DAMNED EARTH, AWAKENED DUNES


Jared Edgar McKnight, MLA+2 ’21


SP. 20


Instructor: Aroussiak Gabrielian

This project is dedicated to finding solace in moments of nostalgia in nature. Beginning with a re-territorialization of global interfaces of soil and hydrologic systems, researching salinity in semi-arid endorheic basins, the work is grounded in the Owens Valley, California, where excess salinity is exacerbated by severe access to water issues, and centuries of water politics and constructed infrastructural conditions [LA Aqueduct] that have dammed/damned and depleted regional resources. The proposal defines phased parameters for salinity remediation, while redefining rituals of death, in salinic lands, to progressively restore the habitat through resilient green burial processes for rebuilding soils. This responsive system of dune morphologies thus awakens an interconnectedness between the burial plot and its dormant context, through an emotive, healing, and emergent topography that unfolds and temporally evolves with one’s own stages of grief and acceptance [or decomposition] over time. Can the future of our burial spaces redefine our discourse on one’s own body as a measure of resiliency through time?


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