IFLA 2014 World Congress Keynote Speakers

Hitesh Metah

Hitesh Mehta best represents the theme of the conference “Thinking and Action” as he successfully marries academia with private practice.  He is an External Examiner, Adjunct Professor, Landscape Architect, Architect, Interior Architect and Environmental Planner and is a multi-International award winning designer with Awards in Landscape Architecture, Planning, Architecture, Urban Design, Creative Writing and Interior Design. Hitesh Mehta has over 27 years experience, having worked and consulted in 57 countries on six continents.
Hitesh’s firm, HM Design has remained at the forefront of the unique practice of Ecotourism which focuses on alleviation of poverty and protection of fragile ecosystems.HM Design has been in the lead in working with indigenous communities and in advocating Landscape Architecture as a key element in the protection of endangered floral and faunal species, especially in the countries of Rwanda, Costa Rica, China, Montenegro, India, Dominica, DR Congo, Ecuador, Uganda, Indonesia, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Gabon as well as the United States.  He was named in July 2006 as one of five Sustainable Tourism Pioneers by National Geographic for his landscape architecture efforts in Ecotourism/Protected Area planning.
For over 20 years, he has disseminated his knowledge through built projects, books, research papers, teachings, international conference presentations, and eco-landscape design and planning workshops. Hitesh exemplifies the holistic landscape architect responsible for spreading his very own “quadruple bottom line’ philosophy of sustainability: financial; environmental; social and spiritual. He was in 2010, invested as the First African and Indian Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He is very active in IFLA and co-chairs the Committee on “Landscape Architects without Borders” and has been a prominent member on the committee on African Education and Practice. Hitesh is also a professional photographer and Hall of Fame cricket player from his birthplace, Kenya.

Martín Rein-Cano

Martin Rein-Cano was born in Buenos Aires in 1967. He studied Art History at Frankfurt University and Landscape Architecture at the Technical Universities of Hannover and Karlsruhe. He trained in the office of Peter Walker and Martha Schwartz in San Francisco and has worked with the office of Gabi Kiefer in Berlin. In 1996 he founded the TOPOTEK 1 office. In 1999, Lorenz Dexler became a managing partner at the studio.
Martin Rein-Cano has been appointed as a guest professor in Europe and North America  and in 2011 he lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, USA in the Department of Landscape Architecture. He frequently lectures at internationally renowned universities and cultural institutions and regularly serves on competition juries. Several professional books and articles have been published exclusively on his work, which has been honoured with many awards and prizes. Most recently in 2013 TOPOTEK 1 received the gold medal from the International Olympic Committee IOC/IAKS Architecture Award for the Superkilen project in Copenhagen and the bronze medal for the Heerenschürli sport facilities in Zurich; the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ Award, the Institute Honor Of National AIA Awards and the Award of Recognition for the German Landscape Architecture Prize 2013. TOPOTEK 1’s project Superkilen was a finalist for the Mies van der Rohe Prize - the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture 2013.  http://www.topotek1.de/

Fumiaki Takano

Fumiaki Takano, B.L.Arch, RCURP, RLA, JILA, IFLA (Japan)
University of Hokkaido Dept. of Agriculture
University of Georgia Graduate School of Environmental Design.
Honor for Excellence in the Study of Landscpe Architecture. From ASLA
Registered Landscape Architect Japan
Professional Engineer Japan
Professional Memberships:
President of IFLA Japan (International Federation of landscape Architect Japan)
EXCO Member of the Japan Landscape Architects Union
Registered Consultant in Urban and Regional Planning, Parks and Green Spaces
Member of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture
Present Employment:
Chairman, Takano Landscape Planning Co., Ltd. Japan

Rolando Juan Carlos Leon

Rolando Juan Carlos Leon is agronomist from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) (1958)

  • Doctor of Natural Sciences, Technische Hochschule Eidgenossische, Switzerland (1965)
  • Disciple of Professors Lorenzo Parodi, Alberto Soriano and Heinz Ellenberg .
  • He completed postgraduate courses with Drs. Heinz Ellenberg , Ramon Margalef, Jean Tricart.
  • Taught at the Faculty of Agronomy, UBA courses since 1957 in Plant Physiology and Ecology, Vegetation analysis, Pasture, and currently teaches Phytosociology Landscape Ecology, Phytogeography Argentina and Tourism and Environment as Professor Emeritus of the UBA .
  • He is invited undergraduate and graduate work at the Università degli Studio di Palermo, Sicily teacher.
  • He is the investigator of CONICET (1980), Director of the Bachelor of Planning and Landscape Design (FA-FADU, UBA) (2006), Academician of the National Academy of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (2000)
  • Editorial Board Member of Austral Ecology, Plant Biosystems and Chief EUDEBA (2010)
  • Honorary Member: Argentine Center of Landscape Architects (1980), Ecological Society of Argentina (1999), Argentina Botanical Society (2003) and Honorable Congress of Environmental Sciences (2011)
  • Awards: “Alberto Soriano”, 2000 (Acad. Nac. Cs. Exactas, Physical and Nat), “Clarín Rural” 2007, Great Masters of UBA.190 Anniversary, 2011.

Tomas Abraham

Konex Philosophy Essay Award 2004, for the period 1993-2003.
Diploma of Honor for academic development, University of Buenos Aires, 2011.
Thomas Abraham, Argentine philosopher and writer, was born in Timisoara, Romania.
His parents immigrated to Buenos Aires at the age of one. Tomás graduated in France in philosophy (Vincennes, 1972) and sociology (Sorbonne, 1972). After living some time in Japan he returned to Argentina in 1972.
He currently writes for national and international newspapers and journals.
Academic Activity
• Professor of Philosophy, CBC- Buenos Aires University.
• Professor and Director of graduate and master courses at various universities (Universidad del Salvador, University of Buenos Aires, Argentine College of Philosophy, Buenos Aires, Faculty of Humanities, University of Mar del Plata, Institute of Critical Studies, DF, Mexico).
• Visiting Professor at the Universities of Campinas, São Paulo and Salvador (Brazil), Universidad de la República, Uruguay, Lima Catholic University, Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the main Universities in Argentina.
• Director and founder of the magazine “Ensayo negro La Caja” (1992-1995).
• Director of “Seminario de los jueves”, a group of amateur philosophy studying together since 1984.
Literary work, among other
• El NO y las sombras, 2013
• Platón en el callejón con el Seminario de los jueves, 2012
• La lechuza y el caracol, Sudamericana, 2012
• El amigo americano (Richard Rorty). Editorial Quadrata,  2010
• Historia de una Biblioteca, Buenos Aires, Sudamericana, 2010
Complete literary work: www.tomasabraham.com.ar