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.
Design Communication Association (DCA), Board of Directors, Regional Director (Southwest Region, 2010-current), Executive Secretary (2012-2014), member (since 2004).