Mapping Meaning, the Journal (Issue No. 2)

ISSUE SCOPE: Design Determines the Impact of Change

ISSUE SCOPE: Design Determines the Impact of Change


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<strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>,<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 • Fall 2018

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2 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Design to impact change.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


About<br />

<strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

Minidoka Project Idaho 1918,<br />

Photo from <strong>the</strong> U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, of <strong>the</strong> U.S. Department of <strong>the</strong> Interior<br />

4 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

"824 Min Surveying<br />

party of girls on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Minidoka project."<br />

Original caption,<br />

National Archives<br />

How might interdisciplinary practices promote a<br />

reconsideration of <strong>the</strong> role that humanity plays in<br />

a more-than-human world?<br />

In a strongly fragmented and disciplined-based<br />

world, <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong> offers a collective<br />

space to imagine, create, and propose new<br />

models in <strong>the</strong> face of radical global change and<br />

ecological and social crises. Each issue takes<br />

up a particular <strong>the</strong>me and is edited by different<br />

curatorial teams from a variety of disciplines.<br />

All issues include <strong>the</strong> broadest possible calls for<br />

submission; ga<strong>the</strong>ring toge<strong>the</strong>r divergent and<br />

experimental knowledge practices. <strong>Mapping</strong><br />

<strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>, is published two times<br />

per year.<br />

www.mappingmeaning.org<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


6 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Founding<br />

Editorial Board<br />

Melanie Armstrong<br />

Krista Caballero<br />

Nat Castañeda<br />

Sarah Kanouse<br />

Vasia Markides<br />

Jennifer Richter<br />

Carmina Sánchez-del-Valle<br />

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky<br />

Sree Sinha<br />

Trudi Lynn Smith<br />

Sylvia Torti<br />

Linda Wiener<br />

Toni Wynn<br />

The Honors College at <strong>the</strong><br />

University of Utah serves as<br />

<strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>’s<br />

partner and initial fiscal sponsor.<br />

Consistent with <strong>Mapping</strong><br />

<strong>Meaning</strong>’s mentorship mission,<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong> is committed to<br />

publishing a breadth of work from<br />

those at all stages of <strong>the</strong>ir careers.<br />

Managing Editor: Sylvia Torti<br />

Artistic Director: Krista Caballero<br />

Visual Designer: Aliza Jensen<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> Editors:<br />

V.M. Price and C. Sánchez-del-Valle<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Content<br />

10<br />

Introduction<br />

V.M. Price and C. Sánchez-del-Valle,<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> #2 editors<br />

12<br />

Section 1: Community Ecology<br />

14<br />

<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change: Cartography<br />

and Community Activism in Mobilizing<br />

Against Colonial Gender Violence<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

22<br />

Borders Studio: Analyzing <strong>the</strong> U.S./<br />

Mexico Border at a Borderland<br />

Institution Through an Architecture<br />

Design Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

40<br />

UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

50<br />

Section 2: Silent Spring<br />

52<br />

Deconstruct/Reconstruct: Out Finding<br />

Beauty within Invasive Plant Ecologies<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

8 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

62<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Pines: <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>the</strong> Longleaf<br />

Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

74<br />

Section 3: Descent of Man<br />

76<br />

Plants and trees in urban landscapes:<br />

<strong>the</strong> counter-design of non-humans<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

86<br />

All indifferent decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

94<br />

Section 4: Regenesis<br />

96<br />

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

106<br />

Placing Inclusion Ahead<br />

Ileana Rodríguez<br />

112<br />

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chituwongpeti<br />

122<br />

Conclusion<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> #2 editors<br />

Front and Back Cover Images,<br />

C. Sánchez-del-Valle<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Introduction to<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />

V.M. Price and C. Sánchez-del-Valle<br />

Make Me See Change <strong>No</strong>w: design to impact<br />

change<br />

“I sense that humans have an urge to map<br />

– and that this mapping instinct, like our<br />

opposable thumbs, is part of what makes us<br />

human.” - Katharine Harmon. [You Are Here:<br />

Personal Geographies and O<strong>the</strong>r Maps<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Imagination. New York: Princeton<br />

Architectural Press. 2004.]<br />

As change is constant in our environments,<br />

design can steer change to more positive<br />

and less adverse consequences. It can be a<br />

deliberate execution of a plan to determined<br />

goals, or <strong>the</strong> plan itself.<br />

Design is both process and product. Yet, here<br />

is <strong>the</strong> paradox: because it exists in <strong>the</strong> space<br />

of <strong>the</strong> fuzzy, undetermined and uncertain<br />

problems, its results have desired as well as<br />

unexpected consequences.<br />

Submittals for this issue are maps of design<br />

for change in an environment. By “mapping”<br />

we mean that <strong>the</strong> reader can visualize not only<br />

what <strong>the</strong> work is, but what are its intentions<br />

10 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

<strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, The <strong>Journal</strong><br />

Introduction<br />

and consequences. The submissions<br />

are diverse in scale and outlook, from a<br />

specific design process, to work in or of <strong>the</strong><br />

environment. They are contemporary, and<br />

challenge a narrow conception about design.<br />

The works offer critical consideration of<br />

design products and for acting through<br />

design to have direct ecological, social,<br />

cultural, emotive, or spiritual impact.<br />

There are new approaches, and unique<br />

perspectives. They argue for <strong>the</strong> necessity<br />

of o<strong>the</strong>r views and actions and spaces.<br />

They offer a thoughtful and constructive<br />

consideration of reality, as well as raise<br />

discomforting questions.<br />

They focus on environments that are internal<br />

and external, ranging from inside oneself, in<br />

<strong>the</strong> community, or across <strong>the</strong> globe; a place,<br />

ecosystem, community, or culture; or as a<br />

way of being or doing in service, operation,<br />

or action.<br />

different, unrecognized or unacknowledged.<br />

We have organized <strong>the</strong> works into clusters<br />

as we saw connections between <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

The groupings are loose and fragile, but<br />

<strong>the</strong> threads that run through <strong>the</strong>m give us<br />

opportunities for dialogue. We have used<br />

one of <strong>the</strong> author's works to title each<br />

section. For each section, we provide a brief<br />

statement highlighting what brings <strong>the</strong>m<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

“A fuller understanding of what we don’t<br />

know is itself new knowledge and redefines<br />

what we know.” - Pete Turchi. [Maps of <strong>the</strong><br />

Imagination: <strong>the</strong> Writer as Cartographer;<br />

San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press.<br />

2004.]<br />

They respond to <strong>the</strong> dangers of an external<br />

or internal status quo for its complacency,<br />

unpreparedness, or resistance to <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

12 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Section 1:<br />

Community Ecology<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Community Ecology 2013<br />

Gouache and graphite on paper<br />

30” X 22”<br />

The cries of an ecology are often first heard as<br />

one is walking along its edges. The consequence of<br />

hearing and <strong>the</strong>n choosing to listen is to map <strong>the</strong><br />

problem for <strong>the</strong> rest of us to face, and act.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change:<br />

Cartography and Community<br />

Activism in Mobilizing Against<br />

Colonial Gender Violence<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

Annita Lucchesi is a doctoral student in <strong>the</strong><br />

Cultural, Social, and Political Thought program at<br />

<strong>the</strong> University of Lethbridge, located on Treaty 7<br />

territory. She is a Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Cheyenne descendant,<br />

and her ancestors made <strong>the</strong>ir home where <strong>the</strong><br />

Rocky Mountains meet <strong>the</strong> Plains, in presentday<br />

Denver. She holds a BA in Geography from<br />

<strong>the</strong> University of California, Berkeley, and a MA<br />

in American Studies from Washington State<br />

University. Annita is <strong>the</strong> founder of <strong>the</strong> MMIW<br />

Database, a comprehensive data source on cases<br />

of missing and murdered indigenous women in<br />

<strong>the</strong> US and Canada, and her current academic<br />

research examines how community mapping<br />

projects can generate new knowledge and tell<br />

more holistic stories on such violence. In her work<br />

as a researcher and advocate, she frequently<br />

assists in community and policy responses to<br />

gender violence in indigenous communities,<br />

and leads workshops on indigenous and critical<br />

mapping.<br />

www.annitalucchesi.com<br />

14 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

Acknowledgements<br />

Abstract<br />

I acknowledge <strong>the</strong> Wiyot Nation, on whose<br />

lands I resided as a guest while writing this<br />

article, and <strong>the</strong> Blackfoot Confederacy, on<br />

whose territories I resided as a guest while<br />

developing <strong>the</strong> skirt map. Special néá’eše to<br />

Marisa Miakonda Cummings and Jackie Crow<br />

Shoe, who helped me to see that indigenous<br />

women have always been cartographers.<br />

On January 21, 2017, millions of people<br />

worldwide participated in <strong>the</strong> first annual<br />

Women’s March, and to commemorate its<br />

record-breaking participation and continued<br />

engagement with feminist issues, a second<br />

march was planned on January 20, 2018. This<br />

paper narrates <strong>the</strong> story of a project aimed<br />

at supporting and honoring activism to call<br />

attention to <strong>the</strong> issue of missing and murdered<br />

indigenous women (MMIW) at <strong>the</strong> global 2018<br />

Women’s Marches. In so doing, it traces <strong>the</strong><br />

development of <strong>the</strong> project, and its transition<br />

from land-based activism, to map-making, and<br />

back to <strong>the</strong> MMIW movement again. This paper<br />

argues that such a process demonstrates <strong>the</strong><br />

power of community-grounded, culturallysensitive<br />

cartography, and <strong>the</strong> role that<br />

maps can play in mobilizing and empowering<br />

communities to effect social change.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Annita Lucchesi MMIW Map, 2018<br />

16 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

The Marches<br />

On January 21, 2017, over seven million<br />

people marched in <strong>the</strong> global Women’s<br />

March, in protest of <strong>the</strong> violent policies of <strong>the</strong><br />

newly inaugurated Trump administration,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> myriad social and environmental<br />

injustices plaguing <strong>the</strong> world today.<br />

In Washington, D.C., it was <strong>the</strong> largest<br />

political demonstration on record, with<br />

estimates of anywhere between 500,000 and<br />

1,000,000 participants; and, over 5 million<br />

of <strong>the</strong> participants located elsewhere in <strong>the</strong><br />

United States. To commemorate <strong>the</strong> march<br />

and build on its momentum, a second march<br />

was planned for January 20, 2018.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> 2017 Women’s March, Native American<br />

and indigenous women did participate—<br />

many traveled from remote locations to<br />

Washington, D.C. to do so.<br />

However, <strong>the</strong> 2018 Women’s March in Seattle<br />

reflected a turn to address <strong>the</strong> racial and<br />

colonial dynamics of mainstream feminism,<br />

by shifting leadership to local Native women,<br />

and including a call for justice for missing and<br />

murdered indigenous women (MMIW).<br />

be missing from <strong>the</strong> march as well, and how<br />

we might honor <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

In 2015, I started a database of cases of<br />

MMIW in <strong>the</strong> US and Canada. By <strong>the</strong> time<br />

of <strong>the</strong> 2018 Women’s March, <strong>the</strong>re were<br />

over 2,500 cases logged. So, I made a<br />

Facebook post offering march participants<br />

an opportunity to bring <strong>the</strong> database to <strong>the</strong><br />

streets: anyone who agreed to carry a sign<br />

honoring a missing or murdered indigenous<br />

women from <strong>the</strong>ir city, area, or tribe would<br />

be sent a name that <strong>the</strong>y alone would be<br />

responsible for carrying.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> time <strong>the</strong> march started, approximately<br />

120 names were disseminated across <strong>the</strong> US<br />

and Canada. Many of <strong>the</strong> people who asked<br />

to carry signs sent me photos of <strong>the</strong>ir signs,<br />

or of <strong>the</strong>m carrying <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

One of <strong>the</strong> signs, in honor of Nikita Wilson,<br />

a Choctaw woman who was murdered, is<br />

prominent in one of <strong>the</strong> now iconic photos of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Seattle Women’s March.<br />

I believe <strong>the</strong> spirits of <strong>the</strong>se women would<br />

have been <strong>the</strong>re, whe<strong>the</strong>r a sign was carried<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir honor or not.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> time, I was living in Canada, and<br />

chronically ill. As an indigenous woman,<br />

an advocate for MMIW, and a community<br />

member, I wanted to contribute to <strong>the</strong> march<br />

in a meaningful way, but knew I could not<br />

physically be <strong>the</strong>re. In feeling that sadness,<br />

that my body just was not able to be <strong>the</strong>re in<br />

that moment, I began to think of all <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Native women and girls whose bodies would<br />

However, I also believe that <strong>the</strong> signs<br />

helped <strong>the</strong>m to be strong in <strong>the</strong>ir presence,<br />

grounded <strong>the</strong> march participants in <strong>the</strong> work<br />

<strong>the</strong> march aimed to do, and served as a<br />

powerful reminder of <strong>the</strong> ways in which <strong>the</strong><br />

loss of indigenous women pervades each<br />

community.<br />

There are women and girls whose voices<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

