The Bartlett School of Architecture


Landscapes in Dialogue Lecture Series 2023/24

24 May 2024, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

An IMage of an ecosystem by Jake Robinson

Landscape Architecture MA/MLA presents the 2023/24 'Landscapes in Dialogue' lecture series.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Diana Salazar


The Bartlett Landscape Architecture
77 Wicklow Street
United Kingdom

Landscapes are always a work in progress and a collective work over time. 'Landscapes in Dialogue' lunchtime lectures are a series of informal talks involving practitioners and thinkers from landscape and a range of disciplines in conversations about work in progress, working methods, and the process of working with landscape.

This series is presented by the Landscape Architecture MA and MLA programmes and is open to the public. Lectures are available to attend in person or online with registration in the dropdown below. 

Image credit: Jake Robinson


17 October 2023 | 13:00 | Jeffrey Nesbit and Charles Waldheim

Technical Lands: A Critical Primer

Technical lands are spaces united by their “exceptional” status—their remote location, delimited boundary, secured accessibility, and hyper-vigilant management. Designating land as “technical” is thus a political act. Doing so entails dividing, marginalizing, and rendering portions of the Earth inaccessible and (in)visible. An anti-visuality of technical lands enables forms of hyper-visibility and surveillance through the rhetorical veil of technology. Including the political and physical boundaries, technical lands are used in highly aestheticized geographies to resist debate surrounding production and governance. These critical sites and spaces range from disaster exclusion and demilitarized zones to prison yards, industrial extraction, and airports and spaceports. The delineation and instrumentalization of technical land have increased in scale and complexity since the rise of neo-liberalization. And yet, the precise empirical and theoretical contours that define these geographies remain unclear. Technical Lands: A Critical Primer (Berlin: Jovis, 2022) assembles authors from a diverse array of disciplines, geographical specializations, and epistemological traditions to interrogate and theorize the meaning and increasing significance of technical lands.


Jeffrey S Nesbit is an architect, urbanist, and assistant professor in history and theory of architecture and urbanism at Temple University.

Charles Waldheim is an architect, urbanist, and John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he directs the School’s Office for Urbanization.

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21 November 2023 | 13:00 | Toby Laurent Belson

Challenging Colonial Urban Development

Presenting 3 examples, this talk briefly explores how urban development can be seen as a colonial endeavour of epistemic injustice that can lead to catastrophic results. Using available tools to challenge colonial ways of working with local communities, we can gain better and more just results for everyone and gain a better understanding of how colonialism affects and inhibits our lives.


Toby Laurent Belson is a multidisciplinary community artist, designer and educator from West London. He develops and produces projects within the community of North Kensington, where he has been working to celebrate and protect local heritage, culture and public assets since the early 2000s. In 2020 he became the Chair of Westway Trust, following a four-year campaign to transform the organisation. Since 2017 he has led on an ongoing campaign to illuminate spaces Green for Grenfell in solidarity for all those affected by the fire that killed at least 72 people in a West London tower block. He has worked with national government, councils, universities, museums and charities to advocate for his grassroots communities.

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5 December 2023 | 13:00 | José Alfredo Ramírez Galindo

Landscape Practices in the Capitalocene

Whether you live in a city, small town, rural/agricultural area or on Indigenous land, today’s world landscapes have been shaped by the implementation of a system commonly known as policies. Policies have been con­figuring landscapes, de­ defining the way we organise our lives and our relations with nature that ultimately organise how we produce the products we consume, the material we need for those products, and the labour we require to manage our relations with other humans and nonhumans alike. Within landscape-oriented design professions policies de­fine the types of projects we develop, the way we get involved, the materials we specify, the steps we follow to build environments. ‘Landscape Practices in the Capitalocene’ explores the landscape impact of speci­fic policies and calls for designers to acknowledge, understand and rethink how they are actively shaping the world we are living in today.


José Alfredo Ramírez is co-director of the Groundlab research design initiative of the AA where he is interested in developing alternative landscape-oriented practices where skills including visualisation, mapping, spatial understanding of socioecological systems and landscape techniques can advance design strategies to tackle climate breakdown. He has led projects at the junction of architecture, landscape and urbanism in a variety of contexts such as Argentina, Chile, China, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Chile and the UK, and worked on large-scale urban projects including the redevelopment of a 12-kilometre section of Santiago de Chile’s main avenue, Alameda Providencia, into an integral transport and urban corridor, among others. He is also a co-director of the AA Landscape Urbanism MArch/MSc postgraduate programme, which investigates the role of architects and landscape architects within contemporary processes of planetary urbanisation. Most recently, the research has been focusing on the consequences of the potential implementation of a Green New Deal in the UK.

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23 January 2024 | 13:00 | Tatiana von Preussen 

Linear Parks: The Camden Highline 

In recent years there has been a proliferation of linear parks proposed in the wake of New York’s famous High Line.  The denser the city, the higher the need for more green spaces, especially post-pandemic.  Yet high land values mitigate against large green open spaces.   

By establishing a network of long but narrow green spaces we can create continuous green walking spaces, allowing us to walk to work, to school or to a public transport node and creating a commute that is pleasurable and healthy.   

Disused railway tracks provide one such way of creating green walkways that cut through complex urban fabric.  The Camden Highline provides a case study for how this might be realised as a kit of parts and how the impact of the project on the city is so much more than the sum of its parts.


