Alameda County Fairgrounds
APRIL 4 – 7, 2024



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Haven Kiers

As a designer, my aim is to integrate contemporary design theory with ecological research and practical site-specific application and maintenance. Through studies that investigate the intersection of reconciliation ecology and aesthetics, my work examines the environmental benefits, technological progress, and level of cultural acceptance of green infrastructure and sustainable design. My research focuses on urban/suburban green infrastructure projects and their design effectiveness at both the practical (construction and maintenance) and psychological (aesthetic and therapeutic) levels. Through post occupancy evaluations and critical assessment, I examine the idea that ecological concepts such as storm water management, green roofs, drought tolerant/climate resilient garden plantings, and wildlife habitat creation can also be viewed as amenities – concepts that aesthetically enhance the landscape while simultaneously promoting sustainability. I utilize “designed experiments” (attractive, practical, and replicated urban experimental designs that generate ecological data) to examine three, often contradictory, aspects of green infrastructure and garden design: (1) the potential to change long-engrained conceptions of what “sustainable design” looks like, (2) the creation of aesthetically pleasing biodiverse habitats for plants and wildlife, and (3) the maintenance required to keep urban landscapes aesthetically engaging and ecologically productive.