New Grad Program Directors
ISU College of Design names new directors of sustainable environments, urban design graduate programs
AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University College of Design has appointed new directors of two interdisciplinary graduate programs.
Mimi Wagner, associate professor of landscape architecture, will direct the graduate program in sustainable environments. Geared toward students with professional degrees in art, architecture, landscape architecture, planning, graphic design, interior design, industrial design or engineering, this 35-credit master’s program focuses on holistic design strategies for the production of sustainable, resilient environments and artifacts.
Mira Engler, professor and director of graduate education for the Department of Landscape Architecture, will direct the graduate program in urban design. This 36-credit master’s program, geared toward students with professional degrees in architecture, planning or landscape architecture, focuses on the contemporary challenges of urbanism at local, regional and global scales.
The College of Design has offered the Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (MDesSE) and the Master of Urban Design (MUD) since 2013.
Wagner joined the Iowa State landscape architecture faculty as a temporary instructor in 1999. She served as an assistant professor from 2000-2007 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2007. She has been an affiliated faculty member of the sustainable environments graduate program since its inception in 2013. She teaches undergraduate courses and studios related to ecological design and graduate courses on social theories of sustainability.
A former practicing landscape architect in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, Wagner is “passionate about design outcomes resulting from the integration of environmental resources and social relationships,” she said. Her research focuses largely on human interactions with river corridors from both a recreation and a protection standpoint. Current research projects include water trail development on three Iowa rivers. The Lake LaVerne Floating Islands project, a recent water quality and public art research and outreach initiative co-led by Wagner, won a regional American Society of Landscape Architects Award of Merit.
Wagner holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (1983) and a Master of Landscape Architecture (1998), both from Iowa State. She completed continuing education on “Geomorphic and Ecological Fundamentals for River Restoration” at the University of California, Riverside, in 2007.
Engler joined the ISU landscape architecture faculty as an assistant professor in 1989. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1996 and to professor in 2006. She served as the summer urban design studio program leader for the College of Design Rome Program from 2003-2014. She has been an affiliated faculty member of the urban design graduate program since its inception in 2013.
Engler teaches landscape architecture and urban design history and theory. Her research focuses on landscape theory and representation, postwar urbanism, landscape urbanism, and the relationship between landscape, media and consumer culture. She is the author of Designing America’s Waste Landscapes (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) and Cut and Paste Urban Landscape: The Work of Gordon Cullen (Routledge, 2015). Her winning entry for “The Otherworld Garden” was included in England’s 2004 Westonbirt Festival of the Garden.
Engler holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with honors from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology (1982), a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley (1989), and a PhD in architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles (2013). She is a member of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
Sunghyun Kang, Design Administration, (515) 294-7427, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mimi Wagner, Sustainable Environments, (515) 294-8954, email@example.com
Mira Engler, Urban Design, (515) 294-8937, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, email@example.com