Jacob Heydorn Gorski

Jacob Heydorn Gorski

Landscape Architecture

Burnt: A Tale of 3 Fires

Burnt: A Tale of Three Fires investigates how embracing wildfire can restore resiliency and create new cultural connections between a landscape and its inhabitants. It draws from the designer’s childhood fascination with landscape and fire and takes inspiration from a Dutch attitude towards another natural threat: water. The project focuses on the mountain town of Red Feather Lakes in the American state of Colorado to question dominant narratives of wildfire and offer a new path forward.      

The project takes inspiration from local ecology to develop three new strategies for wildfire: defensive, resilient, and resistant. Each strategy kickstarts a process based on community involvement and site-derived materials to let fire tell a different story about the landscape. In the first site, fire breaks shape how a forest burns, allowing recreants to experience the ‘terrible sublime’ of the postfire landscape. In the second site, a stream is transformed into a naturally-managed defensive buffer that mitigates the effects of post-fire flooding. In the last site, a community comes together to restore a severely burnt forest. Together, these three strategies reshape and restore the ecosystem and use fire to create new landscape experiences and community exchange. While site-specific, the interventions here offer a model for other landscapes in the American West for a possible future with fire.    

To quote Dante, we have found ourselves “within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.” This project offers a new path ahead, one lit by the light of fire. 

Graduation date 6 December 2022  
Graduation committee: Jana Crepon (Mentor), Hank van Tilborg, Sarah McCaffrey 
Additional members for the exam: Marieke Timmermans, Robbert Jongerius

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