L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Sara Zewde to Deliver Gulak Lecture on Oct. 26

Sara Zewde is a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.
Sara Zewde is a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.

By Pamela Stallsmith

Sara Zewde, a leading expert in landscape architecture and design, will deliver this year’s Morton B. Gulak Lecture in Urban and Regional Planning on Wed., Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the University Student Commons.

Gulak Lecture featuring Sara Zewde

Wed., Oct. 26

7 p.m.

University Student Commons

Registration strongly encouraged: support.vcu.edu/gulak

She will discuss “Design in the Southern City Now: Negotiating Cultural Memory in the Age of the Urban Renaissance.”

Zewde, a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation and a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

She writes and lectures in the discourses of landscape architecture and urbanism and its interface with culture and history, and has received many accolades, including the Silberberg Memorial Award for Urban Design and the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Zewde finds that in considering the relationship among social needs, culture, ecology and craft, there are often many powerful departure points for design. Concurrent to working at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, she continues independent design work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Houston, Texas; and New Orleans. Her work is currently on display at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale's Brazilian Pavilion. 

She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master of City Planning from MIT and a bachelor’s in sociology and statistics from Boston University.

“We are honored to host such a recognized designer as Sara Zewde,” said Meghan Gough, Ph.D., chair of the Urban and Regional Studies/Planning program and associate professor. “We look forward to an engaging, intellectually robust discussion that will benefit our students and faculty, area planners and community members who are interested in urbanism and design, and ways it can empower people.”

The Wilder School brings leading experts in planning, architecture or urban design to VCU each year through the annual Gulak Lecture. Launched in 2013, the lecture series honor the memory of Morton B. Gulak, Ph.D., who helped found the Master in Urban and Regional Planning program more than 40 years ago.

Gulak, who died in 2012, taught at VCU for 38 years. He inspired hundreds of students in the areas of urban design, urban revitalization, physical planning and the application of professional planning methods.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is strongly encouraged: support.vcu.edu/gulak