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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2008 ➔ Coping with an Urban Environment


Related people/organizations

Jon Cohrs (designer)
Stephanie Owens (thesis advisor)
Chris Prentice (thesis advisor)
Marko Tendenfelt (thesis advisor)
Loretta Wolozin (thesis advisor)
Andy Bichlbaum (thesis advisor)




The environment that many city dwellers find themselves in is void of organic matter. Though a sterile cityscape of pavement and buildings may be inherent to urban environments, buried between the cracks, in the sewers, and among abandoned buildings are the beginnings of a wilderness that has been suppressed by urban development. What city dwellers have seemed to forgotten is how advantageous it is for our mental and physical well-being to promote these wild ecosystems (not to be confused with green-spaces), to allow oxygen generating plants to take root, and to create a cityscape that is intertwined with the natural world.

Through a series of explorations on foot, using a mixture of backcountry and urban technology, I’ve responded to wild areas in New York City and documented these experiences. By playfully engaging the urban environment, my presence on the borders between city and wilderness show the benefits of fostering a healthy co-existence with the natural world. “The Door to Red Hook” aims to redefine wilderness as an experience -- a challenge -- that can be found in the desolate and exposed abandoned urban areas and other gaps in urban development.



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