MRPs: Masters Research Papers & Projects

Fashion, Death, and Re-Birth:

Regenerating Milan’s Decommissioned Rail Yards Towards Ecological, Spiritual and Cultural Attunement

As ‘cities of the dead,’ cemeteries are the utmost reflection of the culture, collective memory, and dominant societal values throughout history. The evolution of design for cemeteries in Italy especially, demonstrate these narratives, visualizing the true significance of dominant social, cultural, and political structures that shape the landscapes around us. As a result of a historic aspiration for the monumental, a tension has long existed between architecture and landscape, within the design of Italian cemeteries.

Fashion, Death, and Re-Birth challenges the dominant practices used in designing landscapes of grief and memory, within the context of Italian cemeteries, to reveal new approaches better suited to provide healing and celebration, at two of Milan’s decommissioned rail yards – Porta Genova and San Cristoforo. All the while, establishing connections between the cultural significance of Italian architecture and Italian fashion.

This project connects ideas of grief, with landscape restoration, expanding perceptions of grief for people, to include the loss felt by a disconnection to landscape and culturally and / or ecologically significant systems – resulted from transformations in cities over time. By designing a place for spiritual rejuvenation, through acts of celebrating culture and immersing oneself amongst urban ecology around Milan’s historic Naviglio Grande, this project positions landscape design as a tool through which we can rekindle our innate human connection to nature in birth, through life, and in death.

GRADUATE THESIS PROJECT – Submitted in partial fulfillment for the Master of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver Campus)



Team Members

Sabrina Careri, Lab Manager