The Garden Guide

Jencks, Charles

Born - Died : 1939 - ?

American author and designer. He studied English Literature at Harvard and Architectural History in London. His book on The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (1977) extended use of the word 'Postmodern' from literary criticism to the visual arts. It opens with the statement: 'Happily, we can date the death of Modern Architecture to a precise moment in time... It expired finally and completely in 1972'. What this means for garden design is shown by the gardens Jencks has made in London and in Dumfriesshire. They are illustrated in his books: Towards a Symbolic Architecture and The Architecture of a Jumping Universe. His is in the great Platonic tradition of the 'imitation of nature' in garden design. But in this context 'imitation' refers to the idea of revealing the principles of nature in the design, not to the making of gardens which 'resemble natural scenery'. His 2011 book Jencks, C., The universe in the landscape: landforms by Charles Jencks (London:Frances Lincoln) details an extensive portfolio of garden and landscape design projects. The book has a dedication to his son, John Keswick Jencks and to his daughter, Lily Clare Jencks, who is a landscape architect.