Date of Award
Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Historically, farming was the primary way people interacted with the land. Colonialism, industrialization, and capitalism have made people increasingly detached and alienated from nature and the land. The return to agriculture has the potential to play an essential role in resisting the increasing monoculture of our society through re-establishing the kinship toward land. The rising public awareness of sustainability makes the market for organic food expand every year and allures capitalism to manipulate the organic market from its original purpose into their familiar realm of the conventional food system for maximum profit. The market economy, which is controlled by capitalism, limits the method of farming and consumption by restricting the connection between farmers, consumers, and the land. Ignoring the voice of land and people is one of the strategies used in colonialism, and rebuilding an equal relationship with the land is fundamental to counteract the domination of urban areas.
As the health of the land is deteriorating from increased monoculture and economic pressure, there is an urgent need for landscape architects to consider how to re-establishing the kinship towards the land. In this thesis, I investigated the potential of a nonprofit farm to provide a point of access for people living in cities to reconnect to the land through spending time participating in farming activities. The public can interact with the farm in varying ways for different amounts of time. Daily visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery produced by perennial sunflowers and other vegetable gardens. Weekend visitors can camp and offer their labor for additional activities such as foraging and fruit picking. For people who want to start a farming career, there are rentable 1-acre farming plots, and tiny houses installed on-site for beginner producers to live inexpensively while gaining skills, experimenting, and learning from each other. The rentable farmland serves to diversify the demographic of predominantly white farmers as they are the remainder of colonialization. Through this, the aim is to shift away from capitalist and colonial attitudes about land and land ownership and stimulate a new culture between people and the land
Wang, Sirui, "Farming publics: Use farming practices as a tool to de-alienate people with land" (2022). Masters Theses. 948.
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View exhibition online: Sirui Wang, Farming publics