Contact Zones: Prefigurative Infrastructure for a Transformative Agenda
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This thesis proposes strategies for architecture to respond to environmental racism by questioning how design can be used as a tool to communicate radical environmental awareness. The method applied seeks to aid designers in better understanding their role within activism, specifically at sites of contention between Indigenous people and the settler-colonial system. Using principles within generative design, soft architecture, and two-eyed seeing the applied strategy unfolds as a series of ‘Prefigurative Infrastructures”, termed Allies, that re-evaluate the design process and propose positive alternatives. In doing so, designers and architects can be better equipped to engage in social activism and prioritize equitable place-making rather than economic growth. The methodology is then applied to sites of environmental racism in Nova Scotia illustrating the positive social impact of activating art and architecture at sites of essential resource contention.