Ground Up Issue 09: ONWARD

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ROUND U

Printed in Berkeley, CA. Š Copyright 2020, The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Edition One Books No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without the prior permission of the publishers. Articles, photography, and image copyrights are retained by their authors or original owners. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the contributors and staff, and are notendorsed by the Regents of the University of California.


Prior to the first Ground Up meeting of the year, we each created a visual or textual impression of what the term “onward� meant to us. The written impressions expressed a mix of hope, fear, determination, and resignation. The visual impressions ranged from rich, fantastical collages to minimalist text and linework. From these minimalist studies, we realized that there was a subtle power in the simple, literal representation of the word, its letters manipulated to convey action and direction. The idea emerged to abstract the form of the letters and fit them into an imaginary figure-ground drawing. Through numerous iterations, each letter was crafted to find a balance between legibility and abstraction, to read as a part of a word but also fit into the surrounding figure-ground. The letters are placed around a crossroads intersection, much like the crossroads we find ourselves at now as a civilization. Christopher McGuire


Ground Up Team

Acknowledgments

Clare Al-Witri Will Pitkin Diego Romero Evans Diana Sรกenz Agudelo

The ninth issue of Ground Up was made possible by the generous support of The Beatrix Farrand Fund for Public Education in Landscape Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley and the Graduate Assembly of UC Berkeley.

TEAM MEMBERS

SPECIAL THANKS TO

Kati Albee Victoria Bevington Lillian Byrd Hongxiang Chen Diana Daisey Claire Geneste Ellen Herra Christopher McGuire Tucker McPhaul Victoria Mohr Ferrรณn Terrence Ngu Hannah Pae Sophie Ruf Bradley Tomy Virginia Wong

Jessica Ambriz Victoria Mohr Ferrรณn Susan Retta Chip Sullivan

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF

Faculty Advisors Richard Hindle Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Karl Kullmann Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Meghan Ray, Timothy Cole, and all the wonderful staff at Blake Garden for hosting our retreat. And Grace Adams, Megan Bradley, Trista Hu, Lin Huang, Amy McCosh Leonard, Kaiwei Li, and Yao Shu for their contribution at the beginning of this project.


Foreword Onward was born out of a preoccupation with the future. We feel it in studios, in the news, in popular articles that get passed between students, in casual conversation. This is a preoccupation that many of us share—designers or not, landscape architects or not. So for the ninth issue of Ground Up Journal, we posed the question, how do we proceed from here? What follows are the answers, the imaginings, the speculations we collected. The journal is organized around three chapters. DESPERATEtimes calls out real-time problems our field has the power to address. CRITICALpractice is an examination of our discipline and proposes methodological change in teaching and practice. IMAGINARYfutures presents visions of paths forward. ONWARDialogues, a discussion in print between academics, practitioners, and students, is situated at the center of the journal and represents what is at Onward’s heart: knowledgebuilding through open investigation. As we prepared Issue 09 for print, strange, sad events transpired. Now we work isolated from each other at home, hoping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public space has a new, ephemeral power, and so unprecedented are day-to-day affairs that fiction is sometimes a better reference than reality. The future we found is not what we had thought it might be, but it is our intention that the stories, ideas, and conversations captured here can act as a roadmap—or perhaps a travelogue—as we pick our path. The Ground Up Team March 2020


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DESPERATEtimes 8.

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Dignity as Landscape | Bruno Giliberto

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The Sector 34 Prototype | Alpa Nawre

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Removed Frontier | Albert Orozco

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The Next Landscape | Hu + Liu + Yu

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Environmental (Un)control | Caroline Chen The Self and the Fish | Sara Ferrer

CRITICALpractice

Jenina Yutuc | Giving up on Nostalgia?

Marcella Arruda | Building Future Urban Ecologies

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Terremoto | We Dance with New Moves to Songs of the Past

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ONWARDcontents Visit groundupjournal.org for additional content


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ONWARDialogues | Bevington + Herra + Mohr + Romero + Ruf

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Academia as Practice | JP Corvalán

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FoodSCAPE | Tiantong (Simba) Gu Know Where | Wara Bullôt

IMAGINARYfutures

104. Feliz + Hwang | Hidden in Plain Sight 114. Marisha Farnsworth | The Ecocentrics 120. Gavin Zeitz | Arctic Commons 126. Lokman + Moskal | Climate Imaginaries for Disappearing Coasts 134. Chip Sullivan | Anthropo-scene 142.

Nicholas Pevzner | Green New Futures


Bruno Giliberto

Alpa Nawre

Albert Orozco

Dignity as Landscape

The Sector 34 Prototype

Removed Frontier

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truly believe that society needs a deep change, a new social contract, a new way of communication between humans, but also with the

wha

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have two main concerns: the first is that we are too few, whether as a practicing architect or landscape architect, we have to realize that the numbers are not in our favor in making a measurable impact toward a positive future. This is

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ocial media’s widespread depiction of the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall has made the wall a popular symbol for artists to engage, challenge, and subvert. While I believe this is important, I am concerned that the popularization of border wall protest-art can diminish our sense of the materiality of the border and the lives it impacts every day.

t ab out the fut ure

planet, with the animals and with our spirituality. In this context that requires global action. I also wonder, how urban design is evolving with the changes that the planet needs? And, what will the role of urban design be amidst demands for equity, inclusion, and spatial identity?

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especially true when you think of contexts and issues that are not in developed countries. My second concern is that, barring the notable exceptions, the course of mainstream practice is often determined by the client, leaving little scope for constructing innovation. Mostly it is easier to serve rather than question, find comforting grounds rather than expanding territory, and speculate innovatively rather than construct new paradigms.

The wall is both an ideological representation of white supremacy and also its violence in practice. Human beings who negotiate this violence in their daily lives must never be forgotten.

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Caroline Chen

Hu + Liu + Yu

Sara Ferrer

The Next Landscape

Environmental (Un)control

The Self and the Fish

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page 36

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hat concerns us most about the future relates to landscape architects’ role in imagining the Green New Deal with eagerness to scrutinize, rethink, and remake the status quo. Landscape architecture speaks to an interconnected socio-ecological network. How can we shift the focus from decorated objects to complex systems in flux? What is the role that we take amongst all the disciplines altering and changing the landscape? We believe that landscape architects should participate in decommissioning and updating infrastructural systems at both macro

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don’t think there’s a single pressing issue, but rather that all the broad strokes, global to local issues of climate change, economic inequity, and sociopolitical systems of oppression are deeply intertwined. Perhaps the pressing issue is to be able to understand this connectedness and to find ways to address it without being intimidated by the scale and urgency of everything.

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am concerned about the use and abuse of the ocean, not just by exploitation and overfishing, but the genetic changes that pollution and chemicals are generating on sea life and how that will affect us and all other species.

e co nce rns you mo st? and micro scales.


PLAZA Santiago’s Plaza de la Dignidad (Known as Plaza Baquedano Prior to October 2019 Protests)

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Dignity as Landscape Should urbanism represent society as it is or seek to change it?

Bruno Giliberto How people colonize and form dialectical relationships with their surroundings are recurring themes in my professional work. I focus primarily on how this manifests in ceremonies and rituals. Through the documentation of ceremonial gatherings, I aim to capture how each culture creates a unique atmosphere and the way that celebration unfolds within it. In particular, this series focuses on how human catharsis interacts with the spaces people inhabit and what can be discerned from the built environment once it is emptied of people.

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Dignity as Landscape

TRANSPORTATION

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HOTEL


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RETAIL

CHURCH

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Dignity as Landscape

SECURITY

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COMMUNICATIONS

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Extreme Water Issues Rainfall is ample but limited to three months annually. This causes heavy flash-flooding in cities in this region during monsoons and acute water scarcity during summer. Flash-flooding causes great damage and inconvenience while, during summer, fertile land lies uncultivated.


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The Sector 34 Prototype Decentralized and equitable resource management for peri-urban India

Alpa Nawre Project Team: Alpa Nawre, Gaurav Lohiya, Astrid Tsz Wai Wong, and Saurabh Lohiya Client: Naya Raipur Development Authority, India Alpa Nawre is Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Florida, Executive Director of Critical Places, and Partner at Alpa Nawre Design. Alpa serves on the Editorial Board of the JAE and is a recipient of the Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies, LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership, and CELA Award for Excellence in Design Studio Teaching. She holds a Masters in Urban Design from Harvard GSD, a Masters in Landscape Architecture from LSU, and a Bachelor in Architecture from NIT, Raipur, India.

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The Sector 34 Prototype

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y 2050, India will add about 400 million to its urban population.1 This urbanization provides unprecedented opportunity for design explorations. However, often, the reality is that, as the unplanned and explosive growth of Indian cities swallows peri-urban farmland, agricultural villages are displaced or gradually converted to slums while urban water management and food production become severely compromised. While urbanization is inevitable, the ensuing disasters can be averted through the development of alternative, innovative planning paradigms.

Urbanization in new greenfield development is not limited by existing, outdated, or unsuccessful infrastructure. Sector 34, a typical example of such urbanization, is a 231-hectare residential area that will house a population of 52,000 people by 2030 in a new greenfield city of Naya Raipur in the Central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. A socially responsible master plan is being proposed for the development of Sector 34, driven by landscape infrastructure for decentralized management of water and food production, as well as ensuring spaces for both human and non-human users. The new urban population will be employed in white-collar governmental jobs. The site for the sector has an existing village, but the village farmland has been acquired for building new residences while the village settlement is not to be disturbed. The existing settlement is out of the master plan’s scope and will be surrounded by new housing once the planned urban community is built, likely converting it to a slum. To avoid such an unfortunate outcome, this proposal conceptualizes the site as an opportunity for equitable resource planning through spatial structuring, which is crucial in defining the contribution landscape architects and planners can make in such rapidly urbanizing contexts.

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Site Characteristics Existing village settlement on site is to be untouched and farmland is to be used for development. More than half of villagers are illiterate and 85% know only farming. Once farmland is developed, the village will likely turn into an urban slum.

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The Sector 34 Prototype

SITE CHARACTERISTICS The site’s agricultural landscape has a unique beauty and experiential quality that changes with the cycles of sowing, growing, and reaping. However, it faces significant water management issues. India is the largest groundwater user2 with water tables falling at alarming rates for all cities in this region. The incessant monsoonal rainfall and lack of appropriate infrastructure causes water scarcity during the summer months and monsoonal flash-flooding issues in cities across India. Urban development paradigms for India should undertake careful planning of landscape infrastructure that can address both summer water scarcity and monsoonal flash flooding.3 Being a part of the “rice bowl” of India, the paddy farm monoculture on site has little biodiversity. It was chosen for development because of its close proximity to the existing city of Raipur. As the population of Raipur increases and the resulting urbanization expands to the peri-urban region, there will be loss of fertile, arable land. Design proposals for peri-urban agricultural sites must address all of these environmental issues. In India, undernourishment combined with a growing cultural misalignment with food production are major issues.4 In the rural landscapes, farming communities are closely connected to productive landscapes. However, the existing village on the site is going to be surrounded by new housing to be built on the village’s farmland. One can imagine that once the new sector emerges, the existing village is going to slowly transform into an urban slum.

EXISTING FARM LABORER

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46% of villagers are illiterate and 11% have only a primary education. This is the weakest, most underserved section of society and does not have any power in choosing its future. It also has no access to amenities such as parks and playgrounds that are more accessible to urban dwellers. Each of these disparate demographics has what the other lacks, which sets up exciting opportunities for socio-cultural interdependencies in peri-urban urbanization on agricultural greenfields. OPPORTUNITY The vision for this master plan is to develop strategies for food, land, and water management that can benefit both incoming urbanites and the marginalized farming community. Thus, from the very constraints and conditions of the site, the design develops alternative solutions for addressing two pressing issues of India’s urbanization: 1. Water mismanagement, particularly summer water scarcity and monsoonal flash-flooding 2. Physical and social segregation between rural and urban populations that reflects and perpetuates marginalization The vision is achieved by creating synergies of food, land, and water systems that are based on interdependencies of knowledge, labor, and financial transactions. Public space acts as the glue between the widely differing populations occupying the sector.

INCOMING URBANITE

Image Number: 3 Caption Title: Peri-urban Synergies Caption: Urban agriculture is proposed to develop synergies of food and water; knowledge, labour, and money; and public space between villagers and urbanites through a mutually beneficial spatial planning. Part of existing paddy fields are retained to promote stewardship of indigenous farming practices and productive landscapes.


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1. FOOD, LAND, & WATER SYSTEMS Food Oasis: A diverse agriculture/food production is a key driving imperative for the design because it links the site’s rural and urban demographics. Agricultural alternatives like retained paddy farmland and new community gardens, aquaculture ponds, and fruit tree orchards provide easy access to fresh and nutritional produce and create job opportunities. Land Development & Flexible Land Tenure: All residential development is proposed on high grounds to reduce flash flooding. The topographically guided street layout ensures that water flows down the streets—away from homes and into stormwater retention ponds. Urbanites can rent land parcels from the government in

community gardens. Villagers can rent retained farmland at a subsidized rate from the government to organically grow cereal. Water Storage, Reuse, & Recharge: The master plan uses the site’s high average annual temperature and ample sunshine to treat 100% of wastewater from the new residential development through a series of low-cost primary and secondary waste stabilization and tertiary maturation ponds. This water is used for irrigation of vegetable farms. 100% of rainwater from roofs is captured in underground cisterns. Bioswales, irrigating retention ponds, and farms help reduce the urban heat island effect, particularly important during hot Indian summers.

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The Sector 34 Prototype

2. KNOWLEDGE, LABOR, & MONEY TRANSACTIONS Knowledge & Labor Interdependencies: While having little formal education, over 85% of the villagers are farmers and have the indigenous know-how necessary to tend to livestock and farms. This knowledge benefits the incoming urbanites who may not know how to care for livestock or have the time. The incoming urbanites in turn bring with them technical skills that they can impart to villagers through adult night classes and improvements in agricultural practices.

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Economic Benefits: By having more employment options through farming opportunities and classes to learn technical skills, villagers can improve their economic conditions. They can work for themselves on the cereal or vegetable farms, aquaculture ponds, and fruit tree orchards, making money in exchange for the produce they sell to urbanites in the farmer’s market, agro-tourism centers, and farm-to-table restaurants. They can also get paid by urbanites for their knowledge and labor in the agricultural plots. With technical skills, they can open their own small businesses.


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3. COMMON, CONNECTED, & DIVERSE PUBLIC SPACES Inclusive Commons: By setting up physical spaces for the invisible symbiotic relationship between farmers and urbanites, public spaces are programmed to catalyze interaction, understanding, and social cohesion between these two demographics. Connected Infrastructure: Public spaces serve both infrastructural and recreational needs so that infrastructure is not hidden but, instead, is a visible part of daily life. For example, retention pond edges are public promenades, sidewalks/trails adjoin bioswales, on top of underground rainwater cisterns are plazas, and agricultural paths function

as walking trails. Many of these public spaces will have lasting cultural value because they support traditional festivals and rituals. Diverse Spaces: Public spaces exist at a variety of scales, from large community gathering spaces to small street plazas. They are also of differing character, ranging from ecological stream intersections and naturalistic parks to waterfront promenades and urban plazas. Stream edges are visible for the public to enjoy the local ecology, but are also inaccessible, ensuring undisturbed riparian habitat.

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Sensorial data, ecological surveys, topographic surveys, geotechnical data, and interviews with villagers guided site analysis and design synthesis. Design decisions were informed through an engaged stakeholder participation process that included individual discussions and group presentations of draft and final master plans. The master plan can be constructed in whole or in parts for faster, easier, or cheaper testing of design solutions. The client commissioned the master plan to generate alternative ideas for Sector 34’s development. As funding comes through the government machinery and/or private stakeholders, parts of the master plan may be implemented.

Planning new communities in such contexts cannot be an exercise limited to physical interventions; recognizing the existing and conceptualizing new socio-cultural and economic interdependencies between varied demographics are fundamental to the success of any master plan or design. Many countries, like India, completely lack and desperately need sustainable and equitable precedents of peri-urban land development. This proposal provides a prototype for planning urbanization that allows communities to become more resilient in the face of inevitable change, both through addressing the acute resource issues that developing countries face and also the social marginalization of rural communities that


accompanies peri-urban development. These are both very important issues to address in urbanization in such contexts, and this proposal helps us to conceive of a way forward born from the challenges of the situation and one that is more sustainable than the current paradigms. Decentralized management of water and food production through low-cost landscape infrastructure creates an innovative paradigm for not only rapidly growing urban centers in developing countries but also for industrially developed countries where cities often have very large, unsustainable infrastructural footprints.

1. “2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects” United Nations. July 10, 2014. https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/ publications/2014-revision-world-urbanization-prospects.html 2. “India Groundwater: a Valuable but Diminishing Resource” World Bank. March 6, 2012. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/ feature/2012/03/06/india-groundwater-critical-diminishing 3. “India’s water crisis could be helped by better building, planning” National Geographic. July 15, 2019. https://www.nationalgeographic. com/environment/2019/07/india-water-crisis-drought-could-be-helpedbetter-building-planning/ 4. “India at a glance” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://www.fao.org/india/fao-in-india/india-at-a-glance/en/

A Prototype for De-centralized Resource Management in Peri-urban India In a country such as India, which completely lacks and desperately needs sustainable precedents of peri-urban land development, this prototype provides strategies for planning urbanization that allows communities to become more resilient in the face of inevitable change.



