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Comments (1) Posted 02.08.11 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Events: Places Editors

Penn Hosts Symposium on Water and Design


In the Terrain of Water Symposium

The University of Pennsylvania School of Design will host an international symposium, “In the Terrain of Water,” April 1 – 2, 2011.

The symposium will be structured around a series of interdisciplinary dialogues, exhibits, workshops and talks with contemporary thinkers who go beyond addressing water simply as a design opportunity or an environmental challenge. Participants will challenge current visualizations and probe projects and design thinking that constitute water, its visible and invisible presences, in fresh ways.

Symposium participants include Teng Chye Khoo, executive director of the Centre for Liveable Cities; Mihir Shah, co-founder of Samaj Pragati Sahayog, one of India’s largest grassroots initiatives for water and livelihood security; filmmaker Peter Hutton; UNESCO consultant Pietro Laureano; Diébédo Francis Kéré, winner of the 2009 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture; Ila Berman, architect and founding director of New Orleans URBANBuild; landscape architects Kongjian Yu, Anne Spirn, Elizabeth Mossop and Tilman Latz; biologist and applied ecologist John Todd; and many others.

Concurrent events include:

Gallery exhibition, March 28 – April 4, 2011, featuring drawings and other works by Paul Cret, Jacques Gréber, Louis Kahn, Ian McHarg, Lawrence Halprin, Anne Spirn, James Corner and Alex S. MacLean, Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, Laurie Olin, Karen M'Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Valerio Morabito and Jenny Sabin.

Gallery talk and reception, Friday, April 1, 4 – 6 pm, with David Brownlee, Charles Waldheim, Anne Whiston Spirn, Alison Hirsch and others.

Student work conversation, March 31, 2 – 5:30 pm, featuring an exhibition of current student work and an afternoon session on research and pedagogy.

Register here or visit the PennDesign website for a complete schedule and more information. Places is a media partner of "In the Terrain of Water."


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In a study carried out in the metropolis Buenos Aires we analyzed the preferences for water as a landscape feature interviewing visitors of waterfronts and residents living near the river coast in urban and suburban areas of the metropolis Buenos Aires. In line with the widespread water preferences mentioned in international literature, and following evolutionary theories- water as one of the most important elements for life - a high degree of agreement could found between respondents in preference surveys. Therefore as expected we found no gender influence on preference: women or men coming along waterfronts or coastal residents in urban or suburban areas rated “water” in the same way as a preferred landscape feature.
On the contrary, based on cultural traits, we found that individual experiences such as familiarity to a place, surprise and induced water scarcity explained differences between residents of urban and suburban coastal areas.
By suburban areas under the urbanization pressure; streams will become more visually scarce or decrease their quality, therefore an understanding of public landscape preferences should help to shape and target cleaning up rivers and restore
health to ecological riparian processes. A significant water preference by urban dwellers can also encourage the use of water in the design and beautifying of the built environment, making its presence a source of city revitalization.
Dra. Ana Faggi
02.24.11 at 08:30



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Places is edited by Nancy Levinson and Josh Wallaert.
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