Susan Herrington is a Professor in the landscape architecture program. She regularly teaches histories of landscape architecture, theories in landscape architecture, and vertical studios. In the fall of 2021 she lead the Rewilding Play Design Build Intervention studio. Watch the video here.

Susan is a licensed landscape architect in the United States and a landscape architect in Canada. She consults professionally in Canada and the US. Her research concerns design theories of contemporary landscape architecture including theories regarding children’s landscapes.

She received a UBC Killam Faculty Research Prize for 2020. In 2016, she received the 2016 Anne de Fort-Menares Award for her article, “Restoring a Modern Landscape in the Anthropocene: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander,” on the Friedman Residence. She received a 2015 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize for her book, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape. She has conducted research with funding from the Graham Foundation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and in Germany with support from the German Academic Exchange and in Cambridge as a visiting researcher at Harvard University. In 2011, Susan received a UBC Killam Faculty Fellowship. Susan was the chair of the Landscape Architecture program at SALA from 2016 to 2020. She was the newsletter editor for the Society of Architectural Historians Landscape History Chapter from 2015 to 2020, and she served as Chapter president from 2011 to 2013.

Her writings and lectures examine the spatial and material practices of landscape architects from Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (1921-2021) to Claude Cormier (1960-2023), to numerous other practitioners from around the world who challenge aesthetic and ecological conventions. Susan’s work also reveals how landscapes serve as agents of power in constructions of nature, identity, and space. Currently she is writing a book (University of Virginia Press) on Christopher Tunnard (1910-1979) who revolutionized the field of landscape architecture in the 1930s and 40s with his book, Gardens in the Modern Landscape and his landscape at St. Ann’s Hill, Surrey, England.  There have been few historical accounts of LGBTQ2+ landscape designers. By examining Tunnard and his work through the lens of queer space, she has found that Tunnard’s writing and thinking on modern landscapes foregrounded concepts of queer aesthetics and queer ecology explored today. Ultimately, she aims to upend the presumption that constructs of home, garden, and landscape and the design of these environments are exclusively heteronormative practices.

Susan has also conducted extensive research on children’s landscapes, revealing the oft overlooked contributions that landscapes make to children’s emotional, social, cognitive, and physical health. In her studio, Rewilding Play: Kids in the Park, SALA students envisioned child care outdoor play spaces and public realm play spaces within or adjacent to existing, expanded and or/new parks and open spaces for the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Parks Board. In 2024 this student work was exhibited at Vancouver City Hall. In 2021 she led the Rewilding Play Design Build studio. Watch the video here. Susan also led the Seven Cs guidelines for children’s outdoor play spaces, which have been used in communities around the world.

Recent awards and funding

Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2022

Government of Canada – Employment & Social Development, 2022-2024

American Society of Landscape Architects THE DIRT Best Books of 2021

UBC Killam Faculty Research Prize, 2020.

Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation, 2019

Anne de Fort-Menares Award, 2016

John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize, 2015

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2015-2020

UBC Killam Faculty Fellowship, 2015

Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 2014

Canada Council for the Arts, 2014


MLA, Harvard University
BLA, State University of New York

Select book publications

Treib, M. and S. Herrington (2021). Serious Fun: The Landscapes of Claude Cormier. ORO Editions 

Herrington, S. (2017). Landscape theory in design. New York, NY: Routledge.

Herrington, S. (2014). Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the modern landscape. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.

Herrington, S. (2008). On landscapes. New York, NY: Routledge.

Herrington, S. (2002). Schoolyard park: 13-acres international design competition. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Centre for Landscape Research.

Susan has published chapters in books such as “On the Road with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander” for Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Genius Loci (Amery Calvelli and Hilary Letwin, editors 2021), “Neo-picturesque,” for Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials with Dominic McIver Lopes (Jeanette Bicknell, Jennifer Judkins, and Carolyn Korsmeyer, editors, 2019),“A phenomenological Method for Landscape Studio” for Teaching Landscape (Karsten Jorgensen, editor 2018), Women, Modernity, and Landscape Architecture (Sonja Duempelmann and John Beardsley, editors, 2015), Managing the Unknown (Frank Uekötter and Uwe Lüb, editors, 2014), The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies (Peter Howard, Ian Thompson, and Emma Waterton, editors, 2019), The Right to Landscape: Contesting Landscapes and Human Rights (Shelley Egoz, Jala Makhzoumi and Gloria Pungetti, editors, 2011), Festival, Hybrids: Reshaping the Contemporary Garden in Métis (Lesley Johnstone, editor, 2007), Contemporary Garden Aesthetics (Michel Conan, editor, 2007), and Eating Architecture (Jamie Horwitz and Paulette Singley, editors, 2004).

She has written articles for professional magazines such as Architecture-QuébecLandscape Paysages, Landscape Architecture, and the Italian publication Costruire and academic journals, such as the Journal of Landscape ArchitectureLandscape JournalLandscape Researchthe Journal Architecture Preservation Technology, and Children, Youth, and Environments