FRESH WATER: Design Thinking for Inland Water Territories

September 14 & 15, 2018

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Landscape Architecture

The FRESH WATER design symposium invites designers and researchers, across academia and practice, to convene, debate, and discuss the inland water territories of North America. Inland cities, communities, and territories contain hydrographic stories related to industrialization, urbanization, agriculture, and commerce, where significant manipulation of land and water systems has created a legacy that continues to degrade the performance of the major watersheds. Disturbances such as river channelization and diversions, earthwork and sediment transport, overdrafted aquifer and groundwater depletion, hydraulic fracking, industrial irrigation, urban and overbank flooding, combined sewer systems, cross-continental pipelines, and federal deregulation present entangled design questions concerning regional urbanization, shared water infrastructures, freshwater economies, agricultural practices, and climate adaptation. All are deeply consequential for ecosystem and human health, social equity, environmental democracy, and the future of fresh water for the continent. The purpose of the symposium is to investigate design research that can transform these adverse conditions to desired ones, and to define the future resilience of our major inland watersheds.

Learn more and view the call for abstracts at