Emma Mendel

Emma Mendel is a Hong Kong Chinese-Romanian landscape designer, educator and researcher. She holds degrees from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (MDes in Urbanism, Landscape, and Ecology); the University of Toronto (MLA); and the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA). Previously, Mendel was lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia. As part of UVA’s Global South Humanities Lab, her research was funded by grants from the Graham Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. Her work sits within ethnographic and anthropological investigations of landscape, culture, and ecology. The confluence of these interests have shaped her professional, educational, and academic approaches when developing plural ways of engaging landscape research sites. Specifically, Mendel is interested in the critical role that water plays in the growth of contemporary human settlements, predicated on hydrological planning and engineering. With the McHarg Fellowship, Mendel will study how folklore and local myths can act as mitigation strategies for a changing environment, alongside more standard engineering approaches. Through this lens, her research and teaching will explore culturally-nuanced and ecologically-sensitive hydrological systems within the Greater Philadelphia Region