Joern Langhorst

Associate Professor & Interim Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department
  • Administration and Instruction Services (CAP)
  • Landscape Architecture Department (CAP)

Email Address:

Primary Phone: 303-315-1023

Office Hours: Office: CU Denver Building, 320W Office Hours: By appointment Email: Phone: 303.315.1023; Cell 303.956.3559

Joern Langhorst was educated in Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Urban Planning in Germany and Europe. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Oregon and Iowa State University. He has practiced extensively, focusing on projects in highly contested situations on various scales, such as redevelopment and remediation in post-industrial cities and brownfield sites, and post-disaster recovery, and is consulting on these issues nationally and internationally.

His research, teaching and practices are exploring the processes, forces and actors that make and unmake place, space and landscape, and how place and space influence culture, looking at the temporal and spatial-material dimensions He is drawn to places of incisive and radical change, such as post-colonial, post-industrial and post-disaster cities. His approaches involve multiple perspectives and disciplines, and establish a methodology he calls “landscape forensics”. He is particularly interested in the ethical, epistemological and ontological dimensions of the interactions of human and other-than-human processes in place over time, exploring the roles of landscapes and places in social and environmental justice. He examines how concepts such as resilience and sustainability are conceived and implemented, arguing for a “right to landscape”. Langhorst scrutinizes the role of emergent technologies, alternative processes and the relationships between traditional and new actors and agents, and foregrounds contestation and conflict as unavoidable processes central to landscape and place change. How humans “make sense” of both the places they occupy and their own identity, and the role of immediate and mediated experience is fundamental to his exploration of how landscape operates as both cultural construct and cultural agent and has significant impact beyond its material performances.


  • LDAR 5572 Landscape Ecology
  • LDAR 6620  Landscape Theory and Criticism
  • LDAR 6949 / ARCH 6473    Research Tools and Methods
  • LDAR 6604/05     Advanced Landscape Architectural Design Studio: “Critical Terrains: Living with Fire”
  • LDAR 6604/07     Advanced Landscape Architectural Design Studio: Water:Works I: Medium, Infrastructure, System and Amenity.
  • LDAR 6606 Advanced Landscape Architectural Design Studio: “Re-Making RiNo: Temporality and Fluidity in the Urban Landscape”
  • LDAR 6722 / ARCH 6222     Contested Terrains
  • LDAR 6723  Cinema and Landscape
  • LDAR 6951 Thesis in Landscape Architecture – faculty advisor

Areas of Expertise

Landscape recovery, remediation and design, urban design, research and design methodologies

Education, Licensure & Certifications


  • Pre-diploma in Landscape and Open Space Planning (BLA equiv.), University of Hannover 
  • Pre-diploma in Architecture (BArch equiv.), University of Hannover
  • Dipl.Ing. Landscape Architecture (MLA equiv.), University of Hannover
  • In Progress: Dr. in Landscape Architecture, (PhD), abd, Leibniz Universitaet, Hannover



2011/2012     Faculty Development Grant, Center for Faculty Development, University of Colorado Denver, "Representing Dynamic Landscape Systems", USD 2000.00.



  • Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), member (since 2002)
  • Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), member (since 2003)
  • Design Communication Association (DCA), Board of Directors, Regional Director (Southwest Region, 2010-current), Executive Secretary (2012-2014), member (since 2004). 

    License to Practice Landscape Architecture: Germany



My research agenda is based in an understanding of landscape and place as a series of interrelated dynamic processes that are located within cultural, social, ecological, geophysical and economic systems. Landscape is operating as a result of cultural activity as well as an agent of cultural, social, economic and ecological change. I am interested in developing a critical understanding of the different factors and forces that influence the emergence of landscape and place as a basis for contemporary theory and practice of landscape architecture, spatial design and planning. Considering the intrinsic complexities and the discursive character design, inter-, cross- and transdisciplinary approaches and collaborations are critical to the success of the field and discipline.

Currently, I am focusing on the following topics and areas:

  • Landscape recovery, remediation and redesign: approaches to the design of brownfields, post-industrial, post-disaster, post-mining, ephemeral and transitory landscapes;

  • Landscape as contested terrain, investigating the cultural, social, ecological, economic production of landscape, place and space, emphasizing issues of social and environmental justice;

  • Urban design, with an emphasis on urban renewal and the “right to the city”;

  • Research and design methods and methodologies, investigating the relationship of  of creative/intuitive and scientific/rational approaches;

  • Traditional and emergent modes of visualization and representation and their role in the analysis, conception and design of landscape and place; 

  • Land art and eco-revelatory design;

  • Environmental ethics and environmental aesthetics.

Publications and Presentations


Refereed Papers (selected):

”Rebranding the Neoliberal City: Urban Nature as Spectacle, Medium, and Agency”. Arch_MPS: Architecture Media Politics Society, forthcoming

"Re-Presenting Transgressive Ecologies: Post-Industrial Sites as Contested Terrains". Local Environment- The International Journal on Justice and Sustainability, special issue "Transgressive Ecologies". DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2014.928813,

"Rendering the Unseen: The Pragmatics, Aesthetics and Ethics of Place Representation". Representation. Journal of the Design Communication Association, 2012-2013, 54-61

Nemeth, Jeremy & Joern Langhorst. "Rethinking Urban Transformation: Vacant Land and the Temporary Use Model".   Cities. The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning 40, 2013, special issue "Urban Vacant Land", 143-150.

"Recovering Place – On the Agency of Post-Disaster Landscapes". Special Issue "Post-Disaster Landscapes", Landscape Review 14(2), 2012, 48-74.

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place: On the Dialectics of Landscape and Representation". Representation. Journal of the Design Communication Association, 2010, 128-134.

