Hoeferlin wins inaugural Designing Resilience in Asia international competition

Hoeferlin near the Chain of Rocks Bridge on the Mississippi River. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Derek Hoeferlin, associate professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, along with research assistants Jess Vanecek and Rob Birch, both master’s degree candidates in the Sam Fox School, has won first prize in the inaugural Designing Resilience in Asia International Open Competition.

Sponsored by the School of Design and Environment of the National University of Singapore, the competition asked participants to propose innovative water solutions to the challenges of climate change at the urban planning, urban design, architecture, building technology and industrial design scales. Hoeferlin’s submission, titled “From the Third Pole to the Nine Dragons,” outlines a simple, two-part toolkit that would enable communities within the Mekong River Basin to holistically understand how local threats and adaptations relate to broader river basin-scaled issues — a concept that Hoeferlin defines as “watershed architecture.”

The jury, in its award citation, noted that the proposal “provides a very strong vision of how water resources could be managed systematically across boundaries. The regional-scale analysis and simple response provokes visionary discussions about cross-boundary collaboration and water management, providing tools for negotiation.”

Hoeferlin’s research is supported by a grant from Washington University’s International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (InCEES). For more information about Designing Resilience, visit the competition website.

Final board, “From the Third Pole to the Nine Dragons.”

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