Color photograph of the head and shoulders of Phoebe Lickwar, facing forward against a white wall

Phoebe Lickwar

Garden Club of America Rome Prize
September 6, 2021–July 22, 2022
Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin
Project title
Promiscuous Cultures: Agroecology and the Orto Urbano
Project description

This project examines remnant and lost forms of traditional agroecology in the Fascia Olivata Assisi-Spoleto of central Italy and speculates on how its recovery can inspire novel hybrid forms of urban agriculture in Rome. Coltura promiscua, or mixed cultures, refers to the cultivation of olives with grapevines, fruit trees, or grains, a cultural practice that resulted in surprising and complex strategies for shaping space by layering and overlapping distinct vegetal forms, exploiting verticality by attending to the unique morphological characteristics of each plant. I will create a series of hybrid drawings that analyze the forms and practices of coltura promiscua and tell the story of transformation in the region from a landscape of intensive mixed cultivation to one of extensive mechanized monocropping. I will then develop a series of speculative proposals for an agroecological orto urbano that reinterprets the principals and tactics of coltura promiscua for contemporary adaptation.