work for West Point Foundry Preserve in Cold Spring, NY as part of their new #MeetTheMakers series. Please click through to read more.
Signe will take part in this year's virtual LABash on April 10 as a keynote speaker. Her talk, "Equity by Design," will discuss the challenges and opportunities related to effectively engaging community members to make meaningful contributions to their neighborhoods. Through the lens of three projects, different strategies will be examined that illustrate communication tools to co-create a just urban fabric. To register, please click through for more information.
A new public park designed by MNLA at Pier 42 is under construction along Lower Manhattan's East River. The project will transform a former industrial waterfront into dynamic public open space on an 8-acre site. Please click through to learn more.
Join us Tuesday January 26, when Signe Nielsen will be giving a sneak peek of the planting on Little Island as part of the 25th anniversary of Plant-O-Rama, a (virtual) symposium and trade show for horticulture professionals. Her talk, Little Island: A Refuge in the Storm, is scheduled for 9:45am. Registration for the full Zoom event can be found here.
AT #REVISIONASLA2020, Principal Molly Bourne will be speaking on Monday, November 15 at 2:15pm about "Perpetual Adaptation: The Design Business in 2020 and Lessons from the Great Recession" and again on Wednesday, November 18 at 4pm about "Reconnecting Landscapes: Resilient Planting Design in Ecologically Deficient Zones".
Silman's Resiliency Forum seeks to move past the roadblocks of building resiliency by convening engineers, designers, policy makers, and academics to identify limitations and develop strategies for continued progress and innovation.
Signe Nielsen joins Sage & Coombe Architects and Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects to discuss the renovation of The Noguchi Museum on Monday, October 19 at 1pm. This program is part of Archtober's month-long celebration of architecture and design in New York. This program is free - please click through for registration information.
Little Island will be featured in the 2020 Open House New York weekend on October 17 from 1:00PM to 1:45PM. The live panel, "Built by and for New York" will feature Celine Armstrong, ASLA, LEED AP, Executive Project Manager for Little Island; David Farnsworth, Principal at Arup’s New York office; Marty Leibrock, Project Manager at Hunter Roberts Construction Group; and Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA Founding Principal of MNLA. A short video tour of a portion of the park will be featured before key construction and design partners speak about the process behind realizing this distinctive project.
Parks and Re-Creation: Open Ideas for Open Spaces New York City’s nearly 2,000 public spaces, including beloved parks and plazas, are facing extreme financial hardship due to budget cuts. And the role of these spaces now goes far beyond recreation. How does the city plan to preserve and grow our precious open spaces? How are we addressing the controversy surrounding monuments? We spotlight the urgency surrounding public spaces and their critical place in a livable and thriving society.
This panel is part of the fourth annual City of Tomorrow real estate forum, the only B2C and B2B forum uniting key players from the worlds of architecture, real estate, and interior design to address the following questions: What does the city of tomorrow look like in a post–covid world? How can we make a city like New York healthier? How can we build a more equitable and sustainable future through public policy, infrastructure, urban planning and design? What lessons can policy-makers, developers and designers learn from the crisis?
Registration is FREE.
Join us on Wednesday, August 5 at 6pm to listen to this week’s Mind the Gap session with Signe Nielsen, Founding Partner at MNLA. She will talk about the forks in her bumpy road that led her to landscape architecture and how events and forces have shaped the lenses through which she sees the field and its future. Signe will be joined by staff members Rae Ishee, Cari Krol, and Jacob Kuhn who will each share observations on making tough choices and how landscape architecture has a broad embrace.
In the Mind the Gap virtual summer conversation series, Lucinda Sanders, CEO of OLIN and adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the Weitzman School at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with leaders of prominent landscape architecture practices, exploring multiple options to launch or advance a career in landscape architecture during these unprecedented times.
NYCEDC Chief Operating Officer Rachel Loeb, NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Interim Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Council Member Adrienne Adams, MNLA's Noriko Maeda and community leaders today celebrated the completion of the Atlantic Avenue Extension project and opened the newly created Gateway Park in Queens.
Designed by MNLA the 0.86 acre park boasts a new playground, additional open space,and shaded seating and builds on the firm’s revitalization plan for downtown Jamaica. "We're thrilled this long-awaited project offering open space and safe roadways is complete for all of the residents in this community to enjoy,” said Community Board 12 District Manager Ms. Yvonne Reddick.
This is an online conference where YOU - the participants - set the agenda and propose discussion topics. The purpose of this conference is to help us identify the changes we want to make to our own profession during this unprecedented time of a global pandemic and civil unrest from racial injustices.
