Workshops March 25-26

Acoustic Ecology – Field Recording

UnknownThe American Society Acoustic Ecology presents a hands-on Field Recording Workshop.

The goal of the workshop is to offer participants a hands-on experience of soundscape recording in a natural environment, while learning about the field recording practices of master artists, and participating in a conversation and skill-share with the artists and other participants around the techniques and philosophy of field recording. 

The workshop will take place on March 25-26, and will be led by three working artists, each with a significant and unique practice in field recording. The site of the hands-on session is the Beaver Creek Experimental Watershed at sunrise, 90 minutes north and east of Tempe.  More information and example recordings from the site can be found here:
The lead artists will be:

To register and see more information – click here

The Choice to Stay: Designing Resilliant Communities

hurricane coverage

Lead by Gary Lawrence,  AECOM

The Choice to Stay


Sea levels are rising, temperatures are increasing, water shortages are an increasing risk and extreme weather events are becoming more common. All of these climate change consequences, framed in the variables of time and degree, have impacts on the health and safety of our societies, ecosystems and the stability of our economies. Can anyone really say that they fully understand the present let alone the future? How, given uncertainty, do we best address risk in a manner that optimizes the value of our investments and maximizes community energy on a coherent path to create a future we would prefer to have? What will need to be true in the future if people are to choose to stay and help communities be resilient and adaptive? What are the things that really matter?


Develop a new framework for decision making that recognizes city planning is first and foremost a social and political problem – not a design problem.


Our citizens have a choice about where they live.

From our perspective as engineers, designers, artists and economists, working with resilient cities around the world there is no doubt that you we have to be thinking about how to redesign so that people can move back off the coast so they’re at less risk. How can any politician build a career on telling people they have to move?

We can design the solutions. We can make a rational argument based on science, fact and current examples – but people do not make decisions based on rationality, they make decisions based on personal beliefs, tribal beliefs, nostalgia, fear and a whole host of other emotional factors. The big question for the design community is:

“When are we going to realize we’re in a political situation and stop believing that better design will be compelling enough to create massive change?”

The world’s most developed societies are failing to respond to the warnings. The choice to act is a political one – and cities are forgetting their social contract.

A survey conducted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the United States revealed that if residents of Houston, Texas could be guaranteed the same job with an equitable salary in another city, 60% would choose to leave rather than stay and fight for the future success of their city.

How can a City ensure that the people it nurtures and educates choose to stay and invest in the successful future of their City?

Four Step Process

  1. Clarity about the problem or the opportunity
  1. Agreement that the problem or the opportunity needs to be addressed
  1. Knowing what can be done and what this might achieve
  1. Choosing to act differently


  • Understand the sources of conflict that shape our choices towards a more resilient, sustainable future:
    • human centered vs. environment centered
    • faith vs. doubt
    • present vs. future
    • optimism vs. pessimism
    • equality vs. equity
    • security vs. risk
    • self interest vs. public interest
    • direct costs vs. externalities
    • market freedom vs. market constraint
  • Articulate the basis for a public relations campaign that empowers political leaders to make better decisions about investments that allow them to solve fundamental problems across a broad spectrum of interests with fewer resources.

Read more about the workshop and register



This workshop is based on the belief that the crisis in the environment is a crisis of education. It introduces strategies to cultivate eco literacy in the public starting with young learners, teachers and school communities to better address challenges in today’s society. It introduces life long learning strategies that network systems thinking with art, science, design and environmental practices supporting critique of human progress and instilling a new ecology of stewardship.

This workshop takes place on Thursday, March 26 from 2:30 – 4:30 at Arizona State University (Room TBA) and will be led by two architects and professors of architecture and environmental design with practice and experience working with diverse public groups and teachers and schools, more information about their workshops and recognitions can be found at which provides 24/7 eLearning Eco Literacy support to all fifty states and over one hundred fifty countries.

Participants will leave empowered to facilitate change in their schools and school communities supported by an open discovery network of learning resources to share with teachers, administrators and change makers.  Read more and register


Using water to spark opportunities from the debris of ecocide.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.07.45 PMAs part of the Balance/Unbalance 2015 Conference, Latorica Studio presents a 2-day transdisciplinary quest, a re-imagining of our environmental crises as opportunities for transformation toward earth-centred paradigms.  Facilitated by Creative Ecologist, Ilka Blue Nelson the workshop will run two full days, Wed 25 March & Thurs 26 March; 9am -3pm on the ASU Tempe campus.

