APA New Jersey Chapter


Monday, February 11, 2019
3:10 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. EST

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This presentation explores strategies for addressing the cultural, social, and emotional aspects of biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, and climate change. What composes a Superfund site beyond contaminants and remediation strategies? What other kinds of work need to be done with the communities living on or near these sites? What is the role for landscape architects beyond remediation, capping, and phytoremediation strategies? This talk explores how design theory and practice can address environmental losses and work with impacted communities to address the changes to culture and lifestyle that accompany these losses, making discussions of environmental justice central to such work.

The ‘Marking Environmental Losses’ design studio, taught at Rutgers in the Spring of 2018, was used as a platform for this discussion. The studio addressed two main issues. The first was effective and accessible communication of scientific information about environmental issues. Secondly, it explored methodologies for advocating for environmental justice in marginalized communities. The work aimed to present complex environmental data from EPA reports and other sources, alongside narratives of human experience, in order to make this information accessible and comprehensible. While scientific studies provide knowledge, focus on objective data can strip away significance. A different vocabulary is required to communicate the impact on human communities and the transmission of cultural practices – especially those connected to the land. Using her design studio as a case study, Anita will demonstrate strategies for effectively including the role of human experience in assessing environmental loss and advocating for environmental justice in planning and design strategies.



Anita Bakshi teaches in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University, where she is also an affiliated lecturer for the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS) Program. She is a co-convener of the Society & Design Lab Working Group based in the Center for Cultural Analysis. Her book, Topographies of ... Read More

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Cailean Kok,