Thesis Studio/01


Lakshmanan Madhu

This studio is available to students enrolled in ABPL90375 Landscape Architecture Design Thesis.

Studio Description

Resilience is sometimes referred to as the elasticity of a system to bounce back when faced with external shocks. Increasingly, it is a critical objective in community planning. Indeed, the impacts of climate change vary from being subtle to gross and can pose significant risks to urban ecosystems. The notion of ecosystem services seeks to make the intangible, tangible, i.e., assess the value of ecosystems to human well-being and quality of life. In this studio, the notion of the elasticity of ecosystem services and cities will be used to explore the ways in which Darebin Creek may become a more climate-adaptive and mitigative landscape.

Darebin Creek is an important tributary draining over the northern volcanic plains into the Yarra River or the Birrarung. It traverses through several local government areas forming an important green wedge that incidentally is undergoing suburban greenfield growth and urban gentrification closer to the city.

Studio Outcomes

The scope is to undertake investigations in three nested scales of the whole catchment basin, the specific reach and then a specific site. Student explorations will consider:

  • What are the critical attributes and processes of Darebin Creek that can create measurable ecosystem services?
  • What are the regional goals to develop ecosystem services within the Darebin catchment?
  • What site-level needs can be designed to improve climate adaptation?

The semester will be divided into three parts. First, between weeks 1 to 3,  we will analyse and collate existing ecosystem services for the whole catchment. Second, between weeks 4 to 6, we will develop a suite of design guidelines for a climate-responsive Darebin Creek from existing literature. Third, between weeks 7 to 12, we will develop design speculations for sites applying the design guidelines and consider its implications for the climate adaptation in the urban context over the coming 30-year horizon.

Studio Leader

Madhu is an AILA registered landscape architect with professional qualifications in architecture. He is also an Accredited Professional in Neighbourhood Design with the US Green Building Council. Madhu brings over two decades of experience in landscape architecture, environmental planning, and architectural practice. He has successfully planned, designed, and documented a range of projects in Australia and overseas and contributed to major environmental planning projects here. He has taught planning, urban design and landscape architecture subjects at the MSD and Deakin University and recently submitted his doctoral research thesis with a focus on examining green urbanism as a way of life.

Readings & References

  • Pickett, S. T. A., Cadenasso, M. L., & McGrath, B. (Eds.). (2013). Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design (Vol. 3). Springer Netherlands.
  • Roggema, R. (Ed.). (2012). Swarming Landscapes: The Art of Designing for Climate Adaptation (Vol. 48). Springer Netherlands.
  • Daw, T. M., Hicks, C. C., Brown, K., Chaigneau, T., Januchowski-Hartley, F. A., Cheung, W. W. L., Rosendo, S., Crona, B., Coulthard, S., Sandbrook, C., Perry, C., Bandeira, S., Muthiga, N. A., Schulte-Herbr├╝ggen, B., Bosire, J., & McClanahan, T. R. (2016). Elasticity in ecosystem services: Exploring the variable relationship between ecosystems and human well-being. Ecology and Society, 21(2).
  • Newman, G., Gu, D., Kim, J.-H., Bowman, A. O. M., & Li, W. (2016). Elasticity and urban vacancy: A longitudinal comparison of U.S. cities. Cities, 58, 143–151.
  • Windhager, S., Steiner, F., Simmons, M. T., & Heymann, D. (2010). Emerging Landscapes: Toward Ecosystem Services as a Basis for Design. Landscape Journal, 29(2), 107–123.

Schedule Fridays 14:00-20:00

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