Charles Jencks

(born 1939)
Charles Jencks Landform 2001


Professor Charles Jencks is an American architect and architectural historian. He is probably best known as the critic who first defined Post-Modernism in architecture, which led to its subsequent definition in many other areas. He is a visiting professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, has written over thirty books on architecture and culture and lectured all over the world. He has made several television programmes on architecture and has designed buildings, furniture and landscape gardens. Jencks now lives in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.

Glossary terms

  • The creation of environments - installations that surround the viewer and with which the viewer interacts - that emerged in the 1960s with artists such as Allan Kaprow. It is also loosely applied to any art practice addressing environmental concerns and to Land Art.

  • A movement beginning in the 1960s that sought a direct engagement with nature, creating artworks in and with the landscape.

  • Late 20th century art that includes a great variety of styles, so is hard to define but is often characterised as a reaction against the formalism perceived to dominate Modernism. In architecture, it describes a style which borrows from many different traditions and which contrasts with the clarity and simplicity of many modernist buildings.