Landscape architecture students explore human and nonhuman “edges” in upper Columbia bioregion

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State University landscape architecture graduate students will show their work at the Lake Roosevelt Forum Conference in Spokane, April 16 and 17. The LRF’s mission is “to establish a dialog based on trust and respect of all views that seek common ways to protect and preserve the quality of environment and enhance the quality of life as they relate to the lake and economies of the region.” The conference is a venue for such dialogues. The students will present work based on their experiences in the Northern Rocky Mountain Regional Landscape class led by associate professor Jolie Kaytes.

The students’ distinct projects are collectively presented as “Finding Fluid Edges.” Their work explores the fluid edges between human and nonhuman natures in the northern part of the Columbia River Basin as well as community issues pertaining to the Columbia River Treaty, the Upper Columbia United Tribes, and the towns of Northport, Wash., and Trail, B.C.

Using drawings, photomontages, maps, diagrams, paintings, narrative and poetry, the students investigate physical, geopolitical and temporal human-created borders and topographical boundaries.

Some of the issues and questions students examine include:

  • Who should make decisions about the future of the Columbia River?
  • How is community defined? Is it a geographical entity? What populations – human, animal and plant – compose the communities along the river and within the region? How do these populations interact and affect each other?
  • How will these communities evolve and respond to change?
  • How have history and values changed the human experience of the river? How will history and values impact regional ecologies, sacred lands and specific species in the future?

More information on the LRF’s annual conference is available online here.