Fall 2016 Student Lecture Series: Shauna Gillies-Smith

Rational Exuberance: Bold Design within the Urban Realm

MassArt Tree-House Residence Hall landscaping, Boston. Ground, Inc.

MassArt Tree-House Residence Hall, Boston. Photo by Chuck Choi.

  • 10/19/2016

  • 6 PM  - 7 PM

  • Cascieri Hall
    Boston Architectural College
    320 Newbury Street, Boston

  • communications@the-bac.edu

  • Free and open to the public

  • Design Community, Alumni, Students, Lectures

The Boston Architectural College invites the community to join us for Rational Exuberance: Bold Design within the Urban Realm, a public lecture by Shauna Gillies-Smith, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 6 pm in Cascieri Hall.

Surprise, pleasure, energy—all words connoting positive experiences, yet words only rarely associated with the built environment. Fundamentally our office is committed to providing an engaged experience of the city, creating a shared and vibrant public-ness that strives for inclusiveness, and engendering resiliency in the broadest way possible. Successful implementation of bold, exuberant design requires a rigorous, rational, and logical process. These qualities can be complementary to each other. This talk will address the aspirations, design process and built work of GROUND.


Shauna Gillies-Smith is the founding principal of GROUND, a landscape architecture practice with a focus on innovative and sustainable landscapes in urban settings. Gillies-Smith received a MAUD degree from Harvard’s GSD and a M.Arch from the University of British Columbia. Trained first as an architect and urban designer, her shift to landscape architecture was motivated by a desire to shape exceptional moments of the public realm.

Throughout her career Shauna has led the design and construction of critically acclaimed projects across the USA and the globe, both at GROUND and in prior affiliations. Her portfolio includes innovative test landscapes such as the MassArt Residence Hall in Boston; highly programmed civic plazas such as the Grand Canal Square in Dublin Ireland; large scale green roofs including the 1.2 acre Parc Nouvelle in Natick (both done at Martha Schwartz Inc.); and landscapes that play a transformative role in the creation of a district such as One Charlestown, a current project in Boston.

Gillies-Smith has taught design studios at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Tulane University, the University of British Columbia, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been co-chair of the Urban Design Committee of the Boston Society of Architects, a contributing editor of Architecture Boston Magazine and sits on the Advisory Board of the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts. Gillies-Smith has lectured widely and both she and her firm have been honored with numerous awards.

MassArt Tree-House Residence Hall, Boston

MassArt Tree-House Residence Hall, Boston. Photo by Christian Phillips.

MassArt Tree-House Residence Hall, Boston

MassArt Tree-House Residence Hall, Boston. Photo by Chuck Choi.

Landwave, Peters Park, Boston

Landwave, Peters Park, Boston. Photo by Chuck Choi.

Landwave, Peters Park, Boston

Landwave, Peters Park, Boston. Photo by Chuck Choi.