New Book Interrogates Landscape Architecture Through The Lens Of Black Spaces

A collection of essays provides an insightful look at how Black voices and landscapes have been suppressed and erased in American public space and discourse.

November 4, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Brooklyn, New York City

JackEmpireCTRL / Shutterstock

Hilary Malson reviews Black Landscapes Matter, a new collection of essays that "holds up a mirror to the design profession as a way of inciting a racial reckoning within that space, much as the Movement for Black Lives and related social movements have done in the wider world." The book, edited by Walter Hood and Grace Tada, frames Black spaces in the context of American history and what Hood calls the "ugly and unforgivable," writes Malson.

Through this lens, the fields, cabins, and main houses of plantations, the ironwork adorning Southern port cities, and the murals dotting MLK Boulevards across the nation are all reframed as the Black vernacular, whose architects, designers, and builders have long been excised from the frame.

While the book provides a critically important lens through which to view Black landscapes, Malson notes that "voices from communities embedded in these Black landscapes are not often heard. Speaking for those working in the grassroots, however earnestly, rather than incorporating their insights directly as chapter authors, stands in tension with the volume’s inspiration, the Movement for Black Lives."

Read the rest of Malson's review at the source article below.

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