DESPERATEtimes

Removed Frontier

Albert Orozco Removed Frontier portrays a 5th-grade student’s presentation of a diorama-style project set at the U.S.-Mexico border. In the presentation, six children are seen traveling toward the United States in search of their mothers, who have left them to work in El Norte. Halfway through the presentation, the student decides to alter the narrative of his story by removing the border wall. In doing so, he illuminates the social fabrication of national borders and chooses to imagine a new reality for the children in his project. The children move freely across the new landscape to be reunited with their mothers. Albert Orozco is an architectural designer based in Los Angeles, California who dedicates himself to exploring projects that reflect issues of the environment, racism, immigration, and identity. His current work interweaves Mexican-American histories, mythologies, and geographies with architectural design to orchestrate scenographic stories that critique colonial architecture. Specifically, he hopes to create more collaborative spaces between artists, scholars, activists, and designers to imagine more ecologically sustainable spaces for historically dispossessed communities. Albert holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelors of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley.

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Removed Frontier

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The Next Landscape

Yangqianqian Hu, Hangxing Liu, and Qinmeng Yu The Next Landscape team is three MLA students from University of Virginia: Yangqianqian Hu (MLA ‘20), Hangxing Liu (MLA ‘19), and Qinmeng Yu (MLA ‘20). We are fascinated by speculating about future endeavors our profession could expand upon and the role landscape designers take in upgrading infrastructure systems. The Next Landscape was a UVA studio project co-taught by Professors Bradley Cantrell, Andrea Hansen Phillips, and Brad Goetz and teaching fellow Zihao Zhang in the Spring of 2019.

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The Next Landscape

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alifornia is aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy generation by 2045. The existing energy infrastructure system is massively distributed on the landscape; however, it is also hidden and isolated from people and their day-to-day lives. While the phasing-out of non-renewable energy and the implementation of more renewable energy is happening at the same time, this project addresses the landscape’s synthetic and interactive characteristics by imagining the transition on a territorial scale. We are skeptical about environmentalism and the assumption that energy consumption does harm to “nature,” therefore humans should reduce consumption. We also question eco-modernism, which denies the fact that “pristine nature” has been greatly altered by humans and technologies such as the energy industry. Both of these views reinforce the illusory boundary between technology and nature. This boundary is further reflected in the complex and huge infrastructure landscapes that support the energy industry, which are isolated from people and their lives. We believe that the “inbetween” space should be acknowledged. The phasing-out of fossil fuels and implementation of renewable energy is gradually becoming a global mandate. This process was not, and is still not, considered to be operating ground for landscape architects. However, since renewable energy consumes more landscape than the traditional energy grid and does so in a more distributed manner, we believe that landscape architects should play a major role in constructing the next energy landscape so that we can cultivate new relationships between socio-ecological networks and the current infrastructural system.

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Figure 1 Energy pattern transition from 2017 to 2045

Figure 2 Comparison of renewables and non-renewables

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The Next Landscape

Figure 3 Scale comparison between renewables and non-renewables.

In the future, confronted with the depletion of non-renewable energy resources, the demand for energy consumption will continue to increase. From the bar chart in Figure 1, we can see that to meet the demand for consumption, California has to import energy from other states. Currently, non-renewable energy still occupies a larger portion of consumption. But moving forward, the energy consumption pattern changes. From 2017 to 2025, the portion of renewable energy increases greatly and, by 2045, California has the ambition to consume 100% of its energy from renewable sources. These trends indicate that the phasingout of fossil fuel and the implementation of renewable energy are becoming inevitable. Renewable energy requires a much greater land footprint to generate the same amount of electricity. Figure 3 demonstrates the variation in

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scale of land area needed per million kilowatthours between renewables and non-renewables. Non-renewable energy has larger generation capacities, is farther from consumption areas, and is more isolated. In contrast, renewable energy infrastructure has smaller generation capacities, is located closer to or within consumption areas, and is more distributed. The area needed for a 100% renewable California by 2045 is 20,000 square kilometers, which is 40 times the area of San Jose. At present, California only consumes 33% of its energy from renewable sources. Apparently, there is still a lot of ground to cover. Since renewable energy consumes more landscape, it is a great opportunity for landscape architects to intervene in the in-between space of technology and nature.


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Figure 4 Renewable vs non-renewable energy landscape use

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The Next Landscape

Starting from there, we begin to rethink California in a few ways: First, the relative abundance of renewable energy resources will be a key factor changing the local landscape in the future. Different types of renewable energy technologies will affect different areas. Second, overall, California is highly suitable for renewable energy generation. The state has abundant possibilities for renewable energy generation, including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. Lastly, to understand how varying energy generation technologies consume the landscape, we traced our main target land-use type— current energy industry lands—from raw material

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extraction sites to consumption ends. We propose that these post-fossil fuel energy landscapes— such as oil storage facilities, natural gas fields, post-coal power plants, post-industrial harbors, mixed-use wind farms, and post-wildfire forests— are prime opportunities to reimagine the energy landscape of the future. However, there must be more opportunities in this transition process than these. We are opening up a starting point for landscape architects to have a voice in constructing the next version of California’s energy landscape.


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TOP TO BOTTOM: Post-Coal Site An industrial heritage site recalls the memory of the industrial era. After refining toxic coal ash through phytoremediation and bioretention processes, the refined coal ash can be deposited into new landform structures for explorative activities. Industrial Harbor Decommissioned gas-fired power plants are converted to produce renewable geothermal power, improving water quality and chinook salmon habitat. Energy kites generate wind power and create underwater habitat for aquatic creatures. Soil Tank Park Through selective subtraction, modifications, and additions on the oil storage site, a new spatial and ecological relationship is constructed between plants, microorganisms, contaminated soil, obsolete structures, and humans.

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Sequence by Richard Serra in SFMOMA Image courtesy of Bradley Tomy


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Environmental (Un)control Atmospheric refuge in a new urban crisis

Caroline Chen Caroline is an architectural designer pursuing her MArch degree at UC Berkeley. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Architecture from Columbia University and has worked in Washington DC, New York, and Los Angeles.

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Environmental (Un)control

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he Camp Fire, which tore through the rural towns of Paradise and Concow, California in 2018, caused unprecedented levels of compromised air quality in the Bay Area and a public health emergency. Media depictions of the Camp Fire and its aftermath interlaced with a static blanket of haze over the San Francisco skyline. Although San Francisco is a three-hour drive from Paradise, the wildfire made immediate and evident the regional entanglement between the urban center of the Bay Area and its rural fringes.

Urban pollution, instigated by the wildfire, induced a temporary state of atmospheric terror and, with increasing occurrences of wildfire, this condition is no longer exceptional. The term “smoke wave” was coined in a 2016 journal article in Climatic Change1 and describes a span of at least two days where air quality is compromised by the presence of wildfire generated particulates, specifically PM2.5s, which are fine particulates prone to absorption within the human bloodstream. Given that smoke waves are now relatively frequent environmental events in California, indoor, climate-controlled public spaces can play a new, crucial role in the built environment as places of periodic environmental refuge. If we acknowledge and accept this new role for indoor public space, architecture has the potential to expand its responsibility as a driver of environmental management. THEORIES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL In Manhattan Atmospheres: Architecture, The Interior Environment, and Urban Crisis,2 David Gissen invokes the political dimensions of control and social attitude to critically examine climate control in late-modern New York. Gissen’s argument that architecture is a tool by which to maintain subjects and objects under externalized environmental pressure is relevant to how the function of architecture can be interpreted in the smoke wave-threatened Bay Area. Throughout his specification of subnatures3—obstructions to the traditional existence of architecture—the phenomenon of a smoke wave falls between atmosphere and matter. It is both a territorially enveloping threat and exists within a microscopic material dimension displaced from far-off catastrophe. If the late-modern buildings of New York were intended to resolve the

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ABOVE: The wildland-urban interface Image courtesy of Getty Images BELOW: Port of Oakland in smoke wave Image courtesy of Will Pitkin



Environmental (Un)control

atmospheric threats of an industrial city, how then can these attitudes transition under present environmental crises in cities such as San Francisco? MUSEUMS AS ATMOSPHERIC REFUGE Within the City of San Francisco’s recommended list of temporary clean-air refuges, libraries and museums are cited as public facilities with robust climate control systems. Art museums, specifically, maintain stringent systems of environmental control to preserve collection materials. Coincidentally, under smoke wave conditions, the climate-controlled environment created for museum object maintenance can double as a sealed environmental refuge for people in need. Art museums such as the de Young and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which regularly operate with ticketed admissions, opened their facilities as clean-air shelters to the city during wildfire smoke events first in 2018 and again in 2019. Gissen’s discussion of interior environments describes the construction and expansion of public museums in the late modern era as a source of environmental refuge from the city and of spatialized power over the maintenance of objects. Citing conceptual artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Gissen’s interpretation of a maintenance environment is a socio-natural project that produces urban nature. Mechanical systems take in degraded outside air, filter it, and contain this rehabilitated air within public interiors to maintain the integrity of objects and lives of people. Understanding the museum as a form of climate control infrastructure during atmospheric emergencies negotiates the value of a space calibrated for objects against its value as

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environmental shelter for city residents. During the 2018 Camp Fire, SFMOMA’s neighbor, the Museum of African Diaspora, issued a letter entitled “The Case for Arts Institutions as Sites of Refuge from Environmental Injustice,”4 a conscious call to action to expand the role of these controlled interior environments. Within the context of climate-driven crises, the infrastructural pressures of public refuge are made anew with an expanding need for public, climate-controlled buildings. COEXISTENCE: OBJECT MAINTENANCE VS. PUBLIC REFUGE In 2016, SFMOMA underwent a significant expansion that transformed the museum into one of the largest climate-controlled exhibition spaces in the United States. Richard Serra’s sculpture, Sequence, was installed in the ground floor lobby from the day of re-opening to the end of 2018. We can use this sculpture as a case study to explore tensions between object maintenance and the allocation of square footage in art museums. Sequence, constructed out of weathering steel in 2006, was intended to endure the outside elements as a celebration of its material properties. Over time, the surface of the sculptural enclosure would change with patination. Weathering steel takes a decade to fully form a stable patination so, in 2016, Sequence was installed in the SFMOMA lobby space pre-weathered. Sequence existed under environmental control in SFMOMA for two years, a state antithetical to its intended outdoor siting. The ground floor of SFMOMA, open to public use without ticketed entrance, offers 45,000 square feet of interior space. Sequence was sited in one of these public zones. At 42 feet-wide by 67 feet-long, the piece roughly equates to a


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footprint of 3,000 square feet—equivalent to a generous 4-bedroom 3-bath suburban house. The sculpture’s footprint could provide a gathering space for 100 people. These hypothetical calculations point to the larger paradox of a sculpture able to endure the effects of the outdoor environment, even under hazardous circumstances, framed against the fragility of human existence in the trauma of smoke wave toxicity. Months after the disaster of the Camp Fire and the opening of the museum’s gallery space as a place of refuge from smoke, Sequence was dismantled and moved back to its original home at Stanford University’s Cantor Center. This is most likely a consequence of an expiring art loan, but perhaps there is a curatorial responsibility to consider the potential use of publicly-accessible square footage as a place for climate-related refuge. Should museum space be more accommodating and nimble in preparation for emergency events? While the organization and use of public space in museums has often been rigid and defined through the scheduled and spatial discipline of exhibitions, framing the art museum through its unique climate control capabilities creates potential for how it can be curated to serve the larger public.

climate change as we grapple with event-based disasters and the slow violence of environmental change and destruction. While the specialized indoor environments of corporate atria, museums, and stock exchanges bore the imprints of the late-modern urban crisis in their retreats from the exterior, the needs of the present call for a more tactical system of environmental refuge. Buildings originally designed for the maintenance of objects are being co-opted as temporary infrastructure for urban atmospheric refuge in order to support the public within the larger system of Foucaldian biopower. Historically, these forms of biopower, ways of managing urban territories and bodies, have existed in different forms. In the traditional Olmstedian sense, the notion of urban refuge has been to diagnose the subnatural conditions of the city through injections of artificial outdoor nature. In a late-modern sense, urban nature is maintained and reconstructed in interior environments and is part of an intentional retreat from the subnature of the outdoors. Present-day public facilities exist in a new urban crisis, which seeks to orient environmental refuge between both the sealed interior environment and conventional experiences of outdoor nature.

INTERIORITY IN A NEW URBAN CRISIS

1. Liu, Jia Coco, et al. “Particulate Air Pollution from Wildfires in the Western US under Climate Change.” Climatic Change, vol. 138, no. 3-4, 2016: 655–666.

In 2017, urban theorist Richard Florida established a “new urban crisis.”5 Whereas rampant industrial pollution and declines in public infrastructure investment caused the late-modern urban crisis of New York, the present urban crisis of American cities is rooted in the degradation of individual standards of living brought about by decades of neoliberal attitudes toward urban economics. The new urban crisis is impacted by the crisis of

2. Gissen, David. Manhattan Atmospheres: Architecture, the Interior Environment, and Urban Crisis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. 3. Gissen, David. Subnature: Architectures Other Environments. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. 4. “The Case for Arts Institutions as Sites of Refuge from Environmental Injustice.” McAllister, Nia. Museum of African Diaspora. 2018. https:// www.moadsf.org/blog/the-case-for-arts-institutions-as-sites-of-refugefrom-environmental-injustice/. 5. Florida, Richard. The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class -- and What We Can Do About It. Basic Books, 2017.

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The Self and the Fish We come from the ocean and because of the ocean we evolve.

Sara Ferrer Sara Ferrer is a visual artist and professional scuba diver. Her practice explores human and non-human behavior and its interaction and relationship with water, mirroring the intertwined ambiguity in everyday actions through oceanic imagery. www.saraferrer.com

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The Self and the Fish

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What if we began to see the ocean and its inhabitants as part of us,


as important as the people we love, admire, and learn from?


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Jenina Yutuc

Marcella Arruda

Terremoto

Giving up on Nostalgia?

Building Future Urban Ecologies

We Dance with New Moves to Songs of the Past

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y concern for the future is also an engagement with the past, with nostalgia. I am constantly confronting these

wha

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worry about how human life on Earth will remain in the future. We are living in a new era, and life on the planet will adapt to it with some costs; however, human life probably won’t. How can we organize ourselves to care and share responsibility?

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limate change as the result of resource-heavy societal aspirations and cultural norms is the existential threat of our time. Everyone is culpable— the level of that responsibility increases with privilege and power, of which we have our fair share. Our concern is that as practitioners in a capitalist and market-driven economy we are challenged by our subordinate

t ab out the fut ure

intertwined impulses. I still grapple with my nostalgic idealization that has foolishly convinced a part of myself that when I return physically to Apalit, the landscape will remain unchanged. It is unfair to project these childhood-derived expectations onto a province that is constantly undergoing modernization guided by a Westernized trajectory. I think about how this trajectory will reshape the Kapampangan landscape as solely a collection of grand infrastructure projects that address only a specific set of needs. I hope instead to see projects that elevate the everyday interactions and connections made in seemingly mundane public spaces.

2

Both for human and more vulnerable non-human life? How do we raise awareness and create safe spaces that are inclusive and accessible for all?

position to clients and the dominating dynamics of private property as it relates directly to landscape. Additionally, we practice in a bubble of abundance situated in an impending reality of scarcity. The pressure gauge is in the red. Do we have the ability and/or will to practice in a way that is fully aligned with our convictions? Who blinks first?

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Tiantong (Simba) Gu

Wara BullĂ´t

Academia as Practice

FoodSCAPE

Know Where

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JP CorvalĂĄn

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y major concern for the future is how, as architects and thinkers, we can make a contribution to a more equal, environmentally and socially sustainable society. These are big aims, but they are unavoidable today for us to have a chance tomorrow. How does architecture and its theory enter into this dilemma? Because equality and sustainability are related to space, I believe architects may have not only words but concrete actions to propose. Since the professional and policy realms seem tied to unsustainable commercial practices, academia is a good starting

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he main concern is how we should plan and design for future populations, balancing the requirement for development and land required for food production. As designers, will we be able to create a new settlement? Could the relationship between eating and living be reconstructed across landscape planning and design? However, linkages between the rural areas where crops are growing and the urban areas where most people are living have not been well studied. As more studies push the connections among living, working, and eating, the idea of future sustainable development should take into

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y main concern about the future is how our everyday life and the everyday landscape we live in will evolve, and the unknowns that will come with this. Our current world is changing rapidly and is more technologically driven than ever before. It makes me wonder how this will shape our everyday life in years to come. I am interested in how our built environment might look and feel in the future, including cities and urban areas, the outer suburbs, and the rural landscape.

e co nce rns you mo st? point for architecture

to make this contribution. Academia’s format of continuous back-and-forth inquiry may allow new professional and political visions for architecture to create a new reality.

consideration

how people are fed, ultimately, shaping the future of urban existence.



CRITICALpractice

Giving up on Nostalgia? A tale of mother tongues, idealism, and urban suffocation in a world of precarity

Jenina Yutuc Jenina Yutuc is a Kapampangan student of architecture and design, currently majoring in interdisciplinary studies at UC Berkeley. Her thesis deals with the intersection of architecture and public health. She dedicates her designs and writings to her hometown and family in Apalit. Please see groundupjournal.org for the video associated with this article.

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Giving up on Nostalgia?

