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Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, “Coastline: Design for Resilience and the Invention of a Landscape Lexicon”

February 15, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

catherine seavitt nordenson portrait

Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, spring 2016 Nadine Carter Russell Endowed Chair, will lecture at the LSU College of Art & Design in the LSU Design Building Auditorium, room 103, at 5 p.m. on Monday, February 15, 2016.

Nordenson’s Nadine Carter Russell Chair endowed lecture is titled, “COASTLINE: Design for Resilience and the Invention of a Landscape Lexicon.” Read more about Nordenson’s residency as Nadine Carter Russell Chair here.

Nordenson is an associate professor at City College of New York and principal of Catherine Seavitt Studio. Her academic and professional research and writing of the last eight years has been particularly focused on the adaptive design responses to climate change, particularly sea-level rise. Since the receipt of the 2007 Latrobe Prize, a research grant awarded by the Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, to Nordenson, Guy Nordenson, and Adam Yarinsky, she has been investigating both the probability of more frequent storms and the consequences of sea level rise in the New York region, proposing adaptive “soft infrastructure” design solutions to mitigate flooding and reduce wave energy and wind fetch, as well as examining the ecological consequences within coastal estuarine systems. Her research is also focused on how these adaptive responses might contribute to place-making, transforming the public waterfront.

The Latrobe research was published in the book, On the Water: Palisade Bay (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2010), the catalyst for the 2010 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront. Nordenson and team have continued this work with a study of land-building strategies to counter the disappearing wetlands of the Mississippi Delta through the strategic placement of diversions along the course of the Mississippi River that would carry and deposit sediment at the Gulf Coast. This work was done collaboratively with the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, including faculty members Elizabeth Mossop, Jeff Carney, and others, as well as scientists Robert Twilley and Clinton Willson. This work was exhibited at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia in 2010. In addition, Nordenson has proposed adaptive strategies for the Yangtze River Delta, developing the idea of the “open polder” for agricultural lands as a strategy for detaining and releasing flood waters. Most recently, she has completed a comprehensive set of resiliency strategies and designs for Jamaica Bay, New York, as the principal investigator at City College for the Rockefeller Foundation-funded research grant, “Structures of Coastal Resilience.”

Nordenson is one of two 2015–16 Nadine Carter Russell Endowed Chairs, a rotating residency shared among the four disciplines in the College of Art & Design—this year’s residency is with the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. Nordenson will serve as the spring 2016 Nadine Carter Russell Chair, and Owen Lang will serve as Nadine Carter Russell Chair in fall 2015.

Professionals who attend this lecture qualify for one hour of continuing education credit, thanks to the support of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects,


February 15, 2016
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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LSU College of Art & Design


LSU College of Art & Design Auditorium
LSU Design Building, Room 103
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 United States
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