Sustainable Dialogues III: Disaster, Reconstruction, and Design.
A Public Symposium on Disaster Relief, Urban Renewal, and Sustainability.
June 28, 2008
A+D Architecture and Design Museum
5900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles

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Following the catastrophic impact of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, as well as events such as the relinquishing of control of the Panama Canal by the U.S. to Panama, an incredible outpouring of international response from architects and environmentalist has resulted in a wide-range of alternative sustainable deign strategies and proposals. Such global political and ecological upheavals emerging in the 21st century, that are resulting in massive reconfigurations of urban and natural territories, have given rise to new collaborative efforts by innovative architects and experts on sustainability, design, and planning from around the world that are working to develop new strategies relevant for the planning processes currently underway in New Orleans, Southeast Asia, Panama, and many other places.

What role should sustainable architecture and urban design play in the on-going process of recovery, reconstruction and planning for the future? Given the range of catastrophic events currently unfolding around the globe, this symposium will consider the larger context of environmental changes in ecological patterns, ranging from tsunamis to hurricanes to the reunification of formerly politically divided urban territories. What impact do these processes have on the reorganization of the natural and man-made landscapes and the role the design community can play in initiating changes? The importance of collective thought and action, drawn from various regions of the globe, mark the emergence of new strategies for imagining the reconstruction of the contemporary city as an alternative and sustainable form of urbanism.

All events are free and open to the public.

Following Sustainable Dialogues I, a symposium held in Bangkok in June 2007, and Sustainable Dialogues II, held in Panama in November 2007, Sustainable Dialogues III will bring together individuals from the former panels to meet various architects and planners in the United States. The goal is to bring together the most critical voices of individuals from Asia and Latin America, who have contributed to new dialogues between catastrophic events, ecology and the role of design in reconstruction efforts, with US planners and architects contending with local issues of similar nature. The 2007 symposiums played a central role in establishing an impressive network of people from around the globe. In this sense, disasters have provided a new opportunity for American architects and planners to meet and converse with people from various metropolitan locales to work together in developing new alternative urban planning strategies.  
The Sustainable Dialogues Symposia Series have been held in conjunction with the exhibition After the Flood: Building on Higher Ground. After the Flood was commisioned by Architectural Record and Curated by Christian D. Bruun for the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale. After travelilng to Bangkok and Panama with the support of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the exhibition opened at A+D Museum in Los Angeles and has been updated to reflect current developments in New Orleans - including the Make it Right foundation founded by Brad Pitt.

For more information on After the Flood, please visit:

Symposium Organizers:                    Anthony Fontenot and Christian Ditlev Bruun


A+D Architecture and Design Museum
5900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles

AIA MEMBERS can self report continuing education credits online at

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

10:30 hrs: Registration
10:45 hrs: General Introduction

Panel 1. Disaster + Ecology
Drawing on lessons learned following the devastation caused by Tsunamis and Hurricanes in Southeast Asia and New Orleans, as well as the massive reconfiguration of urban territories in Panama following the return of the Panama Canal, what are the new limits and opportunities for re-conceptualizing urbanization as a sustainable process?

11:00 hrs
1.  ANDREW CURTIS, GIS Research Laboratory, Dept. of Geography, USC (Los Angeles)
2. JOHANNES WIDODO, Director of CASA and executive editor of JSEAA (Singapore)
3. MANUEL TRUTE, Professor of Urban Planning (Panama) 
4. PATAMA ROONRAKWIT, Community Architects for Shelter and Environment (CASE) (Thailand)
Moderator: TBD

12:30 hrs: Lunch

Panel 2. Reconstruction + Planning
Traditional planning has often fixated on large-scale, unchanging and ideal plans. How does the current practice of sustainable planning challenge such ideals in its attempt to implement sustainable changes?

01:30 hrs
1. ALVARO URIBE, Professor of urbanism at the University of Panama and researcher CELA (Panama)
2. MARK MILLER, President, MK Think (San Francisco)
3. JAMES DART, Principal, dArchitects (New York)
5. RAYMOND VAIL NICHOLSON, Architectural and Engineering Consultant CSI CDT (Vancouver)
Moderator: KIMBERLY MEYER, Director MAK Center for Art and Architecture (Los Angeles)

03:00 hrs: Break

Panel 3. Design + Implementation

In the reconstruction of devastated areas, opportunities for massive-scale rebuilding of the built environment are often presented. What are the various ways in which sustainable design can inform not only new ways of thinking about individual buildings but their relationship to large-scale planning?

03.30 hrs
1. JEFFREY B. CAUSEY, AIA, LEED AP, Cooper Carry Architects (Atlanta)
2. MATTHEW BERMAN, Principal, workshop / apd (New York) 
3. WALKER WELLS, AICP LEED AP, Global Green (Los Angeles)
4. RAISA BANFIELD, Director Projects/Participation at Center of Environmental Repercussion (Panama)
5. ALEJANDRA LILLO of GRAFT, Make it Right (Berlin/Los Angeles)
Moderator: CLIFFORD A. PEARSON, Deputy Editor, Architectural Record

5:30 hrs: Reception


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