Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Emily Vogler

Second Advisor

Emily Vogler


Due to human impacts on earth’s geology and ecosystem, the future of this planet and our society is uncertain. To navigate this uncertainty, it is urgent that we understand and explore new strategies to adapt to this unknown future. Over the millennia, indigenous communities around the world have developed advanced and nuanced ways to adapt to living in harsh environments. X is commonly used in science to refer to a variable that can change or be changed. Therefore, the thesis project – X-Era, aims to learn from the sustainability of traditional ecological knowledge to help inform how we may adapt to the possible extreme weather, harsh environments, and unknowns of the future.

Learning from indigenous peoples living in extremely arid and wet areas: the Imuhar in the Sahara Desert, and Tikuna, Cocama, and Yagua in the Amazon Rainforest, this thesis speculates an adaptive possibility for the upcoming X-Era(starting from 2200) to respond to flood and drought conditions. Seasonal route systems, shifting responsibilities, seasonal infrastructures, micro-macro calendar, and seasonal law and property are the key ideas inspired by and transformed from indigenous knowledge.


View exhibition online: Ruoyuan Chen, X-Era



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