Lisa Switkin is an associate partner and managing director at James Corner Field Operations, a leading- edge landscape architecture, urban design and public realm practice based in New York City. The practice is renowned for strong contemporary design across a variety of project types and scales, from large urban districts and complex post-industrial sites, to small well-crafted, detail design projects. In all of the work, there is a special commitment to the design of a vibrant and dynamic public realm, informed by the interactive ecology between people and nature. Major projects include the design of the High Line, New York City; Fresh Kills Park, Staten Island; City Center, Las Vegas; Shelby Farms Park, Memphis; The Race Street Pier, Philadelphia; Civic Center Parks, Santa Monica; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London; Chicago’s Navy Pier; Qianhai Water City, China; Central Waterfront, Seattle; and the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront in Hong Kong.
The work of JCFO has been recognized by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum 2010 National Design Award; the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Design; the Daimler- Chrysler Award for Design Innovation; and other professional design awards and prizes. JCFO has published and exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale; the Lisbon Triennale; ArchiLAB, Paris; the Royal College of Art, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. JCFO was named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company (2012) and one of the most influential design firms by Time (2010).
As lead project designer and project manager of many of the practice’s complex public realm projects, Lisa works in close tandem with James Corner and others in the office to ensure a high level of personal attention to detail and design quality. Lisa is currently overseeing the planning and design for a number of high profile New York City projects including Section 3 of the High Line; the South Street Seaport redevelopment and the Domino Sugar Waterfront with SHoP architects; and the Greenpoint Landing waterfront site with Handel Architects. She is also overseeing the construction of the 7-acre Civic Center Parks in Santa Monica. Lisa also worked on the Phase 1 projects for Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, the master plan for Seattle’s Central Waterfront; the design and construction of the Race Street Pier and Connector in Philadelphia and was the lead designer for the High Line from 2004-2007.
In 2007-2008, Lisa received the prestigious Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture and was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Lisa has a BA in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois, and an MLA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Faculty Medal for Excellence. She has taught graduate level design studios in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and has lectured at universities, symposiums, foundations and institutions around the world.