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n every third day of April, the skies roared. It was the heaviest storm of the first half of the year. As the story goes, the storm came not from anger but, rather, as a gesture to yield respect for his grand entrance into this world. This was his favorite recycled fable; on cue, he would recite it to everyone who inquired about his birthday. They spoke to each other in all the languages that they knew, inventing a hybrid language of untranslatable parts. The response, ”Milalabas,” was my father’s favorite to the question “How are you?” Between the eavesdropped conversations, I would hear my dad and our paternal side in Pampanga joke about this reflex. I reflected on its divergence from “Mabuti” or “Okay lang” in the Tagalog language. My father says “Milalabas” to relay both the mundane and grand testaments of survival, a self-deprecating joke and, yet, a refusal and repression of the request to expound on one’s true feelings. It holds a multiplicity in its delivery, but it means that one is simply passing through. I inherited the phrase from my dad and always kept it in my back pocket whenever I was hit with the “Komusta kayu?” from Ma and my Titas in Pampanga. “Mi-la-labas.” Simply passing through. The capital, Menila, felt to them cold and austere and, yet, in every city, there are many crevices for history, loneliness, solitude, disorder, order, statecraft, joy, and emptiness to inhabit. A jeepney ride to the mall that winter promised a navy-blue sky. I felt at home in the comfort of the nighttime breeze, comfort and home built from my practice of searching for something in the fragments of my childhood and in my mother tongue, spoken at full speed with emotion. The pieces served as solace from the imposing capital city. The streets in the Philippines are always lively with an assemblage of motor vehicles, street vendors, and people occupying little pockets of sidewalk space. Suburban streets in the United States, made from pre-packaged designs and renderings, pale when juxtaposed with this in my mind. The breeze that entered the window signaled a sensation of familiarity; it was a symbol for the becoming, the realization, and the slow rise of home. The promise of return, the comfort of hearing the mother tongue in hushed corners, and the certainty that the sun will always rise even from the darkest nights were all that mattered to me inside these cramped spaces.

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Giving up on Nostalgia?

These promises speak to the parts of me that I am constantly trying to reconcile: an aching to move forward against a fear of “fleeting hopes” and desperation. I often find myself held in a state of paralysis derived from nostalgia and remembered glory. I’m writing at twenty-one years old to remind myself that an escape to the city, and the way it mirrors the chimera, engender a longing in me for that fleeting hope, some kind of cure to the recurring universal emptiness that visits every generation. Coming from suburbia and arriving to the city changed me, even though my experiences of both places were underwritten with the memory of that postcolonial “developing” city from which I was born. I cultivated and then hoarded an idealized escapist version of a big city as the “cure-all” to the monotonous suburbias of my adolescence. My perceptions of these cities were constructed out of a rush; I wanted to outgrow and discard my hometown insecurities and grievances. Even though I continue to grasp at my instinct to see the world in its multitudes—hues, tints, and saturations—the constant suburban monotony of my childhood has embedded itself in me. I suppose it taught me about performing a life of order. However, it often has felt like an

encumbrance and, to subdue it, I would dream of far-away places and people through an illusory lens. I longed, even if I don’t know what and who I longed for. As a possible resolution to this internal fracturing, the reading of nostalgia as a “romance with one’s own fantasy” would ricochet in my mind from the pages of The Grand Tour of Nostalgia.1 This is how nostalgia has come to guide my work and also become my state of being, my way of navigating the world. I believe that nostalgia can become a strategy of resilience, a rebellion against modernity’s linear trajectory. CAN DESIGN SAVE THE WORLD? We should question the solutions that present themselves as benevolent, supported by the noncontroversial themes of sustainability and human-centered design. There is power in lowcost interventions when they fully integrate historical context with local agency and value community knowledge. Architectural interventions can be centered around the politics of space. Space is political when it confronts questions about the relationship of personhood to spatial design practices: Who is a space intended for? Who is it accessible to? Who is allowed to inhabit it? Revealing the politics of space reminds us that these questions are currently resolved within the context of a hierarchical system. The prevailing logic of hegemonic society encourages designs that feign a savior role and claim to solve problems that are beyond reach. These problems are defined not only by spatial relationships, but also by the epistemological elements of design such as place, habitation, humanity, beauty, productivity. When we ask if new methods of “human-centered design” can create access for people who have been historically marginalized, we simultaneously reveal who has and has not been considered human in the past.

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This realization implies that, to move forward, we must first un-build infrastructure that was designed to marginalize people. If we continue to build upon the existing systems within the existing logic, we will inadvertently be perpetuating that which serves white supremacy and produces structural violence. However, the first step onward does not have to be grand. Subtle and personal shifts can allow for the reimagining of power manifested through space, land, and borders. In the place between remembering and imagining, we can find new ways to create space that directly link past to future with us as the conduit. I am not an architecture and design student who happens to be from the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, I am a Kapampangan architecture and design student.2 I come from a childhood where we used the shapes and colors of the sky to our advantage, rendering far-fetched tales from the ephemerality of moving clouds. I remind myself that I can continue to pursue this discipline because I am privileged to have a physical place to call home. Leaning onto a palimpsest of nostalgia of my personal construction, I am resistant to the era of “moving fast and breaking things.”3 The province of Pampanga and the comforting chaos dissolved her worries. The chico tree accompanied her to the purple dusk. Regardless of where she would be in the world, she made a simple promise to herself to never completely succumb to her cynicism as long as there was an untranslatable volatile quality to the colors in the sky. It was in that slowed down frame of an alternate universe where the sun and the moon met that she was unperturbed by the positivist logic of the hard sciences. Within all this chaos, she and the other college students continue to create parallel communities that seek to unseat the habitual,

where demagoguery and censorship reign. The world is an unfiltered collection of constant political unrest and inequality. However, they were content because, regardless of how broken the world seems, they made each other believe again through their first-year idealism. Amid the inescapable injustice happening in the world, their interconnection made a heterotopia that even briefly enhanced their capacity to improve the conditions of their country. They were bound by a shared, endangered mother tongue—idealists with obligations to themselves, to their home province, and to each other. Their love may be fated to depart; despite it belonging to another time and an alternate universe, it is still love that is True. They gave the colors and shapes of the polluted Menila sunsets new stories to tell.

1. Gugger, Harry. The Grand Tour of Nostalgia, Venice Lessons: Industrial Nostalgia. Basel: Laba EPFL ; 2016. 2. From Cortazar’s closing statement in his 1980s Berkeley lecture series (Cortázar Julio, Bernárdez Aurora, and Garriga Carles Álvarez. Clases De Literatura: Berkeley 1980. Barcelona: Debolsillo Mexico, 2016.) “...no es ser un escritor latinamericano sino ser, por sobre todo, un latinoamericano escritor.” 3. Business Insider. “Mark Zuckerberg, Moving Fast And Breaking Things.” Business Insider. October 14, 2010. https://www.businessinsider. com/mark-zuckerberg-2010-10.

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Culture “We believe in our ancestrality. It is alive, and when it is remembered, it gains vitality, it becomes. It is impressive that we are capable of feeling culture, emotions, enchantment.â€? Rosângela Macedo

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Building Future Urban Ecologies Experiences from body to territory

Marcella Arruda Marcella Arruda is a transdisciplinary artist from São Paulo (BR). She earned graduate degrees in architecture and urbanism from Escola da Cidade in São Paulo and in Interactive Media Design from the Royal Academy of Arts in Den Haag (NL). Her work explores human and landscape performativity, rituals of temporal spatialities, as well as affect and symbolical construction as materials for spaces, belonging, and agency. She works to challenge perceptual conventions and open the possibility of new imaginaries. Marcella is also an experimental dancer, cook, and creator of experiences in art, ecology, and culture. She is currently Project Director in The City Needs You Institute (A Cidade Precisa de Você) Images courtesy of Eleonora Aronis Rainha.

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H

ow can one understand other ways of inhabiting the planet in a socially fair and ecologically regenerative way? It seems that people today have forgotten about the body, forgotten that all their relations with the world outside come from the body—the dimensions of inhabiting ourselves and our connections to others and to the space we live in. Vandana Shiva states that the Earth is strong enough to overcome the adverse impacts of climate change; it is we human beings who are not capable of overcoming them. Therefore, to be able to survive, we need to understand the human body and human culture as integral parts of the ecosystem that are situated in the territory we inhabit. How do we understand the transition between micro and macro? How do we create a safe and just future to inhabit the planet we are destroying? To develop ideas to postpone the end of the world in the Anthropocene, we need an engaged pedagogy that involves individuals in the design of alternative futures and urban ecologies that center around the flows of energy between the scales of body, ecosystem, culture, and territory. In 2019, the São Paulo school of architecture and urbanism School of the City (Escola da Cidade) began offering the course Urban Ecology: from Body to Territory to create such a pedagogy through hands-on learning in communities. Last August, a diverse group of students from all across the city of São Paulo gathered for experiential learning activities in the region of Perus on the city’s underserved northern periphery. The four-month course consisted of theoretical encounters, practical exercises, experiences in the field, and the elaboration of a capstone project. Students visited four different sites throughout Perus. Each site was identified as a cultural patrimony site in the City of São Paulo’s 2014 Strategic Plan’s (Plano Diretor Estratégico’s) designation of Perus as a Territory of Interest for Culture and Landscape (Território de Interesse da Cultura e da Paisagem). The sites challenged students to reimagine more sustainable energetic relations at a different scale.

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Territory “Territory boils.” José Soró


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Building Future Urban Ecologies

Body “Who are you and what are you doing on planet Earth?” Milton Scarlati

BODY Energy is 99% of matter and it makes up the universe, manifesting through channels of fluidity and points of concentration, including within the human body. According to Taoism, energy can be used by humans in a more assertive way through good thought, good eating habits, good rest, and good movement—producing life potential and creating a constructive and virtuous cycle of energetic fluidity. How do we learn from this understanding of our first eco (our body), to design and construct our way of inhabiting the planet, the city, and the space we share with others? In the Urban Ecology course, students approached these questions from a hybrid panorama of cosmologies and systems of belief (especially drawing on the immense religious, spiritual, and cultural diversity of Brazil). Additionally, the course drew from Eastern

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cosmology (the concepts of emptiness and energy) and embodied experiences through Bioenergetics exercises and dynamics of body consciousness and expression. Students also gained exposure to indigenous cosmology with a visit to the Tekoa Itakupé community in Perus, which embodied the native Guaraní way of life, known as Nhandereko. ECOSYSTEM Similar to the body, the ecosystem is built from energetic flows. Perceiving how life flows in the eco’s different dimensions is the key to understanding this complex system of relations. The system is always in self-regulatory movement: contraction and expansion; opening and closure; cycles that can be temporal, chemical, physical, lunar, daily, seasonal .... It is important to mention that when the human (body) breaks those cycles, it generates imbalance and produces residues and heat loss in the system as a whole—clearly


CRITICALpractice

perceived in climate collapse. When we give in to the temptation to control those natural forces and create interferences, we produce alienation, choosing to disconnect from the energy exchange between inside and outside, the inner body and the outer body (Gaia). Therefore, we must design the energetic flows that regulate life—the habits of human beings and their relationship to space (based in the principles of permaculture, a culture that permanently reproduces life). In doing so, we must foster the emergence of an ecosystem where energy can be manifested and synthesized in its multiple forms through time, building balance in diversity and relationship. The more resilient and regenerative the system (the more distributive), the more permanent it will be. Students saw these concepts and principles in practice in the Sister Alberta (Irmã Alberta) Settlement, an agricultural land occupation by the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra— MST). The settlement hosts 50 families, who produce agroecological food in a system oriented toward small-scale food producers and those living below the poverty line. Throughout the years, abandoned land along São Paulo’s urban-rural border was occupied, fertilized, and communalized. This created a space of hope and possibility of a future for people who were formerly homeless or unemployed. Now, those individuals are organized in working cooperatives, defending the individual and collective through alternative culture, education, health, and work systems. Settlers created multiple technologies to foster a more coherent and autonomous way of inhabiting the ecosystem: ecological water sanitation; diverse, abundant, and pesticide-free food production; composting; reuse of rainwater; a local school and self-managed kindergarten; and a shared space for voluntary collective labor

(mutirão), where settlers gather to build individual families’ houses as a community. Working with settlers of Irmã Alberta gave students experience with an agricultural system that breaks from Brazil’s history of plantations to create a gendersensitive, sustainable alternative that addresses issues of food sovereignty and food justice. CULTURE For us to create other ways to relate to the ecosystem we inhabit, it is crucial that we create and live an integrated and participatory culture. The autochthonous communities that live in biodiverse lands are, therefore, guardians of those spaces and usually act in their preservation and regeneration. These communities’ identity is integrated physically, symbolically, and spiritually to the territory. This central role that land plays in traditional cultures was evident in the theme of the 2019 indigenous women’s protest in Brasília: “our body and our spirit.” These small communities that insist on existing in places such as big cities and slums bear witness to a time and a relationship to the land that otherwise might not exist there anymore. In this way, culture acts as a language and set of habits that rescue the past and point to another future: one in which relationship structures are based on respect and learning from all beings, human or otherwise. The course sought to make tangible this idea of culture and, therefore, an ancestrality that is alive and actualized to the present day. The students visited the popular cultural center Quilombo Sambaqui, which is dedicated to the research and practice of experiences from traditional Afro-Brazilian culture, such as Jongo, Samba de Bumbo, and Batuque de Umbigada. The collective has an important role in valuing those rituals, which reminds us of a different relationship

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to the Earth and natural resources—a relationship that is most of the time invisible in big cities. TERRITORY Territories are built from several scales intertwined: the culture that is cultivated day by day, the ecosystem with its qualities and specificities to inhabit, and the bodies affected by those relationships. However, the primary factor that defines territory is the political framework which can enable the possibility of its legal right to exist. In a context such as Brazil, to defend a territory and protect its inhabitants’ identity and right to existence, one needs to know who you are and where you belong. It is fundamental to comprehend one’s potential and responsibility as an individual within one’s territory. This understanding establishes and strengthens citizen participation and autonomy—regarding the use, occupation, and management of the territory, which helps inhabitants create the rules that organize life there. The City of São Paulo’s Territory of Interest of Culture and Landscape designation establishes a precedent in creating an institutionalized space of citizen participation to recognize and value the unique territories that make up the fabric of the city. The designation helps territories like Perus intertwine natural and immaterial heritage and understand what daily practices (culture) and stakeholders (bodies) support these ecosystems. It is critical to understand that the designation— and social mobilization that sustains it—are not enough to ensure this territory remains alive. Residents also need to foster economic (and also touristic) strategies to generate local income and development.

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The Urban Ecologies course saw these strategies on display in Perus through the social dynamism of cultural spaces such as the Canhoba, House of Hip Hop, and Quilombaque squats. In these squats, community members reappropriated abandoned buildings to create a performative urbanism that unites young inhabitants of the neighborhood not only in diverse cultural manifestations (such as maracatu, hip hop, punk, and theater), but creates a sense of community and belonging to the place. These participatory spaces reflect upon social mobilizations to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood and foster alternative economies to keep living in the territory—and defend it from natural resource exploitation and land speculation. Through weekly meetings, initially in a public square, then later throughout a network of spaces in the neighborhood, the territory is cultivated and alive in cultural practices—in the people’s desire to meet, dance, sing, celebrate existence, and create individual and collective identities. CONCLUSION We, as designers, need to implement a model of participation based on a world vision that defends our permanence and that of all life on earth. This participatory model must revolve around principles such as working with rapid cycles, performing small (acupunctural) interventions, constantly observing, characterizing the resources (their potentials and needs), creating efficient organizations, and designing systems that promote connections between mostly local and situated elements. These connections must incorporate less energy, use slow and processbased solutions, and measure the value of the context as a whole—its eco-social function. We advocate through this course a perspective that cares for the continuity of life on the planet, for


CRITICALpractice

Ecosystem “Everything is energy: saved, accumulated, unused, emerging, positive, negative … but where is it directed to?” Tomaz Lotufo

ethical values and principles, for a positive social influence, and minimal ecological impact: care for the people, care for the earth, and share surplus. The four-month (eight-meeting) course fostered the emergence of a teaching community through experiential learning, creating a safe space for exchange. We aimed to raise a sense of belonging for the city as a whole, but also provoke the students to comprehend their own territories using the same frameworks. The modules’ composition in time (body, ecosystem, culture, and territory) created shared meaning and affective memories, reinforcing the importance of an engaged pedagogy that not only involves the students but their personal stories, their trajectories, their emotions, and their limits and potentials. An ecological practice requires the embodiment of multidimensional scales, oscillating from micro to macro (mental, social, and environmental

ecologies, as Guattari would put it), rethinking the methods and relating to the elements around us, based on systemic and complex frameworks. The course intended to be a compass that can guide individuals to build situated territorial practices for a socially redistributive and ecologically regenerative world. That requires that the individual build an understanding of the limits between their body and the territory they inhabit as a movable membrane, a diaphragm. Through this membrane, breath allows the relationship to move in and out, to affect and be affected. The participants perceived themselves as part of the problem and as a potential solution; they engaged in their territories’ construction and ended the course with raised awareness of their daily habits and rituals—both individual and collective—that cultivate an ecological future. What is your role in this system? How can you contribute? What kind of relationships do you establish? Which systems do you support to live?

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CRITICALpractice

We Dance with New Moves to Songs of the Past

Terremoto Terremoto is a landscape architectural design studio with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

LEFT: Juan builds a ladder

We create well-built, site-specific landscapes that respond to client needs while simultaneously challenging historical / contemporary landscape construction methods, materials, and formal conventions. Our design approach is post-internet, critically regionalist, and politely inflammatory.

