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Typologies of Spread is a conceptual model that describes the essential landscape conditions, relationships, and changes provoked by the arrival of the Joro spider, Trichonephila clavate, a controversial orb weaver that hitched a ride in a shipping container from Asia to the southeast US in 2014 (Hoebeke, Huffmaster, Freeman, 2015) and has been spreading exponentially ever since. The wide range of opinions toward the Joro, from embrace to execution, parallels design’s own discourse of evolution and expansionism, and allows probing and provoking of perspectives related to types and rates of change (Nash, 1989; Weilacher, 1999).

Within this context, the model takes on three goals: 1) measure and describe landscape conditions, changes, and relationships related to Joro; 2) foster cognitive empathy through reflection and sharing of deviating attitudes toward Joro; and 3) invite informed, imaginative discussion of potential changes to landscape design and practices. Methods used to address these include change maps to identify patterns and rate, typological cross sections to describe and compare conditions and change, and a question framework to relate perspectives. Resulting Typologies of Spread will be presented, with findings and lessons for modeling, cognitive empathy, and landscape metrics.

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  • Randolph Shockley
  • Aoife Pitts

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