Maria Villalobos Hernandez

Villalobos is an Assistant Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Coordinator of the second year of the Master on Landscape Architecture and Urbanism. She obtained her Ph.D. at the School of Landscape Architecture of Versailles, France, delivering her dissertation on the Botanical Garden of Roberto Burle Marx: a creative process for the regeneration of urban landscapes. In 2017, she won the first prize in the Venezuelan Architecture Biennial for the Rehabilitation of the Botanical Garden of Maracaibo. It was the first time that a Landscape Architecture entry and women received this award. Villalobos also holds a Master in Design Studies from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she received the Annual Award for Excellence in Housing Design in 2004. From 2005 to 2009, Villalobos worked for the recovery of Lower Manhattan after 9/11 at the New York Department of City Planning. She joined Arup NYC to develop world-class public projects in New York, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro the following years. As Co-Founding Artist Creator at Botanical City, Villalobos calls attention to preserving endangered cultural landscapes and performative research methods where practice and research co-occur to test the enduring power of perseverance, generosity, and determination. In 2020, the Villalobos joined the Lincoln Yards Advisory Council. The same year, Villalobos became a core member of Dark Matter University to advocate for anti-racist design education and practice models. In 2021, Villalobos joined the inaugural Committee on Design for the Department of City Planning in Chicago.

Community Projects

2020 – Present Bronzeville Trail Urban and Landscape Design, Bronzeville Chicago. In collaboration with the Bronzeville Trail Task Force

2020 – 2021 Open Schools Bronzeville, Bronzeville Chicago. In collaboration with the Department of City Planning and Gihan Forman.

2022 – Long-term visions for the South-West neighborhoods and the future of public housing. In collaboration with the Department of City Planning and Gihan Forman.