The College of Architecture is excited to announce internationally renowned design activist Jeffrey Hou, professor of landscape architecture and the director of Urban Commons Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle, will be giving the next Hyde lecture titled “Design for Resilience” at 4 p.m., October 22nd via Zoom Webinar.
Jeff Hou’s work focuses on public space and democracy, community design and civic engagement. In a career that spans the Pacific, Hou has worked with indigenous tribes, farmers and fishers in Taiwan; neighborhood residents in Japan; villagers in China; and youth and elders in North American cities on projects ranging from conservation of wildlife habitats to designs of urban open spaces. With a multidisciplinary background in architecture, landscape architecture and planning, Hou has written extensively on the agency of citizens and communities in shaping the built environments, with publications including “Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities” and more recently “City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy.” His current projects include Spaces of Creative Resistance, supported by the Global Innovation Fund at the University of Washington.
For this lecture, Hou examines how designers and planners can positively impact the increasingly unstable environment humans now find themselves in. While the COVID-19 pandemic presents a widespread and profound challenge for the global society in recent times, it’s far from the only one. Calamities, including extreme climate events, have also destabilized the once taken for granted normalcy of cities and communities. The ability of cities and communities to cope and adapt to future changes and disruptions will play a critical role in the safety and well-being of citizens and places. How design and planning can respond to the increasing levels of uncertainty and disturbances through both tactical interventions and long-term efforts presents one of the most critical challenges for the allied professions. Faced with such a profound task at hand, the conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic do offer important lessons for consideration. This talk offers several key observations concerning the specific issues of adaption, equity, scaling and mutual aid. These issues in turn suggest the importance of empathy, justice and interconnectivity in designing and planning for the post-pandemic futures.
This presentation is part of the College of Architecture’s 2021-2022 Hyde Lecture Series featuring speakers from across disciplines that are united under the common theme of “Emerging Opportunities for Equality in Planning and Design.” The series focuses on the anticipated “new normal” and looks to draw insight and explore what solutions planners and designers can offer in the Post-Pandemic Future.
The college’s Hyde Lecture Series is a long-standing, endowed, public program. Each year the college hosts compelling speakers in the fields of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and planning that enrich the ongoing dialog around agendas which are paramount to the design disciplines and our graduates.