Catherine (Cathy) De Almeida, of Portuguese origin, has a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from large-scale bio-cultural/sacred indigenous landscapes, landscape planning and analysis of infrastructural systems to mid-scale architectural work to small-scale furniture design and materials research. With a Bachelors in Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), she has always been interested in exploring how to embed multiple functions and programs within a single entity or space.
For several years, Cathy was a researcher for the GSD Materials Collection, where she was exposed to concepts of Life Cycle Assessment in materials. This led to a growing interest in understanding large scale landscape systems as life cycles themselves, and how waste streams from one system can become fuel for another system; taking concepts of Cradle-to-Cradle, industrial ecology, and urban metabolism, and using them to redefine large scale landscape infrastructural systems. Landscape Architecture is at a critical intersection between the sciences, geography, art and design disciplines. With this intersection, the discipline has the capacity to synthesize these specialized professions by developing approaches and methods for re-conceiving our landscapes and infrastructures. This blog and website is a platform to explore these ideas, open up and continue a conversation about what Landscape Lifecycles are, and how they can be used to change the face and functionality of our infrastructural landscapes today.
Cathy currently lives in Ithaca, NY, where she is a freelance designer, mapper, and editor. She is also an Associate at Whitham Planning and Design, and Landscape and Planning office working on a wide range of projects and scales. She is co-founder of VA-N, a design group interested in developing spatial and graphic strategies through storytelling, research, cartography, representation, and narrative design. She is also teaches undergraduate and graduate design studios in the Landscape Architecture Department at Cornell University, which use multiscalar approaches and the coupling of anthropogenic and biophysical systems as a method for addressing brownfield sites in Ithaca, NY.