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Van Alen Sessions: Fireproofing the Future in California

Feb 11, 2019, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

A wildfire spreads in the forest behind a beautiful home in California.
Credit: Courtesy Van Alen Institute.

Van Alen Institute, in partnership with MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism, presents the premiere public screening of Van Alen Sessions Five: "Fireproofing the Future in California," a project of Van Alen Institute produced in partnership with The New Yorker. RSVP required.

"Fireproofing the Future of California" points to the urgent issue of the "wildland-urban interface," areas where homes are built near or among undeveloped lands. While demand for this type of housing grows across the Western U.S., more intense and frequent wildfires in these areas are destroying lives, homes and forests at record levels. Heartbreaking footage and stories from experts and those living and working in the fire zones of California illustrate the choices we must make to build safer homes and communities in the era of climate change.

At SVA Theatre, MA Design Research and Van Alen Institute will show the short documentary film and host a panel discussion afterward with the filmmaker, Merete MuellerMark Johnson, FASLA, president of Civitas landscape architecture and a member of Van Alen Institute's board of trustees and Climate Council; Robert Field, a climate scientist and drought expert at Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Bob Williams president of Pine Creek Forestry in New Jersey. Carolyn Kormann, staff writer at The New Yorker, will moderate the discussion. Afterwards there will be a Q&A and drinks reception, where visitors can take the opportunity to chat with speakers as well as students and faculty of the program. This event free and open to the public, but you must RSVP to attend. 

This season of Van Alen Sessions is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fledgling Fund.

MA Design Research graduate students have served as researchers and writers for Van Alen Sessions since 2015.

Free and open to the public