Lydia Macklin Camel
Hometown: Farmington, Michigan
Degree Program: Master of Landscape Architecture '22
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Geography, Minor in Geographic Information Science
What kind of questions or curiosities did you have when you decided to pursue a degree in landscape architecture?
The reason I’m drawn to landscape architecture is because, while I’m a bit of a science nerd, the work that you do doesn’t always let you flex those crafty muscles. I’m a drawer, a builder, and a dreamer and landscape architecture doesn’t make you choose between your science-y/research side and the side of you that still loves to finger paint.
How would you characterize your design ethos or process?
As a student, I’m trying to answer this fundamental question I have: What is the role of design and designer in generating conditions of inclusion and exclusion throughout the landscape? I wholeheartedly believe in coexistence and that if we can understand how design decisions might work to facilitate more inclusive environments, for people and more, we can cultivate a greater sense of belonging and spatial fluidity. I use these values to challenge my practice in and outside of the studio.
What kind of organizations or activities have you become involved in within Ithaca?
I’m working toward a career in design research and have been fortunate to be involved in many different projects. I’ve been able to work across departments and with inspiring and intelligent people that continually reshape my point of view.
Reflecting on your interests, how did you define/are you defining your concentration in the program?
My concentration rests somewhere at the intersection of materiality, environmental psychology, and spatial justice. Through my own investigations, I enjoy challenging the conventions of landscape architectural theory and practice by exploring and empowering subversive narratives of place, ecology, design agency, and “plant” -ed environments.
What kinds of professional and personal trajectories are you setting for yourself at the moment?
At the moment, I’m enjoying my last year at Cornell. I’m not sure exactly where I’ll end up, but I know I need variety and I want to do research. Whether that’s at a design firm or pursuing a Ph.D., I’m keeping my options open.