Learning from Resilience

During the Collaborative Research Phase of Resilient by Design, 12 Bay Area graduate and undergraduate courses from California College of the Arts (CCA), UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and Stanford paralleled the Resilient by Design process. Their research informed the final Design Opportunities of the 10 Design Teams and has fed into the greater collective knowledge base of regional resilience. A selection of work from these courses are featured below.


Known Unknowns: Scales of Inclusion

This studio 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. Projects developed novel and effective techniques for architects to manage uncertainty.


buoyant Ecologies

The 2017 Buoyant Ecologies architectural studio focused on the Maldives, a nation averaging only 1.5 meters above the current sea level. The Maldives consist of over 1100 islands arranged in 26 atolls famous for their pristine coral reefs and resorts. Less photographed are their more populated islands where many smaller villages subsist on fishing and tourism, both of which are in danger of devastation from erosion, warming oceans and rising seas. The studio recognized this mutual dependence of ecology and economy and speculated on an adaptive architectural prototype capable of providing the Maldivians with a way to live independently of the land and self sufficiently on the ocean. Building upon previous research work testing digitally fabricated marine substrates in ocean water, the architectural studio scales up this research to investigate the formation of a floating community built upon a symbiotic relationship between housing, tourism, and research.

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Disasters, Decisions, Development in Sustainable Urban Systems

Stanford students are participating through a project-based, service-learning course that closely mirrors RBD. The Sustainable Urban Systems Initiative and Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Department of Geophysics, and Bill Lane Center for the American West (Public Policy) have joined forces to organize this course, called D3+SUS (Disasters, Decisions, Development in Sustainable Urban Systems). Students have formed interdisciplinary teams and are working alongside governments and community groups to identify critical vulnerabilities in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and nurture participatory solutions that will strengthen the Bay Area's resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding and earthquakes.