After Growth: Designing the Environmental Settlement
An MEBD Chautauqua
What will our settlements look like in an era where “growth” may no longer be the norm? The industrialized era led our cities towards patterns of perpetual growth, upwards and outwards, but in our post-industrial state, is bigger always better? Global populations are forecast to plateau in the not-so-distant future and our once cheap fuels are becoming more expensive. Reimagining the future of our settlements demands radical changes across society that will shape how we move, work, and play. Existing narratives of environmental design fail to tackle the complex, interconnected social, economic and environmental realities of the present, let alone the future. As a species we are collectively striving to increase our power and prosperity, while reducing ecological risk; this should be the starting point for new narratives.
Instigated by students of the Master in Environmental Building Design (MEBD) program at PennDesign, this Chautauqua will speculate on the future of our settlements, after growth. On April 11th 2014 a wide spectrum of ideas, theories and practices, will be debated. A range of invited speakers, from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and historic preservation, will explore what shape environmental settlement could take in a post-growth world, what can be achieved to progress positively to this condition, and what challenges lie in wait.
Stefan Al is a Dutch architect, urban designer, and Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania. In an international career to date, Al has worked on renowned architectural projects such as the 2,000-feet high Canton Tower in Guangzhou, the preservation of world heritage in Latin America at the World Heritage Center of UNESCO, and an 11,000-acre new eco-friendly city in India. His writing has been published in the Handbook of Architectural Theory, the Berkeley Planning Journal, and other publications. He has edited the books Factory Towns of South China and Village in the City (forthcoming 2013), and is currently writing a book on Las Vegas called The Strip. Al is an EU-licensed architect and a LEED Accredited Professional. He serves as a founding member of the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design, a co-opted member of Hong Kong's Harbourfront Commission, and as a task force member of Hong Kong's Environment Bureau.Prior to joining Penn, Al has taught at UC Berkeley and the University of Hong Kong, where he was the director of the Urban Design Program.
William W. Braham
Dr. William W. Braham FAIA is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Chair from 2008 to 2011 and is currently Director of the Master of Environmental Building Design and Director of the TC Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies. He received an engineering degree from Princeton University and an M. Arch. and Ph.D. Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught since 1988. At Penn, he teaches graduate courses on ecology, technology, and design. At the Chan Center, his most recent projects have been the Sustainability Plan, Carbon Footprint, and Carbon Reduction Action Plan for the University of Pennsylvania.
An internationally recognized proponent, author, and practitioner in sustainability and regeneration Bill is a principal in Regenesis, Inc., a living system design and education organization working with the built environment as an instrument to develop a co-evolutionary relationship between people and place. This work centers on developing the capability of participants to engage in an integrative, whole and living system process. The objective: to regenerate the physical, social, natural, and spiritual life in our communities and the planet.
Randy Mason teaches in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and is Associate Professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning. His courses focus on historic preservation planning, urban conservation, history, and cultural landscape studies. Mason's research interests include theory and methods of preservation planning, cultural policy, the economics of preservation, historic site management, the history and design of memorials, and the history of historic preservation. He leads the Center for Research on Preservation and Society, which undertakes applied research projects on site management and on social, economic and political aspects of historic preservation. His books include The Once and Future New York: Historic Preservation and the Modern City (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States (edited with Max Page; Routledge, 2004).
Historian and journalist Catherine Tumber is author of Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World. She is a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, a Fellow of the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, a scholar with Penn Insitute for Urban Research, and and a former Research Affiliate with the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning’s Community Innovators Lab.
David Tilley is an Associate Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Tilley defines ecological engineering as “the emerging field that combines natural and applied sciences, especially systems ecology, with the discipline of engineering to design, build, and operate new ecosystem-types that connect society with nature for the benefit of both.” His Ecosystem Engineering Design Lab (EEDL) works on determining the effects of ecological systems, such as green walls, green roofs, and artificial wetland gardens, on energy balance, water balance and water quality of the built environment. The EEDL also ruminates on the theoretical basis of dynamic emergy accounting, which can be used for environmental accounting independent of neoclassical economic biases. Dr. Tilley teaches Design for Urban Water & Energy (DUWE), Energy & Environment, Computer-aided Design for Ecology, and Emergy Analysis. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida’s Environmental Engineering Sciences program in 1999. Dr. Tilley was the first President of the International Society for the Advancement of Emergy Research (www.isaer.org), which was formed in 2008. Dr. Tilley serves as a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the new Journal of Living Architecture and on the editorial board of the new Journal of Environmental Accounting and Management.
Richard Weller is the Martin and Margy Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Formerly, he was Discipline Chair of Landscape architecture at the University of Western Australia and Director of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre. With Vladimir Sitta, he was also Director of the design firm Room 4.1.3 the work of which was published by Penn Press in 2005.
When & Where
PennDesign is an inventive place of learning where the many fields of architecture, planning, preservation, landscape and the fine arts come together on shared ground. At PennDesign, we are dedicated to design that is creative in nature and transformative in impact. In a collaborative environment that fosters inquiry and experimentation, faculty and students seek to recast the distinction between theory and practice, expand knowledge and invention through research, and contribute works of value and beauty.