You Can Move Mountains

Featuring the Work of 2023 Fanzone Fellow Julia MacNelly and Lysette Velázquez
Moving increasingly in scale, from clay, adobe blocks, rammed earth block constructions, and concrete quarries, landscape architecture graduate students Julia MacNelly and Lysette Velázque physically connected themselves to materials and their landscapes, context, history, and journeys in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo © Julia MacNelly and Lysette Velázquez

FRI, APR 5 – WED, APR 24, 2024

MON, APR 15, 2024

At what cost do we harvest materials? How do our material processes relate to our bodies? What do landscapes shaped by material extraction look like, and how do we inhabit them? These questions prompted 2023 Fanzone Fellow Julia MacNelly and Lysette Velázquez, UVA landscape architecture graduate students, to explore building materials and methods in Monterrey, Mexico for their exhibition You Can Move Mountains

MacNelly and Velázquez investigated different scales of extraction as they pertain to clay, adobe blocks, rammed earth block constructions, and concrete quarries. As part of their research methods, the duo gathered a range of soil samples for a bilingual soil swatch book while considering what a handful of earth can teach us. The project seeks to integrate land use and land value in a new ethical framework, asking how we, as designers, can apply the idea of scaling to use the details of a place as a method to understand the whole. 


Julia MacNelly

Julia MacNelly is a second-year landscape architecture graduate student, with a particular interest in conceptual design development, material experimentation, and landscape research. Before attending UVA, she worked for four years as a consultant focused on affordable housing development in Virginia, and as the program director for the Richmond Land Bank, during which she collaborated with stakeholders, community members, fellow nonprofits, and government officials to make land use decisions and oversee a variety of affordable development projects. With a multidisciplinary art background, Julia sees landscape architecture as an opportunity to creatively engage with questions about equitable development, ecological stewardship, and land access. 

Lysette Velazquez

Lysette Velázquez is a second-year landscape architecture graduate student from Monterrey, Mexico. She believes in working collaboratively, inclusively, and across disciplines. With a 5-year undergraduate degree in architecture from Tecnológico de Monterrey and seven years of professional experience in urban design, mainly on the southeast coast of Mexico, Lysette has designed at various scales from body-scale and detail to master plan and region. She is interested in exploring the built environment's physical and phenomenological aspects, the materials' cultural and physical significance, and the potential for landscapes to connect, teach, and heal. With a passion and commitment for designing and planning public spaces, she is interested in understanding and enhancing communities and places that celebrate diverse perspectives.

Supported by the Carmen Fanzone endowment. 

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