Rosetta Elkin and Michael Van Valkenburgh investigate Structures of Coastal Resilience: The Ocean State

As part of a grant from the Rockefeller Center and the US Army Corps of Engineers, four teams representing four academic institutions (Harvard, Penn, Princeton and CUNY) are critically examining the various methods of response and reaction to shifting littoral regions along the Northeast coast. The project, titled Structures of Coastal Resilience (SRC) is instigated under the understanding that an interdisciplinary approach to the problem of coastal resiliency can function along different scales and sites in order to complement and augment initiatives already put forth by the USACE, acknowledging that response is fundamentally a design-related matter.

The GSD Harvard team, led by Rosetta S. Elkin, will include Michael Van Valkenburgh, Gullivar Shepard, and Michael Luegering, with ongoing student support through independent study, research and an upcoming spring option studio (2014). Rhode Island is the GSD subject of study, parceled out of a regional framework that will consider the Northeast coastline as a continuous condition. The research will extend beyond designers to instigate associations with experts in coastal geology, plant biology, and environmental policy. In order to further support the results, the GSD team will also work with Princeton’s Andlinger Center to identify specific future engagements, as well as to develop actionable design parameters that contribute to new models of prediction. The outcomes are intended to impact the larger overall four-team project, in order to collectively set up policy and strategy that will ultimately propose a set of design concepts, with recommendations tailored specifically to the various coastal conditions. The SCR project is directed by Guy Nordensen (Princeton) and is guided by an advisory committee chaired by Barry Bergdol (MoMa, NYC) with ongoing discourse with USACE North Atlantic Division.