Church lecture series ends, final speaker discusses resilience issues

The final speaker of the Church Memorial Lecture Series, Nina-Marie Lister, gave a presentation called “Ecological Design: Resilience Beyond Rhetoric,” discussing the importance of resilience Monday, March 30.

Nina-Marie Lister, an associate professor of urban and regional planning at Ryerson University and visiting associate professor of landscape architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, spoke to a group of students in the McCarty Auditorium of the Art and Architecture Building Monday, March 30 as the spring semester’s final speaker for the Church Memorial Lecture Series.

Nina-Marie Lister introducing her presentation "Ecological Design: Resilience Beyond Rhetoric."
Nina-Marie Lister introducing her presentation “Ecological Design: Resilience Beyond Rhetoric.”

Lister’s presentation “Ecological Design: Resilience Beyond Rhetoric” emphasized the importance of converging infrastructure with natural ecological processes.

Lister gave five reasons as to why resilience is an important issue today: the shift in urbanism, the decline in infrastructure, the emergence of ecology, the renaissance of landscape and the reality of climate change. Throughout her lecture, she expanded on these issues and their relevance to the planning and designing of cities today.

“We now know that the very idea of change itself is normal,” she said, “and to some extent uncertainty is irreducible, but unpredictability is part and parcel of the living systems in which we work.”

Further, Lister said that many times when working on a project, one is often asked to focus only on that specific area, which she said is not very efficient.

“We can’t meaningfully or operationally talk about resilience without understanding the forces that are at work outside that site,” she said.

Second year master of landscape and architecture student Luis Venegas said topics such as the one presented by Lister are what brought him from civil engineering to landscape and architecture.

“With lectures like this, seeing that not only could I approach solutions to design but through design while applying my engineering knowledge, it answers a question that I’ve been asking myself for a while,” he said. “There is something more than math, there is something more than science, they all have to come together.”

To learn more about Nina-Marie Lister, visit her site.

Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt