Lu, Xiaoxuan

BArch SCI-Arc; MLA Harvard; PhD Peking

Xiaoxuan Lu is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Landscape Architecture, where she teaches landscape history and theory, and design studios. She has practiced in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture at Turenscape in Beijing, West 8 in Rotterdam, Bjarke Ingels Group in Copenhagen, and SWA in Los Angeles. For Turenscape, she recently worked as the project manager for Zaryadye Park International Competition, which envisions Zaryadye Park as an urban ecosystem that provides multiple eco-services to the city and people.

Her research focuses on the cultural landscape and geography of conflict, particularly in transboundary regions. Applying analytical cartography, photography and video in her research, Xiaoxuan aims to reveal the hidden layers of landscape where multiple tensions converge. In her MLA thesis, “Mining as Demining,” she focused on the remediation of post-war landscape in Laos PDR, which won her an Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2012. Her doctoral dissertation, “Reconceptulizing China’s Northwestern Frontiers: Arid Land, The Corps, and Public Water Works,” examines the relationship between water and power in China’s militia-stationed northwestern frontier, and how discourses of ecology have influenced and problematized notions of “State” and “wasteland.”

Her writing and research has been published in LEAP (2016.3), Calvert Journal (2015.11), ON SITE Review (2015.9), Journal of Natural Resources(2014.11), Human Geography (2014.8), The Traveler (2014.9), and Acta Ecologica Sinica (2014.3). Her research and design work has been exhibited internationally in “Crossing Kazakhstan: The Monumentality of Linear Landscape” at Harvard University in Cambridge (2016.4-10), “Dialogues on Urbanization Exhibition” at IIT in Chicago (2015.3-5), and 22nd International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire, France (2013.5-11).

Xiaoxuan received her Bachelor of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture, and Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University. She was a PhD Fellow at Harvard University during the academic years of 2014-2016, and received her PhD in Human Geography from Peking University in early 2017.


Xiaoxuan Lu serves as an editor and columnist for Landscape Architecture Frontiers 景觀設計學 since 2012, which won an Honor Award in the Communications category of 2015 ASLA professional awards. Her “Experiments and Processes” column showcases a range of speculative design project. It functions as a platform for exploring narratives behind experimental methodologies, representations and results, while projecting a future for landscape architecture that is positioned between research, storytelling, and design.

2019 Issue #1: Landscape Services
Lu, Xiaoxuan. “Counter-narratives.” Landscape Architecture Frontiers 7, no. 1 (2019): 136-137.

2019 Issue #2: Intelligence Tools in Landscape Design
Lu, Xiaoxuan. “The Humanization of Technology.” Landscape Architecture Frontiers 7, no. 2 (2019): 144-145.

2019 Issue #3: Polycentric Governance and Landscape Resilience
Lu, Xiaoxuan. “From Polycentric Planning to Polycentric Governance.” Landscape Architecture Frontiers 7, no. 3 (2019): 134-135.

2019 Issue #4: Watershed Management and Ecological Restoration
Lu, Xiaoxuan. “Part-Land, Part-Water.” Landscape Architecture Frontiers 7, no. 4 (2019): 128-129.

2019 Issue #5: Observation and Representation
Lu, Xiaoxuan. “Representation as A Process of Mediation.” Landscape Architecture Frontiers 7, no. 5 (2019): 146-147.

2019 Issue #6: Slow City and New Lifestyles
Lu, Xiaoxuan. “Reclaiming Slowness: Thinking Beyond a Capitalist Framework.” Landscape Architecture Frontiers 7, no. 6 (2019): 146-147.

Selected Publications

Forthcoming 2020

  • Lu, Xiaoxuan, Susanne Trumpf and Ivan Valin. Interstitial Hong Kong: exploring the small and marginal landscapes of high-density urbanism. Tongji University Press, 2020.
  • Lu, Xiaoxuan. “Reservoir Urbanism in Shenzhen.” In The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Cities and Landscapes, edited by Yekang Ko and Anne Taufen. Routledge, 2020.
  • Lu, Xiaoxuan. “China and Her Return to the Ocean.” In Terra-Sorta-Firma: Atlas of Urbanism on Reclaimed Land, edited by Fadi Masoud and Brent Ryan. Actar, 2020. 
  • Lu, Xiaoxuan. “The Xinjiang Model: Roads in the Kyrgyzstan–China Borderlands.” In The Spatial Dynamics of Infrastructure Investments in Central Asia: Revival, Decline, Centres and Peripheries, edited by Paul Rabé and Willem Vogelsang. Amsterdam University Press, 2020.