Event marked start of activities leading up to NSAD’s Day of Service April 27
Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, addressed NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students and faculty members during a lecture about the importance of designing cities that connect people with nature. The presentation was part of the school’s lecture series, which regularly brings leaders in sustainability, urban planning, architecture and design to the NSAD community.
Louv, a widely acclaimed author of books about the connections between family, nature and community, has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Audubon Medal. Louv’s best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods, resulted in an international movement to reconnect children with nature. The Nature Principle develops another call to action, but aimed at adults. Louv noted that restoring a creek or river is one way to reconnect with nature, and he encouraged the audience to think about other ways to reconnect through architecture and design. “As we restore nature, we restore ourselves,” he said. “We need to start creating nature through the design.”
He also spoke about the importance of designers and architects connecting with the communities they work in and to be more cognizant of the connections between landscape architecture and building-based architecture. Louv commented that designers can benefit from integrating the feedback of community members, such as educators, health workers and parents. While observing that more people worldwide are living in cities, Louv said this provides an opportunity to build a new kind of city where people are connected with nature.
Louv’s lecture also marked the official start of activities leading to a campus wide initiative scheduled for April 27 called Day of Service in which students and faculty will undertake a community outreach effort. This year, NSAD students and faculty will participate in a restoration project along the San Diego River through a partnership with The San Diego River Park Foundation. The Louv lecture set the stage for ongoing discussions inside and outside the classroom as the campus community considers ways that architects and designers can work with nature.