There are women and girls<br />

whose voices deserved to be<br />

heard, whose contributions<br />

were missed, due to <strong>the</strong><br />

colonial violence that took<br />

<strong>the</strong>m from <strong>the</strong>ir families,<br />

communities, and nations.<br />

18 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

deserved to be heard, whose contributions<br />

were missed, due to <strong>the</strong> colonial violence that<br />

took <strong>the</strong>m from <strong>the</strong>ir families, communities,<br />

and nations.<br />

This colonial violence is seen in myriad<br />

forms—police brutality, disproportionate<br />

rates of gender violence due to racial<br />

stereotypes and gaps in <strong>the</strong> justice system,<br />

<strong>the</strong> overrepresentation of indigenous girls in<br />

foster homes and in sex trafficking, and <strong>the</strong><br />

imposition of a Western patriarchal system of<br />

power, for example.<br />

Each one of <strong>the</strong> signs called attention to that<br />

violence, and located it in specific places and<br />

in <strong>the</strong> lives of specific victims.<br />

As a cartographer, my current work<br />

examines how maps telling stories about<br />

MMIW can help to generate new knowledge<br />

on <strong>the</strong> issue, and offer a more holistic<br />

understanding of <strong>the</strong> impacts of such<br />

violence. Wanting <strong>the</strong> signs to tell a story of<br />

resilience and resurgence, and not just of<br />

loss, I created a map depicting where <strong>the</strong><br />

signs were carried.<br />

There were a number of strategic choices<br />

made in <strong>the</strong> aes<strong>the</strong>tics of <strong>the</strong> map. First, it<br />

was drawn in <strong>the</strong> shape of a ribbon skirt—a<br />

cultural garment many indigenous women<br />

across <strong>the</strong> US and Canada wear at special<br />

events, ceremonies, community functions,<br />

and increasingly, at political actions. Indeed,<br />

ribbon skirts became commonplace at Idle<br />

<strong>No</strong> More protests, Women’s Marches, MMIW<br />

awareness events, and even at efforts to<br />

stand for water at Standing Rock. Different<br />

families and communities have varying<br />

teachings on <strong>the</strong> origins and meanings<br />

of ribbon skirts, but more generally, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are meant to represent <strong>the</strong> sacredness of<br />

women, <strong>the</strong> relationship women have to <strong>the</strong><br />

earth, and <strong>the</strong> cultural vitality of indigenous<br />

women today.<br />

Designing <strong>the</strong> map in <strong>the</strong> shape of a skirt<br />

is in honor of <strong>the</strong>se ideas and uses of <strong>the</strong><br />

ribbon skirt, and takes inspiration from<br />

a popular form of public awareness on<br />

MMIW—symbolic displays of dresses, skirts,<br />

or women’s garments.<br />

Ribbon skirt by Marisa Miakonda Cummings<br />

The colors on <strong>the</strong> skirt are also meaningful.<br />

The body of <strong>the</strong> skirt is red, <strong>the</strong> primary color<br />

used in MMIW organizing, and <strong>the</strong> ribbon<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

colors—red, blue, purple, teal, lavender, and<br />

pink—are <strong>the</strong> colors of awareness ribbon<br />

campaigns representing forms of violence<br />

common among MMIW, namely police<br />

brutality, sex trafficking, domestic violence,<br />

sexual assault, foster care, and violence<br />

targeting young girls. The background print<br />

of <strong>the</strong> skirt is a collage of photos of signs<br />

and march participants who carried <strong>the</strong>m,<br />

underneath a textural pattern of <strong>the</strong> names<br />

of each of <strong>the</strong> women and girls who were<br />

carried.<br />

The map was initially published in a news<br />

article about <strong>the</strong> MMIW Database and my<br />

work, and ended up circulated on social<br />

media. In a surprising turn of events, women<br />

started creating real skirts, inspired by <strong>the</strong><br />

skirt map, using <strong>the</strong> same design that <strong>the</strong><br />

map depicts.<br />

Maps as Dresses, Dresses as Maps<br />

Inspired by <strong>the</strong> community response to <strong>the</strong><br />

initial map, I made ano<strong>the</strong>r Facebook call<br />

for help: sketch out a meaningful design<br />

representative of your nation’s women’s<br />

clothing, and I will transform it into a map<br />

telling stories of missing and murdered<br />

women from your community.<br />

From that post, <strong>the</strong> project has now grown<br />

to include dresses being designed in<br />

collaboration with six indigenous women<br />

artists and regalia makers, representing <strong>the</strong><br />

Assiniboine, Ponca, Choctaw, Blackfoot, and<br />

Cheyenne peoples.<br />

It is my hope that as <strong>the</strong> map collection<br />

grows, more collaborations with artists from<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r nations are able to occur.<br />

Like <strong>the</strong> skirts that had inspired by <strong>the</strong> map,<br />

<strong>the</strong>se new skirts were worn at ceremonies,<br />

powwows, community events, and political<br />

actions.<br />

A person I met in Montana mentioned she<br />

had seen one worn at Ga<strong>the</strong>ring of Nations<br />

Powwow in New Mexico. A colleague said<br />

she had seen one at ceremony in nor<strong>the</strong>rn<br />

California. A friend in Maine commissioned<br />

one from ano<strong>the</strong>r friend in Nebraska.<br />

The map, meant to honor <strong>the</strong> movement<br />

to end violence against indigenous women<br />

and girls, ended up becoming part of <strong>the</strong><br />

movement.<br />

Though I did not expect <strong>the</strong> skirt map<br />

to be transformed into real skirts, upon<br />

reflection I came to understand <strong>the</strong><br />

inherent connections between <strong>the</strong> two, and<br />

demonstrate <strong>the</strong> gap between <strong>the</strong> mediums<br />

are not as far as I had imagined.<br />

Fundamentally, both maps and ribbon<br />

skirts are storytelling devices. They connect<br />

our narratives and our bodies to <strong>the</strong> land<br />

we tread and communicate our sense of<br />

belonging and views of <strong>the</strong> world around us.<br />

They are visual representations of <strong>the</strong> social<br />

relations we are bound up in.<br />

Just as maps help us navigate and illuminate<br />

<strong>the</strong> geographies we traverse, ribbon skirts<br />

and <strong>the</strong> symbology embedded in <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

20 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

designs signal who we belong to, where we<br />

come from, and who we represent.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> case of <strong>the</strong> ribbon skirt map, <strong>the</strong><br />

ribbon colors were a powerful representation<br />

of who we are accountable to as community<br />

members—indigenous victims of violence like<br />

police brutality and domestic abuse.<br />

While this project has demonstrated <strong>the</strong><br />

unique connections between maps and<br />

ribbon skirts, it has also become an example<br />

of <strong>the</strong> power of community-grounded<br />

cartography.<br />

Moreover, by allowing <strong>the</strong> aes<strong>the</strong>tics of<br />

<strong>the</strong> map to be determined by community<br />

cultural practices and values, <strong>the</strong> map deeply<br />

resonated with its audience, and inspired<br />

continued engagement.<br />

In this way, this form of mapping is impactful<br />

in its reiterative contribution to a social<br />

movement, and provides a model for o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

cartographers who aim to utilize maps in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir work to effect social change.<br />

By designing a mapping project that<br />

encouraged and empowered community<br />

members to participate in efforts to address<br />

an issue <strong>the</strong>y were passionate about, <strong>the</strong><br />

map became a mobilizing force for social<br />

change.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Border Studio: Analyzing<br />

<strong>the</strong> U.S./Mexico Border at<br />

a Borderland Institution<br />

through an Architecture<br />

Design Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara is a designer with extensive<br />

experience in practice at a wide range of scales<br />

and project types in <strong>the</strong> U.S. and Europe. She<br />

has taught at <strong>the</strong> School of Architecture and<br />

Planning at UNM, and has been a partner at Idyll<br />

Architects, an architecture firm that operates<br />

between Albuquerque and Houston and between<br />

<strong>the</strong> real and <strong>the</strong> ideal. In Spring 2019 Ane will be<br />

teaching at Pratt Institute.<br />

Ane received her Master of Architecture from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura<br />

Universidad de Navarra (ETSAUN). Previous<br />

to working at UNM, she worked in Houston,<br />

Germany and Spain. Her research focuses on <strong>the</strong><br />

tectonics, assembly systems and materiality of<br />

contemporary Ibero-American architecture and<br />

on <strong>the</strong> U.S./Mexico border; while also exploring<br />

<strong>the</strong> relationship between space, geometry and<br />

materiality through her practice.<br />

22 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

Abstract:<br />

Boundaries and borders have generated<br />

much attention in <strong>the</strong> political realm of <strong>the</strong><br />

U.S.A. over <strong>the</strong> last two years. The proposed<br />

Wall between <strong>the</strong> U.S.A. and Mexico has<br />

generated different responses from<br />

architects and builders across <strong>the</strong> country.<br />

Following this debate, a question arises: What<br />

is <strong>the</strong> role of architecture and architects on<br />

this issue?<br />

I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my<br />

words."<br />

Candidate Trump, 2015, “Full text: Donald<br />

Trump announces a presidential bid” The<br />

Washington Post, June 16th 2015<br />

The words quoted on this page were in<br />

<strong>the</strong> air when I was tasked to teach my first<br />

optional studio at <strong>the</strong> University of New<br />

Mexico (UNM) School of Architecture.<br />

This essay focuses on a Borders Studio<br />

taught at <strong>the</strong> University of New Mexico<br />

(UNM) School of Architecture. The studio<br />

was created after seeing how polarized and<br />

diverse <strong>the</strong> opinions about <strong>the</strong> proposed wall<br />

were among architects and builders, and to<br />

stimulate <strong>the</strong> critical thinking abilities of <strong>the</strong><br />

students.<br />

The studio involved a series of projects that<br />

tackled different scales. Students found<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own voices on <strong>the</strong> conflict during <strong>the</strong><br />

semester, and <strong>the</strong> studio created a platform<br />

for <strong>the</strong>m to bring issues like immigration,<br />

labor and politics to <strong>the</strong> classroom.<br />

This essay reflects on <strong>the</strong> students’ designs<br />

to create alternatives to <strong>the</strong> proposed wall<br />

focusing on <strong>the</strong> Chamizal parks in El Paso and<br />

Juarez.<br />

Introduction<br />

“I will build a great wall -- and nobody builds<br />

walls better than me, believe me --and I'll<br />

build <strong>the</strong>m very inexpensively. I will build a<br />

great, great wall on our sou<strong>the</strong>rn border, and<br />

With several ideas in mind about possible<br />

studios to teach - including <strong>the</strong> adaptive<br />

reuse of a historic building and a housing<br />

project - I couldn’t stop thinking and being<br />

terrified about <strong>the</strong> fact that architecture, as<br />

a profession, was not having a clear stance<br />

on <strong>the</strong> political conversations of <strong>the</strong> time,<br />

especially when discussing <strong>the</strong> construction<br />

of a wall.<br />

Days after President Trump was elected, <strong>the</strong><br />

American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued<br />

its infamous message saying that “The AIA<br />

and its 89,000 members are committed<br />

to working with President-elect Trump<br />

to address <strong>the</strong> issues our country faces,<br />

particularly streng<strong>the</strong>ning <strong>the</strong> nation’s aging<br />

infrastructure.” 1<br />

The message faced an incredible rejection in<br />

<strong>the</strong> social media and <strong>the</strong> hashtag #<strong>No</strong>tMyAIA<br />

filled <strong>the</strong> tweets and comments of a large<br />

number of AIA members. Six days after<br />

issuing <strong>the</strong> statement, AIA uploaded a video<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir website saying that <strong>the</strong>ir original<br />

message was a mistake and it should have<br />

never happened. But after this controversy,<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

<strong>the</strong> national AIA has yet to position itself in<br />

regards to this project.<br />

Nei<strong>the</strong>r has it responded to <strong>the</strong> resolutions<br />

that <strong>the</strong> AIA chapters of <strong>the</strong> border states of<br />

California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas<br />

have signed in opposition to <strong>the</strong> construction<br />

of <strong>the</strong> proposed wall.<br />

After much deliberation, I decided to embark<br />

on a journey to research <strong>the</strong> border and <strong>the</strong><br />

architect's implication in geopolitical borders.<br />

In January 2017, I decided to launch <strong>the</strong><br />

Borders Studio at UNM.<br />

When <strong>the</strong> name of <strong>the</strong> participants of <strong>the</strong> RFP<br />

was made public, some publications judged<br />

<strong>the</strong> ethics of <strong>the</strong> architects participating<br />

on <strong>the</strong>se projects. These projects made<br />

clear that <strong>the</strong>re is not a clear line dividing<br />

<strong>the</strong> ethicality and <strong>the</strong> anti-ethicality of<br />

participating in any of <strong>the</strong> calls mentioned<br />

above. So, as <strong>the</strong>se conversations filled <strong>the</strong><br />

news and architecture publications, I used<br />

<strong>the</strong>se questions to shape <strong>the</strong> studio and <strong>the</strong><br />

conversations that <strong>the</strong> students had during<br />

<strong>the</strong> semester.<br />

Borders Studio at UNM SAAP<br />

On February 2017, months after being<br />

elected, President Trump issued a Request<br />

for Proposals (RFP) “for <strong>the</strong> design and build<br />

of several prototype wall structures in <strong>the</strong><br />

vicinity of <strong>the</strong> United States border with<br />

Mexico.” 2 This call had numerous responses<br />

within <strong>the</strong> architecture community and while<br />

some, like <strong>the</strong> Architecture Lobby, thought<br />

that architects shouldn’t take place in <strong>the</strong><br />

construction of <strong>the</strong> wall by any means;<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs, like <strong>the</strong> firm JuneJuly, decided to take<br />

place on <strong>the</strong> call and submit a proposal.<br />

The RFP also generated a competition titled<br />

“Building The Border Wall”. This competition<br />

asked <strong>the</strong> participants to design a wall to stop<br />

flows of illegal immigration from entering <strong>the</strong><br />

United States. The competition also faced<br />

some backlash and <strong>the</strong> organizers decided to<br />

add a question mark to <strong>the</strong> competition’s title<br />

to become “Building The Border Wall?” and<br />

also changed <strong>the</strong> brief to ask for a more open<br />

ended solution to <strong>the</strong> border.<br />

The University of New Mexico draws a large<br />

number of its students from <strong>the</strong> border<br />

region. More than 21,000 of <strong>the</strong> 30,000<br />

students enrolled at UNM call <strong>the</strong> border<br />

states of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and<br />

California home. 3<br />

UNM is also a Hispanic Serving Institution,<br />

where 32.8% of <strong>the</strong> students at its main<br />

campus identify <strong>the</strong>mselves as Hispanic.<br />

The first semester <strong>the</strong> studio was offered,<br />

seven students out of eleven were originally<br />

from <strong>the</strong> border region. Their knowledge<br />

and personal experiences of this region were<br />

invaluable to <strong>the</strong> development of <strong>the</strong> studio.<br />

Out of <strong>the</strong> eleven, nine spoke Spanish as<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir first language. The studio is currently<br />

taught in English as <strong>the</strong> primary language,<br />

but project reviews in Spanish are also<br />

offered to Spanish speaking students.<br />

Diversity is also sought at <strong>the</strong> public reviews<br />

that <strong>the</strong> students have during <strong>the</strong> semester.<br />

24 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

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Guests from o<strong>the</strong>r UNM departments –<br />

politics, planning, law, landscape architecture<br />

and art¬– are invited to talk to <strong>the</strong> students<br />

during <strong>the</strong> semester. The participation of<br />

<strong>the</strong>se guest reviewers generated some very<br />

interesting conversations with <strong>the</strong> students,<br />

who asked guests about <strong>the</strong>ir different<br />

perspectives, and engaged o<strong>the</strong>r fields in<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir proposals.<br />

The Borders Studio was divided into three<br />

main assignments and learning objectives.<br />

Each assignment required different<br />

approaches to <strong>the</strong> questions of geopolitical<br />

borders and architect’s agency on <strong>the</strong> issue.<br />

The last project focused on <strong>the</strong> Chamizal<br />

parks situated in El Paso and Juarez.<br />

The first assignment required students to<br />

engage in a thorough research of <strong>the</strong> U.S./<br />

Mexico border and o<strong>the</strong>r international<br />

geopolitical boundaries. Some of <strong>the</strong><br />

questions that <strong>the</strong>y had to elaborate on were:<br />

What are <strong>the</strong> reasons stated by politicians for<br />

<strong>the</strong> wall to be needed? Why is <strong>the</strong>re a heavy<br />

militarized concrete border with Mexico, and<br />

not with Canada? What are <strong>the</strong> implications<br />

that <strong>the</strong> wall will have for our country?<br />

After some weeks doing research, and having<br />

some very inspiring conversations, students<br />

were asked to put <strong>the</strong>ir findings in graphic<br />

Assignment 2, Ecotone diagrams and sections by Gonzalo Gonzalez and Jaziel Cervantes<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

