Lawrence Halprin

Lawrence Halprin (July 1, 1916 - October 25, 2009) was an American landscape architect, designer and teacher. His point-of-view and practice are summarized in his definition of modernism: "To be properly understood, Modernism is not just a matter of cubist space but of a whole appreciation of environmental design as a holistic approach to the matter of making spaces for people to live.... Modernism, as I define it and practice it, includes and is based ont he vital archetypal needs of human being as individuals as well as social groups." In his best work, he construed landscape architecture as narrative
Halprin's wife, accomplished avant-garde dancer Anna Halprin, is a long-time collaborator, with whom he explored the common areas between choreography and the way users move through a public space. They are the parents of Daria Halprin, an American psychologist, author, dancer, and actress.
Halprin's work is marked by his attention to human scale, user experience, and the social impact of his designs, in the egalitarian tradition of Frederick Law Olmsted. Halprin was the creative force behind the interactive, 'playable' civic fountains most common in the 1970s, an amenity which continues to greatly contribute to the pedestrian social experience in Portland Oregon, where "Ira's Fountain" is loved and well-used, and which has been a chronic failure at the transient-ridden United Nations Plaza in San Francisco.
Recently many of Halprin's works have become the source of some controversy. Some have fallen victim to neglect, and are in states of disrepair. Critics argue his pieces have become dated and no longer reflect the direction their cities want to take. Budgetary constraints and the urge to "revitalize" threaten some of his projects. In response foundations have been set up to improve care for some of the sites and to try to preserve them in their original state.
He was the co-creator with his his wife, the dancer Ann Halprin, of the "RSVP Cycle", a creative methodology that can be applied broadly across all disciplines.