Marieke Berkers – The Park as Emancipation Machine

On Saturday October 10 at 5.30 PM Marieke Berkers will give an introduction to the film ‘Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America,’ screened at the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR).

In this lecture Berkers will explore how Olmsted designed his parks as emancipation machines. Places that offered its – poor and rich, black and white, men and female, famous and common, young and old, migrant and non-migrant – users a change for movement by physical, social and spiritual means. Olmsted’s aim was to elevate the taste and morals of his fellow citizens through the effects of nature and culture.
He was working in a time and place that faced similar challenges as our time and place: a huge flow of immigrants, fear to lose a national identity, a growing city as arena to solve problems, the urge to rethink social-political systems and the urge to think about the role of design and culture in a changing society. What can we learn from our founding father of landscape architecture?