For over twenty years, Margie Ruddick has been recognized for her pioneering work in the landscape. Winner of the 2013 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in landscape architecture, Margie has forged a design language that integrates ecology and culture. Her transformative design for New York’s Queens Plaza has won awards for promoting a new idea of nature in the city, where storm water, wind, sun, and habitat merge within an urban infrastructure to create a more sustainable vision of urban life. The new waterfront at Stapleton, in New York City, brings the harbor and city together in a park with cove and tidal wetlands, catalyzing the revitalization of this historic Staten Island district. Trenton Capital Park restores the connection between the city and the Delaware.
Margie’s international projects include the Shillim Institute and Retreat in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India; she has remained with the project as a member of the Institute’s board. She traveled to Chengdu, Sichuan, China in 1996 to lead a team designing the Living Water Park, the first ecological park in China, which cleans polluted river water biologically.
Margie has taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Yale, Princeton, The University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design, and Schumacher College in England. In addition to the Cooper-Hewitt 2013 honor, her many awards include the 1998 Waterfront Centre Award and the 1999 Places Design Award, along with environmental artist Betsy Damon, for the Living Water Park; her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Institute of Architects. Margie was selected by the Architectural League of New York for their 2003 Emerging Voices. She received the 2002 Lewis Mumford Award from Architects Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility, the 2006 Rachel Carson Women in Conservation Award from the National Audubon Society, an award that recognizes “visionary women whose contributions, talent, and energy have advanced conservation and environmental education locally and on a global scale.” Margie was named as one of the top ten women in green design by the Green Economy Post in 2010.
Margie was born in Montreal, grew up in New York City, and graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. She shared a practice with Judith Heintz from 1988 to 1995; then worked on her own until 2004, when she became a partner at the planning and design firm WRT. Since leaving WRT in 2007 she has worked on projects independently, in addition to writing, lecturing, and teaching. Her book Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes was published in March 2016.