(Posted here a bit late – SD)

It has to start somewhere
t has to start sometime
What better place than here
what better time than now?

(R.A.t.M., “Guerilla Radio”)

This studio began with Joe Romm’s observation that climate change will be the big story of the next 25 years, like the Internet has been the big story of the last 25 years. If you’re in college now, that’s the big story of your career. Impacts on business, economics, and human use of land and buildings will be/are so pervasive that climate change will/is shaping your future, no matter your politics or professional field.

In turn, one of the biggest stories of climate change impacts and adaptation is how we don’t/use energy, both fossil fuels in decline and clean energy in ascendance. Energy use in business, industry, construction and demolition, human comfort, and transportation is a major shaper of the landscape, especially in cities, so with energy change comes landscape change. Yet big public projects on the scale of the interstate highway system or rural electrification now face seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Our cities face real challenges, distilled at the opening of this studio into data|heat|neglect. However the next 25 years unfold, solutions will have to engage with these challenges, leveraging them as forces to improve environments for all residents, human and otherwise. Solutions that are finding traction now are frequently urbanist in outlook and grass-roots in execution. This is the moment of small interventions guided by global goals, of tiny steps scaling the mountain.

How does your big Energy in the Landscape idea change a specific site in Syracuse?

Project site: One site (1/2 acre max; include both landscape and building(s)) selected by individual students from within the City of Syracuse

What to do/design program:

  • Gather feedback from Student Sketchbook Dialog (4.5.16) and syracusesketchbook.weebly.com , and critique its value, considering the speaker’s viewpoint in each case. What directives does this provide for developing your design?
  • Return to your goals and site selection criteria from Part I. Do these need revision now? Revise as necessary and (re) apply these to Syracuse. Select all possible sites using your criteria.
  • Return to data|heat|neglect (re-read blog posts; review links from Twitter). Select a final site for design intervention using these from your set of all possible sites. What single site engages best/most usefully/most provocatively with these three big trends?
  • Design an intervention for your single site that:
    • Addresses as many REV goals as possible.
    • Clearly responds to data|heat|neglect
    • Is as realistic and buildable as your current point in the degree program allows (eg: if you’ve had construction, include schematic construction details).
    • Lean toward small and manageable: while we have no stated budget, the smaller and more realistic the intervention, the more likely it is to speak to non-designers and actually be built. Consider the temporary, the informal, and the crowd-sourced.

Project schedule:
Th 4.7              Part II brief distributed; Part II begins. Syracusesketchbook.weebly.com live COB.
Tu 4.12            Regular studio meeting in Slocum
Th 4.14            NYS Green Building conference at Oncenter; no regular studio meeting; email me for appointment if you want
Tu 4.19            1:15 Guest lecture in CoE 203: Richard Graves (U. Minnesota and USGBC); in-class digital presentation of *final* drawings (not layout).
Th 4.21            Regular studio meeting in Slocum; work on layout and digital production of final exhibit pieces.
Tu 4.26            5:00 p.m. Energy in the Landscape boards due to class folder (in pdf) and online posts
(Print, mount, etc. poster session exhibit pieces)
Th 5.5              3:00 pm -6:30 pm Final poster session exhibit at Syracuse Center of Excellence, second floor (or as announced)
(Fill out Survey Monkey re how all this went)


  • Poster session exhibit pieces. Final parameters TBD in class, but tentatively boards to fit within 36” wide x 60” high. You are *encouraged* to push the boundaries of this format!
  • Final graphic content posted on social media, either directly or via your online portfolio. Details TBD in class discussion.
  • Pdfs of poster session exhibit pieces uploaded to class folder. If you do an different format for posting online, please upload a copy of that or link as well.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Documentation and/or representation of all possible sites in Syracuse using your site selection criteria.
  • Documentation and/or illustration of logic used to select final site, and how it incorporates data|heat|neglect.
  • Documentation and/or illustration of REV goals addressed by design.
  • Response to data|heat|neglect as defined in blog posts and class discussion.
  • Clear logical connection between components and steps.
  • Deliverables communicate well and at an appropriate level of detail to a professional but non-design audience.
  • Deliverables demonstrate good graphic representation and craft.
  • Poster session exhibit materials demonstrate good layout as a composition.
  • Online posts made as directed and final pdfs uploaded to course folder.

Copyright © 2016  Susan Dieterlen