Kate Orff

2024 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medalist in Architecture Public Talk

Landscape architect and founding principal of SCAPE, Kate Orff, RLA, FASLA, has been named the 2024 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture.

Orff will give a public talk to mark the occasion on April 12 at 3:30 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall’s auditorium. This is not a ticketed event, and is free and open to all.

Based on the speaker's request, this talk will not be recorded.

Questions for Kate? 
We will be facilitating a moderated Q+A at the end of Kate Orff's public talk and invite questions through this online form. (By Wednesday April 10th, 9 a.m. Eastern)

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals – sponsored jointly by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Monticello – are awarded each year to recognize the achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson – author of the Declaration of Independence, third U.S. president and founder of the University of Virginia – excelled and held in high regard.  The architecture medal and its counterparts in law, citizen leadership, and global innovation are UVA’s highest external honors.

Orff joins a distinguished list of past recipients of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito, Zaha Hadid, Francis Kéré, and Andrew Freear. 

Kate Orff courtesy SCAPE
Kate Orff is a renowned leader across design fields in addressing challenges in social and environmental justice through projects, research, activism, and publications that respond to the uncertainty of climate change. (Photo courtesy of SCAPE)

About the Medalist

Widely recognized as a leading voice in landscape architecture, urban design, and climate adaptation in a global context, Orff is known for advancing complex, creative, and collaborative work that advances broad environmental and social needs.  Through the development of ecological pilot projects across geographies and contexts, she creates nature-based infrastructure that expertly combines community engagement, ecological rebuilding, and risk reduction. 

Orff founded SCAPE in 2007 in New York City and has helped grow the firm to a staff of over 80 individuals including landscape architects, urban planners, architects, ecological designers, horticulturists, and community engagement professionals. With two additional offices in New Orleans and San Francisco, SCAPE has planned, designed, and built parks, waterfronts, plazas, master plans, campuses, greenways, streetscapes, and more.  Over nearly two decades, they have translated complex visions into restorative, beautiful and equitable landscapes. 

Directions + Parking Information 

Submit your Questions for Kate

We will be facilitating a moderated Q+A at the end of Kate Orff's public talk and invite your questions through the online form linked above by Wednesday April 10th, 9 a.m. Eastern.

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