Finding the relevance in resilience

Submitted by digital on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 15:43
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He and his university are also the latest members of the National Resilience Initiative (NRI), a nationwide network of resilient design studios under the umbrella of the "],[0,[1],1,"American Institute of Architects Foundation"],[0,[],1,"."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[0],1,"We spoke to Graves soon after the announcement about not only the University of Minnesota\u0027s progress on resilient design but also the Center\u0027s newly cemented status as a focal point for this work throughout the Midwest."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"Can you talk a little about the university\u0027s ongoing resilience initiatives and how they contributed to your selection?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Our proposal represented the Center acting as a hub for a collection of partners, including a series of research centers, the university\u0027s "],[0,[3],1,"Metropolitan Design Center"],[0,[],0,", and partnerships with architecture firms in Minneapolis and St. Paul, including "],[0,[4],1,"Perkins+Will"],[0,[],0," and "],[0,[5],1,"HGA"],[0,[],0,", all working on various projects related to resilience. We\u0027ve been informally coordinating all of this work for a long time, but the NRI gave us an opportunity to bring it all together."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u0022As educators, we have to have a longer view and be preparing architects for the future.\u0022 - Richard Graves, AIA"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The work varies from running a "],[0,[6],1,"design studio in Duluth"],[0,[],0," and creating resilient solutions with communities there to responding to a series of floods several years ago that severely damaged parts of our infrastructure. When you look at the body of work as a whole, it\u0027s all on very different scales, and all part of answering the question, \u201cWhat exactly is resilience and community design?\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"Is it possible to quantify the benefits of introducing resilient design at the university level?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The profession as a whole right now has to be asking, \u201cHow do we provide leadership and increase value to the public?\u201d Mix that with today\u0027s students, who are quite different than when I was in school. They\u0027re more socially and environmentally aware and engaged. They want to be trained as an architect and learn how to get a job, of course, but they also want to know how is that connected to doing good."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"It sort of makes the case for the value of the profession. So many folks we work with, especially with projects in rural Minnesota, they don\u0027t work with architects maybe ever. So when you sit down and start working with them, you get feedback along the lines of \u201cWow, we didn\u0027t know this is the kind of thing an architect can do.\u201d It transforms their minds from thinking about big-scale buildings and that stuff, which doesn\u0027t relate to the daily lives of most people. And that benefits the profession, and increases our relevance with policymakers in the state, who can see even more value in what we do."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"As the academic world produces more graduates that have the knowledge and expertise in resilient design, how do you think that will change the industry on a macro level?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"One of my hopes is it takes things like sustainability and resilience and thinking about the public benefits of architecture, and moves them from being an \u201cOh, by the way\u2026\u201d straight to the core of what architects do. It\u0027s not good enough that a few are involved in this kind of work; all architects need to be doing this as part of their practice."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Some of these are long-term issues: Climate change, it\u0027s not necessarily tomorrow-level urgent. We generally want to solve the short-term urgent problems. They\u0027ve also become politicized, so we think we can self-select. But they all deal with fundamental realities; the world\u0027s changes are going to come to us. With resilience, even though I see it being politicized as well, this generation of architects is being educated properly. The issues will move from being longer-term \u201cI can work on them or not\u201d to being necessities. And I think that\u0027s the impact we can make, as educators; we have to have a longer view and be preparing architects for the future. It\u0027s why we need to incorporate resilience into the core curriculum."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[0],1,"Steve Cimino is the digital content manager at the AIA."]]]]}
The director at the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Building Research spoke about joining the National Resilience Initiative.
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The campus of the University of Minnesota, where Richard Graves, AIA, is director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the College of Design.
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