Thaïsa Way, Professor of Landscape Architecture, College of Built Environments at the University of Washington presents, “Defining Landscape Architecture in the early 20th century: Race and Gender.”
As landscape architecture emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, questions of gender and race were central to the definition of the practice as a profession, although neither are acknowledged in design history. Landscape architecture was initially understood as the broadly defined design of place in the land, from small gardens to extensive parks and town plans, from horticulturally rich compositions to architecturally structured designs. However, with an increasing focus on defining the practice in order to professionalize, privilege was given to the design of extensive country estates and larger public projects. In this transition garden design and gardening were marginalized as both insignificant in scale and too feminine in their reliance on plants. This talk opens an inquiry into the experiences of overlapping constellations of women and the questions of gender and race in the shaping of the practice of landscape architecture through the garden. The argument draws from both feminist histories and theories of intersectionality that center questions of gender, while interrogating the racialization of garden design.
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