How Site Matters: Public online lecture and conversation with Andrea Kahn
The concept of ‘site’ is fundamental to landscape architecture, urban planning and design. In 2005 educator, scholar and design practitioner Andrea Kahn, together with Carol J. Burns edited the book Site Matters. Design Concepts, Histories and Strategies. The essay collection was pioneering in its conceptualization and multidisciplinary approach to site thinking, and became a pivotal and vital reference within landscape architecture and planning, as well as other disciplines.
It is impossible to disregard the many ways current political crises, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic affect our environment and the multiple zones of being we find ourselves situated within, amplifying the need to critically reflect, react and create with attention to site thinking. Based on the newly published 2nd edition, Site Matters- Strategies for Uncertainty through Planning and Design (2020), Andrea will take us through the generation and evolution of the book’s main concepts and arguments, outlining recent added perspectives on reading and writing sites in the Anthropocene, while also touching on the work of editing as a zone of discursive site thinking.
In conversation with the hosts of the CLL session, Anne Margrethe Wagner and Svava Riesto, Andrea will dive into further questions on how site matters – for practitioners, researchers and highly multidisciplinary settings. The event will include a Q & A, inviting participants to also share their questions and reflections.
Andrea Kahn is founder of designCONTENT, a consultancy offering strategic and communicative process support for complex design, planning, research, writing, curatorial and editorial projects. Currently affiliated with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Urban Futures research platform, from 2015-2020 Andrea held a position as a professor of site thinking in research and practice at SLU in Alnarp/Malmö, where she facilitated SLU Landscape, a research and teaching collaboration initiative. She has taught architecture, urban design, planning, and landscape extensively in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her current research interest revolves around collaboration, communication, and synthetic, transdisciplinary knowledge creation.
Recognized internationally as an educator and scholar, Andrea Kahn has been teaching architects, urban designers and planners to articulate, elucidate, and demonstrate the merits of strong ideas since 1984. She founded designCONTENT in 2006, where she enjoys working with a diverse clientele from individuals to academic institutions to non-profits and corporations who provide, and procure, design and planning knowledge or services. A strategic thinker about multiple scales of design and forms of design communication, Andrea brings a special interest in collaborative processes to her work. In addition to consulting, she teaches planning and design in the US and abroad, and also lectures publicly on contemporary issues in urban design and urban landscape transformation. A widely published author and respected editor, her works include Site Matters (with Carol Burns, 2005 & 2020) Constellations: Constructing Urban Design Practices (2007), and Drawing/ Building/ Text: Essays in Architectural Theory (1991).
Site Matters – Strategies for Uncertainty Through Planning and Design
Edited By Andrea Kahn and Carol J. Burns
In the era of the Anthropocene, site matters are more pressing than ever. Building on the concepts, theories, and multi-disciplinary approaches raised in the first edition, this publication strives to address the changes that have taken place over the last 15 years with new material to complement and re-position the initial volume.
Reaching across design disciplines, this highly illustrated anthology assembles essays from architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, historians, and artists to explore ways to physically and conceptually engage site. Thoughtful discourse and empirically grounded pieces combine to provide the language and theory to contextualize the meanings of site in the built environment. The increasingly complex hybridity of constructed environments today demands new tools for thinking about and working with site. Drawing contributions from outside and within the traditional design disciplines, this edition traces important developments in site thinking with new essays on topics such as climate change, landscape as infrastructure, shifts from global to planetary urbanization debates, and the proliferation of participatory site transformation practices.