DRYLANDS DESIGN CONFERENCE MARCH 2012 More than 225 educators, design professionals and students gathered at the conference, where the arid and semi-arid west was re-examined as a vast field of opportunities for water-smart design innovation at a range of scales, from building systems to infrastructure and landscape spaces.
The Drylands Design Conference kicked off with an opening reception at the Architecture + Design Museum (A+D) in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 22. On view at the museum is Drylands Design, featuring selected work from CAF’s William Turnbull Drylands Design Competition. The exhibition showcases work by architects, landscape architects, engineers, artists, and urban designers responding to the challenges of water scarcity in the face of climate change. With a focus on the US West, the exhibition presents a portfolio of adaptive strategies large and small, rural and urban, high tech and low-carbon. Since no single solution will meet the complex needs of the US West, the exhibition explores a range of approaches for how buildings and parks, houses and streets, industry and agriculture, cities and neighborhoods might adapt to a water-stressed future. Following its run from March 22-April 26, 2012, the exhibition is scheduled to travel in the US and abroad.
In an innovative cross-disciplinary collaboration, ALI and UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability provided technical and policy advising to five research award winners chosen from the CAF William Turnbull Drylands Design Competition. At the conference on Friday, March 23, the five award-winning teams presented their design proposals and discuss the policy implications they suggest.
The winning design case studies and the panel discussions they inform raised important questions about de-coupling energy and water, localizing resources, restructuring watershed governance, the scaleability of small systems, the relationship between water infrastructure and public architectures, and the role of the arts and design in shaping a working public landscape.
The conference put both young and established design leaders in dialog with thinkers from an array of disciplines, including Wiliam DeBuys, Ph.D., writer and conservationist, author of seven books, the most recent A Great Aridness; Paul Bunje, Ph.D., Managing Director, Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, supported by the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Stephanie Pincetl, Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Systems, UCLA; James Workman, award-winning journalist and author of Heart of Dryness; and Barry Taylor, Ph.D., Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
On Saturday March 24th, design educators attended a workshop on interdisciplinary methods for advancing Drylands Design regionally and globally.
For a complete program, including registration and live streaming details, see: drylandsconference.org.
The Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University is an education, research, and outreach center devoted to adaptive design strategies for drylands. Its mission is to train designers and citizens to be resourceful and inventive in the face of water scarcity and climate change. Contact: Hadley + Peter Arnold, co-directors, email@example.com
Woodbury University School of Architecture is a network of strategically sited hubs operating within the complex megalopolis of Southern California: Burbank, Hollywood, and San Diego. Together they form a critical platform. The school’s undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture and interior architecture emphasize the development of students as architect-citizens and cultural builders. Woodbury School of Architecture is a proud supporter of the Arid Lands Institute. Contact: Mimi Zeiger, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org 818-394-3337
The California Architectural Foundation (CAF) is dedicated to the advancement of sustainable communities through support of research and education. Founded in 1979, the California Architectural Foundation promotes excellence in architecture though student scholarships, grants and environmental education programs, bridging the gap between the academic and professional worlds. Committed to making stronger and more effective connections between students and schools, planners and professionals, the Foundation cultivates the resources and creativity necessary to forge these links. Contact: Anne Laird-Blanton, Executive Director, email@example.com, 415-457-2500
UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability educates the next generation of professional and scientific leadership committed to the health of the planet; advises businesses and policymakers on sustainability and the environment; and informs and encourages community discussion about critical environmental issues. Contact: Karen Lefkowitz, Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-794-4908
The Architecture + Design Museum Los Angeles is the only museum in southern California focused exclusively on progressive architecture, design, and urbanism. Since opening in January 2001, the A+D Museum has provided a forum for the contemporary issues that shape our city and the greater region. The museum’s innovative programming encourages fresh thinking among a broad and inclusive audience of design professionals, students of all ages, and the general public. The A+D Museum is a 501c (3) non-profit institution supported by its members, corporations, foundations, and government grants. Its mission is to celebrate and promote an awareness of progressive architecture and design in everyday life through exhibits, educational programs, and public outreach. Contact: Erin Cullerton, email@example.com, 323-522-6391