26 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

Assignment 1,<br />

Human Population and Natural Wildlife<br />

analysis by Gonzalo Gonzalez and Jaziel<br />

Cervantes.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


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form. Divided in groups and focusing on<br />

<strong>the</strong> differences between <strong>the</strong> Mexico and<br />

Canada borders with United States, each<br />

group focused on one or two aspects of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

research that <strong>the</strong>y found more relevant.<br />

The topics analyzed this year were:<br />

militarization and agreements between <strong>the</strong><br />

countries, human population and animal<br />

migration in <strong>No</strong>rth America, criminal activity<br />

on each border, physical geography and<br />

trade, travel and tourism.<br />

The students who focused on human<br />

population and animal migration along <strong>the</strong><br />

border compared <strong>the</strong> traveling of animals<br />

through <strong>the</strong> U.S./Canada border and through<br />

<strong>the</strong> U.S./Mexico border. They also researched<br />

<strong>the</strong> flora and <strong>the</strong> animals that currently live<br />

on each border, and that would be affected<br />

by <strong>the</strong> construction of a wall.<br />

students shared <strong>the</strong>ir findings so all would<br />

have access to <strong>the</strong> different sets, and would<br />

overlay <strong>the</strong> different maps that each group<br />

created for this assignment.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong> first assignment, <strong>the</strong> students<br />

were asked to come up with alternatives to<br />

<strong>the</strong> existing fence and wall. This exercise was<br />

titled #ThisIs<strong>No</strong>tAWall. During this part of <strong>the</strong><br />

studio, students engaged in conversations<br />

around <strong>the</strong> agency of architects on this<br />

conflict. They were also encouraged to<br />

think about <strong>the</strong>ir scope of work, not as<br />

a beautifying act, but as an exercise of<br />

critical engagement with <strong>the</strong> issue. After<br />

much debate and discussion of different<br />

ideas, students decided <strong>the</strong>ir level of critical<br />

engagement with <strong>the</strong> project: some decided<br />

to be more pragmatic and work within <strong>the</strong><br />

existing constraints, while o<strong>the</strong>rs decided to<br />

re-design <strong>the</strong> border itself.<br />

Once this research was completed, <strong>the</strong><br />

One of <strong>the</strong> student’s proposals involved using<br />

28 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

Left | Assignment 2,<br />

"This Is <strong>No</strong>t a Wall"<br />

(detail) by Antonio<br />

Castañeda and Samuel<br />

Albert.<br />

Following | Chamizal<br />

dispute, existing<br />

conditions by Ane<br />

Gonzalez Lara.<br />

<strong>the</strong> existing fence as a green wall where<br />

citizens from both countries could harvest<br />

vegetables. Her proposal also used <strong>the</strong> green<br />

wall as a space activator, and as a tool to<br />

bring people from both sides toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r student decided to picture what <strong>the</strong><br />

future could look like if <strong>the</strong> wall was built<br />

and completed. The aim of his proposal,<br />

which had an apocalyptic tone, was to create<br />

awareness about <strong>the</strong> consequences that<br />

completing <strong>the</strong> wall would bring, and how<br />

possibly <strong>the</strong> people from <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

would be <strong>the</strong> ones taking <strong>the</strong> wall down over<br />

time.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r students designed a park system that<br />

would allow migratory birds to continue<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir path, and create an ecosystem for <strong>the</strong>m<br />

along <strong>the</strong> border. This zone would only be<br />

inhabited by animals and would be a safe<br />

zone that would span along <strong>the</strong> entire border<br />

creating a wild refuge and ecotone along <strong>the</strong><br />

border. Their proposal suggested a more<br />

gradual transitioning between each country<br />

where a wall and militarized techniques<br />

wouldn’t be necessary.<br />

Two students proposed a series of<br />

components for an infrastructure that would<br />

grow along <strong>the</strong> border on top of existing<br />

public buildings and open spaces. This<br />

infrastructure would host learning facilities<br />

such as universities, schools and career<br />

centers to host students from both sides of<br />

<strong>the</strong> border. The infrastructure would also<br />

allow for housing, public parks and plazas<br />

to exist along with <strong>the</strong> learning facilities.<br />

The ultimate goal of <strong>the</strong> proposal is for <strong>the</strong><br />

border to disappear as <strong>the</strong> infrastructure<br />

grows.<br />

All <strong>the</strong> projects were also accompanied by<br />

a letter addressed to President Trump. The<br />

letter read as follows:<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

30 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

President Trump,<br />

We already have a wall.<br />

A physical barrier marks 650 miles of our sou<strong>the</strong>rn border. This boundary<br />

separates communities, disrupts ecosystems, and perpetuates a nationalist<br />

sense of entitlement that isolates <strong>the</strong> Land of Opportunity. Illegal<br />

immigration, job security, economic stability, drugs trafficking, crime, and<br />

terrorism are all real issues that we face as a nation, but none of <strong>the</strong>m has<br />

been, or will be solved, by continuing to build walls.<br />

A border wall represents a medieval reaction to contemporary issues. It is one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> crudest tools available in <strong>the</strong> repertoire of geopolitics and is a blatant<br />

confession of failed diplomacy. If as a nation we continue to advocate for,<br />

and construct barriers between our neighbors, we fear that <strong>the</strong> world will do<br />

<strong>the</strong> same towards us. This rhetoric will cause The United States to isolate itself<br />

from <strong>the</strong> global community and retreat into a Land of Reclusion. Along this<br />

path we will lose our essence of diversity, optimism, and influence, defining<br />

characteristics that make our nation “great.” Instead of pushing forward<br />

a pledge to “build a wall,” we ask you to imagine our borderlands as an<br />

extension of <strong>the</strong> American narrative, as Lands of Opportunity.<br />

This is <strong>No</strong>t a Wall proposes a shared borderland, a series of infrastructural,<br />

community-specific, interventions that extend perpendicular to <strong>the</strong> current<br />

dichotomy of border conditions. Here, communities from <strong>the</strong> United States,<br />

Mexico, and Canada would grow naturally into one ano<strong>the</strong>r, implementing<br />

programmatic components into an elevated framework that manifests<br />

around each location’s existing urban fabric. These interventions would<br />

be site-specific, allowing for <strong>the</strong> architecture to act as a mediator between<br />

nations, and address <strong>the</strong> complex issues within <strong>the</strong>se borderland cities and<br />

<strong>the</strong> greater border condition. As each community reimagines <strong>the</strong> border as<br />

a shared, malleable, space, <strong>the</strong> rigid division inherent within a boundary<br />

and <strong>the</strong> idea of a “wall,” will dematerialize to create a seamless transition<br />

between nations. Within <strong>the</strong>se shared spaces, architecture responds to <strong>the</strong><br />

realities of disruption and separation by promoting bi-national “borderlands”<br />

of opportunity, rehabilitation, and growth – spaces where diversity brings us<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r instead of keeping us apart.<br />

As Americans, and as global citizens, our future depends on legitimizing and<br />

understanding coexistence. Our hope is that through reimagining <strong>the</strong> border<br />

as a series of bi-national communities, we will promote and amplify empathy,<br />

working towards shared solutions to social and economic equity, urban<br />

growth, healthcare, crime, and climate change within a world that will only<br />

continue to become more interconnected.<br />

Con amor,<br />

A Concerned and Optimistic Citizen & A Bi-National Citizen<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

Left | Assignment 2,<br />

"This Is <strong>No</strong>t a Wall" by<br />

Antonio Castañeda<br />

and Samuel Albert.<br />

The process of writing and having to<br />

condense all <strong>the</strong>ir ideas in one page was a<br />

very interesting process. The students had to<br />

question <strong>the</strong>ir own decisions, analyze <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

thinking process and articulate <strong>the</strong>ir ideas<br />

concisely yet effectively. Even if <strong>the</strong> projects<br />

were very strong and full of energy, I have<br />

to admit that whenever a student would<br />

read a letter, it would be a very powerful<br />

moment, and maybe even <strong>the</strong> strongest act<br />

of resistance of all. During <strong>the</strong> third part of<br />

<strong>the</strong> semester, <strong>the</strong> students were asked to<br />

deploy <strong>the</strong>ir ideas with more resolution in <strong>the</strong><br />

Chamizal Park.<br />

The Chamizal Park is a very unique park on<br />

<strong>the</strong> border. Chamizal El Paso and a Chamizal<br />

Juarez are currently divided by <strong>the</strong> border in<br />

El Paso and Juarez. This piece of land shifted<br />

from one side to <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r of <strong>the</strong> boundary<br />

before <strong>the</strong> Rio Grande/Rio Bravo was forced<br />

into a cemented riverbed as it makes its way<br />

through El Paso and Juarez.<br />

The Chamizal is a piece of land that, in 1827,<br />

José Ponce de León was granted from <strong>the</strong><br />

Mexican government. This land was on <strong>the</strong><br />

south side of <strong>the</strong> Rio Grande.<br />

The years before 1864, <strong>the</strong> river slowly<br />

moved south. As a result of this process, <strong>the</strong><br />

Chamizal moved to <strong>the</strong> El Paso side. In 1886,<br />

an exceptionally large flood aggravated this<br />

process. In 1897, <strong>the</strong> river flooded again<br />

creating what was known as <strong>the</strong> Cordova<br />

Island, which was actually a peninsula.<br />

In 1899, in order to avoid more floods, U.S.<br />

and Mexico split <strong>the</strong> cost of building an<br />

artificial cut in <strong>the</strong> heel of <strong>the</strong> horseshoe<br />

bend that formed <strong>the</strong> island. Once <strong>the</strong> cut<br />

was finished, Cordoba Island was still part of<br />

Mexican territory even if it was surrounded<br />

by U.S. soil and <strong>the</strong> Rio Grande on its south.<br />

Cement boundary markers were built at<br />

<strong>the</strong> original river bed to set <strong>the</strong> geopolitical<br />

boundary. These markers can still be found<br />

32 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

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at <strong>the</strong> Chamizal National Memorial in El<br />

Paso.<br />

home value, and forced to leave <strong>the</strong>ir houses<br />

behind.<br />

Until 1963, different presidents tried to<br />

solve <strong>the</strong> issue without success. On January<br />

14,1964, United States and Mexico signed<br />

an agreement to set <strong>the</strong> new boundary<br />

and channelize <strong>the</strong> river in order to stop<br />

its fluctuation. “The agreement awarded<br />

to Mexico 366 acres of <strong>the</strong> Chamizal area<br />

and seventy-one acres east of <strong>the</strong> adjacent<br />

Cordova Island.” 4<br />

This shifting of <strong>the</strong> land also meant that<br />

<strong>the</strong> nationality of those living in this area<br />

changed as <strong>the</strong> river meandered. The settling<br />

of 1968 meant that houses that were on <strong>the</strong><br />

American side of <strong>the</strong> border, were now on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Mexican side. The owners of properties<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Chamizal were given <strong>the</strong> option of<br />

continuing being American, or becoming<br />

Mexican. Those who decided to be American<br />

were only paid for <strong>the</strong>ir land and not for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

<strong>No</strong>wadays, <strong>the</strong> U.S. side of <strong>the</strong> park is not a<br />

very active, nor a celebrated space. On a field<br />

trip visit to <strong>the</strong> U.S. side of <strong>the</strong> Chamizal, <strong>the</strong><br />

park was hardly populated and <strong>the</strong> Chamizal<br />

Memorial Center was closed.<br />

On <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand, <strong>the</strong> Mexican side of <strong>the</strong><br />

park is greatly used by <strong>the</strong> neighbors of <strong>the</strong><br />

area. The park is <strong>the</strong> biggest public space<br />

in Juarez, and it contains an archeology<br />

museum. During <strong>the</strong> weekends, <strong>the</strong> park is<br />

activated by performances, street vendors,<br />

joggers and families. It seems as if <strong>the</strong> park<br />

acts like a showcase of <strong>the</strong> vibrancy of <strong>the</strong><br />

Mexican communities on <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>rn side<br />

of <strong>the</strong> wall, as if <strong>the</strong>y are trying to show that<br />

<strong>the</strong> grass might be greener on <strong>the</strong>ir side.<br />

The history and current use of this fluctuating<br />

place created <strong>the</strong> perfect backdrop for some<br />

Right | Chamizal<br />

dispute, meandering<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Rio Grande by<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


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Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

Assignment 3, Border Fluctuation by Eli Helbig and Jacob Lovato.<br />

34 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


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As architects, I believe<br />

that we should be aware of<br />

<strong>the</strong> systems that operate<br />

within our practice and<br />

define our role within<br />

<strong>the</strong>se realities. Thinking<br />

that architecture is an<br />

isolated field in charge of<br />

beautifying structures will<br />

cause more problems, and<br />

won’t help us create more<br />

equitable environments.<br />

36 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

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Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

of <strong>the</strong> proposals that <strong>the</strong> students created<br />

for <strong>the</strong> park. The third assignment was titled<br />

#ThisIs<strong>No</strong>tAWall Chamizal Park. For this<br />

exercise, <strong>the</strong> students had to develop <strong>the</strong><br />

concepts described in <strong>the</strong> second proposal<br />

in a more detailed manner. The students<br />

also decided whe<strong>the</strong>r to work individually, or<br />

in groups of two. The results of <strong>the</strong>ir projects<br />

had to be presented in graphically on boards<br />

along with a 500-word description.<br />

This exercise allowed for <strong>the</strong> proposals to<br />

become more meaningful. Although <strong>the</strong><br />

scale of <strong>the</strong> park is relatively big for an<br />

architecture studio, going from a broad<br />

proposal to a more detailed one enabled<br />

<strong>the</strong> students to create more thoughtful<br />

proposals.<br />

One proposal re-designed both Chamizal<br />

parks so that <strong>the</strong> river would be allowed to<br />

meander again. This public space would shift<br />

nationalities as needed by each country,<br />

allowing for Mexico or U.S. to use <strong>the</strong> land<br />

for big events. The design also allowed for<br />

<strong>the</strong> river to flow creating a configuration that<br />

would allow both nationalities to use <strong>the</strong><br />

park. The description of this project titled<br />

Border Fluctuation read: “Once <strong>the</strong> river is<br />

unleashed from its concrete channel and is<br />

allowed to fluctuate and once again engage<br />

<strong>the</strong> flood plains upon which it exists, new<br />

environments emerge and migrate within<br />

<strong>the</strong> meandering of <strong>the</strong> river. Here, spatial<br />

identities start to emerge and can begin<br />

to stitch <strong>the</strong> cultural and political fabric of<br />

both <strong>the</strong> U.S. and Mexico into <strong>the</strong> future;<br />

where <strong>the</strong> static border becomes more of<br />

a permeable boundary meant to offer new<br />

and exciting social opportunities through <strong>the</strong><br />

'natural' shifting of <strong>the</strong> river, as it once was.”<br />

Since <strong>the</strong> project had a very optimistic<br />

approach, <strong>the</strong> students also decided to use a<br />

non-realistic representation of <strong>the</strong>ir project.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r student proposed to use some of<br />

