Kate Orff is an Assistant Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she teaches graduate design studios and interdisciplinary seminars focused on sustainable development, biodiversity, and community-based change. She is the co-author of Petrochemical America (Aperture Foundation, 2012) and co-editor of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (Princeton, 2011). Her essays have appeared in The Great Leap Forward, Waterfront Visions, Volume, Land Forum, and other books and journals. Kate was named one of “50 for the Future of Design” by H&G, a Dwell Magazine “Design Leader” and was featured in “Front Runners: 25 Young Designers Leading The Pack” by Azure Magazine. She lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad on the topic of urban landscape and new paradigms of thinking, collaborating and designing for the anthropocene era.
Her work has been cited in publications such as the New Yorker, the Economist, the New York Times, and New York Magazine, in addition to architecture and planning publications such as Metropolis, Dwell, Azure, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Harvard Design Magazine, LA China, and many others. She has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Queens Public TV, and the Brian Lehrer Show.
Kate is a registered landscape architect and the founding principal of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design office based in Manhattan. Through her creative leadership of the firm, she explores the cultural and physical complexity of urban landscapes and their unique textures, ecologies, programs and publics. SCAPE’s projects range from a 1000 square foot pocket park in Brooklyn, NY, to a 100 acre environmental center in Greenville, SC, to a 1000 acre landfill regeneration project in Dublin, Ireland. SCAPE has exhibited work in the Museum of Modern Art, and the Seoul, Lisbon, and Hong Kong/Shenzhen Biennials.
After graduating from the University of Virginia with Distinction, Kate earned a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. In 1996, she was a member of small research group focused on the urbanization of Pearl River Delta, led by architect Rem Koolhaas, which became the first case study in the internationally recognized Harvard Project on the City. Kate later worked for the planning and landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates and for OMA/AMO.
United States Artist Fellow, 2012
Landscape Architect, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, South Carolina, Minnesota
Assistant Professor, Columbia University GSAPP
Director, Urban Landscape Lab, Columbia University GSAPP
Vice President, Architectural League of New York, 2010-present
Design Fellow, New York City Audubon Society, 2005-2006
Lectures & Interviews
Landscape Architecture Magazine (May 2012) - What Kate Orff Sees
WNYC- The Leonard Lopate Show - Big Issues: Petrochemical America
Aperture Foundation - Converation with Misrach and Orff
The Modern Art Notes Podcast - Petrochemical America (@min 42:00)
TED TALK - Reviving New York's Rivers
The Architectural League NY - Emerging Voices 2012