Susannah Drake, FASLA, AIA
Susannah C. Drake is a principal and founder of DLANDstudio, a leading multidisciplinary design firm. With qualifications in both architecture and landscape architecture, Susannah specializes in complex projects that require a synthesized, analytical, and research-based approach. All of her designs engage diverse systems to create ecologically and socially progressive projects that are equally well-crafted and beautiful.
Since founding DLANDstudio in 2005, Susannah has worked on projects ranging in scale from intimate gardens to large-scale urban planning initiatives. Her design for QueensWay transforms a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway in Central Queens into a family-friendly linear park and cultural greenway. She is currently working on Argenta Commons Plaza in North Little Rock, Arkansas, new facilities at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the College of Music IMIG Addition at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Susannah is a leader in resilient urban design and has dedicated much of her practice to developing and implementing design strategies to confront the impacts of climate change. The Gowanus Canal Sponge Park is a working landscape that improves the environment of the EPA Superfund site over time and Rising Currents, a collaboration with ARO Architects in MoMA’s 2010 “A New Urban Ground” exhibition, set a design precedent in urban waterfront resiliency.
Susannah’s research has been at the forefront of innovation on urban ecological infrastructure. Her exploration of campus landscape design and large-scale urban infrastructure has received funding through grants from the Graham Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Susannah has led design studios at Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Cooper Union, and City College of New York. She served as President and Trustee of the New York ASLA and as a Trustee of the Van Alen Institute. She was a contributor to Nature and Cities, published in 2016 by the Lincoln Land Institute, with her chapter entitled WPA 2.0: Beauty, Economics, and Politics in the Creation of Public Infrastructure. Her work has received numerous national and international awards and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.