Cultivating the Designer’s Mind: Process and Principles for Coherent Landscape Design

by Walter Cudnohufsky with Mollie Babize ’84  

The origins of the book are embedded in and central to the philosophy and teachings of the Conway School during Walt’s founding tenure from 1972 to 1992, and ever since.

Cultivating the Designer’s Mind focuses on how to go about the critical set of tasks of managing your mind when designing a landscape. Easy to read and highly illustrated (including many of Walter’s watercolor paintings), the book has something for everyone, including stories, case studies, proven principles of design, tips for the designer, and illustrative examples. The book will be valuable to landscape architecture students as well as established practitioners; there is much as well for the sister professions of architecture, engineering, planning, and more.

Regenerative Design for Change Makers: A Social Permaculture Guidebook

by Abrah Dresdale ’10  |  2019

Regenerative Design for Change Makers: A Social Permaculture Guidebook encapsulates the core theory, ethics, and practices behind the Regenerative Design for Change Makers trainings into an accessible curriculum suitable for college courses, organizations, and institutions.

Regenerative Design unites the power of nature with human creativity to transcend current limitations and create a just world where all can thrive. In this guidebook, Abrah Jordan Dresdale shares social permaculture frameworks and regenerative strategies that enhance change makers’ abilities to re-design their personal lives, projects, and communities.

Climate-Wise Landscaping: Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future

by Sue Reed ’87 and Ginny Stibolt  |  New Society Publishers, 2018

Climate-Wise Landscaping: Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future answers the question: What can we do in our own landscapes, right now, to respond to climate change?

Predictions about future effects of climate change can range from mild to dire – but we’re already seeing warmer winters, hotter summers, and more extreme storms. Proposed solutions often seem expensive and complex, and can leave us as individuals at a loss, wondering what, if anything, can be done.

Authors Sue Reed ’87 and Ginny Stibolt offer a rallying cry in response – instead of wringing our hands, they say let’s roll up our sleeves. Based on decades of real-life experience, this book is packed with simple, practical steps anyone can take to help lessen global warming while beautifying any landscape and garden.

Pèlerinages et pérégrinations: Voyage paysager en soi, en nature, en culture

by Jean-Pierre Marcoux ’86  |  2017

Jean-Pierre Marcoux ’86, who lives in Québec, has published a book in French. An English translation of the title is Piligrimages and Pérégrinations: A journey into self, nature, and culture. He writes, “Now living in the anthropocene era, humanity’s common setting is the écoumène, where no stone is left unturned. Metaphorically, life can be seen as a phenomenological journey, balancing from intentional planning of one’s course to events thrust upon us, surprising us, leading us into the mystery of the unknown. Since 1945, as a citizen of Québec and a pilgrim of planet Earth, my presence in this here and now and the discovery of its beauty through vigilant observation has brought about multi-faceted reflections: spiritual, philosophical, sociological, political, ecological, aesthetic… By way of prose, haiku, or free verse poetry and photographs, these thoughts would like to touch the soul and spirit of those who share the privilege and gratitude of being alive.”

The Permaculture Promise

by Jono Neiger ’03  |  Storey Publishing, 2016

In The Permaculture Promise author Jono Neiger ’03 offers an introduction to permaculture, as a design system that offers practical ideas for how humans can simultaneously provide for ourselves and regenerate the world. In it are 22 examples of ways in which permaculture has helped to achieve this goal, brought to life through profiles of the people and communities who are already taking the permaculture path – including an urban dweller who tore up her driveway to create a vegetable garden and a California housing development that dedicates a third of its land to parks, orchards and gardens.

