Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Tiago Torres-Campos

Second Advisor

Tamara Kaplan


Repair, as a design provocation, encourages material conservation, hands-on engagement with materiality, and evaluation of maintenance routines all of which contribute to a model of sustainability that values a circular economy and degrowth. Through visible repairs that focus our ongoing attention on brokenness, repair has the potential to illuminate, and start to address the systemic causes of brokenness. In this way, repair can be a catalyst for increased stewardship of a place.

Conspicuous Repair: Drawing Attention to Brokenness in Public Landscapes investigates clay as a suitable material for the repair of masonry in urban landscapes which has the potential, through visible and tactile engagement, to draw attention to and reactivate forgotten or fallow spaces. Landscapes fall into disrepair for innumerable reasons and we tend to respond by restoring places to a previous condition or by redesigning them. Conspicuous Repair considers a middle road, one that recognizes the impermanence of materials, even durable masonry materials, and takes small, deliberate steps to highlight and address brokenness. Repair can slowly and intentionally shift spaces to better fit the ever-changing political and ecological conditions of a place, and, for this reason, should be designed.

Using Cathedral Square—an underutilized and decaying public plaza in Providence, RI—as a case study, I investigated methods for repairing the battered paving with locally-sourced and salvaged clay materials. Ultimately, the resulting repair designs are meant to functionally repair the paving whilst conserving existing materials and reducing the carbon footprint of added materials as well as provoke interest in the space with aesthetic strategies that are not only visible, but also comment on the causes of brokenness. It is my hope that this type of visible repair will both signal and reproduce ongoing care of landscapes.



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