<strong>the</strong> existing wall infrastructure to create<br />

a green wall that would allow growing<br />

vegetables on both sides of <strong>the</strong> wall. She<br />

also proposed that in some areas <strong>the</strong> green<br />

wall would be thickened allowing for <strong>the</strong> wall<br />

to become a threshold, a thickened wall that<br />

is also inhabitable.<br />

Her proposal in <strong>the</strong> Chamizal allowed for<br />

people from both sides to get to see each<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r, interact and have a common project:<br />

a garden that both sides would have to<br />

take care of. Her project emphasized <strong>the</strong><br />

disconnection that currently exists between<br />

both Chamizal parks and <strong>the</strong> people from<br />

each side of <strong>the</strong> border.<br />

Conclusion<br />

There was a clear evolution in <strong>the</strong> work of<br />

<strong>the</strong> students and <strong>the</strong>ir mindset throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> semester. The students who took<br />

<strong>the</strong> studio were unsure in <strong>the</strong> beginning<br />

about <strong>the</strong> approach that <strong>the</strong>y should take<br />

with <strong>the</strong>ir proposals, and some were even<br />

afraid of <strong>the</strong>m being too provocative. But<br />

at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> semester, <strong>the</strong> students<br />

challenged each o<strong>the</strong>r’s points of views and<br />

asked each o<strong>the</strong>r to be more provocative<br />

and raise awareness on <strong>the</strong> conflict through<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir projects, letters and representation<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

techniques.<br />

After finalizing <strong>the</strong> studio, some students<br />

decided to continue <strong>the</strong>ir work and<br />

research. Some started <strong>the</strong> Twitter account<br />

This Is <strong>No</strong>t A Wall at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> semester<br />

to follow <strong>the</strong> discussions on border projects<br />

and architecture through social media. One<br />

student designed a portable shelter that<br />

people crossing <strong>the</strong> border can carry with<br />

<strong>the</strong>m to protect <strong>the</strong>m from <strong>the</strong> sun, and be<br />

used as shelter at night. Ano<strong>the</strong>r student is<br />

currently researching <strong>the</strong> Bracero Program<br />

and how it impacted <strong>the</strong> growth of small<br />

settlements along <strong>the</strong> U.S. and Mexico<br />

border.<br />

As architects, I believe that we should be<br />

aware of <strong>the</strong> systems that operate within<br />

our practice and define our role within<br />

<strong>the</strong>se realities. Thinking that architecture<br />

is an isolated field in charge of beautifying<br />

structures will cause more problems,<br />

and won’t help us create more equitable<br />

environments.<br />

Maybe one of <strong>the</strong> beauties of architecture<br />

is its unlimited options, but in <strong>the</strong> same way<br />

that we discuss beauty and composition in<br />

studio classes, we should have moral and<br />

ethical conversations in <strong>the</strong> classroom.<br />

Perhaps our studios, and architectural<br />

education in general, are too naïve: hardly<br />

talking about how projects would be<br />

financed, <strong>the</strong> impact that <strong>the</strong>y would have<br />

on <strong>the</strong> surrounding houses and neighbors,<br />

<strong>the</strong> economy that <strong>the</strong>y tap into...<br />

I think that <strong>the</strong> projects produced at<br />

<strong>the</strong> Borders Studio could be considered<br />

somewhat naïve, but working on <strong>the</strong>se<br />

projects generated long conversations about<br />

ethics, politics, economy and architecture. It<br />

has also given confidence to students living<br />

in a borderland region to think that <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

voice can be heard, and that as architects,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y should be included in conversations<br />

beyond aes<strong>the</strong>tics.<br />

The goal of studios like this one is not to<br />

create a set of ethical rules that all designers<br />

and architects must adhere to, nor to<br />

shame those with different ethical rules<br />

than ours, but to start generating some<br />

individual ethical parameters for students<br />

to help <strong>the</strong>m define <strong>the</strong> work that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

feel comfortable doing. The goal is also<br />

for <strong>the</strong> students to start questioning <strong>the</strong><br />

involvement that architects should have on<br />

<strong>the</strong>se types of conflicts, and hopefully make<br />

<strong>the</strong>m aware of <strong>the</strong>ir own responsibilities<br />

when leaving school and facing real projects<br />

and clients.<br />

Endnotes<br />

1 American Institute of Architects. 2016, December 1. Open<br />

letter to members and friends of <strong>the</strong> international AIA<br />

National Region. Accessed on September 4, 2017 from<br />

http://www.aiainternational.org/home/2016/12/1/openletter-to-members-<br />

and-friends-of-<strong>the</strong>-aia-international.<br />

html<br />

2 Federal Business Opportunities. (2017, February 24). RFP.<br />

Retrieved September 4, 2017, from https://bit.ly/2lDXj9z<br />

2 Office of Sponsored Projects, University of New Mexico,<br />

http://osp.unm.edu/hsi-mi-reference-overview.html<br />

Accessed on May 13th 2018<br />

3 Office of Institutional Analytics, University of New Mexico,<br />

http://oia.unm.edu, Accessed on May 13th 2018<br />

38 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

4 Gregory, Gladys and Liss, Sheldon, “Chamizal Dispute”<br />

Texas State Historical Association, https://tshaonline.org/<br />

handbook/online/articles/nbc01, Accessed on May 13th<br />

2018<br />

5 “Where History and Culture Come to Life”, Chamizal National<br />

Memorial website National Parks Service website, https://<br />

www.nps.gov/cham/index.htm?allacrosstexas.com,<br />

Accessed on May 13th 2018<br />

References<br />

American Institute of Architects, New Mexico Chapter. (2017,<br />

September 19). Resolution on Alternatives to <strong>the</strong> Border<br />

Wall, Passed. Retrieved from http://aianewmexico.org/<br />

Documents/BorderWall_Resolution091917.pdf<br />

"Cordova Island", Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State<br />

Historical Association. June 12, 2010. https://tshaonline.<br />

org/handbook/online/articles/rrc04 Accessed on May 13th<br />

2018<br />

“Floods and The Chamizal <strong>Issue</strong>” National Park Service,<br />

February 24 2015, https://www.nps.gov/cham/learn/<br />

historyculture/rio-grand-floods-and-<strong>the</strong>-chamizal-issue.<br />

htm, Accessed on May 13th 2018<br />

Friedman, Nathan, “Political Props Territorial Performance<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Chamizal Dispute” Mas Context, http://www.<br />

mascontext.com/tag/chamizal-treaty/ Accessed on May<br />

13th 2018<br />

Korody, Nicholas, “US/Mexico border wall competition<br />

provokes controversy” Bustler, (March 16, 2017). http://<br />

bustler.net/news/tags/competition/326/4754/ usmexico-border-wall-competition-provokes-controversy/<br />

competition-news Accessed September 4, 2017<br />

Lambert, Leopold, “The New York Times and The U.S.<br />

Border Wall: A Love Story”, The Funambulist, https://<br />

<strong>the</strong>funambulist.net/architectural-projects/<strong>the</strong>-new-yorktimes-and-<strong>the</strong>-u-s-border-wall-a-love-story<br />

Accessed May<br />

13th 2018<br />

NPR Staff, “50 Years Ago, A Fluid Border Made The U.S. 1<br />

Square Mile Smaller” NPR Radio Diaries, September 25th<br />

2014, https://www.npr.org/2014/09/25/350885341/50-<br />

years-ago-a-fluid-border-made-<strong>the</strong>-u-s-1-square-milesmaller<br />

Accessed May 13th 2018<br />

Miranda, Carolina A., “Trump’s border wall may be<br />

controversial, but some Sou<strong>the</strong>rn California firms want<br />

to build it”. Los Angeles Times, (March 2, 2017). http://<br />

www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-camborder-wall-presolicitation-vendors-20170302-story.html<br />

Accessed May 13th 2018<br />

The Architecture Lobby, #<strong>No</strong>tOurWall Campaign http://<br />

architecture-lobby.org/project/notourwall/ Accessed May<br />

13th 2018<br />

Rael, Ronald. Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for <strong>the</strong><br />

US-Mexico Boundary. University of California Press, 2017.<br />

International Boundary and Water Commission, City of El Paso<br />

Department of Planning, National Park Service<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

Daisy-O’lice I. Williams is an Assistant Professor in<br />

<strong>the</strong> Department of Architecture at <strong>the</strong> University<br />

of Oregon. Over <strong>the</strong> course of her career, she<br />

has taught design communication, architectural<br />

<strong>the</strong>ory, and design studio at <strong>the</strong> beginning and<br />

graduate levels. Her research and teaching is<br />

driven by <strong>the</strong> underlying assumption that what<br />

we use to design influences what we are able<br />

to design. Williams specializes in architectural<br />

visualization, and is particularly interested in<br />

modes of communication that directly engage <strong>the</strong><br />

human experience. Recent investigations include<br />

<strong>the</strong> role of digital collage in <strong>the</strong> student design<br />

process and <strong>the</strong> viability of augmented reality as<br />

a collaging medium. Williams is also committed<br />

to investigating and increasing African-American<br />

presence and participation in architectural<br />

education.<br />

40 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

"To be in <strong>the</strong> margin is to be<br />

part of <strong>the</strong> whole but outside <strong>the</strong><br />

main body." bell hooks<br />

“I need to understand how a place<br />

on <strong>the</strong> map is also a place in<br />

history…” Adrienne Rich, <strong>No</strong>tes Towards a<br />

Politics of Location<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

Left | Zachariah<br />

Petett’s 3D “Final<br />

Program” diagram:<br />

Critical analysis that<br />

plots programmatic<br />

components based<br />

on necessary square<br />

footage and necessary<br />

privacy, noise, and<br />

access levels.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> fall of 2015, <strong>the</strong> University of Oregon<br />

Black Student Task Force published a plan<br />

outlining twelve demands to “ensure that<br />

current and future Black students have a<br />

culturally appropriate and welcoming campus<br />

climate”. The seventh on <strong>the</strong>ir list required<br />

<strong>the</strong> university to “create a substantial<br />

endowment fund and support system to<br />

FUND AND OPEN a Black Cultural Center”.<br />

As a result of <strong>the</strong> taskforce’s activism and<br />

labor, <strong>the</strong> University of Oregon will welcome<br />

a new Black Cultural Center to campus with<br />

construction slated to begin in 2018.<br />

This design studio was created as a means to<br />

study <strong>the</strong> intellectual implications of such an<br />

undertaking.<br />

Working from <strong>the</strong> assumption that<br />

architecture is a form of cultural production,<br />

is it possible to achieve an architectural<br />

embodiment of ‘blackness’?<br />

Is this a noble design pursuit or a one-way<br />

ticket to superficial essentialism? Like all<br />

ventures by a state-funded institution, one<br />

has to answer, for whose benefit is this?<br />

What is <strong>the</strong> role (or perhaps responsibility)<br />

of a black cultural center on a mostly<br />

white campus in an even more racially<br />

homogeneous state?<br />

The goal of this studio was not to mimic<br />

<strong>the</strong> actual project in process or scope<br />

(though rich lessons were learned from it<br />

along <strong>the</strong> way). We had <strong>the</strong> advantage of<br />

suspending real-world limitations of budget<br />

and time. Therefore, our studio worked<br />

from an expanded program with a focus on<br />

university-community partnership.<br />

Our aim was to envision a UO Black Cultural<br />

Center situated to support both <strong>the</strong> campus<br />

and region 50 years from now. Our studio’s<br />

42 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

proposed Center needed to fulfill dual needs:<br />

to be a nucleus for black student life on<br />

campus, and offer support to community<br />

groups who provide critical programming for<br />

<strong>the</strong> study, preservation, and advancement of<br />

black traditions and heritage.<br />

In addition to student support and event<br />

space, our program included community<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>ring rooms, permanent exhibit space,<br />

a rotating gallery, reflection space, and<br />

a studio/office for a scholar in residence<br />

program. Many student projects pushed<br />

<strong>the</strong> civic possibility of <strong>the</strong> center fur<strong>the</strong>r by<br />

incorporating performance <strong>the</strong>aters and<br />

special collections archives.<br />

Our project occupies <strong>the</strong> same site as<br />

<strong>the</strong> real UO Black Cultural Center project<br />

with extended boundaries that could<br />

accommodate a larger program and provide<br />

conditions that speak to <strong>the</strong> public nature of<br />

<strong>the</strong> proposed facility.<br />

The corner site is located at <strong>the</strong> eastern<br />

margins of campus, marking a clear transition<br />

between campus buildings and residential<br />

neighborhood. It is an edge condition that<br />

will someday become a prominent formal<br />

gateway into campus as new projects<br />

continue to be developed. Primary building<br />

uses within this area include residence halls<br />

and academic support facilities.<br />

However, this area is in <strong>the</strong> beginning stages<br />

of what could be nudged into becoming a<br />

cultural “district” for <strong>the</strong> University, with <strong>the</strong><br />

Many Nations Long House, Global Scholars<br />

Residence Hall, and <strong>the</strong> Museum of Natural<br />

and Cultural History to its immediate west,<br />

and Maude Kerns Art Gallery to its east.<br />

The Ma<strong>the</strong>w Knight Arena is also in close<br />

proximity to <strong>the</strong> north and visible from our<br />

site.<br />

Given <strong>the</strong> transitional nature of <strong>the</strong> site,<br />

students were asked to propose a redesigned<br />

Right | Jennah Byrd_<br />

Approach: The<br />

building is bisected<br />

into two volumes, with<br />

civic functions like <strong>the</strong><br />

museum and archives<br />

housed in a larger<br />

mass that lifts up at <strong>the</strong><br />

corner and reaches out<br />

toward <strong>the</strong> city.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

