Maggie Hansen comes to Tulane from professional practice in New York at Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. With a background in architecture, landscape architecture, and contemporary art, she draws on her interdisciplinary training to explore the relationships between culture and ecology in cities. Her design research investigates how the critical work of engaging urban hydrology, restoring cultural spaces, and supporting native ecosystems can contribute to civic life and community identity.
Hansen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago, where she was active in reviving the annual Festival of the Arts, promoting collaborative art production across disciplines. She earned Masters degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, where she graduated with the American Society of Landscape Architects Certificate of Honor. Her work has received a number of design awards, and has been exhibited as part of the AIA DC UnBuilt awards, the D3 Natural Systems competition, and the Delta Cities of the Future conference.
Prior to graduate school, Hansen worked in contemporary art in Chicago and New York. Her independent research includes investigation of the influence of arts programming on community empowerment in Cape Town, South Africa. As a Michael Cunningham Fellow at Hart Howerton, she studied the relationship between neighborhood form, infrastructural systems, and informal community networks in Bamako, Mali.
As a designer at the New York office of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Hansen collaborated on the design and management of landscape projects at a broad range of scales and contexts, including the Brooklyn Naval Hospital Cemetery Memorial landscape; a masterplan for Braddock, PA; landscape restoration at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, NY; as well as several private residential projects in the New York area. She was a member of the design team for the Hudson Yards East development on the west side of Manhattan and she served as project manager for the Onondaga Community Visioning Session, a one-day workshop exploring opportunities for cultural restoration alongside ecological remediation of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, NY.
In her position at the Small Center, Hansen looks forward to continuing to work in a collaborative design process within the city’s unique context. “I have admired the Small Center’s nimble engagement with the specific issues New Orleans faces. I am excited to contribute to building on the the Small Center’s exceptional history of thoughtful design research, interdisciplinary dialogue, and targeted built work at this critical moment for the city.”