Barbara Prezelj

Landscape Architecture

Image: Fort de Vaujours: potential site development in 2047

Unfamiliar Territory

This project consists of a theoretical exploration into the concepts of ‘the unfamiliar’ and ‘territory’ and an intervention on a specific site - Fort de Vaujours, a nuclear-contaminated area and site of future gypsum extraction near Paris. The project proposes ways in which we could productively engage with unfamiliarity of disturbed sites without reducing their complexity or eliminating their creative potential for the sake of ‘familiarization’. It rejects the fallacies of instant ‘solutions’ and puts forward a performative approach to design: creating a set of potentials that can unfold in various directions with various outcomes. It combines landscape’s performative capacities with its power of cultural expression, in time striving towards a multitude of affective encounters with ethically and politically enabling potentials. The proposed landscape intervention is therefore, compared to common remediation techniques, not planned nor expected to have immediate effects. In fact, if successful, its most powerful effects are observed in the long run.