Anette Freytag is an award-winning scholar, educator and critic. Her research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century landscape architecture. Her quest is to bridge the gap between landscape history and contemporary practice, thus bringing new impulses to the profession.
Before joining the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers as Associate Professor in the Fall of 2016, she has taught undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students at Universities in Zurich, Basel, Innsbruck, Rapperswil and Leuven.
As Head of Research at the Chair of Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) from 2011-2015 she developed, together with Prof. Christophe Girot and the TheoryLab, Topology – a theoretical framework and tools to recast the potentials of landscape architecture. Landscape architecture is understood as an integrative discipline with a deeply rooted tradition in shaping and preserving nature. The goal of establishing a «topological thinking» is to merge ecological concerns and a design approach that considers the basic factors of modeling a site: the understanding of both the terrain and the history of a place, its spatial qualities, the condition of its soil, the proper use of plants and building materials, and the adjustment to the expectations of its users while challenging aesthetic sensitivities. Anette currently teaches the principles of Topology to landscape architects, ecologists, engineers, and art historians.
Her latest book, Dieter Kienast. Stadt und Landschaft lesbar machen (forthcoming English edition: The Landscapes of Dieter Kienast), published by gta Zurich 2016, received the DAM – Deutsches Architekturmuseum Architectural Book Award 2016, the German Garden Book Award 2016 / Best Book in Garden History and a Special Prize STIHL for exceptional performance, and was selected as one of the “Most Beautiful Swiss Books” by the Federal Office for Culture of the Swiss Confederation.
Anette’s work has appeared in Topos, Studies in the History of Gardens and Landscape Design, Gartenkunst, Garten + Landschaft, Stadt + Grün, and others. She is co-author of Pamphlet 15 Topology (gta Zurich 2012) and co-editor of Landscript 3 Topology (Jovis Berlin 2013) and has contributed papers to several award-winning books. Her work has been supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, the Lucius and Annemarie Burckhardt Foundation, the ETH Department of Architecture, the Federation of Swiss Landscape Architects (BSLA-FSAP), the Christoph Merian Foundation and ProHelvetia.
Apart from her work in academia, Anette founded the research bureau ville.jardin.paysage in 2001 and delivered a highly regarded study on the garden of Stoclet House, created by Josef Hoffmann, 1905-1911. Her study resulted in the site becoming classified in 2005 and being named a World Heritage Site in 2009.