Mary Pat McGuire is a Registered Landscape Architect, Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture, and 2016-2018 Design Research Fellow in the College of Fine & Applied Arts. Her research and teaching focus on water-based landscape architecture and urbanism, in the Great Lakes area. Her work goes beyond 'problem-solving' to define and transform the next century of urban water environments.
McGuire's design research inquiries extend beyond traditional notions of gardens and parks, seeking alternative approaches to effect water performance through urban surface conversions. Sites include abandoned land, urban pavements, and shared, public rights-of-way as surface-sites for intervention. She teaches students to think and design critically: core introductory graduate studios are focused on site definition and site interventions; advanced design workshops and seminars tackle urban surface design research, linking an understanding of terriorial sytems that creatively inform complex site design.
Professor McGuire has a BA in International Political Theory from The College of Wiliam & Mary, a Master of Landscape Architecture from The University of Virginia School of Architecture, and a Certificate in Sustainability Management from the University of Chicago. She has over 10 years of professional project design and management experience with offices including Peter Walker & Partners in Berkeley, CA and Conservation Design Forum in Chicago. She has received a faculty award from the US-EPA, twice served as Research Fellow with the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and is a recent recipient of a research grant from the Wright Ingraham Institute. Through service, she has served on the Illinois Climate Action Plan's Water Team, and is a contributing member of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, supporting research and design for green infrastructure implementation in the Chicago-Calumet region.
Professor McGuire has more recently umbrellaed her design research under the The Water Lab, a small design research practice devoted to urban water issues, and is currently generating a hydro-geologic stormwater project called Depave Chicago.