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Catherine De Almeida

Trained as a landscape architect and building architect, Catherine’s research examines the materiality and performance of waste landscapes through exploratory methods in design research and practice. Her work has ranged in scale from large bio-cultural and sacred indigenous landscapes, to site design and architectural work, to furniture design and materials research.

Since 2014, she has developed her design research, landscape lifecycles, which broadly focuses on topics related to the material, spatial, and socio-cultural impacts, challenges, and opportunities of waste. Her framework applies a material lifecycles lens to the inventory, analysis, and design of waste landscapes as integrative and holistic systems in order to address issues of equity and justice in relationship to waste. This approach broadens typical definitions of inputs and outputs in lifecycle assessments to emphasize waste relations: the human, more-than-human, and perceptual and spatial dimensions of waste. Through landscape lifecycles, she investigates these relations by illuminating the performance, visibility, citizenships, emotions, attitudes, and injustices of waste materials and landscapes leftover from socio-economic, urban, and industrial processes. In a recent book chapter “Unearthing Citizenships in Waste Landscapes” in Landscape Citizenships, she explores waste relations through five case studies of toxic and non-toxic waste landscapes. Through these case studies she defines voluntary and involuntary citizenships as being forged through passive and active participation in the webs of waste material flows, the places they inevitably collect in, and the communities that are forced to contend with their territorial dispersal and storage.

Catherine received her Masters of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University and her Bachelors of Architecture from Pratt Institute. She is a certified remote drone pilot, an Honorary Member of the Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts, and a Fellow of Urban@UW. Her work has been supported by numerous grants, and recognized in national and international publications and media outlets, including Landscape ResearchThe Plan JournalLandscape Research Record, Journal of Landscape Architecture, and Journal of Architectural Education. In 2022, Catherine was awarded the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture’s Faculty Award of Excellence in Research and/or Creative Work, which acknowledges outstanding, innovative, and noteworthy work related to the landscape architecture discipline. She serves on the editorial board for Socio-Ecological Practice Research Journal, was co-chair of the AIA Seattle Honor Awards Committee in 2020-2022, a mentor for the 2022 Climate Justice Design Fellowship program at Harvard University, and is actively working with community groups in the Duwamish Valley address toxic and non-toxic wastes