mlystra photo


curriculum vitae







I am a PhD candidate in the History of Architecture and Urban Development at Cornell University, and hold a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Swarthmore College.  I have taught landscape architectural design, representation, theory, and ecology at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo and University of Detroit Mercy. My dissertation, “Between Data and Drawing: Ecological Designs for Urban US Freeways, 1958-1968,” details the methodological and technical aspects of 1960s freeway proposals: illustrating the rise of systematic quantification in urban and environmental design, and articulating tensions between experiential and computational models of human-nature relationship that continue to be debated among designers and planners today. My work has been published in Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed LandscapesThe Next American City, and Crit – Journal of the AIAS. As a designer, I have worked for Conger, Moss, Guillard, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, and various San Francisco-based landscape architecture firms.