WILLIAM MORRISH

Education: B.Arch., University of California; M.Arch./U.D., Harvard Graduate School of Design


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.


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