Arch 698b: The Other California

Instructor: Alison Hirsch

The Other California: land, labor, liberated futures in CA’s heartland

The broad topic of this year’s Advanced Design-Research curriculum is a deep consideration of California’s ‘Other’ – the invisibilities of violence and work, land and labor that fuel the nation – calorically and economically – specifically in the Tulare Lake Basin. Starting with the reemergence of the lake that has captured the nation’s imagination – a phantom that reemerges despite the industrial violence used to erase it – its story has become a symbol of a possible future, of liberation and transcendence, within and despite Capitalist ruins. Yet this offer of transcendence has nuance – with the engineering that hijacked the lake to facilitate 150 years of industrial agriculture came communities of people stolen for and drawn by capitalist promise that have been impacted by the flooding. Designing a nuanced future that negotiates what was, what is, and what can be in this landscape is the primary question.

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The Invisible Crisis

The agriculture in Tulare Basin heavily relies on groundwater irrigation, constituting 97% of water usage. Over the past few decades, excessive overpumping has caused severe land subsidence and nitrate contamination,…

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Heart of a Hometown

Located an hour south of Fresno, Huron is a small agricultural town with approximately 6,240 residents. Among these, 95.7% are Latino or Hispanic, and 32.1% live below the poverty line….

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The industrial-scale dairy farming pursuit of producing high-yield products and has neglected cows basic rights, which also caused a lot of carbon footprint (especially methane) to the environment. The Central…


Game of Landscape Go

“Game of Landscape Go” offers a unique opportunity to serve as an educational tool in landscape design, environmental management, and urban planning. This innovative game simulates responses to economic crises,…