MSU alumnus Bill Johnson receives 2020 Landscape Architecture Foundation Medal

William “Bill” Johnson, an alumnus of the Michigan State University Landscape Architecture program, was presented with the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)’s Medal for his distinguished work applying the principles of sustainability to landscapes.

Bill Johnson

William “Bill” Johnson, an alumnus of the Michigan State University Landscape Architecture program, was presented with the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)’s Medal for his distinguished work applying the principles of sustainability to landscapes. 

This is one of the highest honors to receive from the LAF. For 50 years, the LAF Medals have been awarded to those who have made a significant impact on the field, and those who have contributed to the foundations mission to support the preservation, improvement and enhancement of the environment.    

“Bill is a groundbreaking giant in the profession, pioneering the integration of planning, analysis, and landscape architecture. By sharing his knowledge and approach, he had a profound influence on a generation of students, said the members of the LAF Medal and Founders’ Award Committee. 

In both his practice and academic careers, Johnson has been committed to staying environmentally conscious in his planning. His work primarily focuses on campus planning, urban design parks and historic preservation 

There are scores of teachers and practitioners greatly deserving of such an honor who are advanced well beyond the point where I left off. What a surprise for me! Being selected by valued professional colleagues for such a national award is the best kind of honor imaginable,said Johnson.  

Johnson served as a professor of landscape architecture for 30 years and for eight year he also served as the dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources.  

In 1988, Johnson became a professor emeritus. While earning his MLA at Harvard, he learned his philosophy, “that there are no limits of scale.” He credits this learning to Hideo Saski 

Johnson’s projects have continuously proved himself to be a leader in the landscape architecture field and have reflected his expansive problem-solving abilities with regards to environment sustainability. 

This is not the first recognition Johnson has received for his admirable work in the field. In 2019, Johnson also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He was also inducted as an MSU Landscape Architecture Program Distinguished Alumni.  

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