Related Staff : Ivan Valin
Students: HE Jialei Constance; LI Shiyun Lee; XUE Song; ZHAO Yuwei Vivi
This thesis track imagines the impact of synthetic ecologies on the city. As emerging technologies reshape the substance and organization of our environments, landscape architects protest as disciplinary luddites-conversant with the concept of nature compromised by technology, but resistant to the concept of a nature augmented by, directed by, or created by technology. The 20th century model of technology and its complex, specialized assemblies is indeed remote to the practice of landscape architecture as the steward of natural and public realms. But increasingly, the boundaries between technology and nature are blurring, complicating our ethics, our agency, and our theories. Environmental engineering and biosynthetic manufacturing at territorial scales is on the horizon-let’s imagine this future or be left out of determining it. This thesis track will focus on the relationship between technological futures and the ecosystems of the city. Students will research emerging biological, material, and information technologies (and the systems/services they enable) with reference to a set of critiques about the landscape discipline’s role in shaping the public realm, addressing urbanization processes and their residues, and tackling climate change. Theses will work across a range of scales and develop critical design methodologies, working prototypes and dynamic simulations of applied technology. Ultimately, through physical design and material proposals, as well as through landscape-driven scenario-planning and visualizations, the work will articulate new trajectories for the landscape architecture discipline.