Office of Outdoor Research, 
Landscape Morphologies Lab

Alexander Robinson is an Associate Professor in the USC Landscape Architecture & Urbanism program, an Affiliate of both the Spatial Sciences Institute and Wrigley Institute of Environmental Studies, and principal of the Office of Outdoor Research/LMLab in Los Angeles, California. A landscape architect, researcher, and scholar he is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a lifelong explorer of California. His research advances the design craft, resilience, and societal value of large-scale, multifunctional infrastructures through a synthesis of historical analysis, advanced design tools, and public engagement. Subjects include Owens Lake, Los Angeles River, Salton Sea, and Tevere (Tiber) River, and other infrastructure/open-space hybrids. Prior to his academic appointment, Alexander worked at SWA Group, MLA-Studio, and StoSSLU and contributed to major regional infrastructure master plans, including the award-winning 2005 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan that has guided the city for the last decade. His own practice, the Office of Outdoor Research won a 2018 ASLA (Southern California Chapter) Merit Award for the RebArena.

His writing and design research conducted at USC have been published, reviewed, and featured in NatureLandscape Journal, Journal of Landscape Architecture, Places Journal, Los Angeles Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine, KCET Artbound, The Architect’s Newspaper, among others. His article on the Los Angeles River, “Willful Waters,” co-authored with Vittoria di Palma, was excerpted in Places Journal and featured on Longreads. He has presented his work at a wide range of venues, including Dumbarton Oaks, CELA, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, PennState, Ohio State University, Cal Poly SLO, and many others. He has exhibited his design research internationally, including at L.A.C.E. (Los Angeles), American Academy in Rome, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, Pratt University, and Los Angeles City Hall. The work has been generously supported by the Graham Foundation, Foundation for Landscape Studies, Landscape Architecture Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio, and others.

His most recent book, The Spoils of Dust: Reinventing the Lake that Made Los Angeles (AR+D, 2018) is a history, analysis, and design proposal for City of Los Angeles’ attempt to redeem the desiccated Owens Lake without refilling it. His previous book, Living Systems: Innovative Materials and Technologies for Landscape Architecture (Birkhäuser, 2007) is a best-selling treatise on landscapes as material performance systems. An upcoming book focuses on active urban infrastructure as open space.
The Office of Outdoor Research (oOR) is the landscape architecture office of Alexander Robinson.

The Landscape Morphologies Lab (LMLab) is a collaborative research entity based within the Office of Outdoor Research and the University of Southern California Architecture School Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program. The lab is dedicated to developing the means to improve the design and authorship of multi-performative landscape infrastructures – both improving environmental resilience of our cities and providing a higher quality of life and well being for its residents, human or otherwise.

With the application of advanced design research and technologies the lab seeks “near adjacent” potentials of existing conditions—performative morphologies and interventions that are both transformative and readily obtainable. Projects range from broad topical research initiatives to specific project research and design studies.  While based in the USC Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Department the lab is essentially collaborative as it seeks to fold multiple performance aspects into landscape design. Collaborators include investigators from the Sci-Arc, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, USC Earth Sciences, LA Department of Water and Power, Army Corp of Engineering, the LA Bureau of Engineering, among others.

The Landscape Morphologies Lab is a research and design office associated with Alexander Robinson and University of Southern California. The lab provides a variety of landscape architecture design and planning research services, including:

  • Landscape and Infrastructure Design, Planning & Visioning
  • Advanced Modeling, Simulations, and System's Representation
  • Site Analysis, including Aesthetics, Viewshed Analysis, etc.
  • High-Performance Landscape Assessment, Analysis, and Design

If you have a topic or project that fits within these parameters, please free to contact us to discuss whether there is a possible collaboration or service that we can provide.
Alexander Robinson, ASLA, FAAR

USC School of Architecture
Watt Hall, Suite 204
Los Angeles, California

Cell: +1 747 234 8222


Download CV
USC Architecture Profile

Test Plot

Copyright oOR / LMLab, 2022 — Los Angeles, CA