Border Landscape / le voisinage

MLA Thesis Section (2016-17)

Related Staff : Xiaoxuan Lu

Students: CHEN Xubin Aristo; LI Yuhan Betty; LI Zengming Patton; WU Shenyan Viola

The world has never been so interconnected in the long history of human beings. To the contrary, we also live in an increasingly divisive world. Physical environment we live in is not immune from these underlying structural forces. Increasing tensions between center vs. periphery; global north vs. global south; city vs. suburbia, urbanization vs. conservation, etc are clear evidences we see in the news on a every day basis. These debates operate at multiple scales, ranging from the local to the global. What does this mean for spatial designers? How can designers comprehend this, especially as professionals who often are expected to draw boundaries, borders, edges that define limits within our environments? Who and how do we exclude and include when we draw a line in a given project? One of the principal interests in political boundaries relates to the way in which a boundary or frontier influences both the landscape of which it is a part and the development of the policies of the states on either side. Despite the 1950s ideology to govern space hegemonically through delimitating and demarcating, the concept of a linear boundary could never be established as an absolute, geographical fact. The geographical and historical boundaries conventionally set down as lines on a map represent the edges of zones, which extend and retreat. Pierre de Lapradelle termed this zone le voisinage, and ‘border landscape’ or ‘frontier landscape’ is suggested as an equivalent term. This thesis stream investigates human, urban and ecological implications of border landscape. It will place particular emphasis on the interaction between ecological and political boundaries. Students should be prepared to apply analytical cartography, photography and video in their research, in order to reveal the hidden layers of landscape where multiple tensions converge.

Student theses this year included:
“Forbidden Ground: Evolutionary natural legacy and decaying disaster heritage” by CHEN Xubin Aristo;
“Two countries one system” by LI Yuhan Betty;
“Scenographic Landscape in Demolishing Urban Terrain: Design for Demolishing Urban Villages in Shenzhen” by LI Zengming Patton; and
“Aquaeous Heritage: Resilience Landscape in Hoi An” by WU Shenyan Viola.

Enlarge Photo: Aristo CHEN Xubin
Enlarge Photo: Aristo CHEN Xubin
Enlarge Photo: Aristo CHEN Xubin
Enlarge Photo: Border Landscape / le voisinage 4