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Design as Scholarship
Grounding Diaspora: Negotiating Between Home and Host
Alison B. Hirsch & Aroussiak Gabrielian
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The term “diaspora” connotes a dynamic social formation—a process of settlement and a tenuous sense of belonging based on the negotiation between the collective memory of home and responsive adaptations to host locales. While a global phenomenon, the local impact of shifting patterns of settlement in the multicultural city transforms urban spaces through the varied and overlapping inscriptions of new and adapted rituals. Using a Landscape Architecture studio conducted at the University of Toronto as the experimental means through which to investigate diasporic and transnational urban settlement and its implications for design, this paper focuses on final proposals for the case study site—a particular area of contestation in Queens, New York—as well as the pedagogical methodology used to generate them.

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