CEUs will be provided. Please click through for registration information.
ERIC GARNER - JOHN CRAWFORD III - MICHAEL BROWN - EZELL FORD - DANTE PARKER - MICHELLE CUSSEAUX - LAQUAN MCDONALD - GEORGE MANN - TANISHA ANDERSON - AKAI GURLEY - TAMIR RICE - RUMAIN BRISBON - JERAME REID MATTHEW AJIBADE - FRANK SMART - NATASHA MCKENNA - TONY ROBINSON ANTHONY HILL - MYA HALL - PHILIP WHITE - ERIC HARRIS - WALTER SCOTT WILLIAM CHAPMAN II - ALEXIA CHRISTIAN - BRENDON GLENN - VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA - JONATHAN SANDERS - FREDDIE GRAY - JOSEPH MANN - SALVADO ELLSWOOD - SANDRA BLAND - ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS - DARRIUS STEWART - BILLY RAY DAVIS - SAMUEL DUBOSE - MICHAEL SABBIE - BRIAN KEITH DAY - CHRISTIAN TAYLOR - TROY ROBINSON - ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY - FELIX KUMI - KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD - JUNIOR PROSPER - LAMONTEZ JONES - PATERSON BROWN - DOMINIC HUTCHINSON - ANTHONY ASHFORD - ALONZO SMITH - TYREE CRAWFORD - INDIA KAGER - LA’VANTE BIGGS - MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL - JAMAR CLARK - RICHARD PERKINS - NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT - BENNI LEE TIGNOR MIGUEL ESPINAL - MICHAEL NOEL - KEVIN MATTHEWS - BETTIE JONES - QUINTONIO LEGRIER - KEITH CHILDRESS JR. - JANET WILSON - RANDY NELSON - ANTRONIE SCOTT - WENDELL CELESTINE - DAVID JOSEPH - CALIN ROQUEMORE - DYZHAWN PERKINS - CHRISTOPHER DAVIS - MARCO LOUD - PETER GAINES - TORREY ROBINSON - DARIUS ROBINSON - KEVIN HICKS - MARY TRUXILLO - DEMARCUS SEMER - WILLIE TILLMAN - TERRILL THOMAS - SYLVILLE SMITH - ALTON STERLING PHILANDRO CASTILE - TERENCE CRUTCHER - PAUL O’NEAL - ALTERIA WOODS JORDAN EDWARDS - AARON BAILEY - RONELL FOSTER - STEPHON CLARK ANTWON ROSE II - BOTHAM JEAN - PAMELA TURNER - DOMINIQUE CLAYTON ATATIANA JEFFERSON - CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD - CHRISTOPHER MCCOVEY ERIC REASON - MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN - BREONNA TAYLOR - GEORGE FLOYD
“The rate at which black Americans are killed by police is more than twice as high as the rate for white Americans. This is a non-comprehensive list of deaths at the hands of police in the U.S. since Eric Garner’s death in July 2014.”
“A Decade of Watching Black People Die”
It is undeniable that racial injustice is embedded into our urban fabric. For decades Black Americans have faced unequal access to housing, open space, education, and other public services. Racist, exclusionary practices are revealed in public spaces, where we see unequal and unjust treatment of Black people by law enforcement and other members of the public. In both openly hostile and concealed ways, Black people have been disregarded as equal members of the public realm.
Individually and collectively, we have contributed to a system that dehumanizes Black people. We cannot deny the enduring trauma of oppression, and the need to amplify Black voices.
Black Lives Matter.
“To be seen, to live with dignity, and to be connected.”
BLM Co-Founder Alicia Garza
MNLA commits to anti-racist transformation of the built environment and landscape architecture profession.
We have established an internal MNLA Advocacy Team to evaluate our initiatives and expression of our firm’s core values.
We will reexamine our community outreach, site analysis, precedent studies, and research strategies to strengthen the inclusion and social justice foundations we design from.
We will reconsider our design vocabulary and establish an accessible, anti-racist, anti-oppressive glossary to better communicate our process and intentions.
We will examine our staff and intern hiring practices. We commit to increasing diversity within the profession and support organizations that build equity and diversity in the public realm, landscape architecture, and in allied professions.
When gyms and sports fields closed during the pandemic, MNLA's artificial turf field at Tribeca’s Pier 25 in New York City's Hudson River Park became a welcoming community space by the river for a host of ad hoc activity, from karate moves and crunches to kite flying and ball kicking.
