Tending to Weeds: A Ruderal Approach to Architecture

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  • Could tending to weeds inform more reciprocal modes of occupying space? Noticing the mutual thriving of unlikely neighbours, this thesis learns from the resilience of undesirable ecologies to investigate how we might better grow together more sustainably. The entanglement of social and environmental needs is addressed by drawing on ruderal ecologies (a term for disturbance-prone plant communities) to develop an interdisciplinary and transcalar approach to architecture. Tools for noticing overlooked worlds are first created to learn specificity through modest site interventions in ruderal places. Like the dandelion rooted in a sidewalk crack, a reflective design project then imagines how unsealing paved grounds would reconfigure relations among human and nonhuman occupants in Ottawa, Canada. To find more hospitable grounds for growing and dying in common, a ruderal approach shows that ecotones of abundance can flourish among the gaps in things that matter, if tended to carefully.

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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2022


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