Bruce Dvorak

Landscape Architecture professor elevated to ASLA Council of Fellows

Exceptional contributions to the landscape architecture profession and society have elevated Texas A&M Associate Professor Bruce Dvorak to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ prestigious Council of Fellows.

“Every landscape architect helps shape their community for the better, and ASLA fellows represent the most accomplished and respected professionals in their field,” said Jeannie Martin, president of the ASLA. “Their exceptional contributions from coast to coast and internationally have helped advance equity, environmental sustainability and excellence in design and planning.”

Dvorak and the 2022 group of 27 new fellows will be honored at a special investiture ceremony during the 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Francisco Nov. 11-14, 2022. 

Dvorak, who has led landscape architecture courses at Texas A&M since 2007, helped design and manage some of the U.S.’ first ecological green roofs, one atop Chicago City Hall, and another at the Windy City’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. In addition to studying  green roof technology, his academic interests include sustainable design, planning, and construction.

In a 2021 book, Dvorak and 8 co-authors showed that “green” roof designs that include principles of native landscapes can help reduce climate change and make cities more sustainable.

The book, “Ecoregional Green Roofs: Theory and Application in the Western USA and Canada,” earned an ASLA Professional Research Honor Award and a spot in ASLA’s Best Books List of 2021.

The authors “make very real some of the bold visions of future green neighborhoods, villages, and cities,” said David Yocca, an ASLA fellow, in the book’s introduction.

In 2018, Dvorak and Ahmed Ali, professor of architecture, teamed to create a “green” wall on a side of building B of the Langford Architecture Center.

The wall, made of sheet metal byproducts, includes plant modules individually irrigated by an automatic water-conserving drip system on a steel frame.

“This is the first living green wall made from sheet metal scrap from the automotive industry,” said Ali. “Our students cut the metal using a computer-controlled water jet, bent the sheets and assembled them with aluminum rivets. It increased their knowledge of the materials and will better inform their design decisions.”

Over the fall 2017, spring 2018 and summer 2018 semesters, students tested dozens of iterations of shapes and designs before finding the final, unique diamond design. They also tested which colors would best reflect sunlight off the modules.

“The design of the modules is innovative, beautiful and solves a lot of problems with traditional ‘green’ wall systems,” Dvorak said.

To choose which plants to install in the modules, Dvorak relied on results from years of testing plants on the Langford A roof for their hardiness to heat, drought, wind and extreme conditions.

Dvorak is also coordinator of the Texas A&M Master of Landscape Architecture program, and a Senior Schob Scholar. The Schob Nature Preserve is a Texas A&M research facility and classroom, and a neighborhood park in College Station.

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