MARGOT LYSTRA




Historian/theorist of landscape and the environment. Teacher/designer of landscape architecture. Assistant professor at Université de Montréal. Mover, maker, writer.



Envisioning environment
Sensing and showing climate change
Designing with
All



bio + cv
the marge (Substack)
unruly earths (Instagram)
email






PROJECTS




Curriculum Vitae


Biography


Currently an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Montreal, I specialize in landscape history and theory. My research investigates intersections of design representation, public dialogue, and environmental imaginaries. I investigate ethics and politics inherent to the skilled work of designing built environments, and I situate design work in relation to broader social movements and cultural understandings of cities, natures, technologies, and power. 

I am particularly interested in the emergence of new ways of seeing landscapes and natural phenomena, from the early 20th century to the present.  Whether considering the mystical drawing methods of Bauhaus members, the 1960s growth of environmental activism, or the ways in which contemporary artists and designers represent climate change, I explore how visual expression intertwines with other forms of knowing and acting to generate new environmental knowledges, ethics, and practices.

My current book project, Envisioning Environment: The Landscape Imaginaries of Urban US Freeways, 1956-1968, investigates local histories underlying several well-known late modernist freeway design projects: revealing how designer visions of urban freeways collided and coincided with activist actions and government agendas to precipitate new urban visions, forms of political action, and conceptions of environmental justice. Other current projects explore new ways of understanding and designing for climate change (Sensing and showing climate change), and articulate how different techniques and methods cultivate reciprocity and liveliness within design process (Designing with). This work contributes to discussions in the fields of landscape history, history of technology, environmental history, and the environmental humanities, and informs contemporary debates in landscape architecture and urban design. 

In addition and relation to the above, I am a mother, dancer, and sometime candy maker. I am inclined towards to sharing power, committed to doing the work, and in love with the enormous livingness of the world.