The marge is an edge between things, often poetically invoking the vibrant and the wild. It is lively margin, a place between.
Landscape architects practice there: bringing expertises together, synthesizing the aesthetic and technical, mediating among many to make place. I work there as an academic: entwining landscape practice with humanist ideas of environment and culture. All living beings, dare I say, dwell on a marge at present, between a somewhat steady past and an increasingly unpredictable future.
This last marge - the edge of a too-strange future - it is why I launch this newsletter. As a scholar I write histories of landscape, environment, and landscape architectural practice. Yet big issues need discussing today, ones that don't fit the molds or timelines of academic writing. Those of us who think and design landscapes need to talk about climate; about social and cultural change; about equity, kinship, justice and power.
We need to ask ourselves difficult questions. What is landscape in a time of climate catastrophe? What is public space in a time of racialized police violence and uprising against it? How does one find the strength to reach outward in times of struggle - to cultivate expansiveness, generosity, and delight? And how can landscape architects shuck old euro-centric, power-facing, colonialist foundations to develop a new version of the profession - one lithe enough, awake enough, open enough to tangle with questions such as these?
In this newsletter I write about landscape thought and design. I write from a position between landscape architecture and environmental humanist fields. I explore what landscape ideas and practices have been, what they are now, and where they might go from here; attending all the while to the strange not-knowing state in which we now live and work.
Today the earth is all marge: lush and ragged, electric and devastating, unnervingly, unknowably replete. Come read and comment, come play and be brave. Let's see what we can discover at the lively, wild edge.