Catherine Seavitt Nordenson

Associate Professor Adjunct

Catherine Seavitt Nordenson is an architect and landscape architect, registered in both professions in New York State. She is a tenured associate professor of landscape architecture at the City College of New York, where she teaches graduate landscape architectural design studios and research seminars; she also serves as the faculty editor of the annual landscape journal PLOT. Seavitt is currently on a sabbatical fellowship leave from City College during the academic year 2018-2019.

Seavitt’s research and design interests include design adaptation to sea level rise in urban coastal environments, as well as novel landscape restoration practices given the dynamics of climate change. Her books, essays, and publications reflect her ongoing investigations into political power, environmental activism, and public health, particularly as they intersect in the design of equitable public space and policy. Her books include Structures of Coastal Resilience (2018); Depositions: Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes under Dictatorship (2018); Waterproofing New York (2016); and On the Water: Palisade Bay (2010). Her work has been published widely, including essays in Artforum, Avery Review, Harvard Design Magazine, JoLA, LA+, Landscape Architecture Magazine, and Topos. Seavitt received a bachelor of architecture from the Cooper Union School of Architecture and a master of architecture from Princeton University. She is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a recipient of both a Fulbright fellowship and a Graham Foundation fellowship for research in Brazil.

View Catherine Seavitt Nordenson's CV here.

Projects & Links

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.