Landscape Observatory

The Work of Terrence Harkness


The modernist history of landscape architecture is deeply marbled with veins of regional and phenomenological sensibility. Master designer Terence G. Harkness reflects this sensibility in every region he inhabits – whether the foothills of northern California, the high plains of North Dakota, or the
lost prairies of east central Illinois. The long arc of his eco-revelatory work and teaching is brought to light
by this presentation of Harkness’s most significant works, drawings, plans, models, and photographs. Contributors to the book chronicle Terry’s development and values and position him within the currents of contemporary landscape discourse. The book examines Harkness’s place-based pedagogy and his role as a design mentor and model.

Harkness’s teaching career (1970-2007) extends the Illinois tradition of legendary educators from Stanley White and Florence Bell Robinson to Robert Riley and Natalie Alpert. Harkness joined the pantheon of professional educators when he received the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal from the ASLA in 2007.

Beyond his teaching, however, Harkness is known for iconic conceptual projects such as “An East Central Illinois Garden,” selected for Transforming the American Garden (1988). Foothill Mountain Observatory, featured in the Eco-revelatory Design exhibition (1998), reflects regionalist design for Northern California. His work on the headquarters of International Software in Fargo, North Dakota, was designed in close collaboration with architects Julie Snow and Ralph Johnson. In each project, Harkness perfected the alchemy of place, a transmutation of his deep understanding of landscape processes into designed form.


10.5" x 10.5 square
Publication date: 
September 15, 2017
Rights world: 


Molly C. Briggs

Brenda Brown

Frank Clements

M. Elen Deming

Kathleen Harleman

Doug Johnston

Ken McCown

Robert B. Riley

Amita Sinha

James Wescoat