A permaculture teacher and designer since 1996, Jono works to help organizations and individuals further their goals for stewarding their land and for creating productive, regenerative human ecosystems. Currently, he is on the faculty at the Conway School, and is the principal of Regenerative Design Group, a permaculture design and consultation firm in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Bioengineering Case StudiesBioengineering Case Studies

by Wendi Goldsmith ’90, Donald Gray, and John McCullah  |  Springer, 2014

Bioengineering Case Studies by Wendi Goldsmith ’90 and her co-authors (Springer, 2014) is like having instant access to 35 fascinating field trips guided by eminent experts. Not meant as a how-to manual on bioengineering, the book instead looks at a wide range of techniques that have been employed for soil bioengineering, bio-stabilization, biotechnical erosion control, ecological engineering, and green construction. The three dozen projects from across the United States give a board introduction to methods of using vegetation to protect exposed soils, slopes, and stream banks. Benefits and lessons learned are given for each project, which also includes photographs from before, during, and after construction. “Choosing bioengineering over its common alternatives fundamentally contributes to ecosystem productivity, balance, and resilience,” the authors note.

The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An innovative permaculture and whole systems design approach

by Ben Falk ’05  Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013

The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk ’05 is a handbook for developing regenerative human habitat systems adaptive to drought, flooding, heat, power outage, price spikes, pest pressure, and the multitude of challenges brought by climate change, peak oil, food system contamination and economic decline. The book also details leading-edge strategies for regenerating soil, water systems and human health through the design and operations of the homestead and farm.

Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter

by David Buchanan ’00  |  Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012

In Taste, Memory author David Buchanan ’00 explores questions fundamental to the future of food and farming. How can we strike a balance between preserving the past, maintaining valuable agricultural and culinary traditions, and looking ahead to breed new plants? What place does a cantankerous old pear or too-delicate strawberry deserve in our gardens, farms, and markets? To what extent should growers value efficiency and uniformity over matters of taste, ecology, or regional identity?

Energy-Wise Landscape Design

by Sue Reed ’87  |  New Society Publishers, 2010

Sue Reed ’87, a registered landscape architect, has helped hundreds of homeowners create comfortable, beautiful, energy-efficient landscapes. In Energy-Wise Landscape Design, she shares tips, techniques and actions, gleaned from nearly 25 years experience, that will help homeowners, gardeners, landscape professionals and students save money, time and effort while making their landscapes more environmentally healthy and energy efficient. Many illustrations in the book are by Kate Dana ’07.

Lens on Outdoor Learning

by Ginny Sullivan ’86 and Wendy Banning  |  Redleaf Press, 2010

The outdoors is filled with rich learning experiences for young children. Packed with colorful photographs and detailed stories about children exploring and experiencing nature, Lens on Outdoor Learning, which was co-authored by Ginny Sullivan ’86, will inspire you to facilitate and encourage children’s learning as they spend time in nature. Each story describes how children naturally explore and create their own learning experiences outdoors. Using images, children’s dialogue and actions, you will see how the natural world supports joyful and meaningful learning that connects to the approaches to learning standards.

Designing Greenways: Sustainable Landscapes for Nature and People

by Paul Cawood Hellmund  |  Island Press, 2006

Designing greenways is a key to protecting landscapes, allowing wildlife to move freely, and finding appropriate ways to bring people into nature. This book, co-authored by former Conway School Executive Director Paul Cawood Hellmund, brings together examples from ecology, conservation biology, aquatic ecology, and recreation design to illustrate how greenways function and add value to ecosystems and human communities alike. (Ok, Paul isn’t a Conway alum, but he tells us he feels like one after teaching at the school so long.)

Edible Forest Gardens

Edible Forest Gardens, Volume I: Ecological Vision, Theory for Temperate Climate Permaculture
Edible Forest Gardens, Volume II: Ecological Design and Practice for Temperate Climate Permaculture

by Dave Jacke ’84 and Eric Toensmeier  |  Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005

This comprehensive two-volume book by Conway grad David Jacke ’84 constitutes an in-depth course in ecological garden design. Edible Forest Gardens is written in a passionate, clear, and engaging style, it integrates the vision and ecology of forest gardening with practical design, establishment, and management strategies.

Are you a Conway alum and a published author? Let us know.

Many of these books can be found at local bookstores and online booksellers like Better World Books.