Ken McCown, ASLA, Associate AIA, ILFI, is a Professor in the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas where he serves as Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture. His background includes an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, and a graduate degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These degrees provided a platform for integrative, interdisciplinary inquiry into the built environment through urban design, transition design/resilience and ergonomic/behavior design.
Interdisciplinary project investigations of significance include the award-winning Taj Mahal National Park and Cultural Heritage District, urban design and winning competition entries into sustainable resort development in tropical and sub-tropical environments, and management and leadership of projects as the Director of the Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House II. Ken McCown has lectured to over one-hundred schools and professional organizations about Richard Neutra's work including lecturing for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles and the Nevada Preservation Foundation in Las Vegas. Awards of his collaborative works include an ASLA Award of honor from the State chapter of Nevada, the City of Las Vegas' Mayor's Urban Design Award for the Cedar Trail retrofit, an ASLA Central States Award and Iowa ASLA Award for the Carson Parklet, two AIA Las Vegas awards for unbuilt architecture, the CELA Award for Outstanding Design Studio Teaching. Ken McCown also values service, working on the AIA COTE Committee in Las Vegas, as President, Treasurer and Regional Director for the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), working on various juries including the EDA/HUD jury for the City of Las Vegas, and has been honored with a State of Nevada AIA Service Award.
Design studios are an important venue for collaborative design research between faculty/practitioners and students. As a demonstration of the success of this work, two teams co-taught by Professor McCown won national student awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects. In the "Integrating Habitats" international, open competition in Portland, OR one student team earned a first prize while another won an honorable mention. Several students in Ken McCown's collaborative studios have won national awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, including Nicholas Glover's 'Biophones.'
Interpretation of works is critical to resilience design, and Ken McCown, his collaborators and students have won awards from the Design Communications association for their drawings and have had them featured in books including Jonathon Anderson and Daniel Ortega's "Innovations in Landscape Architecture", Nadia Amoroso's, "Representing Landscapes:Hybrid", and Tim Richardson's "Landscape Design and Garden Sketchbooks."
Locations of exhibitions of the (collaborative) works authored by Ken McCown include the Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago Architecture Foundation and I-Space in Chicago, the Boston Architectural Center, the National Building Museum and The White House in Washington D.C., the Storefront for Art & Architecture and Grace Gallery in New York City, Gallery 727 and the Pacific Design Center in the Los Angeles metro, Washington University in St. Louis, the Museum of Finnish Architecture, TN Probe in Osaka, Japan, and the Tallinn Architecture Biennale in Estonia.
Ken McCown has taught architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability and urban design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cal Poly Pomona, Arizona State University, the University of Tennessee where he was the Chair of the landscape architecture program, Iowa State University where he served as Chair, and at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he served as a Lincy University Professor and Director of the Downtown Design Center.