MNLA is honored to be a contributor to “Waterfront Access for All: Breaking Down Physical and Social Barriers to the Waterfront,” a report released today by The Waterfront Alliance. With input from a task force of over sixty organizations—from environmental justice advocates, to urban planners and designers, to the recreational boating community— the Waterfront Alliance partnered with the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program to develop priorities for creating more equitable waterfront access throughout our region. Please click through to view the full report.
Signe Nielsen will be taking part in a webinar on Thursday, April 30th at 5:30 PM EST alongside Ray Figueroa of NYC Community Garden Coalition and Ethan Kent of Placemakingx to explore how to better define and implement concepts of social resiliency and equitable access in an unprecedented time. The panel will discuss what resiliency means in the context of COVID-19, the effects of the pandemic on the presenters’ own work, neighborhoods and cities, and future implications for how cities are designed and planned with respect to resource allocation, social safety and health. Please click through for free registration info.
Signe Nielsen will be taking part in a LAF webinar with Brian Jencek, Director of Planning, HOK and Rebecca Bradley, Co-Founder and Design Principal of Cadence for a candid conversation on Friday, March 27 to discuss the changes they are seeing and techniques they’ve implemented as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken hold in the US. To learn how they are maintaining communication, productivity, and morale, click through to register for free. Please note that space is limited.
MNLA is pleased to announce 2020 promotions. They reflect demonstrated leadership and dedication to the practice, while elevating and championing MNLA's commitment to advocacy and transformation in landscape architecture. We look forward to their contributions both to the firm and to the field this year and beyond.
Senior Landscape Architect
Senior Landscape Architect
MNLA is currently seeking a Summer 2020 intern! Applications are due February 28th. Please click here for more info.
Signe will be speaking at the NJ ASLA 2020 Annual Meeting on February 9 specifically about the interpretation of historic landscapes. Please click through to read more about her session within the online program.
On Monday, November 18th the Environmental Protection Committee of Community Board 1 will hold a discussion on Lower Manhattan's resilience plans with Klaus Jacob of Columbia Earth Institute, Kate Boicourt of Waterfront Alliance and Signe Nielsen of MNLA. Please click through for location details.
On November 14, Signe Nielsen will be presenting an in-depth look at her signature projects and practice as an urban designer at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as part of their landscape lecture series. Please click through for more info.
For OHNY Weekend, Open House New York will be hosting an afternoon of talks and performances to celebrate the opening of the TWA Hotel. Associate Alexis Gagne will take part in a panel discussion with the design team to discuss the reinvention of a Saarinen icon. This event is now sold out. To sign up for the waitlist, click here.
A diverse panel of “East River experts” that includes designers, developers, and community representatives will convene at the Center for Architecture on October 21 to present their experiences and conflicting views on access and development along the Lower East River.
This is the first program in a series of forums on The Future of the NYC Waterfront planned through 2020 to conduct outreach, intending to inform the NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan: Vision 2030 through the Waterfront Management Advisory Board. Please click through for more info.
Listen in on Signe's recent one hour event for ASLA's Emerging Professionals Ask Me Anything series where she talks about her roots, what inspires her, and her thoughts on the future of landscape architecture. The stream is now archived and can be accessed here.
Person Place Thing is an interview show hosted by Randy Cohen based on the idea that people are particularly engaging when they speak, not directly about themselves, but about something they care about.
The result: surprising stories from great speakers. The next installment of Person Place Thing will be a live conversation with Signe Nielsen, FASLA, Founding Principal of MNLA on Thursday, September 5 at the Center for Architecture. Click through to learn more about ticket info and more. https://calendar.aiany.org/2019/08/05/person-place-thing-with-randy-cohen-featuring-signe-nielsen/
Signe will be taking part in this moderated panel which features key players on the fascinating genesis of this 25-year-long project: how the building was saved from the wrecking ball then restored and repositioned as a contemporary destination. Click through for registration info.
On Saturday July 20, Signe will join the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee for a special networking architecture cruise focused on a wide range of waterfront projects designed or built by women. Featured projects will include Pier 55, Hudson River Park and Pier 42, a critical missing link of public access along the shoreline. Please click through for more details and registration information.
Molly Bourne will be in Houston, Texas this week where she will join eight landscape leaders as part of the Land8x8 Lightning Talks series. This event is free for ASLA members, but registration is required. Please click through for more info.
MNLA is excited to announce that our entry "All Aboard! Reclaiming Hill & Del" has won the Jury Award for the DL&W Corridor Design Ideas Competition. The Western New York Land Conservancy launched the Reimagining the DL&W Corridor: International Design Ideas Competition in November 2018 to revive an abandoned stretch of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (DL&W) railway that runs from Canalside to the Solar City plant in Buffalo, NY.
