TARN is a landscape design and consultation practice based in Sydney, and founded by Robert Champion. Our design is driven by the study of form, pattern and dynamics of natural plant communities, as well as broader landscape processes. We are committed to producing intelligent and environmentally sensitive work that is progressive and rooted in traditions, and that evokes the ethereal qualities of nature. This is achieved through attention to the natural and cultural history of the places where we work.
Plant conservation is also a focus, and this is expressed not only through our design, but also in public advocacy and writing. Rob is a member of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation and the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network.
Rob is a landscape designer and ecologist. On top of his design practice he is a sessional academic within the landscape architecture program at the University of Technology Sydney and contributes to various publications on topics concerning plants, nature and design.
Prior founding TARN in 2019, he spent four years with renowned New Zealand design firm O2 Landscapes, whose idiosyncratic, research-based practice shaped his own processes. He took the lead on a wide range of projects throughout New Zealand, from high-end residential gardens to large scale commercial developments, and also helped to further progress the business into preeminence within the industry. He was strongly involved with all aspects, including concept development, design documentation, project management and specialised installation work. Prior to this, Rob was in charge of the ‘Green Technology’ division of Natural Habitats, one of New Zealand’s largest landscape firms. This position included design, project management, research and development of green roofs, living walls and rain gardens.
Preceding his work in landscape, Rob studied design at the University of Technology Auckland, and Biology at the University of Auckland. He then undertook scientific work, including time at the University of Auckland and as an ecologist in Honduras. Rob’s work has always attempted to harmonise the analytical and the emotional, the constructed and the natural. On top of his creative and scientific work, he has deep interests in music, languages, art and philosophy. It is this wide frame of reference that Rob brings to his projects, research and writing.