polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

SHIFT: Infrastructure and Process

by Tipton Fowlkes

The inaugural issue of SHIFT: infrastructure suggests that the integration of natural systems into the built environment provides for a more sustainable model of landscape architecture in infrastructure design. However, the skillful employment of ecological principles does not necessarily ensure a culturally sensitive design. In the 21st century, Landscape Architecture faces the challenge of not only creating ecologically regenerative designs, but doing so in a way that engages the public through education, community mobilization, and inspiration. This is important not only for the long-term viability of the design, but also for its economic success.

How can we as students re-imagine the design process that engages modern culture (such as changes in media, communication technology, and social networking)? This new process should holistically integrate the designer, the users, and ecology in the process of design. What does this process look like? Where does it take place? How do these processes improve on current techniques?

SHIFT: process calls for submissions from current students from any discipline, or student work from graduates within the past 2 years. We are looking for work that encourages debate and discussion of this important topic through informed and academically rigorous creative thinking. Each submission will be reviewed by an independent jury, which is composed of nationally recognized leaders in Landscape Architecture.

Submissions may be: academic essays (up to 3,000 words), narratives, project graphics including mixed media, or anything one considers key in communicating their ideas. We strongly encourage graphics, photography, diagrams, flash animation, stop motion animation, models, social networking tools, games, community building art forms, puzzles, interactive media of any kind, and … you get the idea. Each submissions must include a concise written abstract with bibliography.

Please make your submissions by February 15, 2011. Send any questions to mnevans@ncsu.edu.

Credits: Photo of pedestrian infrastructure in Mumbai found via FastCompany.