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Achieving Climate Action through Practice, Academia, & Policy

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See how COLLABORATION and REENVISIONING across practice, academia, community, and government can be part of the answer to climate change. Ashlie Latiolais, AIA, shares her work in New Iberia, LA. She suggests new modes and methods of architectural practice and education to inspire a new generation of architects to re-imagine conventional deliverables in architectural community work. Richard Mohler, AIA, describes the climate and social equity challenges created by single-family zoning. He shares the results from a collaboration of his University of Washington design studio, AIA Seattle, and city government to revise public policy to be more aligned with the city’s climate and social equity goals. Designer Sasha Plotnikova illustrates how designing for de-growth presents an alternative model to conventional US urban development practices. She gives architects a way to help foster and realize community-based visions of equitable development that is also climate-responsive design. Ann Yoachim shares the work of Tulane’s community design center as a case study. Increased intensity of weather events and failing infrastructure have resulted in regular flooding of streets, homes, and businesses (including the center itself). Responding to immediate needs and planning for potential climate futures are often in conflict, so an engaged design process, related and unique projects, and research offer architecture practice and education an opportunity to respond.

Course expires on 12/14/2023.

Learning Objectives


Learn how to plant the seeds that blossom into stronger, more sustainable communities. Identify new techniques to respond to the current ecological crises and educate and train (future and current) architects to design buildings that co-exist with the environment, in improved ways from those that have formed the basis of the current environmental emergency.


Explore new modes and methods of inquiry and architectural practice to re-imagine and create environments that are socially equitable and ecologically sustainable. Create work (projects and research) that contributes directly to the greater public understanding of the role and value of professional architects.


Understand how outside influences can impact projects and how to stay aware to prevent unintended consequences that negatively impact our environment, our project, and our quality of life. Learn how to advance climate action and environmental stewardship through advising elected officials in revising public policy to be more aligned with climate and social equity goals necessary to address the magnitude of ecological, social, and economic challenges we face.


Learn how collaboration with clients, community members, stakeholders, and multiple expert groups can facilitate the design and planning process as well as educate and create capacity within the community to advocate for climate action and improved quality of life for all.

This course was recorded live on July 28, 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.