Julie Bargmann Of D.I.R.T. studio

Julie Bargmann teaches community leaders to see their ravaged industrial sites in new ways—to claim, accept, and even celebrate their history, to boldly tackle their problems, and to have faith in their future. Trained as a sculptor and landscape architect, Bargmann collaborates with scientists, ecologists, architects, artists, engineers, and historians to create new public spaces out of abandoned sites. She founded D.I.R.T. studio in 1992. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the firm is guided by Bargmann’s belief that “waste is the design fodder of the future.” She shares her methods, based on mapping patterns of waste flow and then working with natural elements to clean them, with her landscape architecture students at University of Virginia. Inherently longterm, her active projects include revitalization of landscape damaged by coal mining in Vintondale, Pennsylvania, and the transformation of the once polluted Rouge River into the site of a “green” assembly plant for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

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