In this final section of Design with Nature Now, the complex task of managing this work as a single book with so many authors becomes clear. While each chapter provides an important account of the projects, many texts pull in contrasting directions, with the authors also adopting varying writing approaches. Likewise, the close alignment of the book with the Design with Nature Now conference and exhibition seems to complicate the task of structuring and editing. In particular, two exceptional chapters, reproduced from their conference keynotes, sit alone in a section titled “Human Ecology and Design.” The two authors, Erle Ellis and Ursula Heise, offer critical scholarship and clues to the future development of McHarg’s approach. Heise, for example, points to the varied perspectives that are denied in the layered, scientific mapping that McHarg advocated: “What nature is and how different kinds of humans and non-humans cocreate is subject to a great deal more variation in these narratives than McHarg’s approach allows” (90).
Despite the difficulty in reading Design with Nature Now as a single volume, it conveys the impact that McHarg has had on leading landscape architects across North America. His personality and methodology, as well as the importance of his movement between Scotland and the United States, are underlined in Design with Nature Now through a wealth of reflections. The contemporary projects from the exhibition, brought together in the book, form an important collection of design works that deserves to be carefully read. Finally, Design with Nature Now points to a potential future project that critically examines what McHarg left less explored, how his methodology might be adapted to address contemporary challenges, and why, after fifty years, we find ourselves in a more urgent climate crisis despite the influence of and appreciation for the groundbreaking work of Ian L. McHarg.