East Campus Design Area Plan that clarified<br />

pedestrian and vehicular access as well as<br />

green space.<br />

Student projects had to respond to <strong>the</strong> dual<br />

purposes of serving as a student support<br />

space and as a multiuse civic building. Thus,<br />

students had to consider a radiating sphere<br />

of users with needs of black students at <strong>the</strong><br />

core, and <strong>the</strong> general public at <strong>the</strong> broadest<br />

scope.<br />

One of <strong>the</strong> inherent challenges of <strong>the</strong> project<br />

required students to consider how to provide<br />

refuge to a subset of <strong>the</strong> student population<br />

who often feel marginalized and unsafe,<br />

while also offering an intentional interface for<br />

education and sharing. Thus, many schemes<br />

made clear divisions in building mass, entry<br />

sequence and façade treatments to convey<br />

this shifted notion of public vs. private.<br />

The greater purpose of our studio was to<br />

investigate ways in which architectural design<br />

acts as an extension of cultural production.<br />

44 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

Gianna Pra<strong>the</strong>r’s board layouts: This proposal by Gianna Pra<strong>the</strong>r integrates building with landscape, encouraging pedestrians to<br />

walk through <strong>the</strong> project site and engage <strong>the</strong> center along a choreographed exterior path. The grand scale of <strong>the</strong> project is offset<br />

by moments for pause and reflection along <strong>the</strong> way.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

U.S. university campuses; and museums that<br />

center African American history.<br />

The campus buildings selected included <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum of Natural and Cultural History<br />

for its public educational function; and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Many Nations Longhouse and John E.<br />

Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes<br />

because each offer targeted support for<br />

unique subsets of <strong>the</strong> student population.<br />

This study proved useful in understanding<br />

how current UO buildings offer cultural<br />

programming to <strong>the</strong> general public while<br />

also restricting circulation via identity-based<br />

layers of access.<br />

Zacharia Petett's Vignette: Renderings reveal <strong>the</strong> sculptural<br />

quality of <strong>the</strong> proposal with sweeping forms that surround a<br />

“sacred” rotunda at its core.<br />

Specifically, our work probed <strong>the</strong> intersection<br />

of black aes<strong>the</strong>tics, architecture, and identity.<br />

We operated from <strong>the</strong> notion that every<br />

building is a <strong>the</strong>sis. Therefore, students were<br />

invited to place a great deal of intention into<br />

forming <strong>the</strong>ir rationale based on case study<br />

analysis.<br />

The studio was broken into groups that<br />

were assigned three different categories<br />

of buildings for study: select UO campus<br />

buildings; o<strong>the</strong>r Black Cultural Centers on<br />

From <strong>the</strong> list of BCCs provided to <strong>the</strong>m,<br />

students analyzed <strong>the</strong> Neal Marshall Black<br />

Culture Center at Indiana University, <strong>the</strong><br />

Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center at<br />

Oregon State University, and <strong>the</strong> Frieson<br />

Black Cultural Center at <strong>the</strong> University of<br />

Tennessee at Knoxville. These centers ranged<br />

in size and scope of programming.<br />

Aside from <strong>the</strong> spatial programming and<br />

siting, students wanted to know how and to<br />

what degree was <strong>the</strong> function of <strong>the</strong> facility<br />

evident in its design and how much did that<br />

design diverge from <strong>the</strong> campus vernacular.<br />

The museums analyzed included: <strong>the</strong><br />

Museum for African Art/ The Africa Center,<br />

in Queens, N; <strong>the</strong> National Center for Civil<br />

and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA; and <strong>the</strong><br />

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland<br />

African American History and Culture in<br />

Baltimore, MD.<br />

46 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

Assuming larger budgets and heavier roles<br />

as national civic institutions, students<br />

documented how cultural meaning<br />

presented itself in <strong>the</strong> aes<strong>the</strong>tic design of <strong>the</strong><br />

project as intended by <strong>the</strong> lead architect.<br />

This distinction is critical. As with many<br />

noteworthy buildings, it becomes difficult to<br />

find information on how <strong>the</strong>se intentions are<br />

shared, understood, or even realized by its<br />

occupants and visitors.<br />

In order to help us sift through <strong>the</strong> complex<br />

task of imagining a meaningful relationship<br />

between architectural space and black<br />

identity, we engaged written works by<br />

prominent scholars often grouped in pairs to<br />

express alternative views.<br />

Memory. They posit (albeit for different<br />

purposes) that lived experience and<br />

perception begins within <strong>the</strong> body. At a<br />

glance, <strong>the</strong> studio projects were quite diverse<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir appearance. Those shown here are<br />

perhaps some of <strong>the</strong> most gestural of <strong>the</strong><br />

group—<strong>the</strong>y reach, stretch, lean, curve,<br />

and swoop. However, not all of <strong>the</strong> projects<br />

were so formally bold. Some intentionally<br />

deferred to <strong>the</strong>ir surroundings and employed<br />

more modest forms that sheltered dramatic<br />

interiors.<br />

While a few students did engage metaphor to<br />

draw out formal ideas about building mass<br />

To begin, we compared Jack Travis’ <strong>No</strong>tes on<br />

a Black Architectural Aes<strong>the</strong>tic against Mario<br />

Gooden’s The Problem with African American<br />

Museums. Travis’ slow-grown, near manifesto<br />

of principles that define a black aes<strong>the</strong>tic was<br />

challenged by Gooden’s critique of <strong>the</strong> use of<br />

“cultural stereotypes”.<br />

Later in <strong>the</strong> term, when students were asked<br />

to design “sacred space” within <strong>the</strong> project,<br />

we paired TaNehisi Coates’ Between <strong>the</strong><br />

World and Me, with bell hooks’ “Homeplace:<br />

A Site of Resistance” in Yearning in order<br />

to draw out ways that architecture and<br />

place become protective skins that mediate<br />

“o<strong>the</strong>rness”.<br />

These were later followed by Juhani<br />

Pallasmaa’s The Eyes of <strong>the</strong> Skin, and <strong>No</strong>rle<br />

Lokko’s “Body.Memory.Map” in Sites of<br />

Jennah Byrd's Vignette: “Sacred space” for reflection shaped<br />

by outdoor sculpture park made of perforated corten steel<br />

panels that cast and receive patterns of light on <strong>the</strong>ir surface<br />

indicating <strong>the</strong> passage of time. The collage-like textural quality<br />

of this image captures <strong>the</strong> emotive quality of <strong>the</strong> space.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

and materiality, <strong>the</strong> entire studio seemed to<br />

see <strong>the</strong> physical expression of <strong>the</strong> building as<br />

secondary to <strong>the</strong> choreographed experience<br />

it would provide. Materiality, texture, color,<br />

shape, and volume were manipulated—<br />

but not to represent something else (like<br />

blackness, justice, community, <strong>the</strong> pacific<br />

northwest, etc.).<br />

Instead, architectural elements were<br />

modified to shape particular experiential<br />

moments guided by <strong>the</strong> perception of light,<br />

sound, gravity, scale and movement. Though<br />

<strong>the</strong>se two design approaches aren’t mutually<br />

exclusive, our group tended to be motivated<br />

by achieving some sensory or emotive<br />

outcome ra<strong>the</strong>r than engaging a cultural<br />

signifier.<br />

Overwhelmingly, students were skeptical<br />

that a specific brick pattern, color scheme,<br />

or volumetric shape would be enough<br />

to carry <strong>the</strong> weight of shared meaning.<br />

Above all, this studio project was inherently<br />

political. The ordering of space, people, and<br />

property always is. However, this project<br />

tested <strong>the</strong> limits of our training, identity, and<br />

experience. Most of <strong>the</strong> readings were new<br />

48 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

UO Black Cultural Center<br />

Daisy’Olice I. Williams<br />

Zachariah Petett’s 3D “Concept” diagram: Generative form diagrams that explore expressions of power, sanctuary, and<br />

community through building mass.<br />

text and territory for architectural design<br />

students. As a group we journeyed without<br />

<strong>the</strong> expectation that any of us would arrive<br />

at a codified black aes<strong>the</strong>tic. Instead, our<br />

context-heavy investigations ended up<br />

providing a deep dive into user experience.<br />

Most students came into this studio with <strong>the</strong><br />

expectation that <strong>the</strong> Black Cultural Center<br />

should be more than just ano<strong>the</strong>r campus<br />

building in whatever ways that meant to<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. By studio’s end, projects translated<br />

that desire by compelling a dialogue between<br />

normative campus design strategies and <strong>the</strong><br />

ever self-aware black student experience.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

50 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Section 2:<br />

Silent Spring<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Silent Spring 2013 Gouache and<br />

graphite on paper 30” X 22”<br />

Surprisingly, analyzing and mapping <strong>the</strong><br />

devastation of an ecosystem may very well lead<br />

in a positive direction. These articles recognize<br />

and map our shared creative destruction, but hint<br />

at new paths to make and take for its repair or<br />

transition.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


52 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Deconstruct/ Reconstruct:<br />

Out Finding Beauty within<br />

Invasive Plant Ecologies<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

Left | Megan Singleton<br />

Here and There, 2017<br />

Handmade Paper of Kozo,<br />

dyed with Indigo, Persicaria,<br />

and Oklahoma Soil<br />

10 Panels, Each Panel 2' X 4'<br />

Megan Singleton is an artist and educator located<br />

in St. Louis, Missouri. Her ecology-based work<br />

crisscrosses <strong>the</strong> boundaries of contemporary<br />

craft combining sculpture, hand papermaking,<br />

installation, and digital applications. She received<br />

her MFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State<br />

University and BFA in Photography from Webster.<br />

She exhibits nationally and internationally<br />

and her work can be found in <strong>the</strong> collections<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Louisiana Art and Science Museum, <strong>the</strong><br />

Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, as well as<br />

numerous private and corporate collections. She<br />

teaches Fiber Arts at Saint Louis University and<br />

papermaking workshops nationally. She has<br />

been <strong>the</strong> recipient of a $20,000 Artist Fellowship<br />

from <strong>the</strong> St. Louis Regional Arts Commission,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Smelser Vallion Visiting Artist Fellowship in<br />

Taos, NM, and <strong>the</strong> Kingsbrea International Artist<br />

in Residence in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick.<br />

In 2017, she was commissioned to create sitespecific<br />

mural projects at <strong>the</strong> Granoff Center<br />

at Brown University for <strong>the</strong> T2 Art initiative at<br />

Lambert International Airport in Saint Louis.<br />

www.megansingleton.com<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Deconstruct/Reconstruct<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

A Creative Process<br />

54 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Deconstruct/Reconstruct<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Deconstruct/Reconstruct<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

A Creative Process<br />

Paddling through vegetation-filled bayous,<br />

hiking along riparian trails, or trekking<br />

along a sandy coastline examining plants<br />

for <strong>the</strong>ir potential to be transformed into<br />

handmade paper, is key to my creative<br />

process. This process, by nature, is designed<br />

to be stimulating, inspiring, and enjoyable.<br />

The exploration of diverse biomes across<br />

<strong>the</strong> country invigorates my artistic practice<br />

and informs <strong>the</strong> direction of my botanical<br />

research. The experience of navigating<br />

through new landscapes is always full of<br />

surprises and intriguing observations. Using<br />

contemporary place-based methodologies<br />

coupled with <strong>the</strong> historic craft of hand<br />

papermaking, I have designed a fivepoint<br />

practice to utilize when embarking<br />

on investigating a new landscape and<br />

creating new bodies of work. It begins with<br />

Exploration.<br />

Exploration<br />

Then, I begin planning my excursions and<br />

organizing <strong>the</strong> necessary tools, permits,<br />

and equipment, such as a canoe, that I<br />

may need to collect plant samples. <strong>No</strong>thing<br />

compares to being fully immersed in a wild<br />

natural environment. I arrive with intent and<br />

am constantly stimulated by <strong>the</strong> shifting,<br />

interconnected relationships of <strong>the</strong> plants<br />

and ecosystems that I observe around me,<br />

which leads us right into my next point.<br />

Observation<br />

Out in <strong>the</strong> field, I am looking, listening,<br />

smelling, and touching all <strong>the</strong> things around<br />

me. I record my observations in a field<br />

journal and with my camera. Photography<br />

plays an important role in <strong>the</strong> development<br />

of ideas and in <strong>the</strong> interpretation of<br />

experiences. I use <strong>the</strong> photographs I<br />

take to develop sculptural forms, as well<br />

as printed and bound in artist books as<br />

companion pieces to fur<strong>the</strong>r contextualize<br />

my installations.<br />

Curiosity is <strong>the</strong> impetus for exploration. I find<br />

myself drawn, physically and metaphysically,<br />

to areas where a body of water plays<br />

a dominant role in <strong>the</strong> landscape. My<br />

explorations, like most, begin with maps<br />

of <strong>the</strong> location I will be traveling to. I look<br />

for public land managed by <strong>the</strong> Bureau of<br />

Land Management (BLM), <strong>the</strong> National Parks<br />

Service (NPS), or State Parks with navigable<br />

and accessible trails. I also look at satellite<br />

imagery of <strong>the</strong> areas I plan to go to get a<br />

sense of <strong>the</strong> density of <strong>the</strong> vegetation, as well<br />

as trail and road conditions.<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> years, I have observed <strong>the</strong><br />

destructive beauty of various invasive species<br />

such as <strong>the</strong> seas of purple blossoms of water<br />

hyacinth choking Louisiana bayous, and <strong>the</strong><br />

lyrical swaying swaths of common reed along<br />

<strong>the</strong> shores of Monomoy Island.<br />

When I am looking at <strong>the</strong>se plants as<br />

potential paper, I am seeking invasive species<br />

that are herbaceous, non-woody and have<br />

a high cellulose fiber content. I do a “twist<br />

test” on site to determine <strong>the</strong> strength of a<br />

plant material’s fiber by taking a clipping and<br />

literally twisting <strong>the</strong> fiber as many times as I<br />

56 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Deconstruct/Reconstruct<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

can before it breaks. The results of this test<br />

determines whe<strong>the</strong>r I will take <strong>the</strong> plant back<br />

to <strong>the</strong> studio for fur<strong>the</strong>r material research.<br />

Research<br />

Research is a critical component of my studio<br />

practice. This includes searching for historical<br />

data about specific locations, discovering how<br />

certain plants were introduced into a region,<br />

and how <strong>the</strong> biodiversity has been affected<br />

since <strong>the</strong> introduction of an invasive species.<br />

The physical, material research includes<br />

processing plant fibers down to just cellulose<br />

and testing <strong>the</strong> plants viability to be made<br />

into paper. <strong>No</strong>t all <strong>the</strong> plants I experiment<br />

with end up as great candidates for paper,<br />

but that doesn’t mean <strong>the</strong>y still can’t be used.<br />

The fiber may be too weak, too woody, or not<br />

contain enough cellulose for pure sheets, but<br />

it may have an interesting texture, color, or<br />

be significant in <strong>the</strong> conceptual component<br />

of <strong>the</strong> work.<br />

When this is <strong>the</strong> case, I will mix <strong>the</strong> plant<br />

with ano<strong>the</strong>r fiber such as abaca or cotton,<br />

to create <strong>the</strong> necessary pulp recipe for <strong>the</strong><br />

application I am using it for in <strong>the</strong> studio.<br />

Which brings us to Interpretation, aka,<br />

making ideas into objects.<br />

Interpretation (aka Making)<br />

The work I create is place-based, inspired<br />

Megan Singleton Turions: Wintering Buds, 2017<br />

Handmade Paper of Abaca, Milfoil, Hydrilla, and Grass, Steel, Concrete 27 Sculptures Dimensions Variable<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

