© 2020 Huong Dinh
LA+CREATURE—the third in the LA+ international design ideas competition series—asked how we can use design to open our cities, our landscapes, and our minds to a more symbiotic existence with other creatures.
258 entries were received, and honorable mentions were awarded to two members of our Department of Landscape Architecture: MLA candidate Huong Dinh, for her work focused on the Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipien), and Assistant Professor Conor O’Shea, for his proposal focused on cicadas (Magicicada septendecim + Magicicada cassini).
In summarizing her entry, Dinh writes, “The northern leopard frog is the frog most school children know by vivisection in biology classes. This proposal is for an alternative biology curriculum centered on an outdoor classroom: a landscape where the full complexity of this creature’s life is played out in narrative form, so students experience an immersive encounter with the species and its habitat.”
O’Shea framed his own proposal by noting, “Broods of cicadas emerge every 17 years – assuming, of course, that the land hasn’t been paved over during their cycle. This proposal rewrites the municipal code of Chicago to ensure surfaces remain porous so that broods are able to emerge and make their symphony. This in turn becomes a cultural event into which the city of Chicago is tuned and a deeper understanding of and sensitivity to urban ecology engendered.”
The distinguished, interdisciplinary jury for the competition included Timothy Morton, Farre Nixon, Chris Reed, Jennifer Wolch, Kate Orff, and Andrew Grant.