Cultivating Landscape

black and white headshot of a young woman with short brown hair and a lake in the background
  • Natalie Hemlick, B.Arch. 2017
  • Hometown Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Class ARCH 5902 Design X: Thesis
  • Instructor Tao DuFour
    Visiting Critic Ryan Ludwig

Cultivating Landscape addresses the emerging ecological and cultural implications of the Great Plains' 200-year transformation from semi-arid prairie to artificially lush cropland. Prolonged use of industrial agriculture methods have left farming communities disconnected from and in conflict with natural processes. Due to climate change and the imminent depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, this territory is confronted with acute water shortage, forcing land use practices to change drastically. Using cartographic methods, this thesis envisions a system of flexible practices and devices that foster an ethic of stewardship. The project imagines the re-adaptation of social and economic rhythms to the intrinsic conditions of the Great Plains environment, cultivating a resilient landscape.