58 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Deconstruct/Reconstruct<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

by a desire to interpret <strong>the</strong> landscapes of<br />

disrupted, invaded ecologies and natural<br />

phenomena. I create sculptural installations<br />

by deconstructing plant material down to a<br />

visceral pulp slurry, <strong>the</strong>n I reconstruct <strong>the</strong><br />

fibers into paper sculptures that interpret<br />

and abstract <strong>the</strong> plant forms that I have<br />

observed. Paper pulp is such a versatile<br />

media, it can be used to make sheets<br />

of paper for a book, wrapped around<br />

armatures to create sculpture, or cast into<br />

<strong>the</strong> landscape itself.<br />

I have an expertise in hand papermaking<br />

and utilize my knowledge of <strong>the</strong> craft’s<br />

traditions to create work in a contemporary<br />

context that transforms invasive plant fibers<br />

into works of art. This decisive material<br />

selection lets me physically embed elements<br />

of regional specificity and conceptual<br />

implications into my art.<br />

The process of collection and transformation<br />

honors <strong>the</strong> plants as living organisms, while<br />

simultaneously engaging and educating<br />

viewers about <strong>the</strong> importance of invasivespecies<br />

awareness.<br />

Conversation<br />

The culmination of my explorations,<br />

observations, research, and interpretations<br />

is an exhibition of my labors that aims to<br />

spark conversation. I use <strong>the</strong> subversive<br />

power of seductively beautiful objects to<br />

draw a viewer in, resulting in questions and<br />

a desire for fur<strong>the</strong>r inquiry.<br />

60 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Deconstruct/Reconstruct<br />

Megan Singleton<br />

Left | Megan Singleton,<br />

Riparian Threads:<br />

Cimarron Watershed 2017<br />

Handmade Paper of Abaca,<br />

Hydrilla, Prairie Grass and<br />

Oklahoma Soil<br />

30' X 10'.<br />

Previous | Megan<br />

Singleton, Fluvial Terra<br />

(Installation View)<br />

Below | Megan Singleton,<br />

Riparian Threads (detail)<br />

The intent of my work is to create an<br />

overlapping dialogue between art, science,<br />

and ecological concerns corresponding<br />

to both <strong>the</strong> alchemical processes I use to<br />

create art, and to <strong>the</strong> idea that exploration<br />

and collaboration can lead to new<br />

perceptions of our landscape and land<br />

stewardship. In addition, I hope that my<br />

work inspires individuals to embark on <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own explorations into <strong>the</strong> wilderness, to be<br />

out finding beauty.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


62 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>


<strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>the</strong> Longleaf<br />

Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Green Painting 2014 Oil on<br />

canvas 46” X 35”<br />

Anne Lindberg grew up in <strong>the</strong> suburbs of<br />

Chicago and is currently a visual artist living<br />

and working in Wilmington, <strong>No</strong>rth Carolina. A<br />

painter primarily, Anne has exhibited in Chicago<br />

and St. Louis at galleries and museums including<br />

<strong>the</strong> Des Lee Gallery in St. Louis, <strong>the</strong> Foundry Art<br />

Center in St. Louis, and <strong>the</strong> Kemper Museum of<br />

Contemporary Art in St. Louis. Anne is currently<br />

a full time faculty member at <strong>the</strong> University of<br />

<strong>No</strong>rth Carolina Wilmington. She holds a Master’s<br />

Degree in Visual Art from <strong>the</strong> Sam Fox School<br />

at Washington University in St. Louis and a<br />

Bachelors of Fine Art from <strong>the</strong> University of Illinois<br />

Champaign-Urbana.<br />

www.annejlindberg.com<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

Having moved from <strong>the</strong> Midwestern United<br />

States to <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>astern United States<br />

in 2013, this work was inspired by my<br />

experience of coming to a new place trying<br />

to get a sense of it. I focus on <strong>the</strong> longleaf<br />

pine ecosystem, a rich forest type that once<br />

dominated <strong>the</strong> entire sou<strong>the</strong>astern United<br />

States. I present <strong>the</strong> forest, or <strong>the</strong> idea of <strong>the</strong><br />

forest, through a mixture of representational<br />

imagery and imagery that represents<br />

information: species distribution maps, maps<br />

of turpentine distilleries at <strong>the</strong> turn of <strong>the</strong><br />

century, hexagonal grid mapping techniques,<br />

etc. The title of <strong>the</strong>se collection of works, in<br />

<strong>the</strong> pines, refers to <strong>the</strong> title of a traditional<br />

sou<strong>the</strong>rn Appalachian folk song from <strong>the</strong><br />

1870’s.<br />

The longleaf pine forest is important and<br />

distinctive.<br />

Once <strong>the</strong> most extensive woodland ecosystem<br />

in <strong>the</strong> United States, <strong>the</strong> longleaf pine forest<br />

extended from Virginia to eastern Texas.<br />

It has contributed to <strong>the</strong> economic and cultural<br />

development of <strong>the</strong> United States and has<br />

suffered extreme loss as a result.<br />

As of 1996 only 2.95 of <strong>the</strong> original 92 million<br />

acres remain, mostly in fragments.<br />

Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Greenswamp Pinecone (burnt), 2014. Oil on linen 10” X 15”<br />

64 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

Anne Janine Lindberg (top to bottom)<br />

Remnants, 2015. Gouache on paper, 22” X 29 ¾”; GIS Drawing 2, 2015. Graphite on paper 26 1/4” X 40 ¼”<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

66 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

The longleaf pine forest is also<br />

one of <strong>the</strong> most biologically<br />

diverse ecosystems on earth with<br />

a number of species uniquely<br />

endemic to it, many of <strong>the</strong>m<br />

considered rare or endangered.<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg,<br />

Broken Corridors, 2014<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

30” X 44”<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

68 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

The gopher tortoise, Venus flytrap,<br />

flameflower, Red-cockaded<br />

Woodpecker, and o<strong>the</strong>r species<br />

live solely within this ecosystem<br />

and nowhere else on earth.<br />

These and o<strong>the</strong>r endemic species<br />

indicate not only <strong>the</strong> biological<br />

diversity, but also <strong>the</strong> biological<br />

uniqueness of <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg,<br />

Black Hexagons, 2014<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

30” X 44”<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

There are currently many efforts<br />

underway to restore <strong>the</strong> longleaf<br />

pine ecosystem where it still<br />

exists.<br />

.<br />

Right | Anne Janine Lindberg,<br />

Death by a Thousand cuts, 2014<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

30” X 44”<br />

70 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

This body of work was created<br />

in 2015.<br />

This work is meant to address<br />

loss, fragmentation, and<br />

extinction; forces that are<br />

becoming increasingly prevalent<br />

in our time.<br />

Right | Anne Janine Lindberg,<br />

Heyday, 2014<br />

Mixed media on paper<br />

30” X 44”<br />

72 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

In <strong>the</strong> Pines<br />

Anne J. Lindberg<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

74 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Section 3:<br />

Descent of Man<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Descent of Man 2013<br />

Gouache and graphite on paper<br />

30” X 22”<br />

The ecological road taken downward is often <strong>the</strong><br />

byproduct of o<strong>the</strong>r good intentions. <strong>No</strong>ne<strong>the</strong>less,<br />

<strong>the</strong> devastation is <strong>the</strong>re. These two articles map<br />

<strong>the</strong> consequences of not paying attention to <strong>the</strong><br />

edges going ragged around us.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


76 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban<br />

landscapes: <strong>the</strong> counterdesign<br />

of non-humans<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

Left | João Miguel Diógenes<br />

de Araújo Lima<br />

2018<br />

João Miguel Lima has a MSc in Sociology from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Federal University of Ceara, Brazil, and is<br />

a member of <strong>the</strong> Arts and Urban Micropolitics<br />

Laboratory at <strong>the</strong> same institution. His research<br />

on <strong>the</strong> relations of humans and non-humans in<br />

<strong>the</strong> urban Anthropocene combines Social Sciences<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Arts. He has explored different publishing<br />

formats: paper, zine, photo-essay, and a short<br />

story.<br />

http://cargocollective.com/joaomiguellima/<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

Does nature need human activism to speak<br />

and act on its behalf – or does nature have<br />

agency? Here <strong>the</strong> intent is to address this<br />

question by looking at urban plants. <strong>No</strong>t<br />

trees, not forests, but weeds, <strong>the</strong> most<br />

undesirable kind of urban plants. Walking<br />

and roaming through urban space, one<br />

may overlook <strong>the</strong>m bursting through <strong>the</strong><br />

cracks on <strong>the</strong> sidewalk, between bricks on<br />

a wall, in a gutter or even <strong>the</strong> rooftop – but<br />

<strong>the</strong>re <strong>the</strong>y are. Perceived as signs of urban<br />

decay, weeds are usually pulled out. They<br />

are not ‘supposed to be’ <strong>the</strong>re. Weeds and<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir urban counter-design has become <strong>the</strong><br />

subject of photographers all around <strong>the</strong><br />

world. Inspired by ecological criticism, this<br />

research takes shape as an online museum<br />

of <strong>the</strong> ephemeral, contributing with insights<br />

about <strong>the</strong> environment in cities.<br />

Thoreau argued that, even though cities had<br />

pushed wilderness away to places where it<br />

could only be visited and contemplated, man<br />

is an inhabitant of nature none<strong>the</strong>less, and<br />

<strong>the</strong>reby remains a part of it.<br />

Cities <strong>the</strong>n, are not ‘unnatural environments’<br />

(Spirn 1996), but are transformations and<br />

restrictions of nature by men.<br />

This narrative begins with reflections<br />

that question my own experience in<br />

environmental activism.<br />

In 2013, <strong>the</strong> municipal administration<br />

of Fortaleza, Brazil launched an urban<br />

intervention project to alleviate traffic jams<br />

by constructing roadway bypasses. To make<br />

room for <strong>the</strong> bypasses, 94 trees of <strong>the</strong><br />

neighboring Cocó Ecological Park would be<br />

cut down.<br />

When workers cut a couple of trees to <strong>the</strong><br />

ground, a group of demonstrators managed<br />

to halt <strong>the</strong> process, access <strong>the</strong> site and throw<br />

red paint over <strong>the</strong> tree stumps.<br />

Right | A portion of <strong>the</strong><br />

municipality of Fortaleza,<br />

capital of <strong>the</strong> state of Ceará, in<br />

<strong>No</strong>r<strong>the</strong>astern Brazil, with <strong>the</strong><br />

green mangroves of <strong>the</strong> Cocó<br />

River. The highlighted area<br />

indicates where <strong>the</strong> overpasses<br />

were built, in a junction.<br />

Captured using Google Maps<br />

78 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

Photographs of this action circulated online<br />

and in different means of communication,<br />

igniting protests 1 and shortly <strong>the</strong>reafter an<br />

occupation 2 . These protest actions were<br />

inspired by <strong>the</strong> Occupy movements. They<br />

took place in <strong>the</strong> midst of <strong>the</strong> 2013 protests<br />

in Brazil, known as <strong>the</strong> June Journeys 3 .<br />

Red paint, intended to resemble blood,<br />

was meant to produce a physical sense of<br />

familiarity in humans for trees. I wondered<br />

<strong>the</strong>n: must trees be seen as humans (or<br />

animals) in order to be protected? In this<br />

anthropocentric appeal, does nature need<br />

human activism to speak and act on its<br />

behalf, contesting <strong>the</strong> impositions of urban<br />

design?<br />

In <strong>the</strong> following months, <strong>the</strong>se questions<br />

made me look all around <strong>the</strong> city for trees,<br />

plants and vegetation, sensitive to <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

presence and to <strong>the</strong>ir absence too. After a<br />

while, I began photographing <strong>the</strong>se beings,<br />

particularly plants that sprout through cracks<br />

in sidewalks and concrete, plants that grow in<br />

<strong>the</strong> small corners of walls. Those who wander<br />

through a city with an inattentive gaze may<br />

not notice <strong>the</strong>ir presence on sidewalk edges,<br />

on top of roofs, in sewers or between tiles,<br />

but <strong>the</strong>re <strong>the</strong>y are. Sometimes weeds grow<br />

in <strong>the</strong> company of flowers. Some weeds<br />

may later become bushes or even trees,<br />

unarguably making <strong>the</strong>ir own composition of<br />

urban landscape.<br />

Weeds. In Spanish (malas yerbas) and<br />

Portuguese (ervas daninhas), <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

considered bad and creators of damage.<br />

These plants reject <strong>the</strong> constraining designs<br />

of urban planning, which dictate whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

existing forests, trees and plants may remain<br />

or must grow in places separated from built<br />

environments - sometimes even fenced off<br />

by humans. Weeds, ei<strong>the</strong>r native or nonnative<br />

species, tend to make <strong>the</strong>ir presence<br />

ra<strong>the</strong>r ‘inappropriately’ in cities. Similar to<br />

Left | This aerial view dates back<br />

to 2013, before construction work<br />

began on <strong>the</strong> bypasses.<br />

Captured using Google Maps<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

The two bypasses, and <strong>the</strong> Cocó Park today, 2018<br />

a squatter, <strong>the</strong>y defy land use and ‘occupy’<br />

cities, demonstrating not only <strong>the</strong> fertility<br />

of <strong>the</strong> land beneath, but also <strong>the</strong> vitality of<br />

plants.<br />

In this sense, plants that occupy cities can’t<br />

merely be called ‘weeds’. These spontaneous<br />

urban plants are instead more appropriately<br />

titled ocupadeiras. It is a Portuguese word<br />

I made up, combining <strong>the</strong> verb ocupar<br />

(occupy) and <strong>the</strong> noun trepadeiras (climbing<br />

plants, that lean on o<strong>the</strong>r plants and<br />

structures in order to grow). For a similar<br />

term in English, I first considered ‘occuplants.’<br />

Then I thought perhaps ‘squatter’ plants<br />

would aggregate an explicit political<br />

dimension of spatial subversion to <strong>the</strong>se<br />

urban creatures.<br />

Ocupadeiras make us believe <strong>the</strong>re is<br />

a non-human way of activism, silently<br />

engaged by plants. This may be a proposal<br />

based in fiction, but <strong>the</strong>y indeed occupy<br />

both <strong>the</strong> physical urban spaces and <strong>the</strong><br />

imaginary human spaces of <strong>the</strong> mind. Cities<br />

can accommodate nature willingly or with<br />

obstinacy, in a relationship where nature’s<br />

agency is always looking for ways to burst<br />

into an urban landscape. As I became more<br />

aware of <strong>the</strong>se plants, <strong>the</strong>y engendered a<br />

political and poetic shift in my own ways<br />

of human activism: instead of focusing on<br />

80 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

reaction and deforestation, I shifted towards<br />

life that sprouts, vibrates, exists, resists.<br />

Open green spaces in cities, such as parks,<br />

vacant lots and community gardens have<br />

been <strong>the</strong> subject of many studies. Nature<br />

conveys feelings of safety, connection,<br />

pleasure and well-being, urging <strong>the</strong><br />

emergence of biophilic design, as argued<br />

by Kellert, Heerwagen and Mador (2008).<br />

Svendsen (2009) understands that urban<br />

stewardship, <strong>the</strong> act of taking care of <strong>the</strong>se<br />

spaces, is a means of improving <strong>the</strong> health<br />

and well-being of people.<br />

Weeds, on <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand, tend to occupy,<br />

spread, commute and re-design urban<br />

landscapes laid waste by humans, taking over<br />

<strong>the</strong> concrete through its cracks. Perceived<br />

as signs of abandonment and urban decay,<br />

<strong>the</strong>se plants are frequently cut and pulled<br />

out. They were not meant to be <strong>the</strong>re,<br />

because <strong>the</strong>y were not ‘designed to be’ <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

