Landscape Architecture

Posted November 12, 2018

‘Design With Nature Now’ Speakers Announced

The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology has annouced the speakers for Design With Nature Now, a multimedia exploration of dynamic and visionary approaches to landscape design and development in the face of climate change and urbanization.

Taking as its point of departure the landmark book Design With Nature (1969) by Ian McHarg, the longtime faculty member and first chair of PennDesign’s Department of Landscape Architecture, the project comprises three parallel exhibitions supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, an anthology published by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, and a major international conference featuring leading design thinkers and practitioners from around the globe.

This two-day conference will open on June 21, 2019 with a keynote discussion between Ursula Heise and Erle Ellis, followed by an opening reception for the Design With Nature Now exhibition, documenting 25 built and unbuilt projects exemplifying what it means to design with nature, now. There, visitors can explore projects like Room for the River (H+N+S), Freshkills Park (JCFO), and New Urban Ground (dlandstudio + ARO).

The event will continue on June 22 with panel discussions involving James Corner, Anne Whiston Spirn, Nina-Marie Lister, Rob Holmes, and many others.

Promising to be a singular event for anyone involved in design, climate change, and planning, the Design With Nature Now conference is sponsored by Carl and Roberta Dranoff, Biohabitats, ESRI, OLIN, WRT, James Corner Field Operations, MIthun, Civitas, Hargreaves Associates, and Rhodside & Harwell. 

Visit for registration information.


Featured image: H+N+S Landscape Architects, Sand Motor (Zandmotor in Dutch), 2011. This novel beach replenishment program is located between Kijkduin and Ter Heijde, just south of The Hague and just downriver from the city of Rotterdam. Much of the Dutch coastline has retreated inland over the last millennium due to erosion from wind and ocean currents and, since 1990, has required dredging sand from the North Sea to rebuild beaches and dunes every five years. Additionally, the threat of sea level rise and intense weather patterns due to climate change means that the coastline faces new threats as well. To combat this, Marcel Stive, professor of coastal engineering at Delft University of Technology, dreamed up the idea of a beach nourishment program that uses the natural power of waves, currents, and wind to distribute sand across a much longer timespan. The idea behind the Sand Motor is quite simple: dredge boats moved 21.5 million cubic meters of sand from the floor of the North Sea into a giant bent peninsula of sand that is 2 km wide at its base and 1 km in length. The area impacted by the Sand Motor is currently the best monitored and studied section of beach in the world and marks a radical shift from defensive structures to nature-based strategies. Photo: Joop van Houdt.