ALAR 8995: Memory, Material, Morphology: Regeneration at Marmet
How can the regeneration of landscapes of extraction and consumption, and their communities, broaden our profession’s role in collective public and ecological health? Regenerative operations -- disturbance and resilience in post-industrial landscapes of production and consumption -- can challenge our profession’s scope and what we consider ‘sustainable’. Through this thesis, Memory, Material, Morphology: Regeneration at Marmet, I am examining a site in West Virginia using a multi-scalar research framework to engage the scales of site (cultural memory), operations (material extraction, surface reclamation), and systems (morphology), in a landscape where community, ecological, and public health are caught in a damaging feedback loop with energy and material extraction. Located on the site of a major public works project that displaced 250 homes and businesses and buried past occupations under 300 million cubic yards of excavated soil, my project reframes ‘public works’ through the public realm to regenerate the surface of the site -- a byproduct of underground extraction processes -- as a layered construct of inscribed histories and possibilities, manifest in the succession of visceral spaces, temporal processes, and community-based actions that cultivate exchange among the site’s fluctuating ecologies and occupations.