Helphand, Kenneth (Kenneth I. Helphand)

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Helphand, Kenneth (Kenneth I. Helphand)


Education: Brandeis University, B.A., 1968; Harvard University Graduate School of Design, M.L.A., 1972.


Office—475-E Lawrence Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5234. E-mail—[email protected].


Landscape architect, educator, and writer. University of Oregon, Eugene, professor of landscape architecture, 1974—. Also regular visiting professor at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, Israel.


Israel Association of Landscape Architects (honorary member).


American Society of Landscape Architects fellow, 1992; Merit Award—Research and Communications, American Society of Landscape Architects, 1992, 1994; Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Oregon, 1993; University of Oregon Humanities Center fellow, 1996; Award of Distinction for Excellence in Teaching, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, 1997; Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Oregon, 2006-07; recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal and a Graham Foundation Grant.


(Author of text) Colorado: Visions of an American Landscape, photo editing by Ellen Manchester, Roberts Rinehart Publishers in cooperation with the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (Niwot, CO), 1991.

(With Cynthia L. Girling) Yard, Tree, Park: The Design of Suburban Open Spaces, J. Wiley (New York, NY), 1994.

Dreaming Gardens: Landscape Architecture and the Making of Modern Israel, Center for American Places in association with the University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville (Santa Fe, NM), 2002.

Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, Trinity University Press (San Antonio, TX), 2006.

Also editor of Landscape Journal, 1994-2002.


Kenneth Helphand is a professor of landscape architecture and the author or coauthor of several books and magazine articles on landscape history and theory. He has a particular interest in the contemporary American landscape. In his book Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, Helphand turns his attention to people who grow and tend gardens under the various difficult circumstances involved with war. His book focuses on gardeners and gardens from the trenches of World War I to the prisoner-of-war camps of World War II and the ghettos of displaced Jews in Europe. The author discusses how these beleaguered gardeners used their wits and innovations to plant successful gardens, often incorporating whatever was available as planters, from artillery casings to baby carriages. The book has received widespread praise from critics. "Anyone doubting the therapeutic power of nature need only read … Defiant Gardens, wrote Jesse Greenspan in Audubon. Many reviewers commented on the author's ability to recreate the lives of people under enormous stress. In These Times contributor Joshua Arthurs wrote: "Helphand demonstrates an uncommon sensitivity and compassion for his subjects, ordinary people (rarely professional gardeners) living in extraordinary times." Likewise, Carol Haggas, writing in Booklist, called the book a "seminal and revelatory study of life during some of the most lethal conflicts of the twentieth century." In a review in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens magazine, Patricia Jonas noted that the author "reconstructs vanished wartime gardens through first-person accounts, testimonies, interviews with survivors, published memoirs, and photographs unearthed in little-known archives." Jonas went on to write: "Helphand examines how life, home, work, hope, and beauty were experienced in the creation of all of these gardens."



Audubon, May-June, 2006, Jesse Greenspan, review of Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, p. 74.

Booklist, April 1, 2006, Carol Haggas, review of Defiant Gardens, p. 11.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, fall, 2006-winter, 2007, Patricia Jonas, review of Defiant Gardens.

In These Times, December 26, 2006, Joshua Arthurs, review of Defiant Gardens.

Library Journal, June 1, 2006, Daniel Starr, review of Defiant Gardens, p. 138.


Kenneth Helphand Home Page, (March 22, 2007).

University of Oregon University Advancement Web site, (March 22, 2007), "University of Oregon Faculty Excellence Awards Academic Year 2006/07, Kenneth Helphand, Professor of Landscape Architecture.

University of Oregon Department of Landscape Architecture Web site, (March 22, 2007), faculty profile of author.