Onward was born out of a preoccupation with the future. We feel it in studios, in the news, in popular articles that get passed between students, in casual conversation. This is a preoccupation that many of us share—designers or not, landscape architects or not. So for the ninth issue of Ground Up Journal, we posed the question, how do we proceed from here?
What follows are the answers, the imaginings, the speculations we collected.
The journal is organized around three chapters. DESPERATEtimes calls out real-time problems our field has the power to address. CRITICALpractice is an examination of our discipline and proposes methodological change in teaching and practice. IMAGINARYfutures presents visions of paths forward. ONWARDialogues, a discussion in print between academics, practitioners, and students, is situated at the center of the journal and represents what is at Onward’s heart: knowledge-building through open investigation.
As we prepared Issue 09 for print, strange, sad events transpired. Now we work isolated from each other at home, hoping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public space has a new, ephemeral power, and so unprecedented are day-to-day affairs that fiction is sometimes a better reference than reality. The future we found is not what we had thought it might be, but it is our intention that the stories, ideas, and conversations captured here can act as a roadmap—or perhaps a travelogue—as we pick our path.