Map two labeled land

Published: 2023

/ Student Work

Precarious Atlas: The Container of Crimes, A Carrier Bag of Stories

“Precarity is the condition of being vulnerable to others. Unpredictable encounters transform us; we are not in control, even of ourselves.”
– Tsing, A. L. (2021).

When the power structure of architecture becomes the weapon of systemic discrimination of racial, gender, and class profiling, how can we challenge design to counter violence and injustice, de-simplify the terms of design engagement, and develop alternative spatial narratives of the world? Investigating spatial violence and injustice on multiple sites, I see nonlinear narratives hidden behind the bodies in pain, a troubled world created by anthropologic standards and control. This thesis is about staying with the troubles and developing an alternative spatial narrative through A Carrier Bag. Ursula K. Le Guin suggested that, perhaps, the first tool created by humans was not a weapon for violence but a carrier bag allowing humans to gather and transport something useful, edible, or beautiful. With a carrier bag as an extension of our bodies, we collect and compose alternative narratives for land that is not empty, lives without the promise of stability, and all indeterminate bodies and minds.


Xin Li


Robert Adams and Dawn Gilpin