Yes, And... The Improvising Landscape of the Displaced

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Virginia Tech

Immigration has continuously been an evident part of the human history. Throughout time, for one reason or another people have left the place they call home. Whether voluntarily seeking better opportunities in other cities/countries/continents, or forcefully being asked to leave due to political, social, or natural issues, resettlement continues to be a difficult challenge for those who are displaced.

The issue, human displacement, whether caused by natural disasters or political/social issues, is rather serious, especially in our world today. Whether the wildfires of California, the hurricanes of Louisiana, or political issues of Syria, there is a massive population who choose to or have to leave the place they call him. Despite many psychological and physical challenges, trauma, and difficulties that these individuals have to face, where they go next does not have to be a tough adjustment.

Restorative environments, namely landscapes, allow for recovery of these individuals through its components of mystery, coherence, complexity, and texture. In the case of immigrants and refugees, the time of adjustment and adaptation heightens the absence of sense of belonging and potential social injustice; however, design and very particularly throughout this thesis, landscape architecture can help.

Improvisation has one rule, "yes, and...". The notion of acceptance and addition allows for the involved individuals to not only be creative regarding their surroundings, but encourages them to become a part of evolving of the space. This, increases the sense of belonging, and therefore, makes for a more positive experience in a given space.

This becomes specifically important for a displaced/detached group of individuals.

urban campus, landscape architecture, improvisation, environmental psychology, immigration, Design