Our capacity to implement sustainability across cultures, geographies, and time depends on how we imagine, value, protect and regenerate the landscapes that provide necessary materials and ecosystems services. In the past, these productive landscapes were often shunted to the periphery of design. The Fuller Center for Productive Landscapes at Overlook seeks to engage landscapes of food, of forests, of energy, water or waste, bringing them into the larger discourse of landscape architecture and environmental design.
2017: Landscapes of Waste
Course Information Coming Soon
This seminar will examine the role animals play in shaping the current and future landscape at multiple scales, from puddles to forests. We will seek to understand the world as an animal perceives it; our demands on animals as co-inhabitants and co-creators of landscapes; and the conflicts and unintended consequences of our relationship with animals as we design and steward landscapes. In doing so, we will consider landscape architects as form-makers, place-makers and ecosystem engineers; and question our role and capacity as design collaborators with other organisms.
“Water has become a commodity. Like other commodities, it now divides us between the haves and have-nots. Clean water and sanitation will further define us as nations, in how we carry forward our abilities to care for our peoples and our respect for the community of nations.” -The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski
This seminar will examine the design of waterscapes at multiple scales, from parks and gardens to follies and fountains. We will explore water as a spatial and territorial agent of change, a matrix for design intervention; as a phenomenological and evocative material, a design medium; and as a cultural lodestone, poetry and myth.
The goal of the seminar is to engage energy in ways that are resourceful, efficient, and poetic. We will focus on how environmental designers and planners can meaningfully contribute to the conversation about the sustainability, aesthetics, and ethical use of land in the process of power generation, distribution, and use. We will study current and emerging practices of power generation in the Pacific Northwest, including hydroelectricity, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Through readings, site visits, graphic analysis, and design, we will explore the disconnect between people and infrastructure. So many of the systems we rely on are invisible: water flows when we turn the tap and lights glow when we flip a switch. This disconnect between system design and resource use generates indifference and ignorance; we cannot care about that which we do not see. This seminar reveals the infrastructure and potential of power.
Out of the Woods will be critically investigating sustainable forestry at the spatial scale of small woodlands and family forests (10-999 acres) and the temporal scale of old growth forests. This investigation will touch on current practices of environmental design, such as in public perception and participation in the decision-making process concerning forest management policy and practices; land planning for forest ecosystems that straddles human needs, such as recreation, hunting, timber, and spiritual renewal, with the needs of other species and the intrinsic values of the forest; visualization across spatially and temporally distant landscapes and events; and expansion of environmental literacy and stewardship through community outreach and education.
The subject matter concerning forest history, management, ecologies, restoration, and ethics is vast. What we can hope to accomplish in this quarter is to provide a nuanced overview of where or how forest issues may intersect with environmental design, as seen through the work and insights of experts in an array of disciplines.