Carolina Jimenez

Document Type

Thesis, Senior

Publication Date

Spring 2014




Rural, Landscape, Jimenez, Farming, Nebraska






Within the past 50 years, industrialized farming has transformed America’s rural and agricultural landscapes. These two landscapes have taken on increasingly divergent cultural representations in language, paintings and photography. Architectural interventions within the rural landscape can act as a device to reveal these differences. In this way I am engaging in four interrelated discourses.

Defining the Rural | Linguistic, Painting, Photographic Representations In order to define the rural landscape, it is essential to understand the way it has been constructed by cultural representations in language, painting and photography. Images of nature mediate that which is outside of us, translating environment into a cultural object. Following a trajectory of pictorialization, the eidetic image of the landscape has led us to question our relationship to –what we perceive as- an entity outside of ourselves rather than processes we are integrated within.

Constructing Landscape | Nebraska and the Corn Belt The American Corn Belt is deeply connected to personal scales and global economies. Nebraska produces the third greatest amount of corn of any state and is included within the part of the nation defined by its corn production. Additionally, Nebraska is the state that had the greatest percentage of land area –45 percent– settled through the Homestead Act of 1862, a piece of legislation that was deeply rooted in the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy. By studying the historical delineation as well as the present day processes (spatial measures, policies, farming techniques, systems of transport) that transform the Nebraskan landscape, we can create a new image for this territory.

Systematizing Site | Aerial Photography and Mappings of the Mutable Landscape Understanding the physical characteristic, process and patterns of rural landscapes allows us to extrapolate relationships of agricultural lands to political spaces, to nodes, to networks. It allows for the creation of ‘place’ in replicable, expansive sites by revealing the complexity and particularity of one location. Pairing aerial photographs and mappings attempts to combat the picturesque construction of landscape.

Embodying Identity | Manifestations and Representations of Mutable Conditions These projections and provocations for future design projects imagine interventions on the landscape. These apparatus are meant to reveal the dynamic nature of rural sites and are designed through the lens of their future representation. How do we reconstruct the collective understanding of rurality?

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