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We Dance with New Moves to Songs of the Past

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he mainstream historic impulse of residential landscape design for the past 70 years or so wholly erases the previous landscape in creating a new one. Perhaps existing trees of significance are saved, but basically everything else is deleted to make way for the new thing. Terremoto would like to challenge this convention. We live in a fraught, terrifying moment in which, as a civilization, we need to be deeply self-critical about the way we’ve built our nations, regions, cities, homes, and gardens. We need to question the validity and appropriateness of how we live and how we practice because it’s quite possible that the way we’ve been doing it is wrong or just doesn’t apply, given impending environmental change. Resources are not infinite; every material has a footprint. Trends, if left alone long enough, will come back into style. We could continue to deny and march ahead, business as usual, but hey! Maybe let’s not? As landscape designers we must acknowledge there is no tabula rasa. Maybe God made the world in six days, but we have 10 billion years of antics to accommodate. By the time we get to a site, it is already a thing and the very nature of a “landscape” is situated in geography, culture, weather, etc. There is no blank canvas, so let’s work with the existing base coat. With this in mind, we’ve found an opportunity to reconsider our approach on our smallest residential projects. We’re doing so by rethinking the first step: what if, rather than erasing the old thing in order to make the new thing, the old and new existed simultaneously at ease with one another? What if, instead of demolition, we advocated for subtle interventions and artistic redefinitions? In our preliminary forays into approaching projects with this new methodology, we create carbon-light, environmentally sensitive garden mediations that pay deference to the past.

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RIGHT: Existing retaining walls to be mummified in a uniform coat



We Dance with New Moves to Songs of the Past

Construction is about ideas and materials, but really it’s just a bunch of people

We work quite often on gardens in historically working-class neighborhoods in the East Side of Los Angeles in which one could say that the architectural vernacular of the neighborhood is defined by: › Readily accessible and economical materials from conventional hardware stores: chain link fence, concrete block, brick, stucco. › Ad hoc, homespun solutions. Function and cost prevail above any formal language. The vibe is: I need a patio and my neighbor is throwing away a bunch of marble tiles, so I now have a marble patio. Terremoto loves these gardens and spaces. They’re honest and mysterious relics of a recent history, of a generation just once removed. To erase them feels wrong and, thus, we choose to labor respectfully within them.

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To date, we’ve attempted two stylistic approaches within this framework. 1. A NEW THING FLOATS ABOVE AN OLD THING // MUSEUM ROAD - MOUNT WASHINGTON, LOS ANGELES. Some friends of the studio approach Terremoto to see if we would be interested in helping them make sense of their backyard. It’s a vertical cliff held together by decades of concrete patchwork, a true relic of a neighborhood known for its steep streets, funky character, and narrow canyons. Our budget is small but we really want to do something intentional and freeing. We are blessed with clients who are more than willing to endure a drifting, non-linear design process and excited to participate in an unconventional design approach.


CRITICALpractice

The site is nearly a sheer wall, reinforced with compromised concrete “zoo-rock” with three main levels. We all agree the space calls for a feature at the top, a reward for the climb, and something to perplex the wandering coyote or neighbor below on the street. We enlist some of our favorite contractors. The ones who aren’t afraid of verbal construction documents and scribbles on top of reference photographs. We entrust them with making it work. The work of a designer is one of compromise and trust. You can draw things all day long, but at some point someone is going to have to build the damn thing, and someone else is going to have to pay for it. By keeping it flexible and letting the professionals do what they do best, we find that some really magical solutions can present themselves. The designer is the bass player, keeping the groove but not taking any solos. It serves as a healthy ego check, too. We use humble materials: orco mortarless blocks, wood, steel. We demolish old walls and repurpose them as pavers. We keep the old railings and sure them up with a MIG welder to build a new abstract pergola, a thank-you for making the ascent. We use native plants for erosion control. We decide to build on top of what was there, floating above and pinning in whenever needed but only when absolutely necessary. 2. THE NEW THING IS THE MUMMIFICATION OF THE OLD THING // LEMOYNE STREET ECHO PARK, LOS ANGELES We are approached by a homeowner who asks us to re-envision their terraced garden in Echo Park. Upon our first visit, we discovered a project full of aesthetic and logistical challenges: a series

of erratic retaining walls assembled to create a sequence of unusably small terraces that loom over a California Bungalow. The formal landscape architect in us reflexively wants to tear them all down and start over. But after spending some time exploring, we discover nuances and honesty in their chaos. A collision of layered materials frozen mid-battle with the terrain retains the crumbling slope. Sporadic concrete pads prevent water from penetrating the ground or collapsing the ruin of existing walls. What it may lack in formal design intention it makes up for in atmosphere and attitude. It’s a garden in honest and open conflict with the forces of its environment—a garden with its own point of view. Our approach is to mummify these chaotic retaining walls and embrace their humble essentiality. This project is still in its conceptual phase and, thus, construction has not yet begun. Our plan is to leave the walls as they are and coat them in a single coherent layer of a scratch coat of plaster to accentuate their form and nuances. We will tranquilize their haphazard nature with a unifying, monolithic veneer. This methodology is new to us, and we’re still very much making sense of it. But so far, it has taken us in new, interesting directions and elicited much conversation within the office. We don’t know exactly where it will take us, and this is exciting. But at the very least, this new approach has us challenging conventions of practice, beauty, construction, and design. At Terremoto, we believe in the seemingly opposing powers of skepticism and hope and, thus, we’ll keep questioning while remaining optimistic about everything we do.

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Alpa Nawre

Laura Crescimano

Participation

Placemaking Lecture: November 13th, 2019

Lecture: September 23rd, 2019

A

L

lpa Nawre is an Assistant Professor in the aura Crescimano is co-founder of SITELAB Department of Landscape Architecture at the urban studio. She is an expert on urban design University of Florida, Executive Director of Critical and entitlements with an emphasis on the public Places, and Partner at Alpa Nawre Design. realm and social power of space.

Brad Samuels

Julie Beagle

Innovation

Resilience Lecture: February 12th 2020

Lecture: October 9th, 2019

B

rad Samuels is Founding Partner at SITU. Trained as an architect, he leads a team of designers, computer scientists, researchers and planners to develop new tools and methods for human rights fact finding and reporting.

J

ulie Beagle is the San Francisco Estuary Institute’s Deputy Program Director of the Resilient Landscapes Program and a lead scientist for the organization’s climate adaptation efforts.

ONWARDialogues Victoria Bevington - Ellen Herra - Victoria Mohr - Diego Romero Evans - Sophie Ruf


di·​a·​logue \ˈdī-ə-ˌlȯg , -ˌläg\ Students and Lecturers in Discussion

O

NWARDialogues is a collaborative curatorial effort that creates transdisciplinary content out of discourse. The project was designed in conjunction with the 2019-20 Lecture Series in our home department, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. The ideas of the four guest lecturers are at the heart of the dialogue we have created. The project facilitates the exchange of ideas and opinions between people with different academic backgrounds and professional expertise. Students, academics, and practitioners from design, architecture, landscape architecture, and planning-related disciplines contributed their voices to the conversation. ONWARDialogues uses interviews to critique and review reductionist binary frameworks such as present/future, local/global, design practice/theory, personal agenda/client agenda. We posed questions to our contributing lecturers with the intent to generate new questions and to allow for a degree of uncertainty. Inspired by the tradition of marginalia, we then facilitated another layer of critical dialogue: we asked members of the College of Environmental Design to comment on excerpts extracted from the long-form interviews. Finding relationships between the thoughts of the four lecturers, readers had the opportunity to relate, combine, and hybridize their ideas into new arguments. By embracing an inductive strategy, we built a framework that invokes an open and dynamic system of knowledge that continues to be adapted by each new reader.

Diego Romero Evans + ONWARDialogues team


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Mostly it is easier to serve, rather than question; find comforting grounds, rather than expanding territory; and speculate innovatively, rather than construct new paradigms. Most contrarily, for such applied disciplines as the design professions are, provocative dialogues are inward-focused without much visible action on prominent critical or global venues.” (1)

Alpa Nawre

“My first concern is that we are too few. Whether as practicing architects or landscape architects, we have to realize that the numbers are not in our favor in making a measurable impact toward a positive future....

(1) “What are prominent global venues these days? Social media? Academic discourse? The front pages of the internet? Where do we have access to the greatest amount of influence with projects that do real boots-on-the-ground work? I often think about how these deeds, humble in nature, stay unnoticed.” - Grace Anne Adams, MLAEP

As a practitioner, what about t “I think futures have gotten much shorter. There’s a long history of architects thinking about utopian visions and distant horizons. That said, the rate of technological changes requires us to grapple with things in the present that we can barely keep up with. Utopias, or dystopias for that matter, feel to me not nearly as relevant as they once were. (2) Any futures that are more than 30 years away don’t feel worth spending time on. (3)

Brad Samuels

consequences beyon

Framework

(2) “If this is the case, the future is more immediate and perhaps the relationship between the present and future is closer. Our own sense of agency is more deeply felt. The future isn’t something that just happens but something we create.” - Clare Al-Witri, MLA

(3) “Technology may be hard to predict, but questions more than 30 years out like, ‘will everyone have access to clean water?’ and ‘will our cities be swallowed by the ocean?’ feel worth spending time on.” - Will Pitkin, MLAEP

And it feels like there are new disciplines being formed. We’re in this moment where the ground is shifting and it’s somewhat unstable in terms of how to define those disciplines, but in the future those new fields will be codified and formalized.”


privatization

Laura Crescimano

ONWARDialogues

“My main concern stems from the difficulty of trying to balance both public and private interests. This is particularly important as our cities are largely being built by private interests because of the nature of our economic and political systems. Of course, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be working for those private interests; there are so many that also have public interest at heart, and the increasing polarization or oppositional view of public vs. private only reinforces the problem. (4)

(4) “If the problem is private capital dominating the morphological future of our cities, then this oppositional attitude is more of a symptom. Many people feel left out of the vision for the future that elite interests are constructing and recognize that anemic public funding surrenders control to private capital. My hope is that we can turn this frustration into action. Renewed public spending, like that outlined by the Green New Deal, has the potential to nourish our collective imagination and change the types of projects coming down our pipelines as practicing designers.” - Sarah Fitzgerald, MLA

And yet if we keep prioritizing private economic interests it becomes harder to imagine places being genuinely inclusive and equitable. So we look for opportunities in all the little ways to integrate public and private interests, and to find ways one can serve the other simultaneously.”

Julie Beagle

the future concerns you most? “My work focuses on how the Bay Area in California will be able to adapt to sea level rise, coastal flooding and other climate impacts....

(5) “Great point and one that too often gets overlooked. This is why climate change is such a problem: it makes every other problem we already face even worse.” - Will Pitkin, MLAEP

impact

My biggest concern about the future is that we can’t even begin to imagine the impacts of climate change on all parts of our society, from our public safety, to ecosystems, to our daily lives. (5) Furthermore, people who have been historically marginalized and have less resources today will continue in that direction.”

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“In my work, I have not yet come across a situation where the need of a specific community is dichotomous to a global challenge (1)... but I think that all global challenges begin locally—defined, perpetuated, and exacerbated by variables that may or may not fall in the realm of the designed environment. Every project affords an opportunity to make an impact on global challenges. (2)

Alpa Nawre

LocalGlobal

(1)“The Anthropocene Era needs to be understood, reviewed, and rethought on multiple scales at the same time, from local communities to ecoregional dynamics. What is the role of design projects embedded in these dynamics? A political catalyst?” - Diego Romero Evans, MLAEP

By providing opportunities to raise income, we can begin to make an impact on the extreme divide between the rich and poor, a global challenge which is especially pertinent in a country like India. So whether this is quantifiable or not, in some ways it all adds up. Every project thus affords many opportunities to engage with one or the other of the global challenges” (4)

“To me, the word ‘global’ also refers to the larger context in which specific communities sit. It absolutely has to be specific. You can’t abandon specificity for the sake of the larger system. In our experience, you do that at the peril of real people with real needs. (3)

(2)(3) “One can’t uncouple the needs of individual communities from broader issues. In fact, addressing them with specificity may be the best way to tackle these challenges on a global scale.” - Victoria Bevington, MLA

One way we try to understand what specific projects might need is to be in conversation with people that can provide access to some of the most vulnerable populations that may be affected by our work. I don’t think it’s easy, or even possible, for a designer to just come in, even with a community engagement process, and just access those conversations.”

Brad Samuels

How do you balance the communities versus


inductive decarbonize

Laura Crescimano

ONWARDialogues

“Although we lean on the side of the local we are interested in the global questions at play in our work, resituating these ideas in what the particular location is facing. We come from a place of believing in local solutions and local specificity and that there are ways to extrapolate out from or lift up from specificity. (5) (4)(5) “Whereas Laura focuses on defining her work as entirely site-specific and locally focused, Alpa does not see a difference between the local and the global. In her case, the two exist in a feedback loop where any action locally has an impact at a larger scale. On the other hand, it seems that Laura sees the global scale as informational to the local rather than directly impacted by it.” - Claire Geneste, MLA

I think that’s the only way to really resonate with people who will be using the site and create a place that doesn’t feel like it’s alienating. There are enough struggles with things being manufactured and generic, so we see our approach to design as ‘ground up.’ We can then examine and test issues and the broader polemics by zooming out from the local to see patterns and opportunities at the global scale, putting the two in dialogue with one another.”

Julie Beagle

e specific needs of local s global challenges? “Even if we decrease our emissions at a global scale, we continue to need to do so much work in terms of decarbonizing our world, we still have to deal with a whole bunch of decisions that have gotten us into these problems. So regardless of what we do, looking forward globally, we are still going to need to adapt to climate change in the Bay Area and in California at the local scale. There is just so much that needs to be done.... (6) “Are there ways engineered landscaping can mitigate and possibly succeed, in terms of growing and flourishing as the sea level rises? It may be best to take sea level rise as an inextricable ingredient in all future landscaping; building dams and sea walls will be a temporary and therefore tenuous solution. We need to design in terms of systems of growth and change that can adapt in the inherent way nature adapts.” - Sophie Ruf, MArch

We should include mitigation in the ways in which we think about adaptation. These have traditionally been thought of as really separate ideas: Mitigation as this big global idea that all these countries need to come together, and yes, they do. And adaptation has been thought about traditionally as, well we failed, so I guess we have to adapt. They both need to happen simultaneously, they need to work together, and we need to adapt now. (6) We can’t keep waiting for a big global fix.”

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catalyst

“The argument is based on social consciousness discourse which informs us that the process of transformation is understood to be dependent on the mode of production of change. Because the construction of simple vernacular landscape infrastructure involves communities, which would never be the case for heavily engineered infrastructure systems, (1) the experience allows for changes in the collective as well as in the individual sense of self. Thus, the production of spaces can be conceived as catalysts for social change.

Alpa Nawre

DesignTheory

(1) “Why couldn’t infrastructure be co-designed with communities to benefit all?” - Alex Broad, MLA

It’s a symbiotic relationship—theory helps practice become more visionary while critical practice in turns helps us ground theory by understanding limitations and nuances.” (2)

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Do you agree that practitioners s disciplinary argument “I don’t agree with that statement for our practice. I think we’re completely uninterested in theory. For us, it’s more about innovation and research. It’s not speculative; it’s not a body of thought that doesn’t have a real world application.... (5)

(5)(6) “I don’t think it is possible to separate theory and practice (or theory from anything, for that matter). Both as scholars and practitioners we operate with certain concepts, categories, and assumptions that shape how we look at things—assumptions that we then project on our work (be it analytical/empirical or applied/practical). Not engaging with those assumptions critically is not not having a theoretical framework, but rather adopting and naturalizing the dominant default one.” - Pol Fité Matamoros, PhD LAEP

Maybe it’s a post-rationalization. I think post-rationalization is a completely legitimate way to approach theory. We try and erase the distinctions between thinking and making. Making can be theoretical but also generative, whether it’s physically disturbing something or it’s coding and developing. It’s just doing applied research. And the codification of what is important about that work is the theory and that can come afterwards. Maybe it’s reflection.” (3)(6)

Brad Samuels

assumptions

(2)(3)(4) “I think the implicit relationship between what is thought and what is done is crucial. It is a symbiotic relationship, a reflection. It is and needs to be present within our practices in order to be expressed physically and actually produce the impact we want to see in the real world.” - Diana Sáenz, MLA


questioning adaptation

Laura Crescimano

ONWARDialogues

“I think that a big part of critical practice is also questioning practices. I love the idea of critical concepts and intellectual pursuit having strong relationships to practice. The theoretical and the practical interact and inform each other, and we further engage that interaction when we question our own practices. I find that quite often this critical practice happens naturally inside our office, and it then shapes our internal decisions. It happens in the different ways we talk about projects and by shaping the big questions that are underneath our projects. (4)(7) (7) “Critical theory shapes our values and defines what we find meaningful. In this way our value system as designers and the theoretical underpinnings of one’s practice are co-constructive, revealing a cyclical relationship between them.” - Bradley Tomy, MLA

We ask questions such as who’s going to own this space? or how is this going to signal to people that they’re welcome? Our position on these questions informs what kinds of projects we participate in or not. These internal critical considerations help us decide whether we think a project lines up with our values.”

