Douglas C. Allen Lecture Dilip Da Cunha

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Our design practice has long considered the line separating water from land on the earth's surface a product of design; not in where and how it is drawn and engineered, but in that it is drawn at all. Today, we ask if the earth's surface, a surface overwhelmed and undermined by rising seas, increasing storm events, species migration, destructive floods, and social injustice, is likewise a product of design. If so, what does it take to include both surface and line in a critical design process toward future habitation? We believe that it takes a sectional imagination and an appreciation of the wetness that is everywhere from clouds to aquifers. 


Dilip da Cunha is an architect and planner based in Philadelphia and Bangalore, and Adjunct Professor at the GSAPP at Columbia University. He is the author, with Anuradha Mathur, of Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (2001); Deccan Traverses: The Making of Bangalore’s Terrain (2006); and Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary (2009); and editor of Design in the Terrain of Water (2014). In 2019, his book, The Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. It received the 2020 ASLA Honor award and the J.B. Jackson Book Prize.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:shanne3
  • Created:03/02/2023
  • Modified By:Kristen Bailey
  • Modified:03/07/2023

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