Jessica Henson

Adjunct Associate Professor


Jessica Henson teaches design studios in the Department of Landscape Architecture. Jessica is a Partner at OLIN where she leads planning and design projects that seek to create socially and environmentally resilient infrastructure including the Los Angeles County LA River Master Plan and the Rio Hondo Confluence Area Project. Her other significant projects include Chicago’s Vista Tower, a new residential precinct at the University of Washington in Seattle, the new U.S. Embassies in London and Brasilia, the O’Hare Global Terminal, the SELA Cultural Center, and the LA River Index. Jessica’s work explores the relationships between hydrological, cultural, and social contexts. Specifically, she explores how landscape architects can create anticipatory design solutions that create more equitable communities in both urban and rural settings and respond to issues relating to flooding and water resources. In her design, teaching, and research she seeks to broaden the scope of the profession by thinking holistically about the places we live, why we live there, and the environmental, economic, and social effects of our settlement patterns. Jessica is the author of “Wet + Dry: Rethinking the Mississippi River Cross-Section,” a study on Upper Mississippi communities exploring the relationships between income, topography, and flooding along the river.

Jessica has taught at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pennsylvania. She is co-editor of the book Fresh Water: Design Research for Inland Water Territories, which focuses on the shared hydrosocial histories and water issues of the major inland watersheds of the North American Continent.

Currently Teaching
  • 542aL
    Landscape Architecture Design
    Landscape Architecture Design

    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 541bL

    This core studio jumps in scale from 541aL to tackle urban design that integrates landscape strategies to set the framework for new and existing urban districts and metropolitan agendas. Using landscape as multi-benefit infrastructure, the studio focuses on urban systems – physical, social, ecological, economic, political, technological – to imagine more just and resilient futures. These infrastructures aim to guide and organize future urbanization to arrive at more equitable metropolitan frameworks and healthful biophysical systems. Skill-building includes basics of urban design: massing, block typologies, circulation, etc, all while deploying landscape as the primary urbanistic medium. Methods of analysis and design include fieldwork, mapping (GIS), modeling and simulation, and scenario-building. Students are asked to engage with community organizations and policy-makers, with the hope of impact extending beyond the university. 

    View the Fall 2020 Virtual EXPO Gallery

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Jessica Henson teaches design studios in the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism programs at USC. She also is a Partner at OLIN, an international landscape architecture, ...
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