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Design for Conservation

Design for Conservation: News 2022


Studio Laos 2022 Final Review

HKU Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Studies BA(LS) students capped their senior year with the Final Review for Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong. The studio focused on northern Laos's rapidly transforming landscapes along its border with southwest China. Co-taught by professors Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, this studio teaches students not merely how planners or architects or landscape architects might be involved in large-scale planning projects but also how a cultural anthropologist or political scientist describes and assesses development across Southeast Asia.

Following the recently published pedagogy in Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (Kelly and Lu, 2021), students read from diverse literature critical of how development happens, covering histories and issues such as alternative value systems, context-specific responses to reductive policies and plans, and overlapping or patchworked development. Using that knowledge and their landscape studies education, students then individually analyzed the frictions between two development projects prior iterations of the studio had visited before the pandemic. Projects included botanic gardens, forest study plots, wildlife sanctuaries, community forests, hydropower and irrigation dams, water user groups, villages undergoing resettlement, highway upgrading, special economic zones or other enclaves, protected forests, permaculture farms, and rubber and other cash-crop plantations. Frictions between these projects include ideological frictions (such as between Western alternative and Chinese-backed approaches, or between northern science and ethnobotany), as well as practical frictions in these projects' capacities for sustainable development.

For the second half of the term, students individually developed landscape planning strategies, especially considering the persistent obstacles to sustainable development and ongoing shocks to socioeconomic and socioecological systems, such as transitions from small-scale ecotourism to mass nature tourism, large-scale infrastructure and enclosure, and rural-urban migration. At their final review, students defended their proposals to members from a range of Laos civil society, including: an NGO operating several wildlife sanctuaries across Southeast Asia; an NGO trialing coffee in northern Laos; a 30-year-old network of field biologists studying the eastern Himalayas; and Laos's oldest domestic development NGO. Other members of the students' jury included: landscape architects and geographers from the National University of Singapore and University of Technology Sydney; a landscape ecologist, an archeologist, and an impact assessment expert from HKU's Schools of Biology and Humanities and Centre for Civil Society and Governance; as well as architects and landscape architects from HKU's Faculty of Architecture.

The students, Ashley, and Xiaoxuan give their greatest appreciation to our jury members and our school's continued support for the important conversations had year-on-year concerning the development of landscapes across sectors and across geographies in the region. Congratulations students!

Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Linguistic landscapes: Promoting plural identities and nonformal learning in Luang Prabang province. By Zhao Ruoning Nina, 2022.
Linguistic landscapes: Promoting plural identities and nonformal learning in Luang Prabang province. By Zhao Ruoning Nina, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.

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