But it seems that news did not reach all plant<br />

species. Ocupadeiras create a silent existence<br />

with <strong>the</strong> built physical structures of cities,<br />

particularly in warmer temperatures.<br />

photographs by friends as contributions<br />

to this visual archive. Publishing <strong>the</strong>se<br />

photographs on Instagram with <strong>the</strong> hashtag<br />

#ocupadeiras automatically created a<br />

gallery. Exploring <strong>the</strong> social media platform<br />

Instagram, I came across several profiles<br />

and tags dedicated to sharing photographs<br />

of weeds, creating narratives of a natural<br />

world moving through <strong>the</strong> human design<br />

of urban landscapes. The tags #botanarchy<br />

[botanical anarchy], #NatureTakesOver and<br />

#CantStopNature, to name a few, are nodes<br />

of a larger web of perceptions that assemble<br />

and enmesh plants and humans, nature and<br />

<strong>the</strong> constructions of humans in cities all over<br />

<strong>the</strong> planet. In <strong>the</strong>se photographs, weeds<br />

speak through <strong>the</strong>ir own existence. Although<br />

a common target of eradication by municipal<br />

departments, <strong>the</strong>se plants overcome dire<br />

conditions, show resilience, and require few<br />

resources.<br />

Challenging human design, <strong>the</strong>y present<br />

hybrid landscapes, criticizing – time and<br />

again – <strong>the</strong> ‘guards of <strong>the</strong> border’ of<br />

modernity (Silveira 2009), which separate<br />

and compartmentalize for <strong>the</strong> sake of ‘purity’<br />

(Latour 1993). The weeds instead argue for<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir right and intent to have <strong>the</strong>ir place in<br />

urban space.<br />

I started photographing ‘ocupadeiras’ in <strong>the</strong><br />

city of Fortaleza, Brazil, and also received<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima, 2017<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima, 2018<br />

Some of <strong>the</strong>se photos, and <strong>the</strong>ir captions,<br />

create visual poems that pay homage to<br />

nature’s agency, such as <strong>the</strong> profile @<br />

irrefreaveis (Portuguese for ‘unstoppable’),<br />

managed by Brazilian designer Paula Tabosa,<br />

with photographs mostly from <strong>the</strong> city of João<br />

Pessoa, Brazil. The profile @PlantsOfBabylon<br />

is maintained by Frenchman François<br />

Decobecq, known as Joas, who posts his own<br />

photographs of <strong>the</strong>se ‘plants of Babylon’, and<br />

also reposts photographs by o<strong>the</strong>r users,<br />

tagged with #plantsofbabylon. Providing a<br />

more scientific take with plant identification,<br />

<strong>the</strong> profile @ConcreteBotany, based in<br />

Philadelphia, is managed by a team of plant<br />

‘spotters’ and an Entomology specialist. Each<br />

of <strong>the</strong>se profiles and hashtags create <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own galleries of photographs of weeds.<br />

This act of photographing and sharing<br />

photographs gradually turned into a research<br />

process for me. On Instagram, using a<br />

hashtag allows <strong>the</strong> creation of a gallery of<br />

shared photographs, making it easy to access<br />

all images published with that same tag.<br />

Hashtags also enable mapping o<strong>the</strong>r profiles<br />

and hashtags dedicated to weeds around<br />

<strong>the</strong> world, as well mutual recognition with<br />

82 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. I also came across projects with an<br />

online presence outside Instagram, such as<br />

Vida Baldia, a 2011 photographic initiative by<br />

Fortaleza-based biologist Pablo Pessoa, and<br />

Ervas sp by artist Laura Lydia, who created<br />

a set of artistic paintings and a map of plant<br />

identification of weeds in areas of <strong>the</strong> city of<br />

São Paulo, Brazil, in 2014.<br />

Weeds are apparently ephemeral on <strong>the</strong><br />

surface and ra<strong>the</strong>r perennial underneath.<br />

Resurgent, consistently ‘annoying,’ <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

existence is extended through photographs.<br />

If a human is likely to approach a plant with<br />

<strong>the</strong> purpose of removing it, <strong>the</strong> photographer<br />

is a human who appreciates <strong>the</strong>se forms<br />

of life, demonstrating a different attitude<br />

towards <strong>the</strong>m, a different perception of<br />

urban space. Trying to combine <strong>the</strong> gallery<br />

of photographs and <strong>the</strong> archive of profiles,<br />

hashtags and projects, thus came into<br />

existence <strong>the</strong> Collaborative Museum of<br />

Ocupadeiras 4 .<br />

analyzed from within through <strong>the</strong> practice<br />

of curating, bringing toge<strong>the</strong>r pieces and<br />

looking for connections between <strong>the</strong>m, and<br />

trying to make sense of <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Going through <strong>the</strong>se photographs of weeds<br />

– considering both <strong>the</strong> collection I created<br />

and all <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r collections – our aim is to<br />

re-think <strong>the</strong> relations between humans and<br />

non-humans in <strong>the</strong> daily design of urban<br />

landscapes.<br />

In pragmatic terms, maybe nature needs<br />

human activism to speak and act on its<br />

behalf, for instance, against real estate<br />

speculation. But humans, we need nature<br />

for our agency, and this acknowledgement<br />

has been made in recent years in several<br />

areas of expertise, particularly through <strong>the</strong><br />

transdisciplinary approach of ecological<br />

criticism. In <strong>the</strong> field of urban design, this<br />

The notion of Museum is often that of<br />

a repository, a storage facility for old<br />

objects. But museums have become much<br />

more dynamic, ranging from cutting-edge<br />

interactive technology to social memory. On<br />

this, <strong>the</strong> wide reception of Graham Black’s<br />

critique (2005) on <strong>the</strong> need to transform<br />

museums for <strong>the</strong> 21st century as spaces<br />

of engagement with visitors, through<br />

interaction and new technologies, stands<br />

out. Fur<strong>the</strong>rmore, anthropologist Nicholas<br />

Thomas (2010) proposed to understand<br />

museums not as mere archives, but ra<strong>the</strong>r as<br />

a research method: a place where complex<br />

webs of meaning can be perceived and<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima, 2017<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

Ocupadeiras make us<br />

believe <strong>the</strong>re is a nonhuman<br />

way of activism,<br />

silently engaged by<br />

plants.<br />

84 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

critique enables an attempt to understand<br />

and go beyond <strong>the</strong> worldview in which<br />

ocupadeiras are perceived as undesired<br />

urban creatures. As argued by Latour (1993),<br />

modernity has taught us to avoid whatever<br />

is messy. And weeds frequently expose<br />

messiness, growing through <strong>the</strong> cracks in <strong>the</strong><br />

concrete as <strong>the</strong>y like to do.<br />

The counter-design of weeds can be a<br />

reminder of life underground, and all around<br />

us. Timothy Morton (2017: 2), commenting on<br />

ecological criticism and <strong>the</strong> need to change<br />

our current images of nature, said that a<br />

new worldview “means dealing with how<br />

humans experience <strong>the</strong>ir place in <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Aes<strong>the</strong>tics thus performs a crucial role,<br />

establishing ways of feeling and perceiving<br />

this place.”<br />

We hope, <strong>the</strong>refore, that our museum of<br />

ocupadeiras, and all <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r galleries of<br />

weeds, may contribute to changing such<br />

images, instigating urban planners – and<br />

urban humans in general – to perceive and<br />

question <strong>the</strong>ir place in <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Endnotes<br />

1 Earlier in 2013, <strong>the</strong> global wave of Occupy movements<br />

had taken an ecological turn with <strong>the</strong> demonstrations in<br />

Istanbul to protest an urban development plan backed<br />

by <strong>the</strong> government to cut down trees of <strong>the</strong> Gezi Park,<br />

replacing it with a shopping mall and a residential building.<br />

Similar issues usually ignited local demonstrations, such<br />

as <strong>the</strong> collective <strong>No</strong> a la tala de árboles (Spanish for ‘Don't<br />

cut down trees’), which held a symbolic funeral in 2016 in<br />

<strong>the</strong> city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, to protest <strong>the</strong> practice of<br />

cutting trees down for construction works and building<br />

reforms.<br />

Fortaleza, read: https://globalvoices.org/2013/09/01/<br />

brazils-occupy-coco-park-fights-to-save-nature-reservefrom-construction/<br />

3 For an overview of <strong>the</strong> protests in Brazil, read: https://<br />

globalvoices.org/2013/06/17/video-vinegar-revolt-bus-fareprotests-spread-across-brazil/<br />

4 https://cargocollective.com/joaomiguellima/Museu-<br />

Colaborativo-das-Collaborative-Museum-of-das-<br />

Ocupadeiras<br />

References<br />

Black, G. (2005) The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums<br />

for Visitor Involvement. Psychology Press.<br />

Kellert, S.R.; J.H. Heerwagen; M. Mador. (2008). Biophilic<br />

design: Theory, science, and practice. New York: Wiley.<br />

“Floods and The Chamizal <strong>Issue</strong>” National Park Service,<br />

February 24 2015, https://www.nps.gov/cham/learn/<br />

historyculture/rio-grand-floods-and-<strong>the</strong>-chamizal-issue.<br />

htm, Accessed on May 13th 2018<br />

Morton, T. (2017). Ecology without Nature: Rethinking<br />

Environmental Aes<strong>the</strong>tics. Harvard University Press.<br />

Cambridge, Massachusetts.<br />

Silveira, P. (2009). Híbridos na paisagem: uma etnografia<br />

de espaços de produção e de conservação. Ambiente &<br />

sociedade. Campinas, 12 (1), jan-jun, 83-98. Retrieved from<br />

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/asoc/v12n1/v12n1a07.pdf<br />

Spirn, A. W. (1996) Constructing nature: <strong>the</strong> legacy of Frederick<br />

Law Olmsted. William Cronon (Ed.). Uncommon ground:<br />

rethinking <strong>the</strong> human place in nature. New York; London,<br />

91-113.<br />

Svendsen, E. S. (2009) “Cultivating resilience: urban<br />

stewardship as a means to improving health and wellbeing”.<br />

Campbell, Lindsay; Wiesen, Anne (Eds.). Restorative<br />

commons: creating health and well-being through urban<br />

landscapes. Newtown Square, EUA: USDA Forest Service,<br />

59 – 85.<br />

Thoreau, H. D. (1862). “Walking”. The Atlantic Monthly, A<br />

Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics. Boston: Ticknor<br />

and Fields. 657-674, June.<br />

2 For details on <strong>the</strong> occupation movement, <strong>the</strong> political<br />

dispute and <strong>the</strong> Police intervention at <strong>the</strong> Cocó Park in<br />

Thomas, N. (2010). Commentary: The Museum as Method.<br />

Museum Anthropology, 33 (1), 6-10.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


86 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

Left | Caroline Clerc<br />

All indifferent decay,<br />

inclination, 2017<br />

Archival inkjet print<br />

40 x 35 inches<br />

Caroline Clerc is a Los Angeles based artist<br />

working in photography. Her work posits<br />

landscapes as complex sites of recognition<br />

and cultural construction. She is faculty at <strong>the</strong><br />

University of Sou<strong>the</strong>rn California Roski School of<br />

Art and Design and her work has been exhibited<br />

in Los Angeles and nationally. Artist residencies<br />

include Obracadobra, Oaxaca, Mexico; Millay<br />

Colony for <strong>the</strong> Arts, New York; <strong>the</strong> <strong>No</strong>rdic Artists’<br />

Centre Dale, <strong>No</strong>rway; ‘Nature, Art and Habitat’<br />

Taleggio Valley, Italy; Taft-Nicholson Center<br />

for Environmental Studies, University of Utah,<br />

Montana; and Caetani Cultural Centre/Allan<br />

Brooks Nature Centre Artist Residency, Canada.<br />

www.carolineclerc.org<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

All indifferent decay, contrasts images of<br />

sweeping vistas with interior imploded<br />

landscapes.<br />

This work does not offer a vantage point<br />

upon which to survey <strong>the</strong> landscape; multiple<br />

views of <strong>the</strong> mountains that circled <strong>the</strong> valley<br />

are collapsed into single images.<br />

These images mirrored my experiences<br />

navigating a secluded valley in Montana.<br />

Navigating unmarked forest interiors<br />

resulted in images that visually progress from<br />

restrained romanticism to increased chaos,<br />

and embody anxieties about <strong>the</strong> long-term<br />

stability of natural spaces.<br />

My work addresses landscape<br />

representation.<br />

The work problematizes <strong>the</strong> act of looking<br />

and disrupts <strong>the</strong> idea of understanding one’s<br />

relationship to <strong>the</strong> environment, or to nature.<br />

Initially, <strong>the</strong> scenes appear as static or<br />

tranquil, but <strong>the</strong>y are not what <strong>the</strong>y seem,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y are not what <strong>the</strong>y should be.<br />

88 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

All indifferent decay, approach, 2017<br />

Archival inkjet print, 40 x 40 inches<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

