Donald B. Austin

Class Year
1952
Award Year
2009
Degree
BSLA
Profession
Landscape Architect
Biography
Donald Austin ’52 (BSLA), FASLA through teaching and private practice, has helped lead the direction of the landscape architecture profession for the last 50 years. Austin earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M in 1952 and later, a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. He began teaching at the University of California at Berkeley, proceeding to adjunct or visiting faculty positions at the University of Illinois, University of Hawaii School of Architecture, the University of Auckland Town Planning Program in New Zealand and in universities in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Pretoria in South Africa. He also earned a Fulbright grant from the U. S. Department of State to teach at the School of Architecture at Catholic University in Santiago, Chile. Austin eventually returned to Texas A&M where he taught landscape architecture for 25 years, also serving as head of the department. During these years his private practice flourished. In Hawaii, Austin established the landscape architecture arm of Belt Collins and Associates, a leading Pacific Basin engineering and planning firm. With Garrett Eckbo, Francis Dean and Ed Williams, Austin began a firm now known as EDAW. The founding group was especially noted for addressing an extremely wide range of design, planning and environmental issues. Today the firm has expanded its influence throughout the globe with more than 30 offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Austin’s recent consulting ventures include projects in the Western Cape province of South Africa, including Pezula Estate, Hanglip Resort, Kurland Village and Polo Estate and the central park and harbor town of Thesen Island. He said he has enjoyed working with Christiaan Mulder, a fellow Outstanding Alumnus at Texas A&M, for 20 years on various projects, including many in South Africa.
Photo of Donald B. Austin