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Design for Conservation

Design for Conservation: News 2020


Studio Laos 2020 Final Review

Final-year HKU Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Studies BA(LS) students presented their strategic planning proposals for northern Laos to an international panel of ecologists, sociologists, geographers, activists, and philanthropists, in addition to designers and planners.

For their proposals, students each asked difficult questions of development and sustainability practices, including: Challenging impact assessment scope; qualifying the remediation potential of Chinese contract farming; bridging scientific study and community forestry; mitigating the industrialization and over-harvesting of species for traditional medicine; and exploring overlaps between mass ecotourism, protected areas and the illegal wildlife trade.

Having not visited Laos this term due to the pandemic, we took the opportunity to reinforce our critical approaches to planning, in which we understand our "sites" as inherently multi-sited constructs dominated by different stakeholders' perspectives. In place of their field trip, each student was assigned pairs of existing development projects that we visited in previous years, and they were instructed to imagine the frictions between those sites' ideologies, aims, expertise, and longer histories.

The students and their instructors, Lu and Ashley, thank our panelists for joining and recognizing the value of the studio's critical "landscape approach" and the importance of the students' proposals to Laos's future development. Panelists included:

Prof. Emily Yeh (Dept. of Geography, University of Colorado); Francois Guegan (Conservation Director, WWF Laos); Alice Hughes (Centre for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden); Andy Brown (Executive Director, Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, Hong Kong); William Bleisch (Research Director, China Exploration and Research Society); Matthew Hunt (CEO, Free the Bears); Prof. David Palmer (HKU Dept. of Sociology); Winnie Law (HKU Centre for Civil Society and Governance); Enze Han (HKU Dept. of Politics and Public Administration); Danny Marks (CityU Dept. of Asian and International Studies); Joseba Estévez (HKU Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences); Inge Goudsmidt (Office for Metropolitan Architecture); Prof. Jeff Hou (Dept. of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington); and Elizabeth Leven, Cecilia Chu, Sony Devabhaktuni, and Merve Bedir from HKU Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Congratulations to all for an incredible term!

Click here to view course synopsis and student work

Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Immense nature: Constructing public awareness of the illegal wildlife trade through northern Laos. By CHAN Sze Wah Naomi, HE Jingsu Tinnix, and NGAN Yuk Ying Wendy, 2020.
Immense nature: Constructing public awareness of the illegal wildlife trade through northern Laos. By CHAN Sze Wah Naomi, HE Jingsu Tinnix, and NGAN Yuk Ying Wendy, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Empowering a labour transition during enclosure and securitisation of Luang Prabang's natural heritage. By MA On Ki Rachel and LEE Chi Hang Haven, 2020.
Empowering a labour transition during enclosure and securitisation of Luang Prabang's natural heritage. By MA On Ki Rachel and LEE Chi Hang Haven, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Studio Laos Video 2019

"Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong" builds on six years of design-based experiential learning across mainland Southeast Asia by the Division of Landscape Architecture. This year, focusing on the regional impacts of China's Belt and Road Initiative in northern Laos, students spend one term engaging issues of development vis-à-vis landscape architecture to define problems and produce innovative planning proposals. During this process, students develop and deliver a 150-page research report to civil society and international NGOs, conduct fieldwork, individually design future scenarios through large-format maps, diagrams and models, and have their work juried by a cross-disciplinary panel of experts.

Click here to view course synopsis and student work

HKU Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong, 2020.
HKU Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong, 2020.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)