How can utilization of water lead to its excess or scarcity? And what its opportunities for resilience-based design? That is exactly the focus of the work by renowned architect and landscape architect Anuradha Mathur and architect and planner Dilip da Cuna. They will be in the Netherlands early December and will give an extra 1·Lectures on 5 December 2019 at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam.
Separating land and water is not just an act of division; it is also an act of creation. It creates land and water from ubiquitous wetness, defining them on either side of a line. It is one of the first acts of design, setting out a ground of habitation with a line that has largely been naturalized in features such as the coastline, the riverbank, and the water’s edge. These features are subjected to artistic representations, scientific inquiry, infrastructural engineering, and landscape design with little awareness of the act that brought them into being. Today, however, with the increasing frequency of flood and, not unrelatedly, sea-level rise attributed to climate change, the line of separation has come into sharp focus with proposals for walls, levees, natural defenses, and land retirement schemes. These responses raise questions on where the line is drawn, but they also raise questions on the separation that this line facilitates. Is this separation found in nature or does nature follow from its assertion? Are there other beginnings to design and consequently, other possible natures and grounds of habitation?
This question is raised by Dilip da Cunha in his new book “The Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent.” It is beneath Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha’s design inquiry and practice for two decades. Through projects, exhibitions, studios and writings, they have critiqued the land-water imagination that they see underlying the current ground of habitation. And they are invested in seeding new imaginations grounded in wetness, its ubiquity, complexity and propensity for openness.
Dilip da Cunha is co-director of the Risk and Resilience program at Harvard University, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. Anuradha Mathur is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
They are authors of Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (2001); Deccan Traverses: The Making of Bangalore’s Terrain (2006); Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary (2009); and co-editor of Design in the Terrain of Water (2014). Dilip da Cunha’s most recent book, The Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press (2019).
Date: Thursday 5 December 2019
Time: 8 PM / Doors 7.45 PM
Location: Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, Waterlooplein 213
Tickets: Students of the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture have free access on presentation of their student card. For lectures that take place at the Academy, students do not have to reserve tickets in advance. Not a student, but interested? Single tickets (€ 7,50 each) are available in the webshop of the Amsterdam Architecture Centre.
About the 1·Lectures
Since 2014, the Academy of Architecture has been organising the 1·Lectures in collaboration with the Amsterdam Architecture Centre. This series of architectural lectures provides a platform for speakers from home and abroad to talk about a variety of topics from the international world of architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture. Read more...