My work begins with <strong>the</strong> intention of<br />

taking a sustained walk within <strong>the</strong> natural<br />

environment, and I rely on maps to<br />

determine a potential route.<br />

Once <strong>the</strong> walk begins, planning ends, and<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is only <strong>the</strong> experience of wandering,<br />

making images along <strong>the</strong> way.<br />

When I return to <strong>the</strong> studio, <strong>the</strong>se images are<br />

composited via digital methodologies into a<br />

single photograph.<br />

In constructing <strong>the</strong> final photographs I seek<br />

to reference complex representational<br />

histories found in 19th century, within <strong>the</strong><br />

traditions of landscape art painting and<br />

survey photography.<br />

I am interested in exploring <strong>the</strong> landscape<br />

as a complex site of recognition and cultural<br />

construction.<br />

I am interested in subverting order through<br />

wandering and reconfiguring, and to<br />

confound <strong>the</strong> traditional subject/object<br />

relationship by moving beyond a single<br />

viewpoint to present multiple perspectives.<br />

90 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

All indifferent decay, ebb, 2017<br />

Archival inkjet print, 35 x 38 inches<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

In this work, looking, seeing, and<br />

understanding are not constants, indeed <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are constantly shifting.<br />

The images are at once a place and no place.<br />

92 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

All Indifferent Decay<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

Caroline Clerc<br />

All indifferent decay, continuation, 2017<br />

Archival inkjet print, 36 x 38 inches<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


<strong>Mapping</strong> for Social Change<br />

Annita Lucchesi<br />

94 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Section 4:<br />

Regenesis<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

R e g e n e s i s 2 0 1 3<br />

Gouache and graphite on paper<br />

30” X 22”<br />

However, choosing to see a problem in an ecology,<br />

and acting with a map of its resolution may<br />

help <strong>the</strong> rest of us what to see, and <strong>the</strong>n act. The<br />

following articles argue that better incarnations<br />

are not only possible, but do-able, not only for<br />

<strong>the</strong> problem at hand, but for <strong>the</strong> hidden within<br />

ourselves.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


96 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

Left | MJ Tyson<br />

Homes, 2017<br />

Installation view<br />

Following | MJ Tyson<br />

Homes, 2017<br />

Installation view<br />

MJ Tyson is an artist and teacher based in<br />

Hoboken, New Jersey. Tyson’s work is centered<br />

on <strong>the</strong> relationship between people and <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

possessions. Interests in value and material<br />

culture have led her to draw from <strong>the</strong> worlds<br />

of art appraisal and museum conservation.<br />

Her recent solo show at Brooklyn Metal Works,<br />

The Last Objects, focuses on destruction as a<br />

creative force and <strong>the</strong> transformation of personal<br />

objects. Tyson received her BFA from <strong>the</strong> Jewelry +<br />

Metalsmithing Department at Rhode Island School<br />

of Design in 2008 and returned to earn her MFA<br />

in 2017. She has been an artist in residence at <strong>the</strong><br />

Studios at Mass MoCA, Vermont Studio Center,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Wormfarm Institute.<br />

www.mjtyson.com<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

98 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Plants and trees in urban landscapes<br />

João Miguel Diógenes de Araújo Lima<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2<br />


Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

All material carries a past, and whe<strong>the</strong>r we<br />

acknowledge this lineage or not, it exists.<br />

It may be to our advantage — as a way<br />

of orienting ourselves in our world —<br />

to consider <strong>the</strong> cycles of creation and<br />

destruction intrinsic to <strong>the</strong> objects and<br />

materials that surround us.<br />

Within <strong>the</strong> form of <strong>the</strong>se vessels, <strong>the</strong><br />

materials express and interact. They teach<br />

that <strong>the</strong>re is no need to draw hard lines<br />

between categories or between objects.<br />

This series of vessels, Homes, explores <strong>the</strong><br />

reincarnation of personal objects through<br />

material transformation.<br />

Right | MJ Tyson<br />

36 Orchard Hill Drive, 2017<br />

11" x 6" x 5"<br />

Personal objects left behind<br />

by <strong>the</strong> deceased residents of<br />

36 Orchard Hill Drive<br />

100 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 101

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

102 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

Homes are extensions of, and memorials to,<br />

<strong>the</strong> lives that brought <strong>the</strong>m toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Each vessel is made from objects left behind<br />

by <strong>the</strong> deceased residents of one home, and<br />

is named for <strong>the</strong> address of that home.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w <strong>the</strong>y're new objects, with evidence of<br />

multiple states.<br />

Suspended in decay and transition; in<br />

growth; in both.<br />

Left | MJ Tyson<br />

35 <strong>No</strong>rman Avenue, 2017<br />

13" x 6" x 5"<br />

Personal objects left behind<br />

by <strong>the</strong> deceased residents of<br />

35 <strong>No</strong>rman Avenue<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 103

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

Each of <strong>the</strong>se vessels is made from <strong>the</strong><br />

personal objects in one home,<br />

left behind after <strong>the</strong> owner had died. Each is<br />

named for its address of origin.<br />

Each one is a place. Collectively, <strong>the</strong>y’re a city,<br />

a community,<br />

living and dying just like those that brought<br />

<strong>the</strong>m toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Right | MJ Tyson<br />

145 Delmage Road, 2017<br />

12.5" x 7" x 5"<br />

Personal objects left behind<br />

by <strong>the</strong> deceased residents of<br />

145 Delmage Road<br />

104 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Homes<br />

MJ Tyson<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 105

106 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong><br />

When accessibility is<br />

thought of as only<br />

meeting <strong>the</strong> requirements<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Code, we are<br />

unnecessarily limiting<br />

our creative capacity.

Placing Inclusion<br />

Ahead<br />

Ileana Rodríguez<br />

Left | Ileana Rodríguez<br />

An accessible route provides a safe<br />

egress to anyone. It was decided this<br />

route would be used as <strong>the</strong> inclusive<br />

means of egress, besides providing <strong>the</strong><br />

Code’s requisite stairs. The ramp quickly<br />

became a celebrated architectural<br />

element of <strong>the</strong> building.<br />

Ileana Rodríguez studied Architecture at Florida<br />

International University in Miami. She is a<br />

former swimmer with Team USA Paralympics<br />

who competed at <strong>the</strong> 2012 London Paralympic<br />

Games among o<strong>the</strong>r venues. Currently she is an<br />

accessibility specialist working with organizations,<br />

designers and architects to create inclusive spaces<br />

around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 107

Borders Studio<br />

Ane Gonzalez Lara<br />

108 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Placing Inclusion Ahead<br />

Ileana Rodríguez<br />

What if design was strong enough to awaken<br />

people’s awareness of o<strong>the</strong>rs’ uniqueness,<br />

as well as how all are served by such a<br />

design? Too often, <strong>the</strong> product of design,<br />

constrained by time and attitude, sets<br />

bounds on what we - <strong>the</strong> users of <strong>the</strong> design<br />

product - can or cannot do. Just take a look<br />

at <strong>the</strong> images and sketches that accompany<br />

this essay. One of <strong>the</strong> scenarios shows <strong>the</strong><br />

consequence of design, limited. The o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

shows design expanded to empower all users<br />

<strong>the</strong>reby celebrating <strong>the</strong> people and <strong>the</strong> place<br />

enveloped by it.<br />

Providing accessibility into, through, and<br />

from spaces is many times approached as<br />

a joyless chore ra<strong>the</strong>r than as an exciting<br />

design opportunity.<br />

The book of laws - <strong>the</strong> Code - is considered<br />

<strong>the</strong> limiter of creativity ra<strong>the</strong>r than <strong>the</strong><br />

impetus/starter of it. The Code’s contents<br />

are seen only as a series of parameters that<br />

designers must follow.<br />

rigidly set designs, does not necessarily result<br />

in an accessible building.<br />

Besides, with such a narrow design<br />

viewpoint, what else could <strong>the</strong> consequent<br />

product be, but a weak effort that may not<br />

achieve its intended function of accessibility?<br />

Such an attitude leads to restrictive spaces<br />

that cannot enable good human interaction.<br />

When accessibility is thought of as only<br />

meeting <strong>the</strong> requirements of <strong>the</strong> Code,<br />

we are unnecessarily limiting our creative<br />

capacity. The Code does not demand<br />

forgetting about <strong>the</strong> design opportunities<br />

found in <strong>the</strong> diversity of <strong>the</strong> users, or of<br />

creating inclusive spaces. Ra<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong> Code<br />

should expect <strong>the</strong> creative soul that chooses<br />

to pursue design to see <strong>the</strong> rules as aids<br />

toward a successful, fully-functioning end<br />

product. The images that accompany this<br />

essay portray <strong>the</strong> impact of an accessible<br />

design effort that did not achieve accessibility<br />

versus one that is not only accessible but<br />

inclusive.<br />

By adding up, without much thought, a series<br />

of formulas, and <strong>the</strong>n plunking <strong>the</strong>m down as<br />

Inclusion is easy to accomplish if it is<br />

recognized as requisite to <strong>the</strong> design concept<br />

Left | Ileana Rodríguez<br />

This ramp’s design did not take all differentlyabled<br />

users into consideration. As a result, <strong>the</strong><br />

ramp itself has obstacles and cannot serve its<br />

purpose of providing access.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 109

Placing Inclusion Ahead<br />

Ileana Rodríguez<br />

Above | An accessible route provides a safe egress to anyone. It was decided this route would be used as <strong>the</strong> inclusive means of<br />

egress, besides providing <strong>the</strong> Code’s requisite stairs. The ramp quickly became a celebrated architectural element of <strong>the</strong> building.<br />

110 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

Placing Inclusion Ahead<br />

Ileana Rodríguez<br />

and acknowledged throughout <strong>the</strong> entire<br />

project’s development and execution. What<br />

happens when we look at design through a<br />

lens having too narrow of a focus? Where<br />

we only yawn when we see, and <strong>the</strong>n<br />

ploddingly follow, <strong>the</strong> rules and regulations<br />

for our building? The result is a lost design<br />

opportunity that serves, at best, a few<br />

people. It becomes a place where diversity is<br />

not found.<br />

level. Design can drive inclusion and change<br />

perceptions. I perceive inclusion as an<br />

attitude, a state of <strong>the</strong> mind that is made<br />

manifest only with <strong>the</strong> right effort of melding<br />

creativity with rules. Design, when looked at<br />

through <strong>the</strong> lens of inclusion, has <strong>the</strong> power<br />

to change <strong>the</strong> attitudes of people, from <strong>the</strong><br />

individual level to <strong>the</strong> wider community.<br />

I urge you to put and hold in your minds <strong>the</strong><br />

possibilities of what can be accomplished<br />

when design is <strong>the</strong> all-inclusive bridge that<br />

brings people and abilities to <strong>the</strong> same<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 111

112 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

Left | Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

The Dreams of a Greater Countries, 2016<br />

Color Photography on fine art paper<br />

134x112 (cm)<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti has contributed to <strong>the</strong><br />

development of <strong>the</strong> media arts through his artistic<br />

and research practices at noted international<br />

institutions in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China,<br />

Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France,<br />

Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan,<br />

Malaysia, Nepal, <strong>No</strong>rway, Russia, Singapore,<br />

Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri<br />

Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine,<br />

United Kingdom and United States of America.<br />

He graduated in 1996 from <strong>the</strong> Department of<br />

Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University<br />

and Master of Arts in Fine Arts with Major Art<br />

in Public Spheres (MAPS), Lucerne University of<br />

Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland in 2016.<br />

Since 1999, he has been working as a full time<br />

contemporary artist.<br />

www.chutiwongpeti.info<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 113

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

My artwork focuses on<br />

personal and larger<br />

issues of cultural<br />

transformation related to<br />

global mobility, and <strong>the</strong><br />

precarious situation of<br />

<strong>the</strong> neo-nomadic artist.<br />

114 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r, Installation View, 2016<br />

My artwork focuses on personal and larger<br />

issues of cultural transformation related to<br />

global mobility, and <strong>the</strong> precarious situation<br />

of <strong>the</strong> neo-nomadic artist.<br />

I work in <strong>the</strong> realm of contemporary art and<br />

am interested in revealing <strong>the</strong> unexplored<br />

facets of experience.<br />

Living in Littau, yet often shopping in Emmen<br />

for <strong>the</strong> ingredients to prepare traditional<br />

Thai meals, I incorporate packaging in my<br />

installation.<br />

I am directing my energies toward <strong>the</strong><br />

exploration of <strong>the</strong> phenomena of crossdisciplinary<br />

art and culture.<br />

They are mainly from food products that<br />

I have consumed over <strong>the</strong> past eighteen<br />

months since coming from Thailand to live in<br />

Lucerne.<br />

I am searching for answers that can help<br />

reverse <strong>the</strong> subordination and objective<br />

materialism that are prevalent in today’s<br />

society.<br />

What are <strong>the</strong> thoughts, doubts, fears,<br />

uncertainties, and reflections that we have<br />

and experience as we head toward <strong>the</strong> new<br />

material and immaterial territories, which we<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 115

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

.<br />

Right | Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Performance, 2016<br />

116 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

are to inhabit in <strong>the</strong> future generations?<br />

Featuring logos, brand names, and sources<br />

of origin, <strong>the</strong> artwork represents and<br />

symbolizes how things and people come<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r from around <strong>the</strong> world to be<br />

recombined at one new location.<br />

The context and significance of <strong>the</strong> artwork<br />

is, first of all, highly personal, a means for<br />

me to make connections between my native<br />

country and background, and my present<br />

situation.<br />

The subject of <strong>the</strong> artwork, however, also<br />

touches upon more general issues related<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 117

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

Right | Sarawut Chutiwongpeti,<br />

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Installation View, 2016<br />

118 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

One to Ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti<br />

to contemporary global mobility, everyday<br />

aes<strong>the</strong>tics and routines, and is <strong>the</strong>reby<br />

significant in terms of cultural transformation<br />

and <strong>the</strong> challenges of living and surviving<br />

faced by a neo-nomadic artist.<br />

distribution of information and foster a<br />

profound universality in human nature and<br />

cross-cultural and critical collaboration.<br />

I am especially interested in finding out<br />

how contemporary art can enhance <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 119

<strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, The <strong>Journal</strong><br />

Conclusion<br />

Left | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Based on installation view, 2013<br />

Following | Anne Janine Lindberg<br />

Based on installation view, 2013<br />

<strong>Mapping</strong> is always first a journey into oneself, a<br />

place one may, or may not want to go.<br />

The exploration and consequent analysis require<br />

courage to attempt, and to continue struggling<br />

with, seemingly interminably.<br />

Once one’s walk with keen awareness has begun,<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r ways and paths present <strong>the</strong>mselves. They<br />

cannot be left alone, unanswered.<br />

This issue is as much a presentation of o<strong>the</strong>rs’<br />

mappings, as it is a call for yours.<br />

Begin.<br />

<strong>Issue</strong> N o 2 121

122 <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Meaning</strong>, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Journal</strong>

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