CHRISTIAN GABRIEL, PLA, is an innovative landscape architect working at the intersection of design, policy and performance as the first National Design Director for Landscape Architecture at the US General Services Administration (GSA). As a public leader and previously as design studio practitioner, he has sought to deliver inspiring, high-quality public landscapes that maximize ecological function and social impact. Christian works to identify and elevate the role of landscape architecture to tackle broader decisions about networks and infrastructure and to shift the public development paradigm to give greater primacy to site and landscape considerations as a key to both resilience and enhanced user experience.
As National Design Director, Christian serves as design curator and policymaker and is responsible for setting design standards in the realm of public space, landscape, site security, sustainability, and resilience for over 9,000 GSA-managed public properties. Previously, Christian was a senior designer at the leading New York City-based studios: Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect and Thomas Balsley Associates. There he had significant roles developing several award-winning, large-scale projects spanning waterfront parks, great parks, and cultural installations.
Christian has served on studio reviews at UPenn, Columbia, Harvard, City College of New York, Virginia Tech and the University of Massachusetts. He has also recently spoken at the LAF Summit on the Future, has served on the awards jury for the American Society of Landscape Architect’s Annual Awards Program recognizing outstanding design vision and the awards jury for the National Disaster Resilience Competition, awarding approximately $1 billion in federal funding for landscape-scale public projects to increase disaster preparedness nation-wide.