Stephen Ervin

Design Critic in Landscape Architecture

Stephen M Ervin is  Assistant Dean for Information Technology at Harvard Design School, Director of Computer Resources, and lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture, at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His MLA is from UMass/Amherst, his PhD from MIT, and he is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA). His current interests include Geodesign, innovation in digitally enabled design teaching and learning, and coding and algorithmic design.

A pioneer in applications of computing in landscape architecture, planning and design, Ervin is the author of numerous articles, including “Digital Landscape Modeling, a Research Agenda” and the book, co-authored with Hope Hasbrouck, Landscape Modeling: Digital Techniques for Landscape Visualization (McGraw HIll 2001)


Landscape Modeling

In recent years Ervin has co-taught land-use planning and design studios together with Yu Kongjian, Chinese landscape architect and Professor, and principal of the firm Turenscape, examining the issues of peri-urban expansion and development around Beijing.

peri-urban development 


Ervin has been actively involved in the development of the theoretical foundations of the discipline of ‘Geodesign’ including presentations at the ESRI Geodesign Summit in 2010, entitled “On the Necessity of Diagrams“; at the 2011 Digital Landscape Architecture Conference in Dessau, Germany, entitled “A System for Geodesign”; and a chapter on “Geodesign” in Understanding Spatial Media, (2017, SAGE Publishers.)


He is a member of the GeodesignHub development team and an advisor to the Goodland project.

In July 2012, Stephen Ervin was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award at the ESRI Annual Meeting in San Diego, for his pioneering work in the emerging discipline of ‘geodesign’. Read the piece about him on ESRI’s ‘GIS Heroes‘ page.