Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Adam Anderson

Second Advisor

Joseph James

Third Advisor

Anne West


Contemporary landscape architecture practice and education primarily focus on ecological and technical interventions. The climate crisis we find ourselves in demands scientifically informed decisions and well-engineered execution of projects, but, more importantly, creativity and innovation.

The fine arts, which were once integral and foundational to design, are today largely unappreciated and appropriated. The spiritual power of Art, Aesthetics, and Beauty, explored at length through art history and theory, are often viewed as indulgent or secondary to execution. The gap between Art & Design has widened. As a result, designers face challenges in fostering in individuals the kind of care and respect for the environment that is critical for cultivating harmonious systems that would ensure life not only survives but thrives on earth.

Artistic practices within the context of contemporary landscape design have the power to help us better understand the ethereal dimensions of existing in space. Through a multitude of approaches, Art as Design and Design as Art can offer valuable lenses that lead to deeper questioning and understanding of individual and collective relationships to the external.

By modeling alternative methods and approaches, this thesis acts as a bridge and expansion of the field that draws on traditions while looking forward–fostering empathy, unity, and curiosity. Altogether, I hope this can lead to greater respect and excitement for the possibilities of what our world could be and how we make them happen.


View exhibition online: Alex Gonzalez, Every Si(gh)t(e) a Painting



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