Announcing the On the Brinck Book Award + Lecture

October 12, 2020

One the Brinck Banner

SA+P has established the On the Brinck Book Award + Lecture to grow a vital collection of enlightened writing in our allied fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and community and regional planning (inclusive of environmental design and urban design). This new awards program is intended to recognize and honor John Brinckerhoff “Brinck” Jackson, who had a very special connection with New Mexico and our School. His writings, which are not easily classifiable, reflect a life devoted to the study of cultural landscapes encompassing all the physical spaces we inhabit as human beings. It is in the spirit of this kind of unbounded disciplinary work that we commence this awards program.

The jury will select books that are 1) trailblazing contributions that push the edges of a discipline or carve out new areas of study and, 2) books that should be read across the three disciplines, giving our students a common platform with which to collectively dialogue. We want our students to build a library of important research and ground-breaking work that represents our allied fields. All of the students of SA+P will be invited to read the three chosen works each year, permanently available in the JB Jackson room of the SA+P Fine Arts Library

Meet the Inaugural Jury of the On the Brinck Book Award + Lecture: Sunil Bald, Craig Barton, Greg Castillo, Felipe Correa, Cathy Lang Ho, Dorothée Imbert, Nina-Marie Lister, Victor Rubin, Lawrence Sass, Thaisa Way, and Sibel Zandi-Sayek. We are excited they will be working with us as we launch this new awards program! This awards program is sponsored by The J. B. Jackson Endowment at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture & Planning

Read the Call for Nominations.

John Brinckerhoff Jackson’s work was not so easily classified. To understand the American Cultural Landscape Jackson chose to devote his life to, a broad, interdisciplinary embrace is required. Jackson’s enchantment with New Mexico began in his 20s, when he traveled west to Cline’s Corner to work on his uncle’s ranch. He left to fight in World War II, but returned to New Mexico briefly to pursue the life of a wrangler. After this, he began his long devotion to the study of cultural landscapes. In 1951, he founded Landscape, a journal that attracted a multi-disciplinary audience, including architects, geographers, historians, landscape architects, and sociologists. Jackson was not only trailblazing in his ability to create platforms for new areas of study, he was unconventional and innovative in his research and communication approaches, mixing fiction with non-fiction, and scholarship with free-form narrative. His work appealed to numerous disciplines by focusing on human inhabitation and experiences that events and everyday life bring about, as much as it did on the inanimate constructs of place. His examination of the American Cultural Landscape, which can be defined as the natural environment as it is modified by human motivation and action, embraces the disciplines of architecture, community regional planning and landscape architecture.  

A true humanitarian, when Jackson lived late in his life in La Cienega, New Mexico, he built deep roots in his village, and very generously assisted the people he met. We are fortunate that he left the UNM SA+P a significant endowment, and the On the Brinck Lectures hope to honor and celebrate Jackson’s contributions to our fields. As his close friend Marc Treib has described, “Jackson’s project remains a vital model for its very breadth, its regard for every life situation as a part of something greater, and for the courage to define the landscape in other than pictorial and formal terms.” We are excited to see how this new project will bring a new level of discourse and exchange to our School, and that it will bring recognition to important new works of research.