Ludmila Ferrari

Degrounding Latin America: Architecture, Violence, Community examines the relationships between foundational violence, the forms in space, and the meaning assigned to them by history. In order to analyze these dynamics, Ferrari develops the notion of degrounding as a principle for understanding the intimate correlation between ground (simultaneously: land, reason, and foundation), violence and language. 

She examines three cases in which the analogy between building an environment and building a community has been deployed in Latin America: the institution and destruction of the Jesuit “reductions” in colonial Paraguay (1607-1767); the construction of Brasilia in 1956; and Peace Process in Colombia (2002-2018) including La Escombrera (2001-2015), an urban mass grave in a rubble heap in Medellin, Colombia. Finally, the conclusion considers the immense trenches of Michael Heizer’s Double Negative as sites where the aesthetic experience of a groundlessness is possible. This study considers architecture a "signifying form" that helps us understand the debasing effects of foundational violence.

Dissertation director: Gareth Williams