Sonia Sobrino Ralston (she/her) is a Master of Landscape Architecture student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Broadly, her interests lie in how landscape and architecture intersect with political geography, the history of technology, and social movements. Her current projects focus on understanding how regimes historically attempted to establish control over landscapes using scientific research campuses and information technology, and the alternative and dissenting systems that respond to them. She holds a Master of Architecture from Princeton University where she also received a certificate in Media and Modernity, and was awarded the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize. Sonia is also a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Architectural and Urban Studies undergraduate program. Beyond this, she has worked as an assistant curator, research assistant, teaching assistant, architectural designer, exhibition designer, data visualizer, publication editor, and graphic designer at various institutions and organizations focused on spatial concerns.



Architecture + Landscape

Sonia Sobrino
Ralston

Selected Work

01. Design
Waste to Governance
    LOT ###

02. Editorial
Party Planner︎︎︎
Pidgin︎︎︎

03. Professional
Assistant Curator, 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale︎︎︎
    Design Collaborator,
    metaLAB at Harvard︎︎︎


Sonia Sobrino Ralston (she/her) is a Master of Landscape Architecture student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Broadly, her interests lie in how landscape and architecture intersect with political geography, the history of technology, and social movements. Her current projects focus on understanding how regimes historically attempted to establish control over landscapes using scientific research campuses and information technology, and the alternative and dissenting systems that respond to them. She holds a Master of Architecture from Princeton University where she also received a certificate in Media and Modernity, and was awarded the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize. Sonia is also a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Architectural and Urban Studies undergraduate program. Beyond this, she has worked as an assistant curator, research assistant, teaching assistant, architectural designer, exhibition designer, data visualizer, publication editor, and graphic designer at various institutions and organizations focused on spatial concerns.


Architecture + Landscape

Sonia Sobrino Ralston

Selected Work

01. Design
Waste to Governance
LOT ###

02. Editorial
Party Planner︎︎︎
Pidgin︎︎︎

03. Professional
Assistant Curator, 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale︎︎︎
    Design Collaborator,
    metaLAB at Harvard︎︎︎




LOT ###


Spring 2022
Harvard GSD Landscape Architecture Core IV
Professor Rosalea Monacella




Immanent domain, imminent ecologies

We commonly think of infrastructure as the implementation of technological apparatuses, including solar energy systems or environmental sensing. The ability to be measured, gridded, and ascribed economic value is integral to the systems of land value that determine the developmental possibilities of urban property. We don’t often think the same way about plants; their presence can be retooled as economic value if they are treated as green infrastructure, but the focus on capital accumulation negates the possibilities to think with these timescales and priorities. This project aims to treat ecological actors—plants—as type of infrastructure where plants do not just add economic value to a site, but rather offer a model to redefine the values ascribed to property through their growth. In tandem with more conventional forms of infrastructural tools such as energy and environmental monitoring systems, the project as a whole aims to derive alternative systems of labour and valuation for the benefit of local people and ecosystems.

Positioned in a complex set of social, economic, and ecological entanglements, Newmarket Square is faced with a future of gentrification driven by profit which will ultimately displace labour and people to the detriment of nearby residents. Drawing from work by nearby
community land trusts, this project aims to bring together ecological infrastructure with solar and environmental monitoring infrastructure to createecological corridors held in community trust. The design offers solar infrastructure to power a microgrid serving nearby housing, environmental monitoring to establish measures to reduce harmful air and water contamination in a site marked by long-term environmental racism, as well as planting that will assist with environmental monitoring and alter the placement of solar infrastructure. On the site of two former alleyways in the industrial area—alleys that continue to exist as tax parcels but have since become fragmented by fences into parking lots—these corridors first aim to adopting air rights from nearby buildings to protect small businesses from developmental pressures. But with the planting, growing, and dispersal of plants along the corridor on the ground, the alteration of the tax parcels is seen as a growing, changing model that conceives property and infrastructure as having timescales attune to environmental and social needs as opposed to economic. In short, the ecological corridors proposed in the former alleys of the industrial site at Newmarket Square aim to imagine what kinds of futures are to be imagined if value and property is considered through the infrastructure of plants.





Analysis of the site reveals complex relationships to collective ownership, toxicity, and land value change



Across the site, tax parcels of former streets remain where new industrial buildings have appeared




Plan for deployment across neighbourhood and site





Energy Grid


Toxicity Grid


Ecological Grid
Scotch pine as infrastructure


Imagined futures of the site wherein feral growth of plants alters tax parcels, senses toxicity, and responds to
solar infrastructure



      

Study model of the nature of air rights and their ability to be bent



Presentation of final material as stacked, entangled dossier in transparent filing cabinet

   



                 © 2022