Date of Award
Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Elizabeth Dean Hermann
Parents bought their kid a new toy and said: “Here you go, enjoy.” he plays with it for three hours, and then I go back to play with the clay beneath a tree. The “new toy” is an analogy of a traditional Design-Funding-Implement design process. The reason why “clay” is more attractive is that clay is flexible and manipulatable, which allows for continually engaging, reshaping, destructing, and exploring. More importantly, clay unleashes one’s imagination that unlocks thousands of possibilities. Community design process is “heartwork” that enhance well-being, equity, and agency for change. This is why the process matters.
This thesis is about an alternative way of engaging the community in the landscape design process. One that cares about people’s humanity encourages creativity and incorporates more variables in decision making. This thesis is an exploration of design at these two scales – community development process and design of place – within the community of Lower South Providence. The process for me is an analogous to “leading clay to a pot,” meaning using the traditional collaborative process of pot making as a metaphor for making community and place.
Zeng, Shiya, "Clay beneath the tree: an exploration of design processes in community development" (2020). Masters Theses. 595.
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