Fee: $50 covers both days including lunch and refreshments. Places limited to 12 participants — early registration recommended. link to registrations coming soon

Requirements: Participants are not required to possess specific experience or skills, but will need openness, alacrity, and be eager for the challenge of a 2-day quest. After registering, participants will be sent three readings to consider and asked to find one object, prior to the workshop.


“Indeed, there are two possible attitudes towards the severe Poly-crisis’ of the present, 1…]: either we chose to remain prisoners inside the ‘double-binds’ of the simplibing binary thinking, the comfortable inertia that can lead to self-destruction, or we dare to convert the crisis into an opportunity to go beyond the frustrating contradictions and double-

binds and to discover the marvellous complexity of our Reality.” (Morin quoted in Dincᾰ)


This workshop engages complexity, ruptures the linear and rational, and reaches into the unknown. As a group, we’ll aim to map out a blueprint for re-enchantment: we’ll be focussing specifically on `governance’; how do we re-enchant governing bodies/systems/structures toward an earth-centred paradigm which holds fluid respect for the Other. This is about discovering “the marvellous complexity of our Reality” (ibid.).


Practically, the workshop will employ several creative exercises, walking and dialogue sessions. Guided by transdisciplinary thinking, we’ll immerse ourselves in a 2-day mythological quest, using water as our central metaphor — the elixir of life. The aim of the workshop is to produce a piece that can be presented to governing bodies (such as the United Nations, National or State Environmental Departments, Companies and Communities), as a blueprint for working on the ground with complexity and in respect of the Other.

Read more and Register…

The Future Energy Research and Design Storm

When: 10AM-6PM, March 25 and 26

Where:  The Grant Street Studios 605 E. Grant St., Phoenix, AZ   

What: To investigate pressing energy issues facing the Phoenix area and the US Southwest, and to use research and design thinking to generate ideas for potential sustainable solutions. This workshop is designed for interested conference participants and an interdisciplinary group of college students from ASU and the University of New Mexico.

Who: The workshop will be facilitated by Megan Halpern (ASU), Dan Collins (ASU) and Andrea Polli (The University of New Mexico) with students from ASU and The University of New Mexico

Day 1: Research: Participants take on the role of “energy investigators” with the goal of building a visual “energy ethnography” for Phoenix and the Valley. In the morning session, interdisciplinary teams are formed (participants remain in these teams for the rest of the workshop), and sent on a visual and other data-gathering scavenger hunt. Using smartphones, teams walk through parts of downtown Phoenix, taking photographs, gathering data and making brief observations, which they share over twitter and other databases. Tweets relating to the workshop will include #BunB2015, and participants will be given a list of predetermined hashtags such as #waste, #surplus, or #scarcity, and “collect” images and observations with these tags.

Day 2: In the morning, participants choose a topic area or problem with which to engage, and begin their design projects. Design Storm: Teams will undergo a series of three structured creative design-storming exercises (or design ‘sprints’) that incorporate the catalog of materials gathered during the scavenger hunt. After each of the three activities, participants will briefly share their progress. During the afternoon session, groups will work independently to complete a proposal or prototype for a solution to their energy-related issue. Finally, the workshop will reconvene for reporting from each group on their project results.

Read more and register…

 Creating Place: A Multi-sensory Exploration Of Place and Environment

Date: March 26 at 5-7 pm

Location: Nelson Fine Arts Center Plaza (outdoors), Arizona State University

Mary Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of Dance, ASU
Jessica Rajko, Assistant Professor of Dance, ASU

In this 2-hour workshop facilitated by dance artists Mary Fitzgerald and Jessica Rajko, participants will engage in various movement activities using the environment and natural surroundings as an impulse for creativity and trans-disciplinary composition. We will explore a multisensory approach to the creative process that draws upon sight, sound, proprioception, and touch to examine our relationship to the urban desert. Throughout this experience we will consider the following questions: How do we observe, engage with and draw inspiration from our surroundings? How do we compose place-based work that is reflective of and sensitive to that place? How does place influence an experience? How is place a multisensory experience?

Participants who take this workshop will come away with methods for:

  1. Engaging place as part of the creative process
  2. Developing new content inspired by urban desert environments
  3. Creating site-specific and site-adaptive work from a movement-based perspective
  4. Facilitating work in the area of creative placemaking.

 Read more and Register


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