“It is exciting to see that the winning designs focused on creating a gathering place for the community that is alive with the history and the voice of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “It’s just another move toward reconnecting the people with our most treasured resource – our waterfront.”
On June 6, Signe will be joining John Cetra, FAIA, Founding Principal of Cetra Ruddy, at the AIA Conference in Las Vegas to discuss trends in urban living that include new approaches for dense multifamily design. Please click through to find out more about this session, timing, and location.
As part of NYCxDesign, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, in collaboration with the New York City Public Design Commission, is exploring the next frontier in people-friendly urban street design: shared spaces.
Signe Nielsen will be a respondent to a presentation given by Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | PAU on the creation and implementation of shared spaces around the world on Wednesday, May 15 at 5pm. This event is free, with registration required. Please click through for more info.
Molly Bourne will be taking part in a panel discussion on April 23 at the Center for Architecture that will focus on a myriad of environmental justice issues. Panelists include representatives from the fields of landscape architecture, planning, and community advocacy. Please click through for more information.
MNLA is pleased to announce 2019 promotions. Our new Associate, along with five new Senior Landscape Architects, exemplify exceptional design skills and leadership. MNLA's practice is rooted in collaboration and we look forward to their contributions to both the firm and the field in the years ahead.
A recording of Signe and Molly's September 10 event with David Burney at the Center for Architecture is now available and can be found here.
MNLA is thrilled to receive a New Jersey ASLA Honor award for Randall's Island Connector in the category Landscape Architectural Design - Site Design. The awards ceremony took place on Monday, February 11th at the NJ ASLA Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, NJ where Managing Principal Rob DeMarco accepted.
Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (POPS), the New York City Department of City Planning, and The Municipal Art Society of New York have joined forces to sponsor a design competition for a new POPS logo to represent the face of New York City’s POPS program, with funding provided in part by Knoll. MNLA Principal Emerita Kim Mathews, along with seven other panelists, will be evaluating all entries, which are due March 15, 2019. Please click through for more information.
"A Case Study in Complexity," the story about the design of Pier 42 and penned by MNLA's Molly Bourne and Signe Nielsen, is the feature story in ArchitectureBoston's Winter 2018 issue. Please click through to read the full piece.
Signe Nielsen will be participating in the Funding the Future workshop on November 9 at the Center for Architecture in NYC. The session will focus on ways to implement funding policy strategies for resilient design plans. Click through for more info!
Join MNLA Principals Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA and Molly Bourne, RLA, ASLA with moderator David Burney, FAIA on Friday, September 28 at the Center for Architecture for Cocktails and Conversation, part of a series of dialogues about design that joins an architect with a critic, journalist, curator, or architectural historian to discuss current architecture design issues. Click through for more information.
MNLA's collaboration with 1100 Architects on the Brownsville Recreation Center is one of 11 projects selected by the Public Design Commission of the City of New York as winners of the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Design. Click through for more information.
Signe moderates a talk with Michael Sheridan, author of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Landscape and Architecture tonight at the AIA New York and Center for Architecture. Please click through for more details.
Signe is taking part in University of Rhode Island's Landscape Architecture Series tonight at 7:00 P.M. Her lecture on Waterproofing New York will be held in the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical & Forensic Sciences, Room 105A, 140 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881 and is free and open to the public. Click through for more info.
Signe will be taking part in a panel discussion on Wednesday, January 17 to discuss innovative ways to fund park maintenance. The program, Valuing Parks, is sponsored by The Urban Design Forum and is the seventh program of Maintaining, a year-long inquiry into strengthening New York City's physical and social infrastructure. Click through for full event details.
MNLA's West Point Foundry Preserve is one of eight high-performing landscape projects that have been selected for the Landscape Architecture Foundation's 2018 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches faculty-student research teams with design firms to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Click through to learn more.
On Tuesday, November 21 Signe will be participating in a panel at the Center for Architecture to discuss The George Washington Bridge and how the conservation of transportation infrastructure can serve not just to maintain facilities, but actually improve them. Click through for more info.
On Tuesday, October 3rd MNLA staff spent the day on Governors Island working with the Trust’s horticultural staff to prune and care for recently planted trees. This volunteer day provided the opportunity for landscape designers and horticulture staff to engage in a dialogue on the design and maintenance of the park’s landscapes. We are grateful to the staff at the Trust for Governors Island for hosting our team and for the opportunity to help guide the vision for the park’s plantings.
Signe is one of several speakers set to discuss how planning and design can shape public discourse this Friday, September 29 at the Center for Architecture in New York City. Click through for more info.
