Congratulations to Betsy Anderson (MLA ’14) for receiving the 2014 UW Graduate School Distinguished Thesis Award! Graphics from her thesis entitled “Deconstructing Hydrologies: Reviving the memory of water in Dumbarton Oaks Park” can be viewed here.
Thesis Advisors: Thaisa Way (chair), Ken Yocom, and John Findlay (History)
Thesis Abstract: The collision of stormwater and cultural landscape exposes shortcomings in our interpretation and stewardship of historic designed places. Another look at Beatrix Farrand’s 1922 naturalistic garden, now a national park unit in Washington, DC, suggests that ecological performance was embedded in the designer’s original aesthetic objectives for the site and that such performance should actively inform runoff mitigation elements in the future. This hybrid historical analysis and design proposal illustrates how the park could shift from a site in conflict with its surroundings to a new model for cultural landscape preservation, one that responds to evolving cultural, social, and ecological contexts.