In LA 140 this semester we read Anne Spirn’s Restoring Mill Creek. I’ve continued to think about this article because it relates to a lot of what we’ve talked about this semester.

Spirn talks about a landscape literacy, pushing past the physical appearance of a place and learning how to read the underlying processes that make up a landscape. She says: “to read this landscape is to understand that nothing stays the same [and] permits the reader to see what is not immediate […] to read the landscape is also to anticipate the possible, to envision, choose, and shape the…


I’ve been thinking about the fact that the transportation network is the biggest polluter and what it would take to decarbonize transportation. Executive orders like the one signed by Newsom in September are definitely a step in the right direction. If we can’t buy new gas-powered cars, then eventually we will move towards electric. That being said, I think the bigger issue is the mindset around driving and travel, and that’s the biggest hurdle. The SPUR Northern California Megaregion document states that 65% of commuters drive alone in their vehicles. …


“It is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities […] (referred to as “frontline and vulnerable communities“)”
House Resolution 109, February 7th, 2019

A just future must start with repairing the injustices of the past. In South Richmond, injustice is rooted in the port’s industrialization and consequent environmental hazards. Looking towards the future, justice and decarbonization are therefore inextricably linked. …


For our first armatures assignment in this studio, I researched Marin County, where I grew up. Marin is in the San Francisco Bay area, North of SF and West of Berkeley — to get there from San Francisco you take the Golden Gate Bridge or the Richmond-San Rafael bridge if you’re coming from the East Bay.

Marin is defined by several armatures: the topography and the valleys It produces, the San Andreas fault, and the Bay wetlands on its Eastern edge. Each has profoundly influenced the way people interact with the land over time.

Before the arrival of the Spanish…


Below are some thoughts I wrote up after reading over my notes Marius Grønning’s presentation and discussion with Deni in October and some reflection on links to our studio projects (in no particular order).

Inter-generational rights written into Norway’s constitution

This concept could reach backwards as well, and that’s what the GND is doing — focusing on repairing past injustices and building those reparations into ideas of the future. It’s not only about protecting from climate change in the future but also about addressing historical injustices. How do we protect the rights of future generations AND honor past generations who have been wronged? Acknowledging the past…


The East London Green Grid (ELGG) was a planning strategy launched in November 2007 by the Mayor of London’s office and overseen by Design for London, an architectural committee in charge of creating a tactical implementation plan. The goal of the ELGG was to improve connections between Londoners and the outdoors, increase connectivity between green corridors, and adapt to climate change and flood risk. With the Olympic Games planned for 2012 and increasing development activity in East London, it was crucial to establish a sustainable strategy for the sector that responded to the triple bottom line: environmental, social, and economic.

Within East London, the Green Grid seeks to improve the connection between green corridors and the Thames River, strengthening the open spaces along the Blue Ribbon Network, London’s Blue Infrastructure Strategy.


Last week the LAEP Lecture Series hosted a talk about Designing Against Displacement with Prof. Karen Chapple from the Urban Displacement Project and Ojan Mobedshahi from the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative. There we many highlights for me in their presentations and discussions, especially because they fit perfectly into the conversations we’ve had around our new studio project. The lecture was really thought-provoking — it was awesome to begin to connect the dots in my head between what we’ve been talking about in studio and Karen and Ojan’s conversation. …


Edward Burtynsky’s photography is to me the perfect example of sublime. He confronts us with the realities of human consumption and industry but in a way that dissociates us from the context at the first glance. We’re viewing them as a pattern, as a composition, as colors that create harmony. His images are beautiful and awe inspiring but when you look closer, the implications of the subject become more apparent. I’m most struck by his images of mines and quarries because, as Edmund Burke explains, “height is less grand than depth” (34)(Edward Burtynsky mine images here, quarry images here). Mines…


In the “Landscape Armatures” lecture, Kristina explained that the visual understanding of the landscape as a texture makes us think of it as a surface, when it’s actually a volume shaped by time and flows. In order to really understand these abstract patterns we need to take a step back and question the deeper processes at play. This immediately made me think of a landscape I saw during a flight in April: the Sandhills in North-Western Nebraska. I’d never seen anything like it before. The land was covered in striations, strips of water and earth layered one after the other…

Claire G

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