For perking up urban parks.
Nature and cities, says architect and park designer Kate Orff, “are intertwined, whether we’ve designed them to be or not, so we’re simply trying to choreograph that interface.” Instead of preserving nature as a separate space, Orff integrates it. Current projects include redesigning Lexington, Kentucky’s Town Branch creek, which runs under the city (the plan is to create pools that filter runoff while serving as social spaces), and fashioning a Minneapolis park along the Mississippi River. “The landscape for me is never in the background,” she says. “It’s always playing a role in shaping the public realm.”