2022 Landscape Architecture Thesis Prize: Lucy Humphreys Chebot’s “Reciprocal Optimism: Projecting Terrestrial Analogues”

visualization of swirled formation; blue dusk sky in the background

by Lucy Humphreys Chebot (MLA I ’22) — Recipient of the Landscape Architecture Thesis Prize.

This thesis is a speculative fiction about the perils of unchecked mineral extraction on earth—and beyond. It imagines a near future “Interplanetary Expo” on the site of the last mining concession in the Arctic, an analogue for a similar site on Mars. By bringing the landscape sublime into action, it makes extraction processes visible to a newly empowered public. The project impels the discipline to confront the consequences of the blind optimism of the past—and reimagines the role of design in negotiating difficult decisions about the future.