At a ceremony on July 10, President Obama will award landscape architect Laurie Olin, the 2012 National Medal of Arts. The medal, conferred by the National Endowment for the Arts, is the highest honor given to an artist on behalf of the American people. Among the 11 others honored this year are filmmaker George Lucas, playwright Tony Kushner, New Orleans piano man Allen Toussaint, and sculptor Ellsworth Kelly.
Laurie Olin, FASLA, is founder and partner of OLIN, a powerhouse landscape architecture firm based in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, perhaps best known for its transformative public landscape design work.
Olin is being honored “for his contributions as a preeminent landscape architect. Renowned for his acute sense of harmony and balance between nature and design, Mr. Olin has dedicated his energy to shaping many iconic spaces around the world and to educating new leaders in his art.”
As noted on OLIN’s blog, Laurie Olin is the fourth landscape architect to receive the medal, joining titans of the field Ian McHarg, Lawrence Halprin, and Dan Kiley.
We’re lucky Olin calls Philadelphia home and that so many of our high-profile public spaces and institutions have been shaped through his thoughtful work.
Ashley Hahn has written and edited Eyes on the Street since 2011. Since September 2015 she has served as PlanPhilly's managing editor. She has a special interest in preservation, neighborhoods, and all things public – from policy to art. She holds masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation from PennDesign. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She is proud to call 19147 home.