UBC Graduate Research

Lost Wor(l)ds : The role of landscape architecture in Indigenous language revitalization Gagnon-Creeley, Michelle


This graduate design project argues that language is spatial, and seeks to examine the relationship between language, place and local ecology. Specifically asking the question of how local environments can play a role in shaping language, ultimately influencing the speaker’s perception of space and environment. The rapid decline of Indigenous languages over the last 300 years due to colonization and industrialization has led to the loss of localized knowledge surrounding culture and ecology. As a response to this decline, many Indigenous communities are working to revive and sustain their languages. This research project investigates the possibility of landscape architecture being a vehicle for developing outdoor spaces conducive to language revitalization. The project examines the endangered Haida language as an example of this phenomena and develop a proposal for how landscape architecture might be able to contribute to Haida Gwaii’s language revitalization movement.

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