Niall Kirkwood, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology
This paper focuses on the possibilities for cities and their hinterlands to progress economically and culturally through advancing highly modern industrial manufacturing and production in concert with the environment and the changing forces in the contemporary urban landscape. I refer to this as the ‘Fifth Industrial Revolution’ and I will explain the term and its derivation but suffice to say that it sits uncomfortably with and challenges much of my own previous research work by demanding that the post-industrial city and its landscape be considered an interim step in the evolution of the site rather than a terminal point both developmentally and ecologically. It is also I believe where the fields of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture can lead through the design, industrial ecology and nature. This is a research effort that is ongoing in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, it is still in need of continued intensive effort and study and it is worth noting that it overturns many of the Department of Landscape Architecture’s previous positions related to the role of ecology in design, the place of industry in the city landscape (usually swept away along with jobs to make room for verdant parks and waterfront promenades), as well as the source of design ideas for landscape designers and planners. I want to suggest that it looks to the interrelationship of the technical, the humanistic and the symbolic through the collective ideas of work, energy and city form. It engages with advanced manufacturing as a vital agent in shaping a new form of a city landscape or at least in opening up questions regarding the tools of industrial ecology and industry’s role in continuing to be a force in society. We can urge on behalf of urbanity and the development of ‘smart cars’, ‘driverless cars’ and ‘compact folding cars’ but cars still need to be manufactured and who does it, where and how and can it ever be considered sustainable? This paper presents the nature of industrial work in the City as it is defined now and may emerge in the future and the role of design in leading the planning and design implications of this type of manufacturing practice. This addresses initiatives developed at Harvard crossing between the fields of industrial ecology, environmental engineering, and the design and planning disciplines that I will endeavor to show through the process and results of research carried out in the Summer of 2019 The subtitle of the paper is titled- Co-Opting Urban Industrial Symbiosis for Urban Resilience and is focused on the City of Ulsan and hinterlands, (population of 1.1 million) located in the south-eastern part of the Republic of Korea where established fabrication zones, industrial complexes and civic residential neighborhoods are all located within an intense natural setting of coastal shorelines, mountains and meadows and are to be rethought and remade over the next decade. I want to suggest how the basic elements of the city (land, water and infrastructure) integrate within the Ulsan industrial and civic culture to produce a modern city industrial landscape that takes account of the shifting collective concerns of public and private agencies and companies.
Gareth Doherty, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Rosalea Monacella, Design Critic in Landscape Architecture
Craig Douglas, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Jill Desmini, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
This project builds on the first stage of work that culminated in the exhibition titled ‘Energy||Power; Shaping the American Landscape’ at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Loeb Library in 2020. This work explored the acute obligation to upgrade and expand the electrical power grid to meet the demands of growing urban communities, and simultaneously address global implications of climate change that require a rethinking of these infrastructures to inherently hold a capacity for adaptation, and concurrently serve as the modulating organizational structure of the urban fabric. Much of the U.S. energy system predates the turn of the 21st century. Most electric transmission and distribution lines were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s with a 50year life expectancy, and the more than 640,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in the lower 48 states’ power grids are at full capacity.01 This design research pursues the creative potential that is to emerge through a study of infrastructure’s capacity to directly inform the shape of the urban fabric of the city, and the possibility to affect its agency in response to the need for cities to respond to future environmental, technological, economic, and social challenges. The aim is to develop alternative urban assemblages as deployable prototypes that incorporate the territorial consequences at a regional scale in order to shift the structure of the city to a position of accountability for its own power and water consumption at the scale of the city and concurrently at the broader region from which its resources are harvested. This next phase of the work proposes to collect, capture and disseminate the first stage work of the exhibition into a printed publication for distribution and a one-day symposium to extend and share the work through the active engagement of key researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders with the larger design community.