DredgeFest Great Lakes’ Shifting Baselines Symposium, a roving conference and workshop series, is organized by the Dredge Research Collaborative and hosted by the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture. AIA Minnesota & AIA Northern Minnesota are among the event sponsors.

Learn more and register at http://ow.ly/QSdIC

DredgeFest Great Lakes is a symposium, field expedition, and speculative design workshop about the human manipulation of sediments. It is an encounter between government agencies, designers, theorists, academics, corporate practitioners, industry experts, students, and the public.

The theme for DredgeFest Great Lakes is Shifting Baselines. The phrase “shifting baseline” was introduced in landscape architect Ian McHarg’s famous manifesto Design With Nature. It has since become a key conceptual tool in environmental circles. In 1995, a paper by Daniel Pauly showed that fisheries experts tended to think in terms of the state of the environment at the beginnings of their career. Baselines shift as new generations grow up thinking that whatever they grew up with was natural, ignoring exactly how much things has already been changed before they were born. But ‘shifting’ needn’t be a passive verb. Baselines can be shifted with care and intent. For DredgeFest Great Lakes, we propose to think both about how baselines have been shifted and how they could be shifted in the future.

The symposium at DredgeFest Great Lakes will bring together a broad mix of disciplines, corporations, public agencies and organizations in live public conversation, including Peter Annin (Author of Great Lakes Water Wars), Neeraj Bhatia (Architect, The Open Workshop/California College of the Arts), Chris Bennett (Architect, Studio Gang), Jen Maigret and Maria Arquero (Architecture and Landscape Architecture, MAde Studio/University of Michigan) and Michael Ezban (Vandergoot Ezban Studio, NYC).

Symposium participants will also have the opportunity to join for two optional guided tours: the fluid mechanics lab at St. Anthony Falls and the plant of Liquid Waste Technology (a division of Ellicott Dredge Technologies), where dredges are designed and built. We will tour St. Anthony Falls on Saturday during the symposium and Liquid Waste Technology on Sunday. The Duluth field tour on Monday is a separate, ticketed event, which has, unfortunately, sold out.

There are a number of open seats for the symposium (August 14th and August 15th) in Rapson Hall, Room 100 at the School of Architecture, located at 89 Church Street SE.