Urban Design / Downtown Revitalization

Education Session - Panel Format

FRI-B09 - Art in Landscape Infrastructure

Friday, October 19
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: 121


Public art as part of public infrastructure enhances the user experience and educates about the importance of infrastructure in community life. An artist, a public art director, a parks commissioner, and a public utilities director will share experiences with supporting integrated teams to accomplish public projects rich with meaning.

Learning Objectives:

Mark A. Focht, FASLA

Deputy Commisisoner / Chief Operating Officer
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

As Deputy Commissioner / Chief Operating Officer for NYC Parks, Mr. Focht leads a team committed to delivering high-quality, maintainable and sustainable public spaces at over 1,900 sites and 30,000 acres. Mark is a licensed landscape architect with over 30 years’ experience. He worked for the City of Philadelphia for 18 years, serving as First Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. Mark is a Penn State University Fellow (2015) and has received Alumni Achievement Awards from the University of Massachusetts and Penn State. He served as ASLA's Vice-President for Communications in 2010/11 and President in 2014.


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Margot Berg

Public Art Director
Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy

Margot has served in her current capacity as Public Art Director since October 2006, overseeing the City’s Percent for Art Program – commissioning new site-specific public art in City construction projects – as well as the Public Art Conservation and Collection Management Programs. Margot has a BA in sociology from the University of Delaware, a Master’s Degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and over twenty years of experience working in the public and nonprofit sectors in community planning and arts administration, including sixteen years in public art administration. Her preservation program was awarded a 2015, 2016 and 2018 Grand Jury Award of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. She is the author of the 2015 A Guide to Public Art in Philadelphia.


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Vaughn Bell

Vaughn Bell Studio

Vaughn is an artist whose work focuses on the complexities and paradoxes of human interactions with places, natural forces and other species. Her diverse practice includes ecological artworks, public art, participatory artworks, public art planning and writing, and teaching. Recent exhibitions have included installations across the United States and in Brussels, Buenos Aires, and Paris. Vaughn recently completed a Public Art Master Plan for Seattle Public Utilities, a work of community engagement, research and collaboration over a two-year period. Additionally, Vaughn has worked as staff artist in the Seattle Department of Transportation on integrating public art into transportation infrastructure.


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Marieke Rack, ASLA

Communications Advisor
Seattle Public Utilities

Marieke Rack is a Communications Advisor in Seattle Public Utilities' Community Affairs Division. She guides community engagement and communications for major drainage and wastewater projects and programs including a Vision and Integrated System Plan ($5M), a major combined sewer overflow storage tunnel ($570M), and expansion of Seattle’s green stormwater infrastructure program. Marieke has an MLA from the University of Oregon.


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FRI-B09 - Art in Landscape Infrastructure

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