Julie is internationally recognized as an innovative designer in building regenerative landscapes. She founded D.I.R.T. studio in 1992 to research, design and build projects with passion and rigor. Born and bred in New Jersey, Julie is a straight-talker, not afraid to provoke but doing so to tease out what matters most about places, especially when they are as post-industrial as her garden state. Her background in sculpture influences the use of simple form that emerges from sites’ existing, unearthed and unlikely fodder for design. Julie’s adventurous design approach informs her role as Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where she leads venturesome investigations with students into derelict terrain, imagining renewed sites of cultural and ecological production.
Along with a degree in fine arts from Carnegie-Mellon University, Julie earned a Masters in landscape architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has received the American Academy in Rome Fellowship and her work was awarded the National Design Award by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Julie’s D.I.R.T. projects have been featured in art and design exhibitions including Documenta and the National Design Centennial. She lectures regularly at universities, conferences and cultural institutions, which have ranged from the Museum of Modern Art to National Brownfields Meetings. TIME, CNN and Newsweek, along with national and international design publications have recognized Julie as leading the next generation in making a difference for design and the environment.