Douglas C. Allen, FASLA
1947 - 2014
Douglas C. Allen served Georgia Tech as a professor and administrator from 1977 until his death in 2014. While his formal appointment was in the Architecture Program (later the School of Architecture), his courses were heavily subscribed by city and regional planning students and he served on many city and regional planning student supervisory committees. Allen’s History of Urban Design course is often cited by city planning alumni as among the most influential courses they completed at Tech.
In his early career, Doug Allen worked for Designer's Collaborative in Athens, Ga., and then in Atlanta for William H. Laubmann and Associates. While there, he worked on the Chattahoochee Corridor Study for the Atlanta Regional Commission. In 1973, he continued to work on the Chattahoochee River with the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources. This work led to the designation of the Chattahoochee as a National Recreational Area. From 1974-1976, he attended graduate school at Harvard University, earning a Master of Landscape Architecture. He was awarded the ASLA Certificate of Honor for "excellence in the study of landscape architecture." He briefly returned to the Georgia DNR. Allen’s 40 year practice career included designing and planning commercial, residential, and institutional projects for both public and private sector clients all over the world, from Smyrna, Ga. to Baltimore, Md., and as far away as West Bank.
In 1977, Allen began his 37-year teaching career in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech, punctuated only in the 1987-1988 year as visiting professor of landscape architecture at Harvard University. Starting in 2002, teaching shifted to administration. He served five years as associate dean for academic affairs, a year as interim dean, and another three years as senior associate dean. Following his formal retirement in 2011, he returned to the classroom where he did what he loved best, teaching, at that time on a part-time basis.
Doug made seminal contributions to the field of landscape architecture, particularly to the study of cities and the urban landscape. He published, served on juries, and lectured widely, at universities all over the United States. He served for several years on the editorial board of Places Journal. In the fall of 2013, he was honored by election to the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA).
He co-founded the study abroad program in Italy. He led this highly popular program for 20 years, making the past come alive through his thoughtful and vivid lectures. Students from disciplines as varied as engineering and the humanities were profoundly impacted by Doug's teaching. He brought the impact of the ancients in Rome and environs on their world to the front and center of today's challenges and opportunities in designing, living, and working in urban environments.
Students and colleagues have shown their esteem for Doug in many ways. One of his proudest moments was winning the ANAK Award in 2006- bestowed annually by a Ga. Tech secret society, to a single professor for contributions to the students of the Institute. He was honored by his former students and colleagues by an endowed lecture in his name. The Douglas C. Allen Lecture invites renowned landscape architects and architects from the U.S. and all over the world to lecture at the College of Architecture at Ga. Tech. In 2013, he was honored by his alma mater, The University of Georgia, with the Distinguished Alumni Medal by the College of Environment and Design. He delivered the commencement address to the CED in May, 2014.
1971: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Georgia
1976: Master in Landscape Architecture (with honors), Harvard University.
Urban and Landscape History
"Doug Allen worked for over 30 years on his History of Urban Form course, crafting his presentation and material for maximum clarity and applicability. His work paid off. The course was rated the most popular elective by students on the entire Georgia Tech campus–not just in the School of Architecture.
It is our initial focus to ensure that this material continues to inspire, motivate, and inform students and professionals. We are working to repackage and release the History of Urban Form in various formats and platforms. We are producing videos, online lectures, infographics, short summaries, long-form essays, and transcriptions."