Tatiana von Preussen founded vPPR with Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds in 2009.  She is has a special interest in the relationship between architecture, landscape and art, especially where these begin to merge together.  She enjoys working across a range of projects with particular specialisms in mixed-use projects, housing, historical sites and public realm.

Tatiana has taught design studios at the Architectural Association and at Columbia University and has acted as a design critic and a lecturer for multiple universities in the US and the UK. She has judged several awards and sits on the Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham and Greenwich Quality Review Panels. She lived for several years in New York, where she worked for James Corner Field Operations on the High Line Park.

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CANCELLED 5 March 2024 | 13:00 | Mitesh Dixit

Please note this event is cancelled due to unforseen circumstances. 

Landscapes of Extraction 

The ambition of Landscapes of Extraction is to illustrate the need to eliminate the ‘arbitrary’ geopolitical lines that keep a region from operating as it should/does. By identifying shared resources, infrastructure, and cultural similarities via new methods of representation, the work visually demonstrates the gradients that exist between nations and how territories perform, thus allowing us to move past our Cartesian understanding of space and begin to discuss alternative political and economic systems that embrace inclusion and diversity.


Mitesh Dixit is an architect, political geographer and founder of DOMAIN Office. Dixit is a Visiting Associate Professor at the Pratt School of Architecture and a PhD candidate in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Politecnico di Torino. Dixit has taught at the TU Delft in the Netherlands, The Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs and the School of Architecture at Syracuse University, the Faculty of Architecture in Skopje, N. Macedonia, and Columbia University’s GSAPP. Dixit's work has been presented internationally, including at the Venice Architectural Biennale, Franc Centre Museum, The National University of Singapore, Chicago Architectural Biennale, Delft University of Technology, and the Bioskop Balkan in Belgrade. 

26 March 2024 | 13:00 | Anna Boldina 

Active Landscape: Designing for Health 

This lecture reflects on Anna Boldina's latest research and her findings on the potential benefits landscape elements can bring to the cardiovascular system, bones, muscles, vestibular system, and mindfulness. It also discusses the sociopsychological side of encouraging people to navigate a variety of routes and take a mild physical challenge. 


Dr Anna Boldina is specialised in Active Landscapes. Her research with Cambridge University unveiled the benefits Landscape Design can bring to population health through serendipitous physical activity. Studies were focused on the variety and quality of movement rather than quantity incorporating of balance, impact for bone density, patterns for mindfulness and nudge theory for encouragement and motivation.

Anna based her research on 15 years’ experience as an architect and urban designer on residential, educational, hospitality and master planning projects - in the UK, Italy, Turkey, India, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. Now she is working on a mixed use residential/office project in Cambridge with RHP architects and LDA landscapes incorporating a play street - exploring all the practicalities of bringing theory into the real built environment.

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14 May 2024 | 12:00 | Jake Robinson - Online Only 

Invisible Friends: How Microbes Shape Our Lives and the World Around Us 

The visible natural features in our landscapes intimately depend on tight-knit symbiotic relationships with a bustling conglomerate of microscopic life and ecological processes. Microbes are omnipresent and have life-sustaining roles in nutrient cycling, climate regulation, plant health and communication, soil formation and more. Despite the negative prevailing narrative that microbes are the bane of society, they are vital for human health and flourishing. Landscape architects and city makers rarely consider the microbial ecology of urban ecosystems. After all, it’s challenging to appreciate what you cannot see – but we now have the technology to ‘see’ the unseen. Dr Jake Robinson considers how such organisms are essential for a healthy landscape and how we might intentionally and intelligently collaborate with them in designing salutogenic landscapes. 


Jake Robinson is a microbial and restoration ecologist working in the Frontiers of Restoration Ecology Lab at Flinders University, South Australia. His work focuses on the biodiversity-health nexus, which involves studying, designing and restoring ecosystems to promote the health of humans and non-humans alike. He is the founder of the Aerobiome Innovation and Research Hub (AIR Hub) and the forthcoming platform Empirical Restoration. He is editor of Restoration Ecology and has published dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles and a popular science book called Invisible Friends: How Microbes Shape Our Lives and the World Around Us. He will soon publish his second popular science book called Treewilding: Our Past, Present and Future Relationship with Forests. For more information visit: www.jakemrobinson.com and follow him on X @_jake_robinson.

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24 May 2024 | 12:00 | Julian Raxworthy  

Active Landscape: Overgrown: practices between landscape architecture and gardening

Landscape architecture has a fraught relationship with gardening, despite having developed from landscape gardening, as it sought professionalisation by becoming more architectural. However, in this lecture Julian Raxworthy will argue that as landscape architecture has become more representational it has lost touch with maintenance tools in gardening that allow for the optimisation of the properties of change that landscape materials like plants have, such as growth. Lecturing for the first time in the UK on this topic, Raxworthy will set out an overview of his book Overgrown (MIT Press) and will advance a model for plant form – the viridic, a landscape equivalent of the tectonic, from the Latin for green, connoting spring and growth – which he argues has been under-theorised in landscape architecture.


Dr Julian Raxworthy is Associate Professor and Discipline Lead: Landscape Architecture at the University of Canberra. He is a Registered Landscape Architect in Australia with FREE-RANGE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, his own practice since 2008. His most recent book is Overgrown: Practices Between Landscape Architecture and Gardening, which was published in 2018 by The MIT Press, and was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

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