Designing Across Scales for Climate Action

Design for Climate Action: AIA - ACSA Intersections Symposium 2020

Explore how today's designers are tackling climate action across a range of scales.


Learn about four projects that address material exploration, buildings and systems, landscapes and habitats, and infrastructure. The Pulp studio, by Stephanie Davidson, uses recycled cellulose-based materials to cast temporary, biodegradable, thin-shell structures. She asks designers to see materials as responsive, constantly transforming, and asks them to consider where materials come from and where they end up, when making design decisions. The Pollinators Pavilion by architect Ariane Harrison seeks a larger role for architecture in environmental activism and focuses on biodiversity conservation and materials exploration. She uses artificial intelligence and automated scientific monitoring strategies to create and analyze habitat systems and increase building awareness. Award-winning Salty Urbanism presented by Jeffrey Huber, AIA, features projects in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Venice, California. These projects use coastal-hazard adaptation approaches and a design framework for urban areas to address economic, engineering, environmental, and quality of life issues. Finally, landscape architect Zaneta Hong’s studio research demonstrates how changes in agricultural practices and food systems could address growing global populations and impact climate change, while defining roles of architects and designers in transforming future landscapes and material systems.

Learning objectives

  • Discover multiple ways to collaboratively address climate change and positively impact the public’s health, safety, and welfare, through innovative design and materials development that address water and stormwater management, materials, and species extinction.
  • Learn ways that artificial intelligence technology impacts architecture and can improve our ability to design more resilient and sustainable ecosystems.
  • Discover new tools and design methodologies, using a multi-scale approach, that helps connect segregated disciplines, such as urban planning and environmental engineering with architecture, to meet complex challenges of urban development and water rise, while also generating action between bottom-up design thinking and top-down policy and planning.
  • Discover how we should be planning and designing today for our future global needs. Understand why mindful building processes, handling of resources (including material decisions), and awareness of our impact on the environment are critical to climate action. Action must begin now so that climate action successfully makes its way further into the construction industry’s education and practice.


This course was recorded live on July 29, 2020, as part of the Design for Climate Action: AIA - ACSA Intersections Symposium 2020. Selected from more than 120 blind, peer-reviewed projects, the projects featured were curated, and the symposium moderated, by Co-Chairs, Phoebe Crisman, AIA, and Kyle Konis, AIA.

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 $50  non-member
 $35  member
1.50 LUs
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Phoebe Crisman


    Professor of Architecture | University of Virginia

    Phoebe Crisman AIA is a Professor of Architecture and Director of the interdisciplinary Global...
  • Stephanie Davidson

    Assistant Professor | Ryserson School of Interior Design

    Stephanie Davidson is an assistant professor at the Ryerson School of Interior Design in Toronto,...
  • Ariane Lourie Harrison

    PhD, AIA

    Principal and co-founder | Harrison Atelier

    Ariane Lourie Harrison, PhD, AIA, is a Principal and co-founder of Harrison Atelier, a registered...
  • Zaneta Hong

    Assistant Professor | University of Virginia

    Zaneta Hong is an assisstant professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia,...
  • Jeffrey E. Huber


    Principal, Director of Urban Design and Planning | Brooks + Scarpa Architects

    Jeffrey E. Huber, AIA, Assoc. ASLA, NCARB, LEED AP, is Principal, Director of Urban Design and...
  • Kyle Konis

    PhD, AIA

    Associate Professor of Architecture | University of Southern California

    Kyle Konis, Ph.D, AIA is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at USC. Prof. Konis’ research...