Richard Weller is the Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture and co-executive director of the McHarg Center at The University of Pennsylvania. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and former co-director (with Vladimir Sitta) of Room 4.1.3- a design firm acknowledged with a Penn Press monograph (2005).
In over 30 years of practice he has worked simultaneously as an academic and a consultant specializing in the formative stages of design and planning projects ranging across all scales. Weller’s creative work has received numerous awards, predominantly in international design competitions, and been exhibited in galleries such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Gardner Museum in Boston, the MAXXI Gallery in Rome and the Canadian Design Museum.
Weller's research has concerned scenario planning for cities, megaregions and nations. His most recent research concerns global flashpoints between biodiversity and urban growth. This research is documented in his latest publication; a web-based platform titled ‘Atlas for the End of the World – Atlas for the Beginning of the Anthropocene’. The Atlas analyzes how nations are performing with regard to reaching 2020 UN targets for protecting biodiversity and identifies conflict zones between urban growth and endangered species in over 400 cities, arguing that this calamity can be mitigated by design.
He has published 4 books; Room 4.1.3: Innovations in Landscape architecture; Boomtown 2050: Scenarios for a Rapidly Growing City; Made in Australia: The Future of Australian Cities and Transects: 100 years of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he has over 90 single-authored academic papers, book chapters and articles on the theory and practice of landscape architecture.
In all his work he has emphasized a critical approach to the discipline. He teaches subjects in the history of ideas of nature, contemporary urbanism and advanced design studios. In 2012 he received a national (Australian) teaching award and in both 2017 and 2018 was voted by the Design Intelligence Survey as one of North America’s “most admired” teachers.
Weller sits on the board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in Washington, is a member of the International Federation of Landscape Architect’s (IFLA) Advisory Circle and is the Creative Director of the interdisciplinary journal of landscape architecture LA+.