Learning from Resilience


Resilient by Design

Graphitecture Studio at UC Davis, led by Professor Brett Snyder, asked: in what ways can mobile technologies—and more broadly, participatory design—enhance and create more meaningful relationships to our environments?

The studio used Alameda Creek as a case study and projects included an app to allow visitors to see images of the historical creek against predicted disappearing marshland to a project that envisioned underutilized areas of the creek to become magnets for public art.

Source: Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge

Ecological Urban Design Studio

Resilient by Design

UC Berkeley graduate students working with Professor Kristina Hill took on a "placekeeping" design exercise.

This was an intentional departure from traditional "placemaking" - since typical urban placemaking can feel imposed and accelerate displacement in communities of color. Continuing the All Bay Collective partnership, this course was co taught by Professor Hill as well as Jamie Phillips, Nico Wright and Chris Guillard from CMG landscape Architecture.

The students asked whether a residential street right-of-way can do important work for climate and economic adaptation - by adding street trees, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), community agriculture, bike lending libraries - and using canals as a new form of green infrastructure, to draw the high water table down as sea levels rise. The students made maps of street trees and parcel ownership, groundwater and contaminated soils, and shared those with the East Oakland Neighborhood Initiative (EONI), funded by TCC grant to educate and organize about climate change in East Oakland.

They continued working with their All Bay Collective community partners, Marquita Price and Colin Cook-Miller from EONI, and brought in Alameda County's Rohin Saleh, Oakland's new Chief Resilience Officer, Alex McBride, and Oakland planner Dylan Hamilton.

Source: Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge

Stop Calling Me Resilient

Resilient by Design

Students in this design studio at California College of the Arts asked how structural logics can overlay onto the hydrological, biological and infrastructural challenges of sea level rise.

The studio (named after a poster circulated around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) built on the findings of the All Bay Collective to develop design strategies that support social and racial equity in Deep East Oakland. Issues of primary concern included the ownership and management of land, access to resources like energy and water, and the social structure of households and communities.

Source: Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge

Known Unknowns: Scales of Inclusion

Resilient by Design

This studio at California College of the Arts asked how architecture can shape what sociologist Ulrich Bech has called a “risk society”– a society uniquely challenged by the possible side-effects, or risks, of modernization.

Students explored the idea that design in the era of climate change demands collective responses to the challenges of both everyday life and possible futures. They examined the potential impact of existing design strategies on economies, ecologies, communities and governance structures at multiple scales. This was done using ‘mash-up’ techniques– from the logical to the surreal– to structure research and spark unexpected and complex design propositions. Projects developed novel and effective techniques for architects to manage uncertainty.

This studio worked closely with the Urban Works Agency and the All Bay Collective to inform their contribution to the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge.

Source: California College of the Arts

Buoyant Ecosystems

Resilient by Design

The Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab at California College of the Arts is a prototype for a new kind of resilient coastal infrastructure.

It merges expertise from design, advanced digital fabrication manufacturers, and marine ecologists to imagine a floating architecture of the future that can exist productively with its surrounding environment.

This prototype, which builds upon five years of applied research at California College of the Arts, consists of a floating breakwater structure that incorporates an innovative, ecologically optimized fiber-reinforced polymer composite substrate with variable topographies that perform both above and below the water. On the top, the topography is engineered to channel rainwater and produce watershed pools for intertidal or terrestrial habitats. Underwater, the hull’s peaks and valleys vary in size to provide habitats for different types of invertebrates. Water flowing along this underwater landscape brings plankton and other nutrients into these “fish apartments,” helping to promote ecological diversity. In large masses, this biological growth can help attenuate wave action and reduce coastal erosion, one of the primary impacts of climate change and sea level rise. The vessel includes attachment fittings on the underside to suspend future prototypes and further develop the wave attenuation potential of the optimized substrate.

The prototype was deployed in San Francisco Bay in August 2019. It is currently moored in the Port of Oakland’s Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, where it serves as a floating research platform for developing ecologically optimized substrates for wave attenuation. It also serves as an environmental demonstration project and interfaces with public education and community engagement efforts sponsored by the Port of the Oakland.

Source: California College of the Arts

Disasters, Decisions, Development in Sustainable Urban Systems

Resilient by Design

In the 2017-2018 academic year, students from across Stanford University formed interdisciplinary teams and worked alongside community members to identify critical vulnerabilities in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and nurture participatory solutions that could strengthen the Bay Area's resilience to sea level rise.

Alongside the formal process of Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge, Stanford students participated through a project-based, service-learning course that closely mirrored RBD. Stanford’s Sustainable Urban Systems Initiative joined forces with the Department of Geophysics, the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative to organize this project sequence.

Twenty-six students participated and presented their work to the public on December 4th, 2017, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, as well as on December 11th, 2017 at Stanford. Fifteen students continued on to focus on the bayfront communities in San Mateo County and indirect losses such as commute disruption and social equity. Eight students finished with a final report that attracted broadening interest from local and regional partners. Various next steps and research publications are underway.

Source: Stanford University