Julie Beagle

should try to relate their projects to ts or theoretical positions? “Landscape architecture is strengthened when it’s tied to place and responds to the place in a way that makes sense of it not just at its site but in its watershed, or along its shoreline, or in the area that it’s working, or for the goals that it is trying to meet. (8) Those types of visions provide real community and can be really powerful in changing the conversation about what types of projects we want to see on the ground, what types of changes we want to see, and how we want our landscape to function for people and also for the natural world….” (8) “This is an example of how thinking globally can oversimplify and therefore disrespect all the communities, condition, or identities at play. Nationally and globally we are working toward the same goal; however, that does not mean we need to be working in the same way. There are no homogeneous techniques that can be replicated and applied for the purpose of convenience or efficiency. We must be more sensitive to the heterogeneity of communities.” - Kati Albee, MArch

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“There has to be agreement between the client and the designer on the big agenda for any project. For example, when we were envisioning a project to build 50+ public spaces, the clients and our team both wanted to include the villagers in the design and the construction project. It was the first time in the government contracts that public participation became an item for design services, and within this agenda, my personal agenda was to ensure participation from women. (1)

Alpa Nawre

AgendaClient

(1)(2) “The reality of climate change will transform everything, including the preconceived understandings of our society. I believe designers who prioritize this change, rather than clinging to an agenda, can move forward by proposing new spatial and social strategies that will influence the behavior of upcoming generations. How can we address changes if we don’t start proposing them ourselves?” - Victoria Mohr Ferrón, Arch

Within every project, there is always scope to build in innovative personal agendas. I would not do a project if the initial agreement with the client on the project ambition or the project agenda is missing.” (2)

“Our goal is to get the clients we want, though we’ve done it in a really risky way. Instead of working for other architects, we worked on these, kind of, selffunding, money-losing projects that ultimately led us to contacts with the kinds of clients who bring the most interesting work. They’re looking for innovation and coming to us because they have some architectural problem which needs to be handled differently than it’s been handled historically. (3)(4)

(3) “This is an inspiring approach, but does it imply that the only people who get to do the most interesting work are either those with existing reputations or those who can afford to lose money on projects until their reputations grow? Are the rest of us relegated to doing the ‘uninteresting’ work?” - Christopher McGuire, MLA

That’s very much a result of taking risks early on, and also having a business model which allowed us to move between different modes of income and stay agile enough to build a practice over time.”

Brad Samuels

How do you manage the agenda own personal age


marketing philosophy

Laura Crescimano

ONWARDialogues

“Managing your own agenda in relation to each client is something that evolves in the life of a firm and in one’s career. When you are beginning a firm, you think a lot about your agenda. But it’s harder because you have to be opportunistic about what’s coming your way and try to find little things inside of each opportunity to fulfill your personal goals. You don’t necessarily have the luxury to say I’m going to hold out, unless you have other sources of income. (5) (4)(5) “Both Brad and Laura build a recognizable brand as a signaling method to attract clients who will align with their personal agendas. They describe an internal process of cultivating, and then expressing, a legible identity. Alternatively, Alpa and Julie manage to build in layers of agendas; their personal agendas become a kind of guidance to their clients. In this case, the clients seem to be interested in their ability to achieve high-impact-considered solutions with longevity to dynamic problems that affect many stakeholders. Alpa and Julie are able to expand the scope of the project and go beyond the client’s requests. I imagine that this allows for a less prescriptive practice that brings the practitioner into unexpected and more meaningful relationship with their work.” - Ellen Herra, MLA

In all things, even in marketing, I believe in owning your strengths. And so even when we had less liberty as a firm we always pursued projects by selling who we were.”

Julie Beagle

a of clients and projects with your enda as a designer? “...City planners or someone working on a project today have a timescale of 5 years, or maybe 10 years. My timescale is on the order of 60 or 70 or 100 years. So we need to give our clients the information about what they can do in 5-10 years, and then how they are going to change later. It’s really hard to walk that line, especially when protecting and working with the natural system and not just blocking off creeks with tide gates. (6) As appealing as that sounds, it is not going to solve problems; it creates a false sense of security and puts people at a serious risk of failure later.”

(6) “Are tide gates or sea walls interventions that work against the natural landscape? Yes, of course. This should not be the default. The natural world will continue to be unpredictable, particularly in the ways it affects (corrodes, weakens, ruptures) the built environment. We need to mitigate via natural techniques rather than designing against the literal current of the natural world.” - Anna Samsonov, MArch

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Figure 1


CRITICALpractice

Academia as Practice From theoretical frameworks to frames of action

JP Corvalán JP Corvalán is an architect with degrees from the Ecole d’Ingenieurs de Geneve, Switzerland; the Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Universidad de Chile, Santiago; and the Berlage Institute Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Currently, he is a candidate for a PhD in Geography from the Pontificia Universidad Católica. He is co-founder of Susuka, an architecture studio based in Chile, and Supersudaca, an international collective for urban research. He has worked as an academic at domestic and foreign universities and his work has been published in various international media. He is currently the Director of the Architecture School of Universidad de las Américas (UDLA), Santiago, Chile.

Acknowledgment I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the architect/professor Diego Romero Evans, who has been an active collaborator in the project since 2014 and invited me to participate in this publication.

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Academia as Practice

Figure 2

ARCHITECTURE’S DISCIPLINARY POLARIZATION

D

espite the co-option of architectural outputs by profit-driven interests, it is still possible for architects to address the spatial challenges of the 21st century, such as social inequality and humanity’s unsustainable impacts on the landscape. To reframe architecture’s contribution to society, we could dissolve the perceived division between academia and practice. Uniting these two realms—the thinking and the doing—may allow architects to better strike the balance between social involvement and professional practice. A new framework, tested in undergraduate curricula at University of the Americas (Universidad de las Américas—UDLA), attempted to integrate academia and practice in hands-on projects that addressed real-world socio-spatial issues. A common critique of architecture today is that it has lost sight of offering quality living spaces and has, instead, become a vehicle for facilitating accumulation. Uniting academia and practice would both address this critique and break the

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Figure 3

Figure 4

binary perception of out-of-touch theorists and uncritical practitioners. Furthermore, a unified framework would help architecture meet the demand for a more egalitarian and sustainable society. Today’s spatial complexity requires transdisciplinary integration and complementary visions across multiple scales. Architecture has seen, through the example of performances and interventions from related disciplines in public realms, an awakening of the possibility to go beyond its institutional walls. PROPOSAL: A NEW FRAMEWORK FOR ACADEMIC PRACTICE Instead of a radical alteration of traditional architecture pedagogy, an academic-practice framework gives new life to classic disciplinary tools and agendas, such as studios focused on the production and testing of concrete spatial ideas. At the same time, it puts many other disciplinary conventions under critical review; for example, that architecture can only be created within a client-commission and solo authorship structure. Additionally, integrating academia and practice


CRITICALpractice

Figure 5

Figure 6

may lead to unexpected outcomes. For instance, professors may learn more from their students, thereby allowing more evolution within the range of architectural content production and avoiding mere repetition of ideas and forms. In this way, providing students more practical experience offers them a clearer understanding of the possibilities available within professional society. EXPERIENCE: ACADEMIC PRACTICE IN THE CHILEAN CONTEXT In response to the growing demand for architecture to engage with social issues, a new project emerged that focused on academia as a critical spatial practice. It evolved through a series of thesis studio projects at several Chilean universities, and culminated in the creation of an interdepartmental academic program at UDLA. The first phase of the series of built studios served as an introduction to academic practice. Undergraduate students created realistic outputs of their final architecture thesis studio projects by actually building their proposals rather than simulating them on paper. This practical application of academic principles met a mix of

enthusiasm and rejection—inviting students to leave their comfort zone was painful. However, for those who persisted, the result was rewarding. Students created amazing outcomes: from a nano-public library in Chile’s most in-demand market hall (Figures 1 and 2) to a Right to the City installation in the most congested square in Santiago (Figures 3, 4, and 7). In spite of initial resistance, the course’s first phase proved successful as students began applying their academic learning to practice. The second phase more broadly integrated academic practice into an official curricular framework. Specifically, the UDLA School of Architecture responded to the initial success of the academic practice program by integrating it into its entire undergraduate curriculum. This invited application of academic methods to the curriculum that provided concrete contributions to underserved urban communities. However, this expansion also faced some pushback from both professors and students. Critics argued that this practical approach strayed too far from traditional architecture’s structure of commissions and authorship.

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Academia as Practice

RESULTS: DILEMMAS AND OUTREACH Aside from the questioning and challenging that inevitably accompany growth, the first generation of students achieved extraordinary results from the Community Intervention Program studio. One critical insight was that the new framework pushed students to take accountability for their projects after they finished: to design for projects’ second life and post-occupancy. Another outcome, for better or worse, was that many of the projects gave academics a taste of the uncertainty and complexity that real-world projects confront. For instance, after a neighborhood sports facility was privatized to address concerns that it had become a site for child prostitution and drug trafficking, a student proposed a public pathway that would help reopen access to the facility for community members (Figure 5). The most pleasant surprise of the studio, and the most celebrated project by the local community, was a mobile mourning space that became a popular community gathering place (Figure 6).

urban communities. This is a spark for further understanding the limits of a status quo that treats academia and practice as distinct. It is a call to abandon the idea of architecture as a provider of abstract solutions and, instead, to see it as a tool to provide clearer spatial diagnoses and contribute to transdisciplinary, socially inclusive, and sustainable approaches to urban adaptation. Imagine the impact that all the intellectual production in architecture schools across the world could have if students applied this framework of academia as practice to raise dialectical questions rather than assume a problem-solving role in real social issues. With this critical-thinking approach, chances are that major breakthroughs would occur. If nothing else, future architects will be better equipped to deal with the complexity of the challenges ahead.

CONCLUSION: MOVING FORWARD The success of these early phases demands that we continue to work within academia as practice: exchanging ideas across disciplines to strengthen architects’ capacity to contribute to the dialogues facing social space today. Obviously, this approach of academia as practice is not a panacea. It is not intended to place undue moral obligations on architecture, nor does it expect students to find perfect solutions to all intricate political and social problems. This initial pedagogical and reflexive experience has brought a sense of awareness not only to future architecture practitioners but also to professors and researchers working to address the social and spatial conditions facing

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Figures 1 and 2 Bibliovega, Nano Public Library Student: Victoria Mohr — UFT — 2016 Co-taught with Diego Romero Evans Images courtesy of Osvaldo Palma Rios Figures 3, 4, and 7 Right to the City Cultural Center Student: Raimundo Isla — UFT — 2016 Co-taught with Diego Romero Evans Image 3 courtesy of Diego Romero Evans Image 4 courtesy of Raimundo Isla Figure 5 Mediating Pathway Student: Mauricio Nilo — UDLA — 2017 Co-taught with Mathias Klenner Figure 6 Itinerant Community House Student: Kevin Amestica — UDLA — 2018 Co-taught with Mathias Klenner


Figure 7 07.22.2016 — In some cases, architecture has the ability to influence and shift—even in an ephemeral way—the social power dynamics of an existing community. The Right to the City Cultural Center intervention was built at the intersection of the two busiest pedestrian walkways in downtown Santiago without any formal permit. Police officers are supposed to take down appropriations of public space that aren’t formally authorized; here, instead, police converse with passersby, explaining rather than dismantling the intervention. This image is evidence of the potential for architectural interventions to create novel social interactions.


Location: Coyote Valley and landcover in 2010 plus regional agriculture land loss from 1986 to 2016


CRITICALpractice

FoodSCAPE A vision for a new multifunctional agricultural settlement pattern

Tiantong (Simba) Gu Tiantong (Simba) Gu studied agriculture and horticulture as an undergrad and graduated with a MLA from the University of Michigan and a MUD from UC Berkeley. Her multidisciplinary background has created a deep-rooted interest in understanding the future balance between built and productive landscapes, especially focusing on studying the flow between urban and rural. Moreover, she is inventing landscape as a design medium to integrate future urban-rural edge design, ultimately connecting people to space, urban to rural, and built environment to nature.

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FoodSCAPE

C

oyote Valley is located between the cities of San Jose and Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County and spans an area of 7,408 acres, most of it farmland. For centuries, it has served as an agricultural resource for the Bay Area. In recent decades, however, Coyote Valley has faced farmland loss and development pressure and is investigating a new settlement pattern for its future. The purpose of this study is to draw attention to the significant problem of agricultural land loss in order to imagine the possibility of connecting urban and rural areas through a new agricultural settlement pattern. The design concept is to expand the definition of the productive landscape to create a new multifunctional agricultural settlement pattern: a mosaic of Agriculture, Living, Ecology, Industry, and Recreation settlements.

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CRITICALpractice

Coyote Valley Master Plan

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FoodSCAPE

INTRODUCTION The world’s urban population will increase to 66% by 2050; this shift will be accompanied by urbanization and the loss of agricultural land. A critical challenge in the future will be how to balance agricultural production demands, the need for urban development, and human quality of life. As a result, interest in urban agriculture is rising; however, it does not address the inexorable loss of farmland near cities due to urban sprawl that further divorces city from country.1 Given that, the purpose of this study is to rethink the function of agriculture and its future settlement pattern, which will bring attention back to the loss of productive land, create a more integrated solution to enhance the flow of food between urban and rural areas, and introduce a new lifestyle. The population of the Bay Area has grown by over 600,000 people since 2010. In conjunction, over the last 30 years, 217,000 acres of agricultural land in the Bay Area have been lost to sprawling development—an area seven times the size of San Francisco. Santa Clara County has been the most agriculturally productive county in the Bay Area for decades and was once named the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Now, however, it is transformed into the center of Silicon Valley and is expected to absorb a greater share of population and job growth than any other county in the region over the next few decades. Since 2000, the county has seen a 29% decline in agricultural production. Coyote Valley, with its agricultural heritage, is strategically located in the center of the county and is impacted by sprawl from the adjoining cities of San Jose and Morgan Hill. San Jose was moving forward with plans to develop Coyote Valley but, as the future negative impacts of sprawling development have been recognized, Coyote

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Valley is rethinking its vision of a sustainable future. Its superior agronomic conditions—deep, fertile soils and plentiful water—offer an extraordinary opportunity to re-invest in new agricultural settlement patterns. Prime soil, which is excellent for agricultural production, dominates several areas in the northern and southwestern sections of the valley. DESIGN The productive landscape provides a flexible starting point within the future urban and rural sustainability agenda. This study utilizes productive landscapes to format a new green space system. A mosaic of different functional landscapes provides a new settlement pattern for future rural-urban edge communities. In order to understand land cover change in past decades and propose new patterns, the question of why farmland is disappearing needs to be studied and answered. Maps indicate that the majority of farmland in the valley is dedicated to low-value agricultural land use such as hay production, pastureland, and rangeland. These uses make up only two percent of the valley’s agricultural value. While parts of the valley are experiencing investment in high-value crops, like cherries and mushrooms, the return on investment for even high-value crops is far less than the value of selling agricultural land for urban development. It is likely that landowners will convert agricultural land to non-agricultural use to receive higher profits. The goal of this design is to provide a new model for the future rural-urban edge development in Coyote Valley and to help decision makers understand the power of productive landscapes in land use planning. The priority is to create space


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TOP TO BOTTOM: Figure 1: Coyote Valley soil quality Figure 2: Crop types and related economic value Figure 3: Landscape-oriented design solution

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Proposed new agricultural typologies

Ag + Residential: Palm Village

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and opportunity for farmers to stay in the valley with the introduction of a new live-work pattern. Five themes are integrated with agriculture: Living, Education, Industry, Ecology, and Recreation. A master plan illustrates the new planning pattern in Coyote Valley and the relationship between development and agriculture. Five pioneer sites have been selected to illustrate each theme. The agricultural pattern and typologies are reconfigured with overlays of parcel size, economic value, crops grown, and existing land use patterns. Eight new agricultural typologies emerge with different size ranges. Large-scale farming will support most row crops. Ag Park will serve as a tourism destination connected with the existing park system. Orchards and nurseries will be reintroduced to the valley to bring back the flower industry. Educational farming will be associated with the new agricultural college. Midscale farms will be planted with specialty crops. Intensive farming will produce specialty crops and economic crops. Small farms will serve as social initiatives; some will be community farms.

2. Ag + Education: Coyote Education Center

FIVE THEMES

The proposed Wild Station is built in an existing warehouse area and will serve as a new center to teach farmers how to farm sustainably. A pollinator habitat will be established to support future agricultural activities. Agroforestry techniques will be implemented to help educate farmers to farm ecologically.

1. Ag + Residential: Palm Village A new Agrihood will be built as an intergenerational community for residents of all backgrounds who love to live in an agricultural setting. The new community is built on an existing low-density residential area on Palm and Hale avenues. Different building typologies are integrated into the design, including singlefamily homes with large private working land and apartments with shared working land.

Based on existing campus and industrial zoning in the northern part of the valley, a new agricultural education campus will be built as an expansion of Gavilan College. The surrounding farmland will be used mainly for agricultural research. A new farmers’ market will connect students to local farmers. 3. Ag + Industry: Coyote Greenhouse Center The new greenhouse center is built within the existing industrial zone and introduces the technique of aquaponics to support variety in food production. The greenhouse not only provides high-efficiency food production but also serves as a vertical landscape in the valley. A community green space will be integrated into the greenhouse area and will create an opportunity for the public to access the new agricultural center. 4. Ag + Ecology: Farming in Wild Station

5. Ag + Tourism: Coyote Ag Park A new Ag Park system will be created and connect to the existing Coyote Creek Parkway. It will bring a diverse range of crops into cultivation, which will eventually increase recreational opportunities, including U-pick farms and high-end, farm-to-table restaurants. The Ag Parks will attract visitors and create more economic value in the valley.

