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ARCHT-550

Water / Infrastructures / Landscapes Water in the landscape comes in many forms: rain, rivers, oceans, mist, springs, streams, and swamps, etc. These waters shape and order landscapes. The capture and transformation of water through hydraulic infrastructure imposes a second order on landscapes: whether urban, suburban, rural, or wild. This second order then shapes and encourages political, economic, religious, social, cultural, and technological ideas, actions, and reactions, which in turn reshape water infrastructures. Increasingly, water is no longer a local concern. Infrastructures now allow us to extract water from great depths and transport it from long distances. Local water use therefore can have a negative, and perhaps irreparable, impact on far-away landscapes. We drink the water and use it to generate electricity, flush toilets, manufacture silicon chips, and water lawns. To understand water in the Bay Area therefore requires an understanding of most Western watersheds and also global politics and economics. In this seminar, water, infrastructures, and landscapes will all be examined as an integrated subject through readings, class discussions, field trips, and through short design projects. Our focus will be on water, infrastructure, and landscapes in California, although exceptional landscapes from other areas will also be investigated for comparative purposes. We will study contemporary and historic design projects and strategies as a means of evaluating their effectiveness and also to generate new approaches to design that respond to, and anticipate environmental changes in complex twenty-first century landscapes. This course is part of CCA's "Water Works" program. These courses explore ways to integrate science into the studio. The work produced in these courses will be included in a college-wide exhibition on science and architecture, art, design, and writing.