Thaisa Way is an associate professor of landscape architecture in the University of Washington College of Built Environments and author of “The Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag: From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design.” She answered a few questions about the book and the work of Haag, whom she often fondly calls “Rich.”
Q: Here we have an affectionate and detailed biography of Richard Haag, well-known landscape architect and founder in 1964 of the UW’s landscape architecture department. How did you come to write this book?
TW: When I arrived in Seattle to teach at the UW in 2007, I needed a project that would ground me in my new place — so as a historian I looked for a good story, one that would allow me to discover this place and the community I had joined. Rich Haag was a terrific story as he had founded the department I was now teaching in and he was known for pushing the boundaries of design, something I wanted to do as a teacher and writer.Way and Haag at Town Hall Seattle
A discussion titled “Modern Impacts of Pacific Northwest Landscape Design”
June 10, 7:30 p.m.,
tickets, information online.
Q: Haag spent 1953 to 1955 in Japan on a Fulbright Fellowship. How did his time there affect his later career? What influences from that time can be seen in his public work?
TW: There is a whole chapter on this so I will refrain here, except to say that Rich’s photographs of Japan inspired a whole generation of architecture students to become landscape architects — including Laurie Olin, Grant Jones, Bob Hanna, and Frank James among others. Rich’s view of the world is deeply embedded in a mix of his Kentucky youth and his Japan experience.