Obituary: Professor Brian Hackett

BRIAN HACKETT was one of a small group of landscape architects who played a significant part in the development of the subject since the Second World War.

His two books Man, Society and Environment (1950) and Landscape Planning (1971) helped his students and the young profession recognise the scope of the work to be done in this field, where man's impact on the environment through farming, forestry, water supply, new towns and transport systems was growing so rapidly. He shared with other pioneers a place in the development of broader ideas about regional planning and environmental conservation.

Having qualified as an architect and planner at the Birmingham School of Architecture, in 1945 he returned, after war service with the RAFVR, to teach in the London School of Planning and Regional Redevelopment. At that time the school was offering short courses designed to equip members of the land-using professions to guide the process of post-war reconstruction.

However, Hackett was soon attracted away from London to the North, for in the following year Professor J.S. Allen, another pioneer of planning education, invited him to join the staff of the newly formed Department of Town and Country Planning in King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne, then part of Durham University, where an undergraduate course in planning had just been established. This department was to be his academic and professional base until his retirement in 1977.

For many years Hackett's main interest had been in landscape, and this had been greatly strengthened through his membership of the Landscape Institute as early as 1945. In 1950 he set up a one-year programme for a postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Design. This was a pioneer venture, only one other such course (in Reading) being then available. Much of the inspiration for it sprang from Hackett's visits to, and contacts in, Scandinavia, where professional education in landscape architecture was already established. The one-year diploma course was run on a limited scale until 1965 when, to meet the increasing demands of the profession, it was replaced, first by a two-year diploma and then, in 1977, by a Bachelor of Philosophy degree.

At the same time Hackett's personal ideas on the theory and practice of landscape design were growing in influence and importance through his teaching, research and publications. He was recognised as a clear thinker and a powerful advocate of ecological concepts as the essential basis for the design of landscapes, an approach which again was formed from his experiences in Scandinavia.

As a working practitioner Hackett was able to realise these concepts in practice and through his published research. In this respect his work on the restoration of derelict colliery sites and other lands in Northumberland and Durham and his special studies and reports on the restoration of the steep banks of the River Tyne within the urban area were particularly influential.

Hackett played an important role outside his university. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Landscape Architects in 1954, and acted as President from 1967 to 1969 and Honorary Vice-President from 1991. He served on the North of England Regional Advisory Committee on Forestry and the National Water Space Amenity Commission, and was Chairman of the Northumberland and Newcastle Society. In 1967 Newcastle University elected him to a personal Chair in Landscape Design, and he received the Europa Prize for Landscape in 1972.

Brian Hackett will also be remembered for his other gifts - his participation in music- making, as a flautist, his skill in the difficult art of watercolour painting and the pleasure he took (as an expert cook) in entertaining his friends.

Brian Hackett, landscape architect: born 3 November 1911; Lecturer in Town and Country Planning, Durham University 1947-48, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture 1948-49, Senior Lecturer 1949-59; Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois 1960-61; Reader in Landscape Architecture, Newcastle University 1962-66, Professor of Landscape Architecture 1967-77 (Emeritus); married 1942 Frederica Grundy (died 1979; two sons, one daughter), 1980 Elizabeth Ratcliff; died Newcastle upon Tyne 22 March 1998.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Michelle Dockery plays Lady Mary in Downton Abbey
peopleBut who comes top of the wish list?
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, right, with Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds in Newtown, Powys, as part of her tour in support of the party’s female candidates
general electionNick Clegg's wife has impressed during the campaign
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living