Jill Desimini is trained in landscape architecture and architecture, and has practiced professionally in both fields. Prior to joining the full-time faculty at the GSD, she taught in the second-term core studio of the MLA program at the GSD and at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture. She was formerly senior associate at Stoss Landscape Urbanism, where she managed the firm’s efforts on the Lower Don Lands in Toronto, the Bass River Park on Cape Cod, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Her work has received numerous awards including a finalist entry in the Van Alen Urban Voids competition, a Narendra Juneja Medal and an ASLA certificate from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Selected Professions Fellowship from the American Association of University Women. She holds a master of landscape architecture and a master of architecture degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of arts in urban studies degree from Brown University.
Desimini’s research focuses on landscape strategies to address the conditions of shrinking cities. Post-industrial cities of North America are losing population and investment. In many, large patches of land have been cleared and abandoned buildings removed. She investigates the latent opportunities found in these voids. The work attempts to systematically repurpose outdated infrastructures and unlock untapped resources. The resettlement tactics aim to create open-space frameworks, management plans, and development tools that allow for positive ecological function and the reestablishment of productive economic, social, and cultural agendas. The endeavors address multiple scales from school gardens to individual lots and blocks to cities and regions.