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David Lyle Hays


Research Interests

Advocacy, Aesthetics, Architecture, Art, Contemporary, Cultural landscape, DEIA, Design research, Ecology, Energy, Environmental materialism, Garden design, Landscape history, Landscape theory, Materiality, New media, Preservation, Teaching and learning

Research Description

My interest in landscape architecture first emerged through study of art history and was later transformed through study of design. In keeping with that path, my work addresses both historical and contemporary situations. My historical research focuses on the invention and reception of new landscape types in early modern Europe. How did innovative designs come into being, and how did people respond to them? My research about contemporary landscape, my teaching, and my creative work all extend that inquiry to the present. I am particularly intrigued by curiosities of designforms and approaches not typically associated with landscape architecture, such as landscapes inside buildings. Much of my work has focused on interfaces between architecture and landscape architecture: for example, buildings that move when the temperature changes. In keeping with my background, I also have strong interest in the uses of history in design education and practice. In addition to my research and teaching, I am Co-Editor of Forty-Five: A Journal of Outside Research and Co-Director of the gallery Space p11.


Princeton University, School of Architecture, M.Arch. 2001. Thesis: “Sentient Architecture.” Advisor: Prof. Guy Nordenson.

Yale University, Department of History of Art, M.A. 1993; M.Phil. 1995; Ph.D. 2000. Dissertation: "The Irregular Garden in Late Eighteenth-Century France." Advisor: Prof. Judith Colton.

University of Cambridge, Department of History of Art, Visiting Scholar, Peterhouse, 1990-1991.

Harvard University, Joint A.B., summa cum laude: Fine Arts and Romance Languages and Literatures (French). Senior Thesis: "The History of the Jardin de Monceau, 1769-1779." Advisor: Prof. Miroslava Beneš.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Head, Landscape Architecture
Professor, Landscape Architecture

Recent Publications

Hays, D. L. (2021). Prototyping and the Critical Practice of Landscape Architecture. In J. Roberts-Smith, S. Ruecker, & M. Radzikowska (Eds.), Prototyping across the Disciplines: Designing Better Futures Intellect Ltd..

Hays, D. L. (2020). Garden Plan. In M. H. Edney, & M. S. Pedley (Eds.), Cartography in the European Enlightenment (pp. 430-433). (The History of Cartography; Vol. 4). University of Chicago Press.

Hays, D. L. (2020). History by Design: The Aesthetics of Transformation in Carmontelle's Jardin de Monceau. In E. Barlow Rogers, & J. Disponzio (Eds.), Carmontelle: Garden at Monceau (pp. 97-104). Oak Spring Garden Library.

Hays, D. L. (2018). Knowing and Not Knowing, Moving and Not Moving, in Alain Resnais’s L’Année dernière à Marienbad (1961). Polysèmes, (19).

Hays, D. L. (2017). Mapping and “Natural” Garden Design in Late Eighteenth-Century France: The Example of Georges-Louis Le Rouge. SiteLINES: A Journal of Place, 12(2), 6-9.

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