Landscape architecture grad student named National Olmsted Scholar
Harshat Verma, a master’s student at The Ohio State University, was selected as the Landscape Architecture Foundation's graduate 2021 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 prize.
The Olmstead Scholars Program is the premier leadership recognition program for landscape architecture students. The LAF awards just two winners—one graduate and one undergraduate—each year.
While employed at a socially-driven architecture firm in Mumbai, Harshat collaborated with landscape architects to design a nature park and became inspired to pursue a graduate degree. Currently, he is exploring the concept of a multiplayer, multi-species world-building game, which simulates the experience of climate change across a range of urban ecosystems. The game aspires to teach children and adults about the value and complexity of natural systems, and serve as a safe experimental tool for planners and designers. It also fosters a dialogue about society’s values relative to climate change – conversations that he believes will inspire younger generations to have a more profound curiosity about the landscapes that surround us.
Now in its fourteenth year, the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits. Two independent juries selected the winners and finalists from a group of 51 graduate and 36 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2021 LAF Olmsted Scholar and join the community of 892 LAF Olmsted Scholars named since the program’s inception in 2008.