Maria Villalobos Hernandez

  • Assistant Professor
  • Master of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Program Director

Villalobos is an Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Coordinator of the third year of the Master on Landscape Architecture and Urbanism. 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 were granted this award.

From 2005 to 2009, Villalobos worked for the recovery of Lower Manhattan after 9/11 at the New York Department of City Planning. In the following two years, she joined Arup NYC to develop world-class public projects in New York, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. In 2000, Villalobos was part of a team from the Urban Design program of Universidad Metropolitana de Caracas that won the highest award in the Biennale for the Rehabilitation of Littoral Central, the Caribbean Coastline of Caracas, which was considered to be one of the first post-disaster green infrastructure recovery plans proposed for the Latin-American region.

In 2015 Villalobos founded the organization Botanical City to call attention on the preservation of endangered tropical cultural landscapes, the preservation of the tropical dry forest, and the development performative research methods.


Ph.D., École National Superior du Paysage [LAREP], Landscape Science and Techniques, 2015
MDes., Harvard University, Housing and urbanization, 2004
M. Urban Design, Metropolitan University, 2000
B.A. Architecture, Rafael Urdaneta University, Architecture, 1997


National Award of Architecture of Venezuela (2017)
Honorable Mention in the National Biennale of Architecture of Maracaibo, Venezuela (2014)
Grand Prix in the Biennale of Architecture of Maracaibo, Venezuela (2013)
Regional Environmental Preservation Award, Governor’s Office of Zulia, Venezuela (2013)
Annual Award for Excellence in Housing Design by the Joint Center for Housing
Studies of Harvard University (2004)


Forthcoming: Metropolitan Landscape Culture, in Metropolitan Landscape, edited by Antonella Contin, (Springer, 2020).

Forthcoming: Patrimonio Inmaterial, with Carla Urbina (Actar, 2020).

Urbina, C., and Villalobos, M., Botanical Urban Landscapes: Lessons from Roberto Burle Marx's Botanical Garden in Maracaibo, Venezuela in Jardins de Demain. Colloque Internationale 2017, Paris, 2018.

Grauer O., and Villalobos, M., On the Methodological Approach, in Universidad de los Andes, Universidad de La Salle, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and DSUP MIT, Formalidad e Informalidad, Espacio Público y Equidad Urbana: Parque Tercer Milenio. Bogóta, p. 33-45, 2015.

Urbina, C., and Villalobos, M., Botanical Garden, Jardin botanique, système paysager et paysage urbain durable. Réflexion à partir du jardin botanique de Roberto Burle Marx à Maracaibo (Venezuela), in C. Chomarat-Ruiz, L’utopie d’une ville soutenable (Paris: Editopics, 2014), pp. 88-11.

Marés E., Santini C. and Villalobos M., Project of Nature and the City (Nineteenth-Twentieth centuries), in Nature Urbaine en Projets, edited by Catherine Chomarat-Ruíz, Paris: Archibooks (Collection Crossborders, 2014), p.15-35.

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