Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Shana Cinquemani

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Dean Hermann


This thesis has been written to emphasize the educational, social, political and environmental potentials of collectively designed regenerative ecosystems. It aims to encourage students and educators to transform disturbed null patches in urban environments to amplify the scope of the students’ education by simultaneously developing a social ecosystem and cultivating environmental sensibility. I outline the formation of the Regenerative Earth Collective, a student-run group aiming to address topics of sustainability at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and their work to design, implement and maintain groundwork for hands-on, experiential learning. I illustrate the Plot (manifested as a student-run community garden) and its personal, cultural, social, environmental and educational potentials. I explore the idea of ecological ecotones and introduce the concept of Regenerative Patches as a model for spaces of intersections that can enable and facilitate transdisciplinary and transcultural creativity-based learning. Through adopting and practicing community gardening and engaging first-hand with the local ecosystem, The Regenerative Earth Collective has established a framework for ongoing collaboration with the human and nonhuman contributors of the ecosystem. This thesis explores the catalytic effects enabled by Regenerative Patches through literature review, interviews, case studies, arts-based research and visual diagrams.

Included in

Art Education Commons



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