Jennifer Dowdell (Baltimore, MD, US)
Landscape Architect, Ecological Planner & Designer
Each place has a story. Through my ecological planning and design work in the US I often turn to the natural systems that defined our landscapes prior to human settlement, asking the question: what are the natural patterns and ecosystems from which we can seek inspiration as we plan for a more resilient future? In this work I am constantly seeking ways to guide future development toward long-term sustainability defined both by natural processes and the human communities that abide in these interconnected spaces.
During my stay in Orah I hope to take inventory of the Trebisnjica River catchment’s genus loci, or spirit of place, through the development of paintings, photography, and creative nonfiction essays that reflect on daily life here. I seek to follow and explore the course of the river and its tributaries as it bobs above and below the surface through the karst geology, examining the flora and fauna that thrive here. I will catalogue oral histories of local community members to see through their eyes the changes in the native ecosystems wrought by the development of a hydroelectric dam at Bileća Lake.
In this incredibly diverse landscape, there is an opportunity to explore the hidden mysteries, the forgotten histories, and the underappreciated benefits that remnant ecosystems provide to us as human inhabitants.