Water Index: Design Strategies for Drought, Flooding and Contamination

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9781940291406: Water Index: Design Strategies for Drought, Flooding and Contamination

In the wake of an escalating global crisis with water, Water Index is the first critical inventory and analysis of innovative architecture, landscape architecture and design solutions to address the rising, disappearing, and contamination of water. As an ecological disaster complex ferments in contemporary architectural discourse, design competition briefs, conference topics and journal themes optimistically call for designers to reconcile or reimagine the relationship between water, architecture and city. Anxiety is elevated by the onslaught of extreme weather in the form of super-storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, landslides, floods, and droughts whose frequencies and intensities continue to increase. Couple the ever-present exposure to disaster with scientific data that suggests a future characterized by climate change and population growth, and then we have the ingredients for a full-fledged paranoia: the perfect motivation for absurd, expansive and radical building projects. Water Index, examines three hydrological tragedies (flood, contamination, and drought) through strategies that offer methods for controlling, escaping, or adapting to the vital natural resource.
Water Index is a collective vision of the future that provides solutions for every continent and spans the disciplines of urban design, landscape architecture and architecture. The book works to create an enduring manual and manifesto for water development and design in the twenty-first century and to acknowledge crisis-initiated design as an important trajectory for architectural discourse. Water Index highlights a moment when designers have linked formal concerns with social, ecological and political agendas offering solutions for expanding global problems.

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About the Author:

Seth McDowell is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia and a co-founding partner of the design practice, mcdowellespinosa, based in New York City and Charlottesville, Virginia. McDowell received a Master of Architecture from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and a Bachelor of Science in Design from Clemson University. His design work has been recognized internationally by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Museum of Modern Art in NYC, Pamphlet Architecture, the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

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