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KURT CULBERTSON

Chairman and CEO of Design Workshop

Kurt Culbertson is Chairman and CEO of Design Workshop, an urban design, land planning, and landscape architecture firm with offices in Aspen, Colorado, and nine other cities. Mr. Culbertson received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Louisiana State University, a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate from Southern Methodist University, and a Doctorate in Landscape Architecture from the Edinburgh College of Art. Mr. Culbertson is a former Fulbright scholar, and a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Certified Planners, the Urban Design Forum, and Dumbarton Oaks. He is a past Chapter Chair of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Young Presidents Organization. He has received 35 national and state awards for his work, including the Pierre L’Enfant Award for International Planning from the American Planning Association and the 2013 Award of Excellence in Planning from the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2016, he was awarded the ASLA Medal.

His research interests include the contribution of German-Americans and Scandinavian-Americans to the development of landscape architecture in the United States. His biography of George Kessler is currently in publication. Culbertson’s most recent work focuses upon the application of historical ecology to the challenges of shrinking cities and in the application of theories of patch dynamics in establishing an ecology of cities. He is also currently working to raise awareness of environmental justice issues within the profession.

Mr. Culbertson divides his time between homes in Aspen, Colorado, and Spring Island, South Carolina.

Lecture: "Toward an Ecology of the City"

Lecture Description

Toward an Ecology of the City will examine how society might move beyond simple concepts of greening the city to consider man as part of nature and not apart from the environment. Drawing from researchers as diverse as Desmond Morris and E.O. Wilson, Culbertson will examine cities as biological creations and evolutionary adaptations. Yet cities are a recent adaptations, occupying only 6000 years of man's 3.6 million years on the planet. How might cities continue to evolve and adaption and what role do landscape architects have in this adaptation? By challenging long held concepts and beliefs, Culbertson will challenge conventional wisdom, provide examples of these concepts in action, and test a new paradigm of urban form.