Langhorst, Joern & Kathleen Kambic. "Massive Change, Required: Nine Axioms on the Future of Landscape (Architecture): KERB – Journal of Landscape Architecture, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, #17 "Is Landscape Architecture Dead?", 2009, 105-110.

"Between Genius Loci and Genius Mundi: The Future of Place in a Global Society". Landscape Review, 10 (1+2), 2004/2005, 36-43.

"Re-covering Landscapes: Derelict and Abandoned Sites as Contested Terrains." ICON: The Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology, No. 10, 2004, 65-80.

"Ruins Re-imagined– Industrial Renewal and the Remaking of Cities", Cities –The Magazine, "Industrial Renewal", inaugural issue #00, 2009/10, 104-115.

"Re-Presenting Site / Re-Claiming Place" KERB – Journal of Landscape Architecture, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, #14, 2006, „Representation", 50-56.

Hohmann, Heidi & Joern Langhorst. "Landscape Architecture: A Terminal Case?" Landscape Architecture, Vol. 95, 2005, 4, 26-34.

Hohmann, Heidi & Joern Langhorst: “Landscape Architecture: An Apocalyptic Manifesto”, Iowa State University, Ames (2005), (

Conference Proceedings (selected):

“Lost in Translation, Or Mediating the Medium: Axioms for New Digital / Visual Practices”. Proceedings of the Design Communication Association Biannual Conference, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA, October 2014, 209-216.

“The City of The Spectacle: Urban Space as Medium, Memory and Agency”. Proceedings of the Mediated Cities Conference Part 2, Woodbury University, Los Angeles, October 2-4, 2014.

Langhorst, Joern and Jeremy Nemeth: “No Vacancy? Shrinking Cities and the Temporary Use Model“ „Shrinking Cities / Expanding Landscapes“ conference, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Nov. 14-15, 2013

"Standing at the Crossroads: Place Representation Between Art, Science, Efficacy and Empowerment" Proceedings of the Design Communication Association Biannual Conference,  Montana State University, Bozeman, September 2010, 251-260

"Images of Place: Cinematic Landscapes and the Virtual Realities of Film", proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, University of Hawaii, 2006, 3401-3411.


“Naturalizing Power: Constructed and Transgressive Ecologies in Urban Renewal”. 21st Annual Critical Geography Conference: How Power Happens”, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, November 7-9, 2014.

“Empowering Marginalized Communities: Education, Spatial Tactics and the Agency of Landscape in Post-Disaster Recovery”. EDRA 45 (Environmental  Design Research Association) conference , New Orleans, May 28-June1, 2014

“Beyond Urbanisms: Re-Making the Contemporary and Future City“, Annual conference oft he Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), Baltimore, MD, March 2014

“Re-making Place and Recovering Community: Learning from the Lower 9th Ward”. Invited keynote speaker and panelist, “Voices from Japan: Perspectives on Disaster and Hope”. Exhibition and Symposium at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, April 4, 2013.

“Times, Spaces, Movements: Robert Smithson, Film, and the Invention of Landscape“, Annual conference oft he Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), Baltimore, MD, March 2014.

“Alternative Socio-Ecological Futures: Spatial Tactics, Insurgent Planning, and the Agency of Landscape in Post-Disaster Recovery". 20. Critical Geography Conference, University of Colorado Boulder, February 21-23, 2014

“Empowering Marginalized Communities: Crisis, Spatial Tactics and the Agency of Landscape in Post-Disaster Recovery", Responsible Geographies, 5th Nordic Geographers‘ Meeting, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, June 2013.

Horrigan, P., Kambic, K., Langhorst, J., Lavoie, C. and Palmer, J. “Exploratory Physiocartographies of Place and Time”, panel, Annual Conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), University of Texas, Austin, TX, March 2013.

"Valuing the In-Between – Recovering Post-Industrial and Post-Disaster Landscapes". CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture) Conference, University of Illinois, March/April 2012.

"Inhabiting the In-Between: Imag-(in)ing Radical Place Change through Film". Panel presentation, Annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), New York, February 2012.

"Place Change: Exclusion, Inclusion and Identity in Post-Disaster Communities" invited presentation at the 18th Annual Conference on Critical Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA, November 2011.

"Between Ruin and Recovery – the Ethics and Aesthetics of Post-Industrial and Post-Disaster Landscapes" ECLAS (European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools) conference, Sheffield, UK, September 2011.

"Size Matters: Ambiguity, Complexity, Indeterminacy and the End of the Masterplan" EDRA 42 (Environmental Design Research Association) conference, Chicago, IL, May 2011.

"The Ruins of Nature and Culture: Urban Voids as Contested Terrains and critical Infrastructure". CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture) Conference, Los Angeles, CA, March 2011.

"Stalking Place: Cinema and the Ruins of Culture and Nature" CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture) Conference, Los Angeles, CA, March 2011.

"From Form to Performance – Reconciling Design, Planning and Policy". EDRA 41 (Environmental Design Research Association) conference, Washington, DC, June 2010.

Langhorst, Joern & David Thomas. "A Fuzzy Fight: Ambiguity and the Rhetoric of Design". EDRA  40 (Environmental Design Research Association) conference, Kansas City, KS, May 2009.

"Discursive Places: Design, Diversity And The Death Of Difference". Conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Jan. 2009.

"Sustaining Place – Memory, Memorial and Identity". EDRA 38 (Environmental Design Research Association) conference, Sacramento, CA, May 2007.

"Discordant Frames: The Cinematic (Re-) Presentation of Urban Conflict", EDRA 37 (Environmental Design Research Association) conference, Atlanta, GA, May 2006.

"Manifesting Conflict – Memorials, Counter-Memorials and Public Space ", EDRA 37 (Environmental Design Research Association) conference, Atlanta, GA, May 2006.