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Drylands Design


“Water scarcity is the history and the future of the American West. Re-thinking water use, particularly in the face of climate change, will be central to our region’s survival. Designers are poised to meet this challenge, particularly since the answers to this future crisis exceed the grasp of a single discipline, and touch all dimensions of the way people live and work.” – Arid Lands Institute DRYLANDS DESIGN featured work by architects, landscape architects, engineers, and urban designers responding to the challenges of water scarcity in the face of climate change. With a focus on the US West, the exhibition presented a portfolio of adaptive strategies large and small, rural and urban, high-tech and low-carbon. Since no single solution can meet the complex needs of the US West, the exhibition explored a range of approaches for how buildings and parks, houses and streets, industry and agriculture, cities and neighborhoods might be adapted to face a drought-prone future. DRYLANDS DESIGN recognized water scarcity as an issue of global concern, and challenged the industrialized world to take a leadership position with water-conserving, low-carbon design innovation for its own backyard.  

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At the heart of the exhibition were winning visions by Chau Nguyen, Rebecca Lederer, Geeti Silwal, Tom Kosbau, Meghan Storm, Gini Lee, Robert Lamb, AIA, Laurel McSherry and Ye Hua.

The winning visions were chosen from hundreds of submissions to the William Turnbull International Drylands Design Competition, hosted by the California Architectural Foundation, AIA California Council, and Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University.

Jury members included Tom Anglewicz, FAIA, President, California. Architectural Foundation; Teddy Cruz, AIA, Estudio Cruz, San Diego; Mary Griffin, FAIA, Principal, Turnbull Griffin Haseloop Architects, San Francisco; Keith McPeters, Principal, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Landscape Architects, Seattle; Enrique Norten, Hon. FAIA, TEN_Arquitectos, Mexico City and New York; Greg Otto, Principal, Buro Happold, Engineers, Los Angeles; and Michael Rotondi, FAIA, Roto Architecture, Los Angeles.

DRYLANDS DESIGN was an initiative of the Arid Lands Institute (ALI), a design-based education and outreach center based at Woodbury University that recognizes water scarcity and hydrologic variability as the defining challenge facing the West. Woodbury School of Architecture is a proud supporter of the ALI’s mission and activities.

The exhibition advisory board includes Hadley and Peter Arnold, Arid Land Institute; Michael Lehrer, Lehrer Architects; Mia Lehrer, Mia Lehrer + Associates; Peggy Weil, HeadsUp! Times Square; Jonathan Katz, Cinnabar; Louis Molina, Woodbury School of Architecture; and Cliff Garten, Cliff Garten Studio. Exhibition design provided by Chu + Gooding Architects. Graphic design collaborators April Greiman / Made in Space.

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