Micah Stanek’s transdisciplinary landscape architecture practice explores how landscapes constitute social and environmental systems, while looking for the ways landscapes conceal other dimensions. Micah examines urban ecology in the absence of human intervention and also works with urban sites to enfranchise repressed social possibilities and multiple reduced ecological interactions. His walking tours encourage St. Louisans and visitors to see beyond aesthetics of growth and entropy. His vacant lot projects focus on social engagement strategies and in-situ ecological processes, testing an extensive model of landscape investment.
In the classroom and in the field, Micah encourages attention to adaptation and situated knowledge. His courses incorporate 1:1 prototyping, engagement with sites, and contingency planning.
An ongoing research project involves reviewing 20th century infrastructure in search of adaptive systems to better serve human needs in the 21st century. If human infrastructure and ecological systems are inextricable, how can we develop new relationships among humans, nonhuman life, and the rest of the physical world?
Micah began designing for film and theater at Northwestern University. He developed an interest in landscape research after working as a docent and a farmhand at Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm in northern India. He has also worked with SCAPE Landscape Architecture in New York City and MU Architecture in Paris.
As Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Micah teaches foundational design studios. He teaches a history course on the development of the modern field of landscape architecture as well as a seminar in landscape research.
Recently, he began a research project at Tyson Research Center. This summer a team and I will study environmental science gardens and field plots through drawing, and then design an urban research garden to be shared by scientists and a larger public of curious investigators.