As a junior at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1990s, I enrolled in Paul Groth's class Cultural Landscapes. On the first day, I listened to Groth talk about highways, barns, and commercial storefronts as the “ordinary built environment,” a subject that I had not known existed, and that has guided my work ever since. At the time, I did not realize that my academic journey was directly influenced by J. B. Jackson; Groth was a longtime teaching assistant for Jackson's course History of the Man-Made Environment, and he had built his class on Jackson's slides, research, and findings.

It is hard to measure the full extent...

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