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FoodSCAPE

Ag + Tourism: Coyote Agriculture Park

Ag + Industry: Coyote Greenhouse Center

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CONCLUSION Coyote Valley is seeking a balanced plan between urban development and the preservation of agriculture. The purpose of this study is to reimagine the possibilities of the future agricultural settlement pattern and further connect urban and rural areas. This study assesses the potential in Coyote Valley for the creation of a permanent,

economically viable, and ecologically valuable agricultural resource zone. With local populations booming, the new agricultural settlement will introduce a lifestyle for future residents to live alongside farming and open space. In the future, Coyote Valley will be a regionally significant eco-agricultural resource area that permanently conserves prime farmland and ensures healthy livelihoods for its farmers and residents alike. 1. Grose, Margaret. Constructed Ecologies: Critical Reflections on Ecology with Design. New York: Routledge, 2017.

Ag + Education: Coyote Education Center

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Know Where

Wara BullĂ´t Wara BullĂ´t is a New Zealand-based photographer whose work encompasses the functionalities of our daily life. She often engages with architecture, landscapes, objects, and products we all see around us in ways that may surprise and intrigue. Her current research involves an investigation into the contemporary relationship between the built environment and the natural landscape by examining the transformations of the land through human activity. Wara is a passionate and committed photographer who uses both digital and film photography as tools to uncover the everyday moments that suffuse her work. Alongside her practice, she is a science and marketing photographer at Plant & Food Research.

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ue to the ongoing development and transformation of everyday, constructed landscapes across the globe, I am interested in how the built environment is constantly evolving. While nature is the basis of human existence, the design and construction of the built environment determine how we interpret and interact with our surroundings. The complex and co-existing relationship between nature and our built environment is ambiguous and needs reconsideration. The landscapes of Know Where recombine unrelated urban and suburban places and industrial and commercial spaces. The experimental method of dismantling the photographs and then reconstructing multiple fragments of the subject matter creates placeless scenes of our surroundings that appear familiar yet unidentifiable. It also reveals mixed desires to simultaneously engage with and escape, or even withdraw from, the built environment. Photography, as a medium, depicts representations of reality that can be implicit or explicit. These scenes resemble the state of everyday reality as I know it.

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Nicholas Pevzner

Feliz + Hwang

Marisha Farnsworth

Green New Futures

Hidden in Plain Sight

The Ecocentrics

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’m worried that, as the climate crisis gets more dire, there will be a temptation to turn inward and aim for decarbonization without

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ne of our main concerns for the future is how design practitioners can make significant impacts in a world that urgently needs to contend with complex, “wicked” problems, from ensuring social justice to addressing the climate crisis.

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ur current lifestyles, and especially our building envelopes, separate us physically from other species such that we forget that life is a collaborative endeavor. My hope is that we reconnect with other species and embrace intentional multispecies collaboration until this practice becomes a routine, even banal, part of our daily lives.

t ab out the fut ure

equity. There is an incredible amount of work that can be done to make our cities and landscapes more connected, more open, more joyful, and more biodiverse—while also lowering their carbon footprints. But these benefits must not accrue only to those that can pay extra for them. Design must always remember that it needs to work for the public good, and not for capital.

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A question that we ask of ourselves is: What are ways to effectively tackle difficult ecological, cultural, and economic conditions, while also producing a sense of resonance and meaning through more exploratory creative work?

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Gavin Zeitz

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Lokman + Moskal

Chip Sullivan

Arctic Commons

Climate Imaginaries for Disappearing Coasts

Anthropo-scene

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s a practitioner in landscape architecture, I would say my greatest concern is the disproportionate effect climate change will have on the people who bear no responsibility in causing the damage and no agency in slowing or reducing its effects or reacting and adapting to the new conditions produced by climate collapse. I fear that governmental action will be far too little and far too late. The world needs to act quickly and collaboratively to reimagine geopolitical systems that prioritize those in need as well as the ecological systems that support our existence.

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ees Lokman: I have a 30-month-old daughter, so I am primarily concerned about the state of current affairs that prioritizes short-term economic gains and resource extraction over the health of all people and ecosystems. Consequently, what is the role of design in fostering system-wide change?

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auline Moskal: The Anthropocene presents a new era of unpredictable and accelerating change generated by human influence. My main concern for the future is the inability of all species to keep up with this change. As designers, how are we going to adapt?

e co nce rns you mo st?


View of Manhattan from one of the iconic new wind turbine lookouts Image courtesy of Ira Kapaj


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Green New Futures

Nicholas Pevzner This work emerged from the collective conversations of the Post-Carbon Futures and the Green New Deal seminar, taught at the University of Pennsylvania in Fall 2019, which investigated the potential of the Green New Deal through the lens and legacy of the original 1930s New Deal and its policies. The seminar participants were: Chyanne Eyde, Rui Huang, Ashna Jaiswal, Ira Kapaj, Cheng Kou, Marta Llor, Yoonhee Park, Camila Rivera Torres, Yutian Tang, Gustavo Vega, Tianshuo Wang, Han Zhang, Jinyu Zhang, Neng Zhu, and Knar Gavin. Nicholas Pevzner is a Senior Lecturer in landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and a Faculty Fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at Penn. His research focuses on the socio-spatial impact of energy infrastructure, including spatial planning for the renewable energy transition. Nicholas is the co-editor of Scenario Journal, a digital open-access journal focused on interdisciplinary conversations about ecology, design, and landscape performance. At Penn, he teaches courses on urban ecology and energy landscapes, as well as landscape architecture design studios on landscape infrastructure, energy, climate change mitigation, and resilient urban design. The full-length narratives can be found at www.postcarbonfutures.com.

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here can be no more ignoring it: all around the world, climate change is finally emerging as the paramount defining issue of society. Despite a carefully constructed social silence on this topic throughout the first two decades of the 21st century, during the past two years, climate conversations and politics have undergone a seismic shift as a wave of youth strikes, civil protests, and increasingly apocalyptic extreme weather events around the world have turned up the salience and urgency of climate action. 2020 marks the beginning of the decade when climate change’s future threats finally arrive in the present political moment and also the critical decade when action is still possible to avert its worst effects.1

Amid this growing urgency, over the last decade in the United States, bold proposals for envisioning better futures in the era of the climate crisis have been notably lacking.2 The closest thing to a national climate policy—the 2009 cap-and-trade bill—was nowhere near adequate to meet the climate challenge and, in any case, went on to die an ignominious death in the U.S. Senate. Most of these economic market mechanisms, like carbon taxes and capand-trade systems, have come across as punitive and uninspiring; it’s unsurprising that, in France, these kinds of policies have set off a populist working-class revolt, the Yellow Vest Movement. The arrival on the scene of the Green New Deal framework in 2018 has dramatically and definitively broken from this anemic conversation. Modeled on a World War II-type mobilization, the Green New Deal imagines a 10-year all-out push to begin decarbonizing the economy, with lots of upfront investment in new infrastructure and new low-carbon industries. It is a suite of policies that imagine a dramatic unleashing of government funding thrown at the climate problem, alongside an explicit goal of creating lots of good green jobs and attacking inequality: a decarbonization agenda built alongside strong platforms of labor and equity. Unlike the carbon trading schemes of the previous decade, the Green New Deal asks us to imagine new sustainable infrastructure and urbanism—and lots of it.

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In his book, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene, Jedediah Purdy identifies three interlocking crises that have coalesced in these opening decades of the 21st century: the crises of ecology, economics, and politics. “The three crises,” Purdy writes, “share a starting point: the recognition that a system believed, or at least imagined and hoped, to be self-correcting has turned out to be unstable and even prone to collapse.”3 The ecological crisis is epitomized by the fact that it is now essentially up to human choices whether the major ecological systems of the planet will survive or fail. The economic crisis is rooted in both the failure of contemporary capitalism to deal with rampant inequality and to adequately price externalities: “the harms that are invisible to the economy,” Purdy states, “may overwhelm the system itself.” The Green New Deal tackles the economic and ecological crises together and, in so doing, builds a movement that unlocks the third contemporary crisis—politics. It seeks to grow a new political hegemonic block,4 one powerful enough to take on the extractivist forces of international capital that continue to fuel the climate crisis. Central to this challenge is the role of imagination: both political imagination and landscape imagination because, to be successful, the new coalitions will need to articulate a new theory of change, as well as new (more just, more accessible, much less carbon-intensive, and eventually even carbon-negative) visions of society and the built environment. From housing to urban design, energy, transportation, leisure, public institutions, and infrastructure—all of these new modes of being must rapidly be reimagined and redesigned. We’ve been here before, in a way, and have prevailed. The Green New Deal, down to its name, explicitly references the original 1930s New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which tackled

the twin problems of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, putting millions of Americans to work building new public infrastructures for the public good. At the time, designers did their part in shaping this new hopeful future—from the sweeping futuristic architecture of TVA dams to the thousands of WPA playgrounds, libraries, post offices, and courthouses; from the new CCC-built state and national parks to the iconic posters of the Federal Art Project.5 The Green New Deal posits that we can once again use the power of government to tackle the overarching threats of the day but, this time, even bigger and faster to confront the scale of the climate crisis, and do so more equitably than the New Deal did in its day. At its core, the Green New Deal must be fundamentally anti-extractivist, reparative, internationalist, and intersectional. The current path is clearly unsustainable, but alternative directions are uncertain and hard to picture. As designers, landscape architects, and spatial planners, it is incumbent on us to use the tools of imagination to craft radical yet achievable new futures, sketching out directions that can guide policymakers and advocates toward a more hopeful, more equitable, and radically decarbonized vision of society. Speculative design, write design theorists Dunne and Raby, is useful, “to open up new perspectives on what are sometimes called wicked problems, to create spaces for discussion and debate about alternative ways of being, and to inspire and encourage people’s imaginations to flow freely. Design speculations can act as a catalyst for collectively redefining our relationship to reality.”6 At a moment when visions for a just, post-carbon future are still being defined and debated, there is an opportunity for designers to articulate a future that is worth fighting for. We are not interested in impossible utopias but in those that might be on


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the edge of the possible, yet are unequivocally preferable to business as usual. In a seminar at the University of Pennsylvania called PostCarbon Futures and the Green New Deal, design students imagined some of these Green New Futures, then filled in the backstory describing how we got there. In some cases, the road was not straight and critical opportunities were missed to decarbonize in time to avoid some of the impacts of climate change. In some cases, it took precipitating events like mass migrations, fires, and ocean die-offs to trigger action. But in all these speculative futures, we eventually found the path toward meaningful climate action, crafting a more just and equitable society along the way. Here are some of the dispatches from these futures:

FROM NEW STEWARDS BY CHYANNE EYDE: “I have a confession to make; I used to think I was progressive. I organized conversations about implicit bias in my workplace; I adopted loads of ‘zero-waste’ lifestyle habits; I voted for Democrats. But now, I look at my children, all in their 20s, and I realize that I have been, thankfully, outpaced. Jules, my youngest, is 20 and, thanks to a lifetime spent with teachers of the New Stewards curriculum, is unflinching in their view of humans as, at best, equal to other types of living things. I believe this too, but am I willing to follow that string all the way to its current conclusion—that damaging the living environment around us is punishable by law, with prison sentences?

• Created by teacher activists • • adopted by the dept of education • • expanded under the green new deal •

New Stewards, a curriculum for early childhood educators, emerged from the desires of teacher activists to mobilize themselves and their students toward climate justice. As part of the Green New Deal, children across the country will learn the three R’s: Responsibility, Resilience, and CReativity.

A New Stewards educator introduces the curriculum.

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As our world changes, resiliency is an important trait for individuals and for the systems they build. New Stewards teaches children how to conscientiously plan for themselves and for the environment. A module on water systems examines past systems and encourages long-term thinking.

Payshances, 5, examines a compromised water source.


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It’s no small thing that, in 2030, thanks to steady expansion of publicly-funded early education as part of the Green New Deal, Jules started prekindergarten at three. It’s an enormous thing that they and all their peers, thanks to the New Stewards curriculum implemented across the country, learned the meaning of ‘biodegradable’ at four and ‘carbon sequestration’ at seven. Maybe most significantly, Jules was engaged from middle school on in the modern debate over which crimes society should punish most harshly. When an individual, or a group of individuals in a company, ruins soil, bleaches habitats, and devastates species, how does the damage compare to that of bank robberies, drug smuggling, or violence? Jules and their peers are unequivocal in their support of criminal prosecution for environmental crimes.

• Created by teacher activists • • adopted by the dept of education • • expanded under the green new deal •

To be responsible means to feel a duty to deal with something. New Stewards introduces children to ways they can help heal our living environment. With an emphasis on closed-loop systems, children compost, DIY-recycle, and learn about responsible approaches to reforestation.

Jules’ world is different from mine. They’ll never get a chance to see Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska and there are parts of the world that climate instability has made too politically unstable to visit. But I’ll never know what it’s like to grow up surrounded by peers who are foundationally committed to the environment in a way my generation ever only was superficially. As the Supreme Court considers Chukchi Sea v. BP, relitigating in many ways the landmark case Chesapeake Bay v. Exxon, it seems very possible the newly progressive court will side with nature. This is mind-blowing to me and obvious to my child—a real sign of progress.” FROM RED TIDE BY GUSTAVO VEGA: “Looking back, from 2020 to 2030, the U.S. lagged in any real decarbonizing infrastructure investments; many historians call it the lost decade. Even as millions of climate refugees worldwide galvanized against unfair treatment in the “Carbon Spring” of 2025 and 29 countries formalized collaboration toward a carbon-free future, the U.S. doubled down on climate change denial and isolationism. It was not until the Paris Agreement reassessment in 2030 that economic sanctions on the U.S. finally forced change. In a desperate bid to remove sanctions, the federal government agreed to implement some carbon capture measures. They started an iron fertilization program. The international scientific community warned against it, but the extent of potential side-effects was still unknown. The federal government claimed sovereignty, saying that they were only seeding their exclusive economic zone and not international waters. For the first two years, phytoplankton blossomed, acidification lessened, and the world watched as fish populations increased, leading to a resurgence of the fishing industry. Other countries

Khloe, 4, experiments with a model of reforestation.

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followed suit to immediate positive effect. The E.U. and China, however, had a growing stack of peer-reviewed papers predicting catastrophic side-effects, and abstained.

and diffused iron and given way to a cascade of algae reproduction. The red tide kept spreading; a week after, the entire southern coast of the U.S. was covered with Gonyaulax dinoflagellates.

The much-debated dangers of iron fertilization came true in July 2035, when Hurricane Martha made landfall in Louisiana. The state received 26 inches of rainfall in one day, the Mississippi overflowed, and farmland flooded. The following week, the crashing waves had a peculiar red tinge. The warm waters of the ocean had mixed nitrogen

The Gulf Stream carried the algae bloom towards the shores of Maine; two months later, red tides were visible at Plymouth Bay. Fish stocks plummeted and the resurgence in shellfish was wiped out, as the algae depleted available oxygen in the upper strata of the ocean and sea life slowly suffocated. Some cargo ships reported miles of

The Ocean Restoration Program uses repurposed oil rigs as monitoring stations and a command center for ocean restoration. Platforms double as hatcheries where technicians fertilize fish eggs. Some rigs host carbon capture systems, which pump carbon back into the reservoirs where oil was previously extracted.

Around 2037, the federal government issued climate bonds to generate funds for investment in decarbonization. These bonds are crucial for infrastructure construction. This poster illustrates some of the critically endangered species impacted by the red tide event of 2035.


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floating dead fish. Seabirds died by the thousands, poisoned by neurotoxins produced by Gonyaulax in the fish they ate. Human consumption of wildcaught fish was discouraged, and the FDA issued worldwide recalls. The public demanded action. The U.S. needed a new solution and the Green New Deal floated to the top. Previously touted as a pipe dream, the bill that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez feverishly promoted would successfully pair fair social programs with total decarbonization of the U.S. economy. This time around, a main component was the ‘Blue New Deal,’ which leaned heavily on what countries like Senegal, Papua New Guinea, and the Maldives had promoted a decade earlier. The Blue New Deal included programs like ‘Just Relocation’ that offered help for those displaced by sea level rise, which bailed out many Floridians when the ocean rose another foot. It also featured the creation of the Civilian Ocean Conservation Corp (COCC), which retrained unemployed fishers and fossil fuel workers and directed their efforts toward restoring coastal ecosystems. The fossil fuel companies’ assets came in handy for the Ocean Restoration Program (ORP); the unused offshore oil rigs were converted into sea life monitoring stations and fish hatcheries. ORP’s goal was to preserve biodiversity and stave off future red tide events. Even with the algae bloom and consequent die-off, most of the known Atlantic Ocean species survived. The private sector also played a role; with the creation of floating fish farms, the demand for fish did not depend on overfishing wild species. By 2045, wild shellfish populations were rebounding; some species proved able to grow in more acidic waters. Much has been learned in the past 50 years about human nature and our planetary impact.

The human suffering of the past decades has taught the countries of the world to collaborate. There are still conflicts for resources, but the international community is focusing more on planetary stewardship. We, as a species, have centuries of work ahead of us to overcome the damage we have done, but the Green New Deal has positively affected people around the country, and it seems that more positive impacts are still to come.” FROM LET’S GO FOR THAT ENERGY DEMOCRACY NOW BY CAMILA RIVERA TORRES: “We realized we had actually been doing the work for a long time: organizing, rallying, lobbying. Nevertheless, we needed to bring more people into it, not just to sign a petition here and there or to vote for a candidate, but to make the Movement an everyday thing, relevant to all. We started by boosting the power of coalitions, cooperatives, and small groups. Change had to start from the ground up, so we created education centers throughout the country to engage with communities. We ran trainings for real-life skills so that people could help in their own communities and hold well-paid jobs. Slowly, more and more people saw they could improve their lives this way and became part of our community programs and the Movement in general. Then we went deeper! Anticipating how much we could transform in the long run, we started workshops for kids and teens. We started thinking about democratic socialism. Newer generations were more open to leaving behind neoliberal practices in order to ensure environmental transformation and social benefits for all. Branding agencies and designers worked to reframe and rename the concepts that had challenged so many in the past. Many of the kids that went through our workshops became

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teachers, lawyers, designers, activists, and even politicians. They chipped away at inequality in their workplaces and helped advance a positive perception of a democratic socialist system. Public school curricula were transformed, environmental justice classes were added, and climate denial slowly faded away. Most importantly, we created spaces to hear the voices of systematically marginalized communities. It became mandatory for students, educators, and public service employees to do community service that served them.

