Mira E. Engler

Mira Engler, PhD., is a professor and director of graduate education, Department of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. She earned her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the Technion, Israel, Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles. Engler teaches landscape architecture and urban design theory, history, and design and has published extensively on public art, the aesthetics of landscape, and waste landscapes. She has been involved in public art installations and in landscape design competitions and exhibitions in the US, Israel, and Britain. Her first book, Designing America’s Waste Landscapes (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), explores societal and professional attitudes towards waste and the design of dumps and sewage grounds. Her second book Cut and Paste Urban landscape: The Work of Gordon Cullen (Routledge, 2016) examines the work of postwar architectural draftsman, Gordon Cullen. It looks into his drawings and book design as well as his process of image making to help explain his considerable popularity and influence which continues to this day. Cut and Paste Urban landscape explores the status of the image and the role of image makers in the production and consumption of popular architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism in the postwar era. More broadly, it focuses on the relationship between systems of landscape and urban representation, consumer culture, and mass media. Currently Engler studies the history of ideas, themes, and debates about color in landscape architecture from the eighteenth-century onward. I use a dozen successive theories that are configured around color as a lens to understand several discursive themes that are still active today, including natural versus artificial, native versus exotic, and sensation versus concept.