Thesis Defence: Patricia BeaulieuExport this event to calendar

Thursday, September 10, 2015 — 9:00 AM EDT

Of the thesis entitled: Forgotten Landscapes: Restoring our Rural Imagination

Abstract:

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected through technology and global trade, consumers are more and more detached from the realities of our consumption and the cultivated land that supports us. These food producing territories, vastly exceeding the space used for human habitation, are structured in such a way to displace environmental systems and human life, while simultaneously being degraded by the growing requirements of today’s urban living. Advancements in industrial agricultural technology, alongside the subsequent migration towards urban centers, has played an important role in reinforcing these systemic changes and the growing disconnect between urban and rural. Despite this, consumers retain a strong influence over land management and food production techniques, though often without an awareness of their impact. Thus, redeveloping human relationships with rural landscapes is a vital element to addressing land remediation.

This thesis challenges the existing remediation approaches to problems of dryland agriculture in Western Australia by attempting to address the disconnect between consumers and their rural footprint. By examining and documenting site history, psychology of rural places, local wildlife habitats and ecological functions, performance requirements for remediation and long-term salinity management, the design of a new framework for land restoration using social infrastructure is developed. This design proposes an intervention that engages human and environmental dynamics to catalyze discovery and responsiveness towards rural systems and health. It promotes a diversity of social and environmental conditions within farming landscapes, leveraging under utilized land, flexible implementation strategies, cultural vestiges and existing infrastructure. Through research and design methods, this thesis hopes to reveal how an improved understanding of rural landscapes – by engagement with human scale intervention – can create cross collaboration and heightened awareness between urban and rural to develop a new consciousness of farmlands and the larger environment, for the benefit of ecological and human systems.
 

The examining committee is as follows:

Co-Supervisors:

Matthew Spremulli, University of Waterloo

Lola Sheppard,  University of Waterloo
 
 

Committee Member:

Andrew Levitt, University of Waterloo

External Reader:

Dr. Fiona McKenzie, University of Western Australia

 



The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.


The Defence Examination will take place:  

Thursday September 10, 2015
9:00AM

ARC 2026

A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.

Location 
ARC - School of Architecture
Room 2026
7 Melville Street South

Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4
Canada

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