About Jim Burnett, FASLA
Jim Burnett, FASLA is a leading voice in contemporary landscape practice through his writing, advocacy and dedication to creating meaningful spaces that challenge the conventional boundaries of landscape architecture. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University, Jim founded the Office of James Burnett in 1989 and has continued to lead the firm for more than 30 years. Originally aspiring to be an architect, Jim’s passion for landscape architecture blossomed under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Reich at LSU’s Environmental Design School.
From the beginning of his professional practice, Jim has been keenly interested in the intersection of landscape and wellness, and the power of nature to profoundly change the way we experience the world. Jim was instrumental in using landscape to heighten the healthcare industry’s awareness of its critical importance in patient comfort and advancing patient rehabilitation and expediting patient recovery schedules. He helped change the healthcare design conversation from “illness” to “wellness” and established a need for early inclusion of a landscape program into the design process. Jim’s innovative approach exposed patients, healthcare professionals, and visitors to a new environment that allowed them to experience the beauty of nature in the form of new gardens, trails, courtyards, roof gardens, and fountains. Jim’s influence and perspective on healing and restorative design have changed the role of landscape architects on healthcare facilities ever since.
A natural connector and collaborator, Jim’s work weaves together multiple disciplines to bring science and design together in surprising new ways of accommodating human interaction. Jim’s most recent design work has been focused on the restoration of our cities and the aesthetic, economic, environmental, and social transformation of our urban centers. Through his design of great urban parks, he has been at the forefront on the integration of strong programming into the design process and operations of the parks. The success of these efforts is clearly evident in cities such as Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Houston, to name just a few.
Jim was appointed to the US Department of the State Industry Advisory Group in 2016 and is currently serving his second term as a respected design peer. He is a frequent speaker and invited critic on urban planning and landscape design of public parks and open spaces. Jim is a tireless representative of the profession through many lectures, visits to schools, and published articles. He is a strong spokesman for the ASLA and landscape design. He has served on many ASLA committees, including awards juries where he has served chairman and the CEO Roundtable.
Jim is a Registered Landscape Architect in 26 US states and Canada. In 2004, Jim was elected to ASLA’s Council of Fellows, and in 2016 Jim was honored as the recipient of the prestigious ASLA Design Medal, an annual designation that is bestowed upon Landscape Architects for their ongoing commitment to the profession and an exemplary sustained body of work. Jim and the OJB practice are the 2020 National Design award recipients for Landscape Architecture from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum.