There are few fellowships more desirable than that of the MacArthur Foundation’s awards in which (selected fellows receive a $625,000 grant dispensed over five years, which acts as seed money for the individual to enact maximum impact in the world in whatever manner they see fit).Kate Orff, 2017 MacArthur Fellow, 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge award winner, Landscape Architect, and founding principle of SCAPE design firm, was one of twenty-four people awarded the fellowship this year.
Kate Orff’s work is self-described as “...science-driven, community-informed, large-scale architecture.” Most recently she is working to evolve Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, a two-mile-long Superfund site, into one of New York’s next great parks. Contrary to similar works of BIG (Bijarke Ingel’s Group, currently designing New York City’s Dryline), Orff’s vision exists not on the borders of the already affluent island of Manhattan, but within Brooklyn’s struggling ecosystems.
Orff does not need the recognition of fellowships and awards for the citizens of this country and world to know the impact her and her colleagues are capable of, but we at BFI are thrilled that someone of her caliber is being funded and recognized adequately. For Kate Orff’s previous current, and future portfolio of awe-inspiring work, we are grateful and commend her.