Sara Jacobs

I am a critical landscape designer, historian, and educator. Through writing and drawing, I think about how relations of care become legible through landscape to work toward just land futures. I study how attending to the historical conditions that produce the need for care, specifically interconnected spatial processes of landscape, racialization, and settler-colonialism, allows for reinterpreting dominant environmental knowledge within contested landscapes. I am an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia.

Throughout my research and teaching, I have a particular concern for how power shapes land practices in relation to social and ecological life, and how learning can be collaborative, pluralistic, and nonlinear. In response, I approach understanding landscape through relational pedagogies and methodologies. My recent projects consider how race and racialization are produced through historical practices of landscape architecture, lessons from the queer ecologies of extractive landscapes, the settler-colonial relations of infrastructure, and the politics of care as a counter to ecological capitalism within contemporary landscape architectural practice.

My research has been supported by the Graham Foundation, the Clarence Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies, the Landscape Architecture Foundation, Garden Club of America, and the Society of Architectural Historians. My design projects have been exhibited and recognized internationally and has received several awards, including honor awards in communication from the National ASLA with SCAPE and Landscape Architecture Frontiers. My writing has been published in Journal of Landscape Architecture, the SITE Magazine, Landscape Architecture MagazineJournal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Journal of Architectural Education.

I received a PhD from the University of Washington, an MLA from Harvard University, and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. I have been designer at SCAPE, an artist-in-residence at the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and a researcher at OPSYS Landscape Infrastructure Lab. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of British Columbia, I taught at the University of Washington and was the Myles H. Thaler Visiting Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia.

I grew up on the traditional homelands of the Siuslaw. I now live and work on the unceded and unsurrendered traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Sel̓íl̓witulh Nations.