Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

Invisible Labor: Precarity, Ethnic Division, and Transformative Representation in Landscape Architecture Work

[Behind paywall]

For designers concerned with social and spatial justice, it is necessary to expand the context of landscape work beyond a site’s physical and historic narratives to include the context and conditions of the people laboring at the site itself. This involves considering the devaluation of manual labor and the ethnic division of labor evident in the production of landscape architecture and naturalized through capitalism. Attention is drawn to the embeddedness of undocumented, migrant labor in the construction and maintenance of landscapes and the discipline’s role in the construction and maintenance of unsustainable, precarious labor regimes. Visual representation, as a major component of professional jurisdiction, plays a critical role in either propagating or grappling with these ethical dilemmas.

Landscape architectural representations function both practically and discursively, ordering the construction of the physical environment and building the philosophical space for design. This essay suggests that the transformative power of representation can be operationalized to foment a broad social representation of the many Latinx, immigrant workers who contribute to the creation and maintenance of landscape architecture. This would allow landscape architects to work toward repositioning and revaluing the contributions of these workers by reaffirming the social connection between design and labor, affirming a disciplinary ethic of process and sustainability, and influencing the governing structures and everyday practice of the discipline

[Link to article]

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, 7 June 2022 by in Migration, Politics and rights, Urban issues.

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