The fat white middle of the US hosts a tangle of problems stretching from tribal lands in Oklahoma to Minneapolis where George Floyd was murdered. But it also offers the possibility of a political trick and a chance to unwind whiteness.
Since the depression, these red states have received excessive subsidies even as they vote against big government. Neutralizing critiques of the Green New Deal by saying that the Old New Deal is still in place we tried to see just how much of the GND could be accomplished with the OND. With this built-in political Teflon, and in dialogue with many interlocutors, we designed interplays that transitioned from abusive to productive industries.
Mutualism is at the heart of abolitionists thought, and mutually beneficial exchanges across entrenched political divides can retool the mechanisms of social welfare, sustainable energy, police defunding, and reparations for Black and Indigenous peoples.
In Minneapolis, Samar Halloum, Jiaxing Yan and Scott Simpson designed interplays that used an unusual community land trust with both urban and rural land as a vessel for reapportioning the monoculture budgets for farming, policing and real estate development. <See>
In the extreme political and environment climate of Oklahoma, Rachel Mulder, Leanne Nagata, and Sasha Zwiebel leveraged existing subsidy failures to reaggregate land for reparations, regenerative agriculture, food production and wind farms. <See>
Fort Berthold in North Dakota, like areas of Oklahoma, sits on a shale basin with huge reserves. Rebecca Commisaris, Steven Sculco and Gabriel Guttierez Huerta showed what it would take to convert oil revenues into wind energy and greater autonomy for the three tribes in the area. <See>
All the projects demonstrated how a synthetic design imagination about spatial variables in situated conditions—maybe even more than legal, scientific, or economic assessments—is crucial to political decision making and political temperament.
GIS maps of the US: Laura Pappalardo and Keller Easterling
Teaching fellow: Theodossis Issaias