New Hollander Design awards go to Spitzer School first-year students

Dana Ladd and Musa Matawane are winners of the 2023 Hollander Design Fellowship awards presented to students in the Master of Landscape Architecture Program in The City College of New York's Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. Ladd was awarded the Fellowship, which includes $4,000 for each of the three years of the program, and Matawane was awarded a one-time scholarship of $4,000. The students are in their first years, as per the eligibility requirements, as the fellowship is meant to support incoming students.
Hollander Design Landscape Architects was cofounded by Edmund Hollander, FASLA, president of the firm. While Hollander has committed to a Fellowship per year since 2020, the additional one-time awards are due to the firm’s generosity, the belief in its mission to diversify the industry, and the strength of the applicant pool. Hollander Design is one of few landscape architecture firms on Architectural Digest’s AD100 list.
"Spitzer is indebted to Edmund Hollander and his colleagues at the Hollander Design Landscape Architects for renewing The Hollander Design Fellowship at the architecture school," said Dean Marta Gutman. "The firm’s generosity sustains landscape architecture students, recognizing their design intelligence and alleviating their needs."
Hollander Design Landscape Architects established the fellowship in 2020 to encourage and support New York City students from demographics and communities that are historically underrepresented in landscape architecture to pursue the field. Awarded the Fellowship in 2020, Matthew Brown Velasquez MLA ’23 was the first recipient to graduate with the assistance of the Fellowship’s full three years, and Gaël Oriol MLA ’24 will be the second.
Ladd, in her application for the award, wrote of her cultural background, “as a woman of Puerto Rican and Chinese heritage,” which has significantly influenced her “passion for pursuing a career in landscape architecture.” She grew up with a “unique mix of cultures” that has shaped her perspective on the built environment and the role it plays in society. “As a Puerto Rican and Chinese individual, I’ve developed a profound sensitivity to cultural diversity. This sensitivity has instilled in me the importance of respecting and incorporating various cultural elements into landscape design. I firmly believe that landscapes should reflect the communities they serve, celebrating their cultural richness and promoting inclusivity.” Ladd received her B.A. in Urban Studies and Public Policy with minors in Spanish and Sustainability from Rutgers University in 2020.
Matiwane received his degree from Oberlin College in Environmental Studies and Urban Sustainability in 2019. Until recently, he worked in Brooklyn as an environmental educator and led the 2023 Urban Heat Island summer research fellowship. Born and bred in Brooklyn, Matiwane is “South African-American.” He said that while at Oberlin, he “became interested in the composition of cities” and the fascinating transformation that they undertake. As a baseball player, his love for the outdoors forced him to “realize the gravity of city design,” and its impact. One day, he hopes to utilize both his “leadership skills and MLA degree to motivate others like him to pursue careers in public design.”

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Thea Klapwald