A Disciplinary Guide to Currents: Water

M.Arch. Research Studio with Heather Roberge – 2018-19


For years, Southern Californians have reduced water use in response to a hotter climate and multiyear drought. While simultaneously, hurricanes of increasing severity have affected the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, revealing the human toll and destructive after effects of coastal storm surge, impervious urban development, inadequate stormwater management, and human inaction in the face of climate change. Too much and too little water will radically transform the future of human life, impacting cities, food supplies and economies.

Miami is on the front lines of climate change. This studio imagines new forms of urbanism for Miami after sea level rise. Imagining a future urbanism for South Florida requires a suspension of disbelief commensurate with that of Miami’s property owners and real estate developers. Thus, as a studio we set aside what we believe is advisable, pragmatic, and economically prudent: the near future, human abandonment of South Florida. Instead we embraced the speculative and what may now seem improbable. Why? Because it doesn’t make sense to continue to build in coastal environments and yet, people will (at least for the foreseeable future.)

This studio describes speculative urban futures in response to forecasted climate change. We locate architecture under rain-soaked roofs and above rising tides. In this space under and over water, we distribute urban form, transportation and utility infrastructure that can no longer survive Miami’s rising water table.

Embedded City by Chris Doerr, Daniel Greteman, Xihan Lyu, Caroline Watts

Entropic City by Talia Landes, Nichole Tortorici, Yiran Chen, Xiangkun Hu

Learn more at https://aud.ucla.edu/student-work/archive/disciplinary-guide-to-currents-water




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