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Landscape architecture's Elwood Lecturer to discuss wartime gardens Oct. 12

AMES, Iowa -- Landscape architecture professor and author Kenneth Helphand will present the Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture's annual P.H. Elwood Lecture at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in Kocimski Auditorium, College of Design. The lecture is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.

Helphand's lecture, "Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime," will examine gardens of war in the 20th century. They include gardens built behind the trenches in World War I, in the Warsaw and other ghettos during World War II, and in Japanese-American internment camps. Helphand's book of the same name was published by Trinity University Press in 2006.

"Gardens in the war offered a mechanism of survival and exemplified the struggle to create something normal in the most abnormal conditions," Helphand writes. "By their mere existence, defiant gardens were extraordinary."

"Professor Helphand has a distinguished career as an exemplary scholar and teacher," said Doug Johnston, chair of the departments of Landscape Architecture and Community and Regional Planning. "We are delighted to have him present the 2007 P.H. Elwood Lecture, founded to honor the legacy of one of Iowa's most important landscape architects."

Helphand is a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Oregon, where he has taught landscape history, theory and design since 1974. He has guest lectured at numerous universities and is a regular visiting professor at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. His research focuses on landscape history and theory, with a particular interest in the contemporary American landscape.

In addition to "Defiant Gardens," Helphand is the author of "Colorado: Visions of an American Landscape" (1991), "Yard, Street, Park: The Design of Suburban Open Space" (with Cynthia Girling, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1994) and "Dreaming Gardens: Landscape Architecture and the Making of Modern Israel" (University of Virginia Press, 2002).

Helphand has a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and a master of landscape architecture degree from Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He served as editor of Landscape Journal from 1994 to 2002. He is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and an honorary member of the Israel Association of Landscape Architects.

Helphand received the ASLA's Bradford Williams Medal for superior writing in Landscape Architecture magazine in 2001 and distinguished teaching awards from the University of Oregon (1993) and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (1997).

The Philip H. Elwood Lecture Series in Landscape Architecture was established in 1997 to honor the legacy of professor Philip H. Elwood, who is credited with developing the department of landscape architecture at Iowa State University. The lecture series brings renowned practitioners to the Iowa State campus as guest lecturers each fall. This year's lecture is cosponsored by the Committee on Lectures (funded by the Government of the Student Body).

A joint reception for the Elwood Lecture and the opening of the Rome Urban Design Summer Studio 2007 Exhibition will follow the lecture in Gallery 181 and the Lightfoot Forum, College of Design. The exhibition will feature work by 21 Iowa State students from landscape architecture, architecture and planning who participated in the College of Design's Rome Program in June and July. More information on the show is available at - RomeUrbanDesign2007.


Quick look

P.H. Elwood Lecture in Landscape Architecture

"Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime"

Kenneth Helphand, author and landscape architecture professor, University of Oregon

6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12

Kocimski Auditorium, College of Design


Gardens in the war offered a mechanism of survival and exemplified the struggle to create something normal in the most abnormal conditions. By their mere existence, defiant gardens were extraordinary."

Kenneth Helphand