Join the Design Trust for a communal meal at Freeman Plaza East and a conversation about the transformation of the Holland Tunnel entry area on September 28. Hudson Square Connection President Ellen Baer and MNLA Principal Signe Nielsen, RLA, FASLA, will discuss how the transformation took place and the design strategies that were used to create an oasis in such an unlikely place. All you need to bring is a dish to share! The event is free and open to the public. Click through for more details and to register.
Signe will be speaking as part of the New York Botanical Garden Landscape Design Portfolios Lecture Series on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Scandinavia House. Please click through for registration info.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Tuesday joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, MNLA, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, Henry Street Settlement Executive Director David Garza, Manhattan Community Board 3 Chair Trever Holland, Henry Street Settlement campers, and community members to cut the ribbon on the first neighborhood playground in Manhattan to be fully reconstructed under NYC DPR's Community Parks Initiative. Click through to read more.
GID Development Group announced the commencement of sales today for its highly anticipated 2.2 million-square-foot, three-tower condominium mega-development, Waterline Square. Designed by world-renowned architects Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Viñoly Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), and set upon a nearly three acre park designed by MNLA, the development is located on one of the last remaining waterfront sites in Manhattan, between West 59th Street and West 61st Street along the Hudson River. Please click through to read the full article.
The village of Westbury was awarded a $10 million state grant for downtown revitalization, with all of its priority projects now officially funded. MNLA, as part of the BJH Advisors’ Westbury Downtown Revitalization Initiative worked with the community to identify these improvement projects within Westbury’s downtown core as well as the greater Westbury/Nassau County area. Proposed streetscape improvements will create a sense of identity for downtown Westbury, while being adaptive enough to work with site constraints encountered during the future design and construction phases.
Last night Governors Island Phase 2: The Hills was awarded the Best Urban Landscape MASterworks award by The Municipal Art Society. This annual competition recognizes projects completed in the preceding year that made a significant contribution to New York’s built environment.
The Fashion Institute of Technology's (FIT) New Academic Building will receive an award from the Public Design Commission of the City of New York this evening at the 35th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design. Projects considered for the award only include developments proposed on city-owned properties, and candidates are usually submitted by various city agencies. The building, designed by SHoP with landscape design by MNLA, will be located on the northern edge of the campus and host smart classrooms, a textile lab, administrative offices, and a student life hall.
Signe Nielsen will be a panelist at the next NYC DPR Parks Without Borders Discussion Series on Thursday, May 18. The panel will reflect on the need for robust engagement, effective interagency collaboration, and efficient processes to ensure that our public spaces serve the needs of current and future New Yorkers. For more info and to RSVP, please click through.
Signe Nielsen represented the Public Design Commission of the City of New York as one of multiple city agencies that contributed to the Mayor’s Climate Change Panel. Released this week are the Preliminary Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines that are an initial step towards integrating resiliency as a core principle in the design of buildings and infrastructure in NYC. The primary goal of the guidelines is to incorporate forward-looking climate data into the design of all NYC capital projects.
Since its groundbreaking in December 2016, the project team has moved 22,000 cubic yards of soil to date to create a world-class airport hotel at JFK International Airport. The hotel is scheduled to open in late 2018/early 2019.
MNLA is part of the design team that will transform the Sheridan Expressway. Please click through for more info.
The Whitney Museum was awarded a 2017 American Architecture Award by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
MNLA, along with West 8, landed an ASLA NY Honor Award for Governor's Island Phase 2: The Hills as announced on March 17. Our firm, alongside Snohetta, also landed a Merit Award for our work on the Times Square Reconstruction. The awards will be distributed at the ASLA-NY Design Awards Ceremony and Reception which will be held Thursday, April 6 at the Center for Architecture in New York City. All winning projects will also be on display at the Center through April.
MNLA is part of the Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects team who was bestowed with a Merit Award for Architecture for the Kim and Tritton Residence Halls, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.
Signe was named one of the top 100 influencers of the landscape architecture and design industry by www.fixr.com
How can government agencies rethink public space to sustain lasting value?
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 // 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
The Arsenal Gallery // 830 Fifth Ave., Third Floor
For the second installment of the Parks Without Borders Discussion Series, this discussion will delve into how government agencies can rethink guidelines, concepts, and expectations to sustain lasting value, helping to support a more seamless public realm.
Speakers: Justin Moore, AICP, Executive Director and Signe Nielsen, FASLA, President NYC Public Design Commission
Moderator: Nancy Prince, Deputy Chief of Design, NYC Parks