Scottie McDaniel (she/her/hers) is a teacher and designer based in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from North Carolina State University, a Master of Architecture from Michigan, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard. Her outlook towards the reciprocal nature of ecology and culture was forged long before her formal training. She grew up on a forested family farm in the foothills of Appalachia. From the shade of the woods, she watched her grandparents fight nature. Fight succession. Fight pests. Fight decomposition. Fight the climate. Fight for economic survival. While sitting on the earthen floor among the forest ferns looking out towards the fields, she began to find beauty in cycles, temporality, maintenance, and labor.
Her research is situated on land practices of the south with an emphasis on the southern highlands – a region she loves, and a region she understands is riddled with nuance, contradiction, and lingering trauma. She is interested in the south as an assembly of adjacent parts – some stereotypical, some unexpected. Through her work, McDaniel aims to explore, unfold, and exhibit the complexity of the southern landscape.