Clare Cooper Marcus was born in London and as a child, was evacuated from theblitz to live in the countryside during World War 2. Some of that experience, along with a post retirement bout of life-threatening illness, is recounted in her memoir- "Iona dreaming". As a young woman, she traveled to... show more
Clare Cooper Marcus was born in London and as a child, was evacuated from theblitz to live in the countryside during World War 2. Some of that experience, along with a post retirement bout of life-threatening illness, is recounted in her memoir- "Iona dreaming". As a young woman, she traveled to the United States to study at the University of Nebraska for a masters degree in historical geography. Returning to London, she could not quite settle in her homeland again, and eventually emigrated to Berkeley, California which she obtained a second masters degree, in city planning. This was the '60s. The time and place radically changed her views and values. Her master thesis, which later became the book - "Easter Hill Village: Some Social Implications of Design"- was pivotal in the emerging field of people-environment relations. Joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969, her teaching in architecture and landscape architecture questioned many of the assumptions long held in those professions, for example, that the designer-as-artist knows what is best for the client. With colleagues and students, she authored several award-winning books which feature what is known from research about user-needs in the design of housing and public open space. These books include "Housing as if People Mattered" (with Wendy Sarkissian); and "People Places" (with Carolyn Francis). Her unique research in - "House as a Mirror of Self"- incorporates accounts of people's intimate relationships with house and home, was featured on the Oprah show, and won the Book of the Year Award from the Detroit Free Press. After early retirement in the mid-90s, Cooper Marcus co-authored/edited "Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations" (with Marni Barnes), thus beginning a passionate interest in the links between nature and healing. This interest continues to the present time with consulting, research, lecturing and the publication, with Naomi Sachs, of "Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces " (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2013).