The Plan’s decolonizing politics gave indigenous communities the power of decision over their sacred lands; it happened in Hawaii, the Dakotas, all over the country! Puerto Rico was finally conceded the freedom to govern itself after 544 years.

A typical day in the Forest Schools, where children engage in different educational activities. The forest is the main classroom, and students and teachers are the primary stewards of the living ecosystem.

A network of organizations is distributed throughout a town to strengthen the fabric of its community. Community Training Centers offer meeting space and instruction in energy install and organizing.

Non-profits and independent farms had long challenged inequality. Communities organized land trusts to prevent displacement and gentrification. Farmland was shared and its products sold outside the neighborhoods for the benefit of all. Community centers trained people


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for a variety of green jobs. They forested excess land in their trusts, and communities became stewards of their forests. Forests became schools to promote a new environmental conscience and consciousness in children. Although there was a significant change, the process was not simple, and we still faced the consequences of environmental abuse. The hurricanes became stronger; people were forced away from many coasts. Half of New Jersey moved inland, and some islands in the Pacific and Caribbean were lost forever. Climate refugees swarmed the U.S., and this was one of the reasons that people began talking about radical change. Only in truly seeing the other did we come to understand that sharing was the way to have enough for all. It took longer than we wanted but, eventually, the Green New Deal came about, not because one unifying bill was passed but because of thousands of small actions throughout the country.” FROM THE GREEN NEW DEAL AND THE ENERGY SECTOR BY IRA KAPAJ:

One of the wind turbines of the new wind farm off the coast of Long Island, showing the engraved names of hurricane victims.

“Energy infrastructure is meant to become part of our immediate built environment, not set aside in uninhabited parts of the world. This is not about large-scale interventions versus smallscale interventions, it is not about natural versus technological solutions, and it is not about topdown versus bottom-up decision-making. This future is not about dichotomies or categorization. In our new cyborg world, everything happens all at once.” 1. Berwyn, Bob. “What Does ‘12 Years to Act on Climate Change’ (Now 11 Years) Really Mean?.” Inside Climate News, August 27, 2019.

4. Patel, Raj and Goodman, Jim. “A Green New Deal for Agriculture.” Jacobin, April 4, 2019.

2. Meyer, Robinson. “Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change.” The Atlantic, November 15, 2017.

5. Pevzner, Nicholas. “The Green New Deal, Landscape, and Public Imagination” Landscape Architecture Magazine, July 23, 2019.

3. Purdy, Jedediah. “Introduction.” In After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene. Cambridge & London: Harvard University Press, 2015.

6. Dunne, Anthony and Raby, Fiona. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. Cambridge, MA & London: The MIT Press, 2013.

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Hidden in Plain Sight

Nerea Feliz and Joyce Hwang Double Happiness is a collaboration between Nerea Feliz and Joyce Hwang. Their creative practice focuses on research and design at multiple scales with interests in the intersections of interior design, architecture, urbanism, and ecology. Collectively, they are registered architects in Spain, the UK, and New York State. Feliz is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, and directs Nerea Feliz Studio. Hwang is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair at the University at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning, and directs Ants of the Prairie. Please see groundupjournal.org for the video associated with this article.

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idden in Plain Sight is a proposal for a series of urban furnishings that aim to amplify and bring awareness to various forms of urban life and support an inclusive web of interdependent species, both human and non-human. This body of research is part of a multi-year initiative to design a collective “Cyborg Garden” to turn the outdoor spaces of the Matadero Madrid complex—a former slaughterhouse that has been converted to an arts center—into laboratories for testing nature-based solutions to make the complex more habitable in the face of global climate change. This initiative seeks to frame planetary change as a challenge that is as much cultural and political as it is scientific and technological. The design process included a series of monthly interdisciplinary workshops with representatives from Madrid City Council, as well as scientists and experts from various disciplines, including environmental engineering, botany, entomology, and pedology. Hidden in Plain Sight is one of five design proposals for a series of replicable prototypes designed to raise the resilience of this public space in Madrid. The project explores how design can amplify the current discourse on climate change in the context of public space.


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Human Cocoon & Sapling Island: ABOVE: Human perspective, RIGHT: Insect perspective

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Hidden in Plain Sight aims to enhance our experience of public space. It is conceived as a series of urban furnishing prototypes that bring shading, lighting, vegetation, and seating into the public sphere. This family of prototypes operates between and across scales, from the scale of humans to the scale of the insect. The series of urban rooms, walls, and furniture pieces can function as individual units or in aggregation. They set the stage for public programming, such as film screenings and small concerts. Borrowing from models of interior occupation—not streets but corridors, not squares but rooms—Hidden in Plain Sight introduces a sense of public interiority and cultivates urban intimacy between the environment and the life forms that inhabit it.

The project seeks to make visible the underacknowledged world of non-human species, particularly insects, as active participants in urban life by attracting and magnifying their presence in our shared urban spaces. While we often think of cities as human-centered territory, insects are a significant part of our ecosystems, serving as pollinators, seed-dispersers, decomposers, and a food source for other species, such as bats and birds. Various insect species are also bioindicators, or “living barometers” of environmental conditions. According to a recent study, 40% of insect species are in danger of extinction in the coming decades due to climate change and the extensive use of pesticides.1 To support and cultivate beneficial insect populations, the


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project team identified some of the most common butterfly and moth species in the Casa de Campo and Madrid Rio areas, where Matadero Madrid is sited. The Hidden in Plain Sight prototypes incorporate planting scenarios to accommodate both caterpillars and butterflies: mesh-enclosed planters protect caterpillars from predators, while open planting beds house brightly colored wildflowers to attract nectar-seeking butterflies. MUTUALISM IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT Hidden in Plain Sight deploys visual tactics to enhance insect habitability while also provoking human curiosity through new spatial and perceptual experiences. Stemming from the fascinating world of insect vision and perception, the project uses colors, patterns, and light to

the benefit of both insects and humans. To provide a sense of camouflage for butterflies, patterns are imprinted on the prototypes’ curving walls; the patterns’ colors are coordinated with adjacent wildflowers. To promote habitability for birds, bats, bees, and other insects, distinct pods are fabricated and inserted into the upper portions of the prototype walls that add a textural and volumetric dimension to the prototypes’ undulating surfaces. At night, the design uses "positive phototaxis” and ultraviolet black light to attract insects, a phenomenon that can be videorecorded and projected as a form of spectacle.

1. Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco & Wyckhuys, Kris A.G. "Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: a review of its drivers." Biological Conservation 232, (2019): 8-27.

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The Ecocentrics

Marisha Farnsworth Marisha Farnsworth is an artist whose large-scale public space interventions explore future ecosystems, infrastructural utopias, and the social and ecological implications of materiality in the built environment. Her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Venice Biennale, and is in the collection of the Nevada Museum of Art. Marisha currently teaches at UC Santa Cruz.

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The Ecocentrics

COHABIT I

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he oldest parts of the community were already given over to compost, some in orderly piles, others in heaps resembling the original architecture. Some residents continued to inhabit a few old rooms that stood alone in a detritus field. As the structure was abandoned at one end and recreated at the other, the mycelial mat edged east, away from the sea. When it was time to feed the fungus, the city awoke. Workers in clean suits moved shredded agricultural waste from the sterilization ovens to vats where it was cooled and mixed with live mycelia. From there, the inoculated substrate was hauled in carts through the zippered door that separated the Cohabit from the worksite. The shape of the future structure was already visible, traced in bioplastic formwork appended to the Cohabit: a shell of hallways and vaults supported by networks of old steel scaffolding and stacks of wood blocks. All along the raised platforms, people in clean suits packed damp substrate into the forms, by degrees obscuring the white light radiating through the ceiling. The odor of raw mushrooms and wet cellulose permeated the worksite and, in places, moisture precipitated from the edges of the panels and spread across the ground.

Those who weren’t cultivating the Cohabit were preparing food in the communal halls, where thick mycelial walls insulated the interior from the construction din and the brisk coastal breeze. The piebald ochres of dead mycelium pressed against the hard shell of the interior, a clear plastic molded with shelves and hooks now filled with dried Ganoderma lucidum and Pleurotus ostreatus fermenting with Lactobacillus plantarum. Here and there along the walls, where panels had not been fastened together properly, desiccated biomass and shriveled mushrooms had pushed their way through the seams before all growth had been halted.

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Outside, a growing mountain of construction debris mixed with household waste, food scraps, and bodies was layered in large compost piles. At the bottom of these new topographic features, lay former dwellings, polymers, synthetic hydrocarbons, and synthetic rock––relics from the Age of Garbage, when humans created persistent materials. From these piles, recent rain had caused mushrooms to fruit, releasing clouds of spores. Children played on the hillocks, and some gathered mushrooms alongside the pigeons, towhees, and chickens who scratched at the humus. COHABIT II Even where not consumed by fire, the trees were mostly dead. It had started with the oaks, then the pines, and finally the redwoods. Insects and fungi that flourished in warmer temperatures were responsible for the tree mortality rate and the tall rotting snags that dominated the hillsides. Uncontrollable fires had burned much of California’s forests, leaving few places untouched. The seemingly endless fire season had caused most residents to flee to the cities long ago and, when services had been cut, the remaining stragglers reluctantly retreated. No one lived in forested areas anymore, except those who lived there by necessity. The people at Talmalamne Forest Cohabit tended to the forest, lighting prescribed fires in the remaining old groves and monitoring the condition of the ecosystem. They also selectively harvested dead trees for their own needs. The forest settlement was austere—constructed entirely of acetylated dead pine trees. Because of frequent fires, people kept few possessions, and what they had they were willing to sacrifice. The jagged roofs of the A-frame structures were

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already blackened and charred from a fire that had grown out of hand a few years before. In some areas where fires had burned too hot, the surface of the soil had been sterilized. Here, the humans attempted to inoculate the soil with microbes, fungi, and seedlings—a seemingly futile task when a single human could only cover a quarter of a kilometer per day. It was the other animals who persevered: an earful of waxwings expelled clouds of seeds as they moved across the blackened landscape; a single nutcracker tirelessly buried tens of thousands of pine seeds among the dead trees. After a time, shrubs and grasses that were able to withstand the droughts and the increasing temperatures recolonized, but the forest would not return without care. The humans painstakingly delivered water by hand through the forest and, where saplings successfully took root, cool microclimates and microbiota began to establish. In the few forested places spared by wildfire, small fires had been lit intentionally. This prescribed fire zone was demarcated by new vegetation; everywhere along the charred ground, the forest had begun to regenerate. Fire activated the seeds of ceanothus and coffeeberry that had lain dormant in the soil and melted the resin of the serotinous cones of the lodgepole pines. Ash carbonated the soil and fertilized the roots of the young saplings with nitrogen, calcium, and potassium, their green stems prismatic in the dim winter light. The rains were rare but, when they came, the subterranean buds of the buckeye emerged, drawing stored nutrients from a mat of roots; the manzanita, chamise, scrub oak, and wildflowers joined in the orgy of germination.


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COHABIT III The Ecocentrics had been developing the grotto at the geyser for generations—no one knew exactly for how long. Each year, they arrived to rearrange or set new dams and sluices that directed the flow of the sulfurous water. The mineral forms slowly accreted in marbled orange and green as the bacterial communities spread, layer over layer. Recognizing that it was these cyanobacteria that had oxygenated the Earth and that the greatest concentration of life on the planet was bacteria buried deep within the rocks, the Ecocentrics came to commune with bacteria as they surfaced, and to appease them, in fear of the cataclysmic eruption that could wipe out most of the remaining life forms on the planet. Over time, a series of gnarled spires had materialized out of the water, marking cavernous spaces of refuge in the otherwise flat desert landscape. Warm water dripped along stalactites, sheeted over slimy floors, cascaded over the nodular parapets of the travertine walls that grew ever more massive year by year. The spring vents were fickle, appearing here, moving there, suddenly ceasing to flow, so that planning was nearly impossible. Half-built domes spread erratically across the surface of the lagoon like the ruin of some incomprehensible structure. Bursts of boiling water ejected as much as one ton of stone per day and attendants scrambled to reconfigure the scaffolding to avoid platforms collapsing under their own weight. Every now and then, an attendant was caught off guard by these sudden eruptions and was badly burned or killed.

color floated lazily in the steaming waters or lay on the banks, caked in drying mud or clustered in the shadow of the grotto, feet trailing in waters charged with calcium, magnesium, and carbon dioxide. After traveling through ancient ocean beds 150-million-years-old, the hot water had inherited the chemical signature of the oceanic crust and now formed a tiny sea in the desert. Corals appeared to grow on its shore, as grasses became encrusted in calcium carbonate, forming polyp-like fractals. Within the structures, strange objects had been affixed to the walls, some so covered in calcareous excrescence that their original forms could not be determined; others were revealed, the changing course of the hot waters having moved elsewhere long ago. These artifacts were made of materials not seen any longer—polymers and hydrocarbons of all kinds that were formed together in specific, but now incomprehensible, shapes. These objects had been repurposed as shelves, seats, vessels, decoration—a museum encased in dendritic crystalline clusters. The anthropogenic forms marked a thin, odd layer on top of the hundreds of meters of calcium carbonate laid down during the Holocene and Pleistocene. On top of this layer, a new morphology was emerging, formed in a collaboration between humans, minerals, and microbes.

But mostly there was celebration and revelry for the reemergence of the water after its manythousands-of-years journey through the faults into Earth’s lower crust. Naked bodies of every

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Figure 1 Abandoned military base repurposed as a community for climate refugees


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Arctic Commons A collective future

Gavin Zeitz Gavin Zeitz is a landscape architect whose work investigates the relationship between territory, ecological systems, and cultural landscapes. His work focuses on complex landscape issues and how they are catalogued, organized, and represented to a variety of disciplines and stakeholders. His work includes research projects investigating the future of Arctic landscapes, cultural landscapes of climate change, dammed rivers and watersheds in New England, and urban infrastructural space. In his research, Gavin has spent time traveling throughout the global North, specifically in Alaska, Greenland, and Iceland. Gavin is currently a critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as a designer at LANDING Studio in Somerville, MA. In the past, he has worked for the Dredge Research Collaborative as well as the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab. Please see groundupjournal.org for the video associated with this article.

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Arctic Commons

A COLLECTIVE FUTURE

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he Arctic Commons envisions a world where geopolitical cooperation and transnational partnership generate an attitude of planetary collectivism that promotes future stability in the Arctic and the rest of the world. The declaration for an Arctic Commons lays out a new constitutional framework focused on prioritizing the rights of marginalized indigenous communities, at-risk wildlife species, and critical environmental habitat zones. As a document, the declaration represents a new ideological paradigm for the 21st century that abandons the all-encompassing neoliberal agenda and paves the way for the restoration and reclamation of disenfranchised cultures, traditions, and ecosystems. To move on from a capitalist, growth-driven mindset of dictating territory, we must dissect the current situation. We must ask ourselves—how can these future policies exemplify a reconciliatory form of kinship between economic activity, the environment, and human inhabitants?

PHASE SHIFT ONE: MIGRATION Bering Land Bridge Crossing

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16,000 Years Ago


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This project questions our understanding of the Arctic at a range of scales and investigates how landscape architects can re-politicize their design intentions by applying design research, visual representation, and narrative to encourage action around critical landscape issues. Through the use of a diverse set of narrative and visual tools, complex issues can be distilled to effectively stimulate public interest and engagement. The Arctic Commons looks onward to a future where geopolitical forces are shaped by ecological processes and cultural history. In effect, the declaration lays out a path forward to a new Arctic status quo.

THE THREE GREAT SHIFTS There have been three critical paradigm shifts in the spatial organization of the Arctic: 1. the land bridge migration and settlement around 16,500 years ago, 2. early Euro-American colonization roughly 300 years ago, 3. militarization and neoliberal expansion (Figure 2). A looming fourth wave of spatial reorganization imperils the future of the Arctic and threatens the common heritage of humankind.

Figure 2 Three great shifts.

PHASE SHIFT TWO: MODERNIZATION Radar Stations and Oil 50 Years Ago

PHASE SHIFT THREE: COLLAPSE Global Climate Change Present Day

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Arctic Commons

Early attitudes depicted the Arctic as a terra nullius, a no-man’s land and vacant territory of sublime natural forces. We now know that this assumption was ignorant and inaccurate, but the consequences and conditions which grew from this attitude still plague the communities, cultural heritage, and ecology of the North. Going forward, it is critical that we realign our understanding of the North as a land for all, or a terra omnis. The North and South poles of the world are critical environmental balancers keeping the climate at a homeostasis. Large climatic shifts in these regions will alter global weather and climate to an unknowable, albeit disastrous, degree. We must respect the Arctic as a geography of rich, unique cultures and ecosystems, while acknowledging the reality of international geopolitical pressure to utilize the Arctic for fuel-saving shipping routes and natural resources. The remote nature of the Arctic communities has often led to tragic government policies which have eroded the cultural heritage of the first settlers of the North for centuries. The Cold War brought military occupation, government control of native lifeways, forced relocation, and environmental degradation and contamination. We’re currently at the brink of environmental collapse in the region and we can easily foresee a future with an ice-free Arctic. Our future policies in the Arctic will make or break the ecosystems and cultures tied to environmental stability. In order to address these issues, we need to subvert the classic, persisting notion that the Arctic is a terra nullius and envision the region as a terra omnis.

