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Built on Thawing Ice

Socio-Ecological Design in a Warming Arctic City

ASLA Student Honor Award for Research

*Work on this project was done in conjunction with Judy Shao-Yu Chen; Yizhuo Chen; Yash Gadam; Jessica Huang, Mijeong Jung; Amy Schulz; Phoebe Tamminen, Chen Yu, and Yi Zhu with advising from Leena Cho and Matthew Jull. All drawings are my own unless marked otherwise. 

“A beautiful and fascinating study of a landscape the mainstream profession knows little about. Great project. The submission takes on a challenge that is not currently considered in mainstream LA and will become more so with climate change. Very well researched, especially quantitative, from a technical and site-specific point of view.”

- 2023 Awards Jury

Credits: General Zoning Map by Judy C.​​

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The Arctic is warming at a rate four times faster than the global average, significantly impacting communities built on ice-rich permafrost like Utqiagvik, AK, where the ground is becoming increasingly unstable. Our research proposes maintenance strategies and ecological restoration measures aimed to minimize permafrost degradation and restore the tundra landscape while enhancing everyday cultural practices. These strategies were informed by community engagement, data analysis from in situ sensors, and field work resulting in designs that addressed public space, maintenance practices, and the future development of the city.

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