Architect dplg, PhD Paris-Sorbonne
Georges Farhat is an architect (DPLG, Paris-Belleville) and landscape historian (Ph.D. History of Art, Sorbonne Paris). He approaches landscape architectural history through the biophysical and cultural dynamics of design processes and, conversely, examines modern and contemporary landscapes through their historical background. His research unfolds within two distinct areas:
1. Technology and territorial economy (16th-18th c.) as well as their impact on modern and contemporary landscape theories and epistemologies;
2. The interactions between landscape and infrastructure (19th-21st c.), from encounter to conflation: from park systems and open space networks to landscape ecology and green infrastructure.
Stemming from his work on the role of perspective and optics in landscape history and historiography, one of Georges’ recent projects looks at how the French formal garden has become an open-ended landscape type: an adaptive scheme that keeps evolving according to place and time from 17th-C. France to present, across geographical, cultural, and political contexts, from Cubism to Minimalism in the garden and from City Beautiful to sprawl in urbanism.
He is also developing a new interest in Southeast Asian and other non-western cultural landscapes worldwide.
Dr. Farhat edited André Le Nôtre. Fragments d’un paysage culturel. Institutions, arts, sciences et techniques (Musée de l'Ile-de-France, 2006); Les années 1960 hic et nunc: architecture, urbanisme, paysage (Editions Recherches, 2010); the first official Web site dedicated to André Le Nôtre (Ministry of Culture of France, 2001).
More recently, he co-edited André Le Nôtre in Perspective (Hazan/Yale Univestity Press, 2014) / André Le Nôtre en perspectives (Hazan/Chateau de Versailles, 2013), the companion book to the eponymous exhibition he co-curated at the National Museum of the Chateaus of Versailles and Trianon.
Professor Farhat authored numerous refereed articles that appeared in Landscape Research, Journal of Landscape Architecture (ECLAS), Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Pages Paysages, Revue de l'art (CNRS), Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale et urbaine.
He is the recipient of several prizes and awards including the Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award (Society of Architectural Historians), the J. B. Jackson Book Prize and David Coffin Award (Foundation for Landscape Studies, New York City), Prix René Pechère (René Pechère Library, Brussels), and Prix de la Thèse et de la Recherche (Académie d’Architecture de Paris).
His research was supported, among others, by the Ministry of Culture and Communication of France, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, Laurent-Perrier, Parc naturel régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse, and Domaine de Sceaux.
A founding member of Léav (Ensa-Versailles), he currently serves on the Board of Senior Fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C. He actively contributes to several scholarly networks and research groups including “Perspective as practice” at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.