MAPPING FLUID TERRITORIES The Arctic is in a constant state of flux, a perpetual contradiction between fluid, solid, and somewhere in between. The edge between land and sea changes from day to day, year to year, century to century. This provokes a host of challenging questions—how do we define the boundaries of a shifting territory? How do we create flexible networks that can monitor and adapt to fluctuations? Currently the region is defined by arbitrary and antiquated cartographic standards; anything above latitude line 66.66 is considered the Arctic. However, there are a multitude of other lenses through which to define this malleable territory— exclusive economic zones, caribou habitat zones, oil field leases, land conservation tracts, ground conditions, indigenous languages, or transportation networks (Figure 3). This set of maps represents the esoteric and contradictory definitions we have adopted as geographic delineations of territory while also shedding light on the complexity of the problem. There is no one easy fix, but superimposing the data exposes opportunities and potential conflict areas that allow for a prioritization of interests. In certain areas, habitat may be given precedence while, in others, it may end up being an infrastructural opportunity that takes priority. The composite maps lead to a series of strategic cartographic approaches to situate emergency and environmental response stations, provide public access, value existing cultural artifacts, and harness the power of climate change (Figure 4).

Figure 3 Defining the boundaries of processes and operations: The Arctic is defined in a myriad of ways depending on who is drawing the lines. This creates confusion, volatility, and unpredictability.

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TIONS This creThis cre-

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DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF PROCESS

The Arctic is defined in a myriad of ways depending on w ates confusion, volatility, and unpredictability.

nt

Arctic by Economic Zones

nt

Arctic Economic Zone Arctic by by Economic Zones

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Arctic by Economic Zones

structure

Arctic by Airports and Roads

Arctic andRoads Roads Arcticby byAirports Airports and Arctic by Airports and Roads

Arctic by Critical Ecologies

Arctic by by Critical Ecologies Arctic Critical Ecologies Arctic by Critical Ecologies

DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF PROCESSES AND OPERATIONS The Arctic is defined in a myriad of ways depending on who is drawing the lines. This creates confusion, volatility, and unpredictability.

Arctic by Climate

Arctic by Shipping Lanes and Ports

Arctic by Shipping Lanes and Ports

Arctic by Search and Rescue

Arctic by Search and Rescue

Arctic by Migratory Bird Habitat

Arctic by Migratory Bird Habitat

structure

Arctic by Shipping Lanes and Ports

Arctic by Search and Rescue

Arctic by Migratory Bird Habitat

structure

Arctic by Shipping Lanes and Ports

Arctic by Search and Rescue

Arctic by Migratory Bird Habitat

DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF PROCESSES AND OPERATIONS Arctic by Climate

The Arctic is defined in a myriad of ways depending on who is drawing the lines. This creates confusion, volatility, and unpredictability.

Arctic by Ice Extent

DEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF PROCESSES AND OPERATIONS The Arctic is defined in a myriad of ways depending on who is drawing the lines. This creates confusion, volatility, and unpredictability.

Arctic by Habitat Areas

Arctic by Ocean Depth

Arctic by National Borders

Arctic by Ground Condition

ves

Arctic by Habitat Areas

Arctic by Ocean Depth

Arctic by Ground Condition

ves

Arctic by Habitat Areas

Arctic by Ocean Depth

Arctic by Ground Condition

ves

Arctic by Habitat Areas

Arctic by Ocean Depth

Arctic by Ground Condition

Arctic by Climate

Arctic by Climate Arctic by Climate

Arctic by National Borders Arctic by Ice Extent

Arctic by Extent Arctic by Ice Extent

Arctic by Military Infrastructure Arctic by Economic Zones

Arctic by Indigenous Languages Arctic by Economic Zones Arctic by Indingeous Language

Arctic by National Borders

Arctic by Military Infrastructure

Arctic by National Borders

Arctic by Indingeous Language Arctic by Military Infrastructure

Arctic by Oil Reserves Arctic by Oil Reserves Arctic by Shipping Lanes and Ports

Arctic by National Borders

Arctic by Military Infrastructure

Arctic by Shipping Lanes and Ports

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PROVIDE Public Access

DECLARE Infrastructure As Monument

The Inter-Arctic Public Use Shelters

Commons Tribunal Network

Arctic Commons

SITUATE Response The Arctic Contingency Team

VALUE Infrastructural Artifacts

Provide public access:

Declare infrastructure as monument: The NEW Line

The inter-Arctic public use shelters

Commons tribunal networks

SITUATE Response

VALUE Infrastructural Artifacts

The Arctic Contingency Team

The NEW Line

Situate response:

Value infrastructural artifacts:

The Arctic contingency team

The new line

Figure 4 Strategic cartographic approaches to situate landscape interventions.

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MATERIALIZING THE ARCTIC COMMONS To understand the ways an Arctic Commons would manifest spatially, we have prototyped six landscape interventions. These six landscape propositions each zoom into a specific site and shrink the regional strategies down to the scale of human experience and constructibility. Each of the six prototypes engages an emergent issue in the region as well as a different stakeholder. 1. Public-use facilities provide adventurers, researchers, emergency response teams, and hunters with shelter in remote regions. The stations make use of legacy infrastructure and vernacular materials such as out-of-use radar stations or shipping containers. 2. Renovated military bases often found on high and stable ground are repurposed as new communities for climate refugees who wish to remain in the area (Figure 1). 3. New shoreline constructions—shelter platforms—emerge at the eroding coastal edge of a permafrost-dune and provide stable ground along the disappearing coast. As permafrost melts away, the platforms eventually become a part of the sea while maintaining the communities’ deep ties to place. 4. Similarly, as the ice disappears, hunting platforms are built into the coastal waters to enable fishermen to continue their cultural traditions of hunting sea life for sustenance. 5. At the Bering Strait, a sublime building links the North American and Asian continents with the construction of the Arctic Commons Tribunal, a center for global diplomacy and sustainable shipping logistics. A tollway at the strait taxes passing ships; the funds it generates contribute

to the Arctic Reconciliation Fund, supporting local initiatives in education, health, community engagement, and renewable industry. 6. In Greenland, a new model for sustainable resource extraction emerges: the Arctic Sand Commons. This initiative capitalizes on the catastrophe of glacial melting to empower local communities to harvest and export the massive quantities of sand, gravel, and silt fertilizer deposited by glaciers during their retreat. The material is dredged from fjords and shipped to coastal areas threatened by sea level rise for use in restoration projects. The material goes to marsh, dune, and beach reconstruction; as well as aggregate for constructed storm barriers. Locally, the Arctic Sand Commons helps Greenland become a monetarily independent territory that is able to retain its younger workforce and continue its cultural heritage of working the land. ONWARD, NOW The Arctic Commons is not a speculative approach to the issues facing the global North but, rather, a critical response to the lack of urgency in addressing these issues to date. Our current political systems will not get us out of this mess; we need to overhaul the standard protocol and reinvent our entire approach, mapping and constructing landscapes that are by and for all. This can only be done if marginalized social and ecological communities are given power. We must reconcile our political differences and invent new forms of geopolitical governance that are collaborative and multi-scalar in their approach. The time is now to think of our northern landscapes as vital to the future of humankind. The Arctic must become a terra omnis.

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Climate Imaginaries for Disappearing Coasts Pelly Island

Kees Lokman and Pauline Moskal Kees Lokman is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on design challenges related to the climate crisis, including coastal adaptation, water and food shortages, and the energy transition. His research has been funded through various agencies and municipalities and is published in various journals, including the Journal of Landscape Architecture, Landscape Research, New Geographies, and the Journal of Architectural Education.

Figure 1 Eroding coast of Pelly Island Image courtesy of Joe McKendy, Natural Resources Canada

Pauline Moskal is a recent Master of Landscape Architecture graduate from the University of British Columbia and holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from Carleton University. She was the 2019 recipient of the Dr. John Wesley Neill Prize for outstanding graduate student achievement in landscape architecture at UBC. She is interested in using speculative design as a method to explore complex climate issues. Pauline is currently enjoying professional life working for a landscape architecture and planning office in Ottawa, Canada.

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Climate Imaginaries for Disappearing Coasts

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magination lies at the heart of social transformation processes. Drawing, as a process and product of imagination, can engage a wide range of audiences in fostering new socio-political imaginaries concerning climate change and future adaptation. Given this context, this article discusses a speculative proposal for Pelly Island, a quickly disappearing landform in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The proposal foregrounds different attitudes and strategies with respect to how we might conceive our future relationship with nature and technology. As the proposal is situated in the future, it discloses the possibility of creating a different engagement with the present.

Climate change involves maneuvering a complex set of spatial and temporal relationships: it is at once global and local, affecting the now and the distant future. As Adrian Lahoud evokes: “New kinds of problems—like climate change, for instance—pose special challenges insofar as they bring together the large and the small, the near and the far, the weak and the strong, making a mess of existing scalar conventions.”1 The sheer immensity, uncertainty, and complexity of climate change is paralyzing the general public and decision-makers across all levels of government. At the same time, there is a certain predictability and sameness in the way the climate crisis is formulated and represented. Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Hazairy provoke that, “the current environmental condition seems to involve a crisis of the imagination.”2 In order to bring divergent voices and disciplines together, we need new explorations of how human and non-human systems can adapt to an inevitably changing world.

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CLIMATE IMAGINARIES Drawing is at once an aesthetic and political tool. In other words, drawings are never neutral,3 but involve selective processes that seek to express particular—rather than universal—standpoints.4 Therefore, drawings can be powerful tools to foreground sites of conflict, environmental degradation, and spatial injustices, specifically in the context of the climate crisis. At the same time, drawings can be projective and speculate possible socio-ecological and spatial processes resulting from proposed design interventions. In doing so, drawings can be used to create climate imaginaries: drawn representations of speculative climate futures that will confront audiences to rethink their behaviors, motivations, and

relationships with nature and technology. Climate imaginaries provide opportunities to foreground a spectrum of unknown, undesirable, and potentially unattainable futures. Furthermore, climate imaginaries can act as “knowledge generators”—enabling the development of new systems and future scenarios across a range of scales, from the microbial to the planetary.5 They make the complex nature of climate change legible and consequential to the public. This can have a significant impact on everyday politics and current debates surrounding climate change and adaptation. What follows is an exploration of a climate imaginary which confronts the inevitable disappearance of Pelly Island, an an uninhabited island located in the Canadian Beaufort Sea.

Figure 2 Expo 2067 Map of Attractions


Climate Imaginaries for Disappearing Coasts

PELLY ISLAND: A THEATER FOR DISAPPEARING COASTS

adaptation approaches—ranging from extreme preservation to accelerated erosion (Figure 2).

Pelly Island is experiencing the devastating effects of global warming at an accelerated rate. Compared to other coastlines in the Arctic, which erode at about one and a half meters per year, Pelly Island’s coast is eroding at an estimated 30 to 40 meters per year and is predicted to disappear in the next 50 years.6 Increasing global temperatures are thawing coastal permafrost while a decrease in sea ice is leaving the coastline vulnerable to waves and storm surges for longer periods of time. Eroding sediments are depositing pollutants into the sea, changing surrounding water chemistry, while melting permafrost is releasing carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. These effects are being felt all along the Arctic coast, including the Inuvialuit hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, which is the closest community to Pelly at about 100 kilometers away.

1. THE GREAT DOME (Figure 3)

This proposal adopts the World’s Fair as a means to explore new relationships between nature, culture, and technology. Set a century after the renowned Montreal Expo of 1967, Expo 2067 explores the role of human agency in protecting or abandoning coastal environments in the face of uncertainty and accelerating change. In doing so, the proposal accepts Darran Anderson’s proposition: “Perhaps it is time to host World’s Fairs, not with noble platitudes in sparkling metropolises, but in the places facing impending catastrophes.”7 The Expo is set to open in 2020 and will run until 2067, the year that corresponds to Pelly Island’s predicted disappearance. Following a choreographed experience, visitors are taken along four interventions, or attractions, on the island. Each of these attractions is an abstract representation of possible climate

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Departing from Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk), visitors are transported to the southwest point of Pelly Island by barge, which is actively excavating sediments to be used for defense against wave action in Tuk. From the southern tip alone, one cubic kilometer of sediment is extracted and redistributed along the coast of Tuk. Visitors make their way through the excavation field into The Great Dome. This dome is an arc of the last epoch and preserves a piece of what was once the Canadian Arctic tundra and the Richards Island Coastal Plain Ecoregion. The Great Dome artificially prolongs the existence of this landscape while simultaneously preventing methane and carbon release. When inside the dome, visitors are confronted with the tension between the highly artificial climate and extreme measures taken to “preserve” the island on the inside and the changing climate and disappearance of the island on the outside. 2. VENICE OF THE NORTH (Figure 4) Leaving the Great Dome, visitors enter the second attraction: Venice of the North. Using the patented ‘terra-spade’ technology, pieces of Pelly Island are preserved in capsules. As sea levels rise and sediments erode around them, these capsules break off from the mainland and float out into the sea. As the Arctic warms, these capsules will host new forests in an area that was once above the tree line. The remnants of Pelly Island are free to roam the Arctic Ocean, serving as a cautionary tale to other landscapes which are currently under threat of disappearance. Figure 3 Preservation Station



Climate Imaginaries for Disappearing Coasts

3. THE PHYTO-PLANK (Figure 5) The third attraction along the route is the Phyto-Plank. Here, visitors are able to witness an ecological process-turned-spectacle along a floating boardwalk. Iron posts serve as the main structure for the boardwalk and simultaneously act as markers documenting sea level rise. The iron stimulates phytoplankton growth which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This carbon is then sequestered at the bottom of the sea at the end of the phytoplanktons’ life cycle. Visitors can engage with this process by looking through microbial periscopes placed along the boardwalk. As Pelly continues to erode and more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, this attraction offers an example of how new human-nonhuman relationships can be imagined to adapt coastal landscapes. The Phyto-Plank bridges speak to the multiple scales of climate change by operating at the level of microbes

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and chemical compounds while simultaneously implying ocean and biospheric dynamics. 4. AUGMENTED REALITY/MEMORY (Figure 6) Last in the sequence is the Augmented Reality Experience, where the visitor’s journey on Pelly Island is measured in kilobytes, not kilometers. This attraction allows the visitor to experience fifty years of change all at once using augmented reality headsets. Over the duration of the Expo, visitors themselves can document their experience of the island and upload it to a collective dataset. Instead of altering the fate of Pelly Island, augmented reality allows the forces acting on the island to run their course. Technology, as a substitute for human memory, provides an exhilarating and frightening glimpse into coastal futures, compressing both time and space.


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CONCLUSION As climate change continues to violently transform socio-ecological and spatial relationships, so should we change the ways in which we imagine and represent the worlds we may inhabit in the future. Drawing is a powerful tool to foster critical analysis and imagination that informs self-reflection, political debate, and decisionmaking. In the case of Expo 2067 Pelly Island, we are confronted with a future that juxtaposes four different coastal adaptation approaches. Each approach fundamentally represents a different attitude with respect to how we understand our relationship with nature and technology. By situating the proposal in the future, it discloses the possibility of creating a different engagement with the present. In doing so, it positions design(ers) at the center of ongoing debates about the climate crisis and possible ways in which we might reframe our future—spatially, aesthetically, and ethically.

1. Lahoud, Adrian. “Scale as Problem, Architecture as Trap.” Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary. New York, NY: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016: 85. 2. Ghosn, Rania and El Hadi Jazairy. “Leviathan in the Aquarium.” Journal of Architectural Education 71, no. 2 (2017): 279. 3. Harley, John Brian. “Deconstructing the Map.” Cartographica 26, no. 2 (1989): 1-20. 4. Foo, Katherine and Emily Gallagher. Ian Bishop and Annette Kim. “Critical Approaches to Landscape Visualization.” Landscape and Urban Planning 142 (2015): 80-84. 5. Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2014. 6. Stewart, Brian. “Sinking into the Sea.” CBC News. Oct. 13, 2017. https://www. cbc.ca/news2/interactives/sh/Tnq3tJHEAz/disappearing-island-arctic-beaufortseatuktoyaktuk/ 7. Anderson, Darran. “World’s Fairs and the Death of Optimism.” City Lab Website. Oct. 3, 2018. https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/10/worlds-fairs-and-the-deathofoptimism/571969/

LEFT TO RIGHT: Figure 4 Venice of the North Figure 5 The Phyto-Plank Figure 6 Augmented Reality Experience

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Anthropo-scene

Anthropo-scene

Chip Sullivan Concept by the Ground Up Team The above illustration marks the birth of my quest for new landscape forms that create passive microclimates, generate energy, and are environmentally healing. This journey has been the focus of my career, and the Anthropo-scene panorama represents a compendium of these past explorations. I have always sought to disseminate this philosophy through my books, exhibits, site-specific installations, and most importantly, through my teaching in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley.

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GROUND UP IS... ...curated and produced by students in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley. Published annually, each issue centers on a theme of contemporary relevance with interdisciplinary possibilities. Articles and artworks are gathered through an open call for submissions, so naturally the journal is always guided by the interests of our readers and collaborators—from academics to practitioners, artists to scientists, and students to professionals. Learn more at groundupjournal.org



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