Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Elizabeth Dean Hermann

Second Advisor

Adrian Fehrmann


The wave of modernization and the impact of globalization have gradually dissolved the traditional nomadic way of life[1]. However some people still choose to live a nomadic lifestyle for quality of life or economic reasons, but they are still under huge cultural and political pressure. According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), there are 164 million migrant workers in the world, which can be thought of as modern day ”nomads”.

This paper focuses on seasonally migrating Mexican farm workers without a permanent home, exploring how they can be provided with a “mooring system” and, through different forms of settlement patterns, form a network of sites that can better nourish a shared, intergrated economy with local communities.

Nowadays, seasonal farm workers from Mexico who travel to California are relegated to the interstices of mainstream society and navigate marginal contexts. Geographically, many live in houses that require three families to squeeze together, even in their own truck. Socially, many interact with other marginal groups, such as immigrants from Mexico, and some indigenous Mexicans have a really tough life due to the language barriers. In addition to Poor working and living conditions, unequal systemic inputs, outputs and unhealthy cycles between migrant workers and local farms further exacerbate their division from the urban space. By diminishing their ability to support each other and the potential contribution they can make to the culture and functioning of the local community in California.

To improve this situation above, this thesis suggests a different approach to nomadic “mooring” in their places of employment can better support the lives and economic needs of this population, and a closed loop economy system within this new model of “mooring” can be beneficial and essential to both the migrant “nomads” and their host communities.

[1].Michaels, Eric. “The Last of the Nomads. the Last of the Ethnographies or ‘All Anthropologists Are Liars.’” Mankind, vol. 17, no. 1, 2009, pp. 34–46,


View exhibition online: Jinting Liu, Modern Nomadism



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