This Advanced Studio Option in Landscape Architecture is lead by Sara Zewde, the 2018 School of Architecture Fellow in Race, Gender and the Built Environment.
In December 2015, New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 in favor of removing four confederate monuments, declaring them a “public nuisance.” In 2017, the City went on to remove the four statues, leaving empty pedestals and few plans to re-envision the landscapes they sit in. This studio positions these four sites as departure points for a process of expanding the question of confederate monuments, to take on a myriad of intersecting design issues in the city and region. Through defining, mapping, and aggregating the region’s ‘ecologies of memory’, each student will propose expanded systems and sites of intervention. Each expanded system of intervention will be explored for its potential to host new commemorative landscapes with new narratives, as well as for addressing the embedded historical legacies in the city that manifest themselves in the contemporary city (such as flooding / stormwater management, housing, public amenities, and beyond). Students will articulate landscape and architectural design proposals that demonstrate the potential of their proposed system of sites and the landscape legacies they have chosen to address. The methodology of the studio will focus heavily on articulating culturally-relevant and culturally-specific design, responsive to the history, culture, and everyday lives of the people of the region. The studio will include a trip to New Orleans to visit relevant historic, contemporary, and ecological sites and will engage directly with local community groups on the ground.