WIN 2020: BE 405/505 – Resilient Communities on the Pacific Rim, Westport/South Beach, WA

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Resilient Communities on the Pacific Rim: Westport/South Beach, WA
BE 405/505 / McKinley Futures Studio
Winter 2021
MWF 1:30-5:20 | 6 credits

(Open to students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design & Planning; satisfies one studio requirement for the Urban Design Certificate)


Ken Tadashi Oshima, PhD, Professor, Architecture

Dan Abramson, PhD, Associate Professor, Urban Design & Planning

* Please email both instructors with any questions. Architecture students request add codes for BE 405 from Prof. Oshima; Graduate and UD Certificate students request BE 505 add codes from Prof. Abramson.  Architecture students should identify interest in this studio during studio selection process.


This interdisciplinary studio will support efforts by the City of Westport and South Beach Community to achieve resilience in the face of earthquakes, tsunamis, sea level rise, and other coastal hazards. Students will explore combinations of architectural, landscape, community design, transportation, and land use strategies that anticipate future environmental changes. Such strategies include the design and programming of tsunami vertical evacuation structures and their integration into the landscape and community; integrating Westport’s Complete Streets program with its evacuation plan; and envisioning ecologically low-impact uphill developments for current amenity and future refuge and resettlement.


The graduate section of the studio will also coordinate with an on-going National Science Foundation (NSF) Coastlines and People (CoPe) project to develop a visual and textual geo-narrative of past and future hazards and environmental change in the community. The student design explorations and the geo-narrative – a platform for engaging community members in resilient strategy development – will make use of a high-resolution 3D digital model of the community and its landscape. Students will have (optional) opportunities to visit the community in person according to COVID-safe university protocols, but the model will facilitate an exceptionally immersive experience of the environment when in-person visits are not possible.


Student work will be of direct use to the community in on-going planning projects; receive national attention through the NSF CoPe project, “Coastal Hazard Planning in Time”; and receive international attention through the inter-university ArcDR3 Initiative, including presentation at the 10th anniversary of Japan’s 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2021. Lessons from that and other disasters and recoveries around the Pacific will also inform the studio work.