Thaisa Way


Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
Adjunct, Department of Architecture
Adjunct, Department of History, Colllege of Arts & Sciences
Faculty, Historic Preservation Certificate

348F Gould Hall
Box 355734
Seattle WA 98195-5734
206 685 2523

UW Sawyer Seminar NOW Urbanism:
City Building in the 21st Century and Beyond

A monthly conversation about cities past, present,
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Thaisa Way is a landscape historian teaching history, theory, and design. She has published and lectured on feminist histories of design and in particular the role of women as professionals and practitioners, and her book , Unbounded Practices: Women, Landscape Architecture, and Early Twentieth Century Design (2009, University of Virginia Press) was supported by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and the Landscape Studies Foundation’s David Coffin Award. In 2010 it was awarded the J.B. Jackson Book Award.

Dr. Way’s research considers how diverse approaches have shaped and informed relationships between people and landscape, cultures and nature, and practices and professions, Her teaching and scholarship seek to challenge our thinking about the history of landscape architecture by considering the active engagement of marginalized groups and individuals simultaneously as agents of change and signifiers of culture. Her research has asked how gender has served as a lens through which design is practiced and the landscape is created and formed.

An additional area of research is directed at sustainable design theory. Recent thesis projects have advanced the practice of sustainable design which must, in turn, address the complex web of environmental sustainability, social justice, and economic viability while creating potential for a rich and meaningful aesthetic experience. Landscape architecture has a critical opportunity to place itself at the center of contemporary discourse and policy-making on issues of ‘sustainable design’ and global warming. The department’s vision to advance our knowledge of how we develop ecological infrastructures through our attention to natural processes, ecological planning and design, as well as technology is an important step towards leadership in the discipline and in the larger community of those concerned with sustainable development. Histories of design and the landscape play a critical role in the understanding, articulation, and development of the discipline and, more specifically, the potential of landscape architects to dynamically contribute to the making of exemplar culturally-based places.

Recent News:

Dr. Way with MLA students Tera Hatfield and Mackenzie Waller curated the exhibit:
Made possible by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
May 3 – June 24, 2012 @ AIA SEATTLE Design gallery/ 1911 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101/ 206.448.4938 /

Dr Way has been named the inaugural A.E. Bye / Landscape Architecture Research Fellow at Penn State University As a landscape historian, Way will research the drawings, papers, photographs and videos of 20th-century American landscape architect A. E. Bye, as well as the work of his contemporaries, John Bracken and Stuart Mertz. This work in the history of landscape architecture focuses on the use of land forms, earth art, and topography as a medium in the design of spaces. The research is part of a larger project on post-industrial landscapes and concepts of thick sections in landscape history.

Dr Way was appointed this year as a Harvard University Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Garden and Landscape Studies Program. She will serve as a Senior Fellow from 2012 to 2015. In this position she joins the program in Garden and Landscape Studies that supports advanced scholarship in garden history, landscape architecture, and the study of other culturally- and artistically-significant landscapes around the world from ancient times to the present. The activities of the program include residential fellowships, grants for field research, public lectures and symposia, summer internships for landscape architecture students, and a new series of temporary installations of contemporary art. An active publications program produces symposium proceedings, studies in contemporary landscape design, and occasional monographs.

View Professor Way’s CV