A Landscape of Fulfillment



Volume 10, Issue 00
May 5, 2024

“But does the ability to obtain objects of desire quickly and easily actually generate happiness? In the emerging field of happiness studies, scholars divide measures of happiness into three basic categories: “momentary feelings of joy and pleasure, … overall contentment with life, … [and] the quality of life achieved by developing and fulfilling one’s potential, which has been called eudaimonia or ‘the good life.’”

Logistics could instead play a role in the development of a eudaimonistic landscape, a landscape of fulfillment, but this will not emerge through the current version of logistics…”

The Rule of Logistics by Jesse LeCavalier

What is a landscape of fulfillment? Is it the constant attainment of material objects? A never-ending stream of dopamine highs? Is it the freedom to get what we want, whenever we want, wherever we want?

This semester, Core IV studio is studying the Meadowlands. Its history is one of shameless exploitation. Diked, dumped, destroyed, it is a site that we have attempted to tame and brutally subdue. And yet, although the land has bent, it still resists.

Today, of the many landscapes shaping the Meadowlands, service and fulfillment is a primary driver. Another is flooding; in one hundred years, most of the site will be underwater. This confluence of consumerism and climate change is no coincidence. As the rising sea levels of the site lead to questions of how we will live amidst water, it is also an opportunity to question how we will live in our landfills and ruins.

In the concluding chapter of Jesse LeCavalier’s The Rule of Logistics, he leaves the reader with a provocation of rethinking what fulfillment, a landscape of fulfillment, really is.

It cannot be unbridled consumption.
It cannot be mindless plunder and violent taking.
It cannot be our objects of desire and the speed at
which we obtain them.

In searching for my own answers to Jesse’s provocation, I turn to the indigenous wisdom in Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer:

It is one in which we approach the land with an
attitude of gratitude.
Instead of assessing the land to see what we can
take, we listen to what it is willing to give

It is one in which we are not ruled by the greed of
our baser human natures, but of humility and
responsibility - we consume in a way that
“does justice to the lives we take”

A landscape of fulfillment is one in which “the
people and land are good medicine for each other”

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Volume 10, Issue 00
May 5, 2024

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