Hassell announces 2019 travelling scholarship winner

Jared Thorp, a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology’s Bachelor of Design (Landscape Architecture) program, has been named the winner of the 2019 Hassell Travelling Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award. The annual award recognizes graduating landscape architecture students who demonstrate outstanding potential for future contribution to the landscape architecture profession. The award provides the winner with the opportunity to expand their education through travel to a destination undergoing significant development or renewal.

Thorp’s winning project, titled ZOOSubverted, challenges the traditional design of zoological enclosures, proposing an “inversion of zoological precedence, where power hierarchies between captive animal and human observer are destabilized and redefined, forging a new landscape order.” The project imagines a landscape intervention at the Sea World aquatic theme park on the Gold Coast that aims to enhance the lives of the park’s captive animals, while providing flexible infrastructure that allows wildlife habitats to adapt and emerge over time.

“The existing character of the site and ecology are engaged as instruments of animal enrichment. Conditions are intensified, and mapped upon the substrate of the enclosure, providing an environment for species to be stimulated by, react to and exert control over,” said Thorp, who was inspired by the ‘Five New Freedoms’ ethos of zoological design specialist Jon Coe.

Jared plans to use the scholarship to travel to China to research the government’s implementation of a national “social credit” system and the effects this might have on the public’s attitudes to animal welfare and conservation.

“I am interested in the relationship between (quasi) altruism as a social phenomenon and the zoo as the infrastructure through which this altruism can occur,” he said.

Jared Thorp was a winner in the 2018 Landscape Architecture Australia Student Prize. Read more about his ZooSubverted proposal here.

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