Maria Catalina Picon, Chile

Architect & Landscape Architect

María Catalina Picon is an Architect graduated from Universidad Católica de Chile, awarded with the 2009 Academic Excellence Award, and a Landscape Architect from Harvard Graduate School of Design, degree that was supported by the Fulbright's Master Scholarship 2013. She is the co-founder and director of Cerros Isla NGO—a foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life of urban dwellers by recovering and restoring degraded natural areas within cities. The initiative was awarded with the 2015 National Innovation award, and has been granted support by Universidad Católica.


Her interests in landscape ecology, natural heritage, and social inequalities have driven María Catalina to engage in multiple research projects. Thanks to the support of David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard (DRCLAS) and the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura of Chile (FONDART 2016), she is now working on a project that proposes a new ecological planning approach for developing countries, such as Chile. Her research suggests that an ecological perspective could contribute to improve the quality of life in Santiago, Chile´s capital city, and to direct its vertiginous growth in a sustainable trajectory. In parallel, she has worked independently and as a collaborator in prestigious architecture and landscape practices in Chile, such as Izquierdo Lehman Arquitectos and Cazú Zegers, among others.