Material Texts: Anuradha Mathur (Landscape Architecture, Penn) and Dilip da Cunha (Graduate School of Design, Harvard): “Designing the Place of Water”

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center
6th Floor of Van-Pelt Library

We will be welcoming Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha for a talk entitled: “Designing the Place of Water.” Anuradha and Dilip write:

We focus this talk on a specific line and its time: the line that separates water from land on the earth surface. This line is deeply inscribed in text, image, and imagination across disciplines even as it is enforced by regulation and infrastructure on the ground. Amidst the outcry and battle over climate change and concern for the devastating consequences that will come with water crossing this line, we call attention to the sighting and drawing of this line as a choice and first act of a pervasive design practice. While there is no question that this line has brought great success, we ask if it has worked to conceal failures such as flood by defining them as exceptional, even natural, events. We also ask if there are people who live without the literacy of this line and therefore without the vocabulary of land and water. We sense their existence in cracks and interstices and in tension with a mainstream that enforces the line, particularly in places of rain. Their situation is all too easily reasoned as chaos, underdevelopment, informality, or otherness. Do they offer another literacy, another time of design, another imagination? 

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