CLEMSON – Clemson University Professor Robert R. Hewitt has been elected to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Council of Fellows.

“Hewitt has consistently advanced landscape architecture, constantly seeking new challenges and contributing new knowledge through his roles as landscape architect, teacher and researcher,” said Kate Schwennsen, director of the Clemson School of Architecture, as part of nominating materials submitted to the ASLA Council of Fellows.

Robert Hewitt is shown onstage as he recieves a medal and certificate

Clemson University Professor Robert R. Hewitt, center, was formally recognized as a Fellow of the Society of Landscape Architects at an Investiture Dinner Nov. 17  in San Diego.

Robert R. Hewitt, FASLA, was formally recognized as a fellow during the Society of Landscape Architects’ annual conference in San Diego.

Landscape architects can be nominated to the Council of Fellows in four categories: works, leadership/management, knowledge, and service. Hewitt was elevated to fellow based on his consistent contribution to landscape architecture in the area of knowledge.

With more than 20 years of teaching experience and research, Professor Hewitt is a scholar of cross-cultural design pedagogy, and brings this valuable knowledge into all of his work.

Professor Gao Chi, vice president of the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture, supported the nomination by stating that Hewitt has created a “conscious, awareness-raising, multidisciplinary teaching philosophy that enhances collaboration between students and faculty of different nations,” which serves as an invaluable model for contemporary landscape architecture education.

Hewitt said becoming a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects was especially memorable because he was able to share his accomplishment with close friends, colleagues and other fellows at the ASLA conference in November. “I was humbled by the honor,” he added.

Hewitt first came to Clemson University in 2003 as a visiting professor of landscape architecture, advancing through the ranks until he became a full professor in 2019.

“My fate was perhaps always to be a landscape architect,” Hewitt said.

His father was an entomologist and also “an architect at heart,” providing Hewitt a childhood immersed in both the natural world and the built environment.

Hewitt studied German, Spanish and French as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis before attending law school at University of the Pacific in Sacramento, California.

Law proved to be excellent preparation for professional practice, Hewitt said, and it also introduced him to the rigorous research of academia. He went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in landscape architecture and a Master of City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

Since then, Hewitt has distinguished himself in both academic and professional circles.

Hewitt has published more than 30 articles, papers and book chapters about landscape architecture and how it intersects with diverse cultures, human health, plant health, higher education and technology. He has won three teaching awards from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture and multiple awards for faculty excellence from the Clemson University Board of Trustees.

Hewitt was a finalist for the Rome Prize in landscape architecture in 2008.

He is a past president of the South Carolina American Society of Landscape Architects and has received its Award of Merit for Outstanding Service to the Profession in 2015 and a Merit Award for the “Climate Change Garden” in 2011. The Tri-State ASLA, covering Georgia and the Carolinas, has recognized Hewitt’s work in Luxor, Egypt, with Merit and Honor Awards in both 2008 and 2011.

In 2018, Hewitt was appointed as an honorary professor of landscape architecture at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China, and in 2019 he was appointed as a visiting professor in the faculty of engineering at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

Hewitt’s recent endeavors include the launching of the World Design Studio in collaboration with Hala Nassar, a landscape architecture professor at Clemson. The studio’s first project brought students and faculty from Ain Shams and Huazhong universities to Charleston, South Carolina, where they teamed up to address sea level rise and urban resiliency around the historic city.

Hewitt splits his time between Central, South Carolina, and Sacramento.