Rod Barnett is Chair of the Master of Landscape Architecture at Auburn University, Alabama, USA. Prior to taking this appointment he held similar positions at UNITEC in Auckland New Zealand, and practiced landscape architecture under the auspices of the UNITEC Landscape Unit. Before that he designed many gardens, first as a sole practitioner, then with Barnett Shafer Corfe, then with Natural Habitats, and latterly in collaboration with Ted Smyth and Associates. At Auburn University he teaches design research and maintains an active experimental practice that focuses on relationships between objects and systems.
Over the years Rod has developed public space projects that include nonhuman species, such as a lizard garden proposal fort he Otuataua Stonefields, a series of public places in Auburn that bring humans and urban coyotes together, and a project for the rehabilitation of skylark habitat in rural England.
In the U.S. he continues his lifelong interest in garden design that began with his involvement in gardens as cultural spaces in Auckland. Recently he has completed the proposals illustrated below, a project for a garden of standing stones, a ‘barrelgarden’ and Sites of Exchange for the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama, in collaboration with Auckland sculptor Paul Cullen.
In 2012 Design Intelligence named Rod one of the top twenty design educators in the United States. In 2013 Routledge published his book Emergence in Landscape Architecture. He will leave Auburn in July 2014 to take up the position of Chair of the Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.