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Laura Solano ASLA

Biography

Laura Solano, ASLA, is a principal and registered landscape architect at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), where she has worked since 1991. She oversees the Cambridge office and has been involved in many of the firm’s best-known and award-winning projects, including Teardrop Park, Alumnae Valley at Wellesley College, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and the Restoration of Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House.

Full Biography



Laura Solano ASLA
Partner, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
Women in Design Award of Excellence, 2010 winner

As designers, we weigh and measure many things in order to make something as good as it can be. However, when you are often part of a collaborative effort, it’s rare to stop and tally what you have done as an individual. I have been a landscape architect for 37 years and am passionate about my profession, but I have never really looked at my own statistics. How do I determine what numbers matters most in my long career? It’s definitely not the numbers of hours I have worked (incalculable); the thousands of miles I’ve logged across North America; or the number of hard hats I’ve worn out. The numbers that really count in my career—and that I cherish most—are those that reflect the time I’ve spent with others, as we work to better understand and shape the landscape. Those are the numbers I’ve chosen to share.

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I joined MVVA as a project manager in 1991, there were only 6 staff; we now have 105 in two locations and today I am a Partner in the firm. The complexity of our projects and the ways we have broken new ground in the profession have brought opportunities to extend the influence of the work through lectures and writing. Despite my humble Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture I taught for 25 years at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. To me, the numbers reveal that I have sought to do well and to help others discover that landscapes are wondrous. I have been rewarded with amazing opportunities!

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