Gird Aquino, FASLA
Mr. Aquino has taught graduate landscape architecture design studios at USC over the past 5 years with topics ranging from the impact of wind farms near Tehachapi, the potential of entangled infrastructure east of downtown Los Angeles, to the need to redesign Pershing Square. All of his studios have included experts from various public agencies, developers, community groups and accomplished individuals such as Thom Mayne, Julia Czerniak, Ken Smith, Adriaan Geuze, Ying-Yu Hung and Mark Johnson.
Aquino earned his B.S. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida and his Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. While at Harvard, Aquino co-founded AsiaGSD, a student organization focused on issues of identity, urban densities, infrastructure and design in Asia. Aquino lectures regularly on the urgency of creative collaborations in the design and strategic planning of multi-functional urban parks and contiguous open space systems. Recent lectures have included the 2012 Landscape Infrastructure Symposium at Harvard GSD, the 2012 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference at UC Davis and the 2011 ULI Conference held in Los Angeles. Aquino is also sits on various Boards including the Harvard Design Magazine Review Board and the SWA Executive Board.
His accomplishments include the 2008 ASLA Analysis and Planning Award of Honor for the 1,000 sq km North Lake Region of Chongming Island, Shanghai, co-author and editor of Landscape infrastructure: case studies by SWA published by Birkhauser in 2011, and more recently, awarded the commission to redesign a 100 year old public square in El Paso, Texas and the landscape planning/design of a complex mixed-use project in Cairo, Egypt set high above the Nile River and adjacent to a natural spring that seeks to integrate a series of open space parks, plazas and courtyards within an urban streetscape framework.
Aquino is the President of SWA's global practice (www.swagroup.com) whose focus is on the re-establishment of ecological open space systems within dense urban centers around the world. Through his leadership at SWA, Aquino also seeks to further the dialogue of design through creative collaborations with professionals and academics on projects at various scales of complexity and context.