KIRKLAND GALLERY is located at 40 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Please note that the entrance is on Sumner Road and you will need a Harvard Graduate School of Design ID to enter the building. If you would like to visit the gallery and are not a GSD student, please contact us at gsdkirklandgallery@gmail.com.

2013.05
THE TRASH HEAP OF HISTORY

TrashHeap_7_2048.jpg

The expanding field of landscape architecture has laid claim to urban waste spaces. Municipal landfill reclamation projects in the United States and abroad exhibit a growing consensus that post-closure activity at landfills should superimpose multiple functions, interests, and constituencies on trash and toxicity. Reclamation of this type needs historical models, and this study offers Monte Testaccio, an extant ancient landfill in Rome, as a useful precedent for contemporary theory and practice of landfill reclamation. Three aspects of this waste site merit examination: first, how the logistics of olive oil conveyance in disposable clay amphora and their endpoint in Rome created a landfill; second how centuries of disparate uses transformed the cultural identity of this waste space following its closure as a dump site; and third, how this landfill has been a site for both civic engagement and cultural resistance.

This study incorporates research from several disciplines, original notational drawings, and personal observations from three months of site reconnaissance. Vocabulary is developed to amplify the resonance between ancient and contemporary waste management and landfill reclamation practices. Landscape migration is a term devised to identify the cyclical flow of natural resources in the form of goods and garbage. It is derived from analysis of food and waste conveyance logistics and refers to the material composition of municipal garbage as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Civic aggregation is a term used to describe the process by which various constituencies and interests engage with the collective detritus of human activity to transform reclaimed landfills into terrains for civic engagement and cultural resistance. Monte Testaccio’s longevity and vitality are paradigmatic for understanding the agency of landscape migration and civic aggregation at 21st century landfills.

Michael Ezban

2013.05
HOUSE ON A LAKE

2013.04
ELEMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE: WHAT BUILDINGS ARE (STILL) MADE OF