Mariel Collard

Landscape and architecture
design | research | teaching

Paisaje y arquitectura
diseño | investigación | enseñanza



About
Contact



 
Malecón Minatitlán
Casa Encino
The Bali Studio2
Landscape Studies: Food
The Bali Studio 1
Hispanic/Latino Non-resident Alien
Trading on Terroir
Avocado Toast: A Natural History
For Holly
The Valley: A Journey
Umbral
Feria de las Culturas Amigas
Casa Mazatlán


Mariel Collard

Landscape and architecture
design, research, pedagogy.

Paisaje y arquitectura
diseño, investigación, enseñanza.


About
Contact



The Bali Studio1

Landscape studio co-taught with Prof. Rosetta
S. Elkin


Students: Negar Adibpour, Niyousha Ahmadi Naeini, Catherine Auger, Shijia Hao, Nicole Jazwiec, Irena Jenei, Avo Keuyalian, Thomas Noussis, Emily Shin, Shawn Sullivan.

“The Bali Studio: Between High Season and Dry Season” was the first iteration of a series of landscape studios in the graduate program at McGill University that invite students to join the growing discussion within the conservation movement about the so-called Anthropocene: the age of human dominion of Earth. The course was an introduction to the theory and practice of landscape as living formation, to reflect on how changes are produced in both human and non-human environments. A dialogue between theory, cartography, and fieldwork allows the students to understand the unique capacity of landscape to act as a mediator between culture and nature. The projects affirm the methodology of multiple scales to replace the generic idea of ‘site.’ Each scale, the Ring of Fire, the Island of Bali and the Critical Zone, provides students with a portfolio of methods to study global interconnectedness and transform our reactions and engagement to climate change.



2020, Winter | Teaching



Hispanic/Latino Non-resident Alien

This piece was exhibited in A Quien Corresponda at the Kirkland Gallery, Graduate School of Design. Curated by Inés Benítez and Edgar Rodríguez.

Esta caja contiene productos perecederos provenientes de México; quizá una metáfora. 


Bajo la visa F-1, me corresponde la designación de “non-resident alien,” es mi estatus migratorio. Lo aprendí en alguno de los miles de trámites, a lo mejor la primera vez que tuve que hacer mis impuestos en este país, ya no lo recuerdo. También en todos esos formatos interminables que hay que llenar, cerca del apartado donde tienes que definir tu perfil racial (pero de manera independiente), siempre te preguntan: are you hispanic/latino?, a lo cual solo puedes responder sí o no. Vaya encrucijada, si no me crees ve a Wikipedia y busca “Hispanic–Latino naming dispute”. Como no hay una casilla para contestar “no sé” o un espacio para verter nuestras frustraciones, a veces me da coraje y no lo contesto. Para los Estados Unidos de América éstos son los términos que me definen. 

A los frutos les tocan sus propios controles migratorios, de sanidad, arancelarios, etc… pero lograron llegar a Estados Unidos en más o menos el mismo tiempo (24-48 hrs.) que les tomó a todos los sobres y cajas para A quien corresponda, llegar a la galería a través de servicios de paquetería privada. También han cruzado – de manera relativamente fácil y rápida – la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos. Voy a Market Basket (un supermercado por cierto fundado por inmigrantes), los compro (por el doble o triple de lo que me costarían en un mercado del otro lado), y los coloco en esta caja con dos cosas en mente: primero el dicho mexicano “el muerto y el arrimado a los tres días apestan” y segundo, la certeza de que después de la descomposición quedarán las semillas.

Soy parte de esta exhibición por ser mexicana, hoy a 4,570 km de mi ciudad. Hipanic/Latino Non-resident Alien es una oportunidad para reflexionar y discutir sobre el ser migrante y la formación, transformación y reformación de nuestras identidades individuales y colectivas.


2019, April | Exhibition



Trading on Terroir

In collaboration with Stefan Norgaard.

We conceptually interrogate the Specialized Agrarian Industrial District (SAID), a bounded zone producing specialized agricultural products that resist international divisions of capital and labor. Three critical characteristics enable SAIDs: (1) regulatory and institutional arrangements, including regulations and specific “denominations of origin,” allowing producers to develop and exchange localized knowledges; (2) landed property regimes and regimes’ recombinant legacies of agrarian reform, collective ownership, protected nature, or cultural/ touristic heritage; (3) specific terroir, or biophysical geographies, with climate, topography, and soil features suited for thematerial properties of specific commodities. Our research engages four commodities and geographies: cheese in the Franche-Comté, France and Minas-Gerais, Brazil; and alcohol in South Africa’s Cape (wine) and Jalisco, Mexico(mezcal). Alcohol and cheese’s material and biophysical properties lend themselves to SAIDs’ political/institutional construction.

This project originated in the seminar “Emergent Urbanizations: New Territories of Urban/Agrarian Transformation in The Global South” led by Sai Balakrishnan and Neil Brenner at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. To know more about our research and to read our paper go to The Urban Theory Lab.
2019-ongoing | Research



Avocado Toast: A Natural History

This research project* explores the monocrop landscape of Persea americana and its ‘migratory paths’ from Michoacán in Mexico into North American territories. 
It is estimated that the state of Michoacán grows about eight out of 10 avocados exported to the United States. The $4.8 Billion dollar industry expands through illegal logging by groups including drug cartels. The research investigates the history of this plant from its domestication origins to the current supply chains fueled by free-trade. It considers the land-use changes, the land tenure evolution, the certifications and conservation initiatives entangled in a recent massive deforestation process. This project explores the landscape systems in place and spatial implications of the growing demand in America for the Mexican so called “green gold.” It delaminates the ecological and political forces embeded in the possibility of an avocado toast in a restaurant in Manhattan.

*Originated from a broader group project supported by the Mexican Cities Initiative Fellowship.
2018-ongoing | Research



For Holly

In collaboration with Inés Benítez and Nicolás Delgado.

This project* is about the complexities behind research on the field and the development of its corresponding methodologies.
We approached and worked with one particular Ilex opaca at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, to communicate the value of simultaneous investigation and recording. We payed attention to what could be perceived and understood on the field beforeresorting to cameras, microscopes or digital model spaces.
The boxes are the documents that evidence our process: a non-linear path where experiences, ideas, questions, methods and answers emerge seemingly out of order; concurrently through a process of back and forth. Rather than organize the documents as one would in an archive, they are here more so arranged like one would a journal. The aim has been to collect our work in such a way that it allows us to constantly question the way we truly arrived to conclusions; not chronologically; not through the application of standardized procedures independent of the questions, where each new step implies blindly committing to its antecedent ones. The book brings our work into the field of knowledge exchange in a format that translates the richness of process; it represents relevant references, encounters and exercises in their actual scale: 1:1.

*Developed in the seminar “Field Methods and Living Collections” led by Rosetta S. Elkin (Harvard Graduate School of Design) and William “Ned” Friedman (Harvard Arnold Arboretum).

2018 | Research