LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture Director, Professor Bradley E. Cantrell Awarded Prestigious Rome Prize

05/06/2013 02:51 PM

BATON ROUGE – Bradley E. Cantrell, associate professor and director in LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, was recently named as a winner of the 2013 Garden Club of America Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture for his proposal, “Synthetic and Responsive Ecologies.”


The American Academy in Rome awards the Rome Prize to a select group of artists and scholars, after an application process that begins in the fall of each year. The winners were announced on April 18 at the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Rome Prize Ceremony, held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. Rome Prize recipients are provided with a fellowship that includes a stipend, a study or studio and room and board for a period of six months to two years in Rome, Italy. While in Rome, the winners will be able to pursue their work in an atmosphere conducive to intellectual and artistic freedom, interdisciplinary exchange and innovation.


“The ability to represent the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome is a great honor,” Cantrell said. “I will be spending six months at the academy starting in the spring of 2014, and I look forward to pursuing my research in the context of Rome.”


Cantrell’s work will translate his research in responsive technologies in the Gulf coast to the rich cultural and historical urban systems of Rome. This shift in scales from the gulf coast to the piazza brings new challenges that will confront ecological, infrastructural and social constraints.


“The historic architectural and infrastructural palimpsest of Rome affords an opportunity to advance this body of work through the application of responsive technologies to examine the relationship between ecology and urbanity,” Cantrell said. “This examination focuses specifically on the water infrastructure of Rome, examining its historical evolution, analyzing the present conditions, and developing future projections in order to create a composite overview of the infrastructures cultural, political and performative merits.”


In contrast to current infrastructural implementations in Southern Louisiana, Cantrell said, the interrelationship of wastewater treatment and water transport systems in Rome lends directly to the expansion of cultural, political and social constructs.


“The water infrastructure of present-day Rome and the Roman Empire is well documented and will provide a strong framework for the speculation of how responsive, synthetic ecologies will advance both micro and macro relationships between the city and water,” he said. “The examination will focus on three categories of responsive technologies – purity, access and didactics.”


Each year, through a national competition, the Rome Prize is awarded to approximately 30 individuals who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities. Prize recipients are invited to Rome for six months to two years to immerse themselves in the academy community, where they will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand their own professional, artistic or scholarly pursuits, drawing on their colleagues’ erudition and experience and on the inestimable resources that Italy, Europe and the academy have to offer. Forty-four individuals were invited to make up the nine peer juries to review the applications this year.


“The Rome Prize, originally Le Grand Prix de Rome, is the oldest and possibly the most prestigious honor recognizing excellence in the arts,” said Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the LSU College of Art & Design. “Bradley Cantrell’s achievement speaks highly to his personal contributions to the field of landscape architecture. His name is added to a long list of illustrious recipients. It is well-deserved and our warmest wishes are with him. He sets a high standard, a standard that LSU and the College of Art and Design will continue to uphold as it provides the supportive environment that makes such achievements possible.”


For more information regarding the 2013-2014 Rome Prize winners and on the American Academy in Rome, visit


To learn more about LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, visit

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2013