Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Tiago Torres-Campos

Second Advisor

Courtney Goode


This thesis explores conditions of mutability in the landscape through the lens of the Earth’s biomass, particularly the living beings whose systemic, functional and aesthetic values are misrepresented or undervalued. Relegated to the abandoned, derelict and forgotten landscapes, the presence of these living things has often come to represent decay, blight, lack of resources, and care. However, in the light of the global environmental crisis and in search of viable solutions to clean up the environment and curb greenhouse gas emissions, it has become apparent that the spontaneous, opportunistic qualities of these living beings can provide unparalleled opportunities to do so in cost effective strategies.

Composed of five parts, the study includes [1] a novella, which tells a story of a sentient presence that serves as the collective consciousness of all living things past and present, [2] a theoretical framework that uses ideas such as landscape, mutability, or utopia to reposition the discipline of landscape architecture, [3 and 4] chapters containing a set of regenerative and diversity practices that aim to exemplify the ideas previously explored, and [5] a final focus on the concept of diversity, this time to explore the biomass as a potentially diverse physical manifestation of the genetic knowledge of life.

In this trajectory, the thesis attempts to explore an argument where diversity is linked to sustainability, ecological balance, resilience and democracy. It proposes that diversity is supported by mutability to operate as an integral part of everyday life to suggest that it can be regarded as a manifestation of utopia. Finally, the thesis returns to the idea of diversity in social cultures and offers a reflection on practicing diversity on the entire spectrum of the living world.


View exhibition online: Ilya Iskhakov, Mutable Landscapes



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