Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Germán Pallares-Avitia

Second Advisor

Aaron Tobey


The abstraction of land is a colonial process by which physical land is transformed into a conceptual or symbolic entity. This transformation occurs through various economic, architectural, and cultural practices that imbue land with abstract values, meanings, and functions beyond its physicality. This includes the division of land into parcels for economic transactions, the design and construction of built environments that shape human interactions with the land, and the cultural narratives and representations that ascribe significance to particular landscapes. Through abstraction, colonial powers devalue indigenous perspectives and relationships to the land, reducing them to mere obstacles in the path of “progress” and profit. Land ceases to be a living, interconnected ecosystem and instead becomes a tool of subjugation, a symbol of colonial authority imposed upon indigenous territories.

The sight of these abstractions is the Frontier.



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