Elaine Stokes, PLA, is an educator and landscape architect who studies the cultural and narrative implications of North American infrastructure. She is currently a candidate in the Doctor of Design program at the GSD, after spending several years working in professional practice, first at Stoss Landscape Urbanism and then Sasaki. Elaine’s research explores the riverine corridors of the Upper Mississippi River Watershed, focusing specifically on dams constructed on sites recognized as sacred land by local indigenous tribes. Her work considers storytelling as a critical method deployed by both federal agencies and indigenous communities to explore new infrastructural imaginaries. This research is situated within the theoretical frameworks of water rights, indigenous sovereignty, river infrastructural history, landscapes of memory, and contemporary territorial landscape practice.
Elaine currently teaches at Boston Architectural College and Rhode Island School of Design, where she has led a range of studios and seminars focused on urban infrastructure and digital representation. Previously, Elaine earned her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and her Master in Landscape Architecture from the GSD, where she graduated with distinction. Her work and writing have been featured in Pidgin, Paprika!, World Landscape Architecture (WLA), and Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM), as well as various edited volumes.