Two color photographs of the heads and shoulders of two people placed side by side: one the left is a light skinned woman with blue eyes and blond hair; on the right is a light skinned man with a white shirt and nearly shaved head; both smile at the camera

Katherine Jenkins and Parker Sutton

Gilmore D. Clark and Michael I. Rapuano/Kate Lancaster Brewster Rome Prize
February 10–July 14, 2023
Principals, Present Practice, Columbus, Ohio
Assistant Professors of Landscape Architecture, Knowlton School, Ohio State University
Project title
Roman Aesthetics of Care
Project description

Many landscapes in the quarantine period took on new appearances in the face of neglect. In Rome, an absence of foot traffic and the suspension of public maintenance programs gave the city’s cobbled piazzas a verdant wash. The aesthetic of these new landscapes was an affront to some, while others rejoiced in the lush, if weedy, “naturalness.” The same plants that signal municipal failure in cosmopolitan urban contexts, however, are not only tolerated at ancient cultural sites, but are often viewed romantically in the way that they conjure a Virgilian past that is central to Rome’s self-conception. We will examine how systems of Roman landscape maintenance are integral to the preservation, adaptation, and commodification of Rome’s landscape identity. We will explore the extent to which Roman aesthetics of care are culturally contingent—how they are driven by standards of beauty, infrastructural capacities, and technocratic will.