Michelle Franco’s research commits interdisciplinary design practice to the project of justice. Considering design as a counter to social and institutional forms of erasure, she advocates for the multitude of marginalized people, practices, and more-than-human actors who create landscapes. Expanding the notion of ‘process-based’ endeavors, her research connects the institutional, ecological, and legal construction of landscape to the transformative power of ritual, duration, and narrative. She is the founder of The Bureau of Contingent Lands and Waters, which seeks to research and reshape fringe landscapes in the borderland watersheds of North America.
Franco is an assistant professor in landscape architecture at The Ohio State University. Her most recent landscape designs were for Oehme, van Sweden & Associates in Washington, DC. She holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where she received the Peter Walker Partners Fellowship. Prior, Franco was program director of The Richard Avedon Foundation in New York and studied photography in the Sonoran Desert, where she received a bachelor’s of fine art, magna cum laude from the University of Arizona.