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Alec Spangler

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Alec Spangler
121 Stuckeman

Alec Spangler joined the faculty at Penn State in the 2017-18 school year after working in the Brooklyn office of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates since 2012. At MVVA, he contributed to a wide range of projects, from urban-scale plans to the 8,000-square-foot Max Family Garden on the East River waterfront. Alec received his M.L.A. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and an M.F.A. in drawing and painting from Purchase College. His undergraduate degree from Vassar College focused on art and philosophy.

Beginning with his M.F.A. thesis exploring drawing as an analogy for movement through landscape, Spangler has been interested in the relationship between the bodily experience of long distances and representations of space in art and design. At Harvard, he used a research fellowship to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok, and he has since walked across his home state of Pennsylvania and traversed the Atlantic coast from Florida to Maine on a bicycle. Spangler teaches intro and second-year studios and visualization courses.

  • Education
    • BA from Vassar College
    • MFA from Purchase College, SUNY
    • MLA from Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Courses Taught
    • Spring 2018 Studio
    • Skills Lab II: Visual Communication
    • Theory Seminar
    • Fall 2018 Studio
    • Skills Lab III: Visual Communication
  • Exhibitions + Productions


    • Landscape at the Edge: Contemporary Views, Hera Gallery, Wakefield, RI


    • Traval, Traversal, Center for Government and International Studies, Harvard University


    • Alec Spangler: Drawings and Paintings, FXFOWLE Architects, New York, NY


    • Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY
    • Feel the Earth Move, Art Exchange Fellowship Exhibition, Westchester Arts Council, White Plains, NY
  • Publications + Presentations
    • “Walking and Narrative,” On Site review 33, (2015)
  • Built Works

    With Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates


    • Lathrop Homes Campus, Chicago, IL (under construction)
    • Max Family Garden, Brooklyn, NY
    • Amherst Dorms and Greenway, Amherst, MA
    • 1976 Courtyard, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ


    • Lathrop Homes Framework Plan, Chicago, IL
    • UT Austin, Waller Creek Framework Plan, Austin, TX
    • Jamaica Bay Framework Plan, New York, NY