B.Arch., University of California; M.Arch./U.D., Harvard Graduate School
Background: William Morrish is the
Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and
Urban and Environmental Planning. This is the first endowed interdisciplinary
professorship at the School of Architecture, University of Virginia. Previously,
Morrish was the founding director of the Design Center for American Urban
Landscape at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University
of Minnesota, where he created a nationally recognized "think tank"
for professionals, academics and civic leaders on the issues of metropolitan
urban design. He is carrying this work forward at the University of Virginia
School of Architecture through interdisciplinary teaching and research.
Morrish's work recognizes that infrastructure is the key concept in redefining
professsional design and planning practice. It stands for the connective
tissue that knits citizens, places, social institutions and the natural
environment into coherent urban relationships. Morrish sees these utilitarian
systems as a short-hand for the structural underpinnings of the public
realm and the safety net of our social system.
In 1994, William Morrish and his late wife Catherine Brown were hailed
by the New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp as "the
most valuable thinkers in urbanism today." Their work was exemplified
by their innovative urban design plan for The City of Phoenix, Arizona's
public art plan which unites artists and public work engineers in the
transformation of city utilities into the citywide cultural setting and
new public realm.
Parallel to this work, Morrish has been researching design and policy
strategies for the renovation of aging post-World War II first ring suburban
communities that will increase their capacity to in-fill, re-fill and
renovate aging housing stock, economic malls/industrial parks and infrastructure
of these pivotal metropolitan places. The project is called "Green
by Addition." William Morrish is searching for techniques for applying
ecological, sustainable and smart growth principles into the fabric of
these existing neighborhoods, aligning public and private sector funds
and "do it yourself" homeowner techniques. Morrish is in the
process of collaborating with Professor William Lucy and the City of Charlottesville
in the application of funding to transfer this research into the field
through a local demonstration project.
In the Fall of 2002, Morrish will become a senior fellow of the Urban
Land Institute, Washington, D.C., working with ULI Senior Fellow William
Hudnut on the future of first ring suburban communities.
Morrish has written a number of publications and articles, including the
following two books -- Civilizing Terrains and Planning to Stay.