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Biography

Rosetta S. Elkin

Associate Professor, McGill University

Rosetta S. Elkin (Canadian, American) is Principal Practice Landscape Associate Professor and Program Director of the newly established MLA program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Elkin’s work examines plant life at the intersection of art, design and ecology. In particular, her research attends to biological complexity as a neglected aspect of ecosystem integrity and recovery by exploring concealed the characteristics of non-human behavior. Elkin’s practice prioritizes public exhibitions, open access publishing, and collaborative research to promote a more thoughtful and accountable design agenda. As a designer and a scholar, her work experiments with the ways in which we compose our worlds, blurring the traditional boundaries between research and practice.

Elkin is the author of the upcoming Plant Life: The Entangled Politics of Afforestation (University of Minnesota Press, 2022) which describes the geo-political ambitions of tree planting programs. An earlier publication reflects on the scale of individual plants through a reading of three garden installations, Tiny Taxonomy (Actar 2017). Elkin’s work has been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Les Jardins de Metis, Chelsea Festival, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and featured in publications including Journal of Landscape ArchitectureNew GeographiesHarvard Design Magazine and Lotus International. Current projects include the study of root systems in coastal defense strategies, an investigation of state-scale ecological transformation in Rhode Island, and design research for sea-level adaptation on barrier islands in Florida with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Elkin’s work has received numerous awards, including the Garden Club of America Rome Prize in landscape architecture and a Harvard Climate Change Fund-supported project entitled Landscapes of Retreat (Verlag, 2023).