Jane Wolff presented her research work on hybrid ecologies in the talk “Infrastructure: a short lexicon” at the British Academy’s program “Habitat and living in plural cities.” Held in London in early March, the program’s events included a public panel titled “Imagining Infrastructures,” jointly sponsored by the Urban Salon, a workshop at the Academy, and an extended seminar in the Department of Geography at Cambridge University.
The modern usage of the term infrastructure has gone through a series of permutations from early emphasis on logistics, organisation, and the expanding scope of technological networks to more recent interest in the intersections with landscape, ecology, and alternative theorisations of urban materiality. In this event we will explore questions relating to the meaning and conceptualisation of urban infrastructures. The question of infrastructure will serve as an entry point for wider reflections on the changing experience of nature, modernity, and urban space.
Wolff was educated as a documentary filmmaker and landscape architect at Harvard University. Her internationally recognized work on cultural landscapes deals with the hybrid ecologies formed by interactions between environmental processes and human intervention. The author of Delta Primer: a field guide to the California Delta, she is a partner in the Gutter to Gulf initiative, which provides information about urban infrastructure and ecology in New Orleans through its website, www.guttertogulf.com.