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Edra43 Seattle

EDRA's 43rd Annual Conference took place at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, May 30-June 2, 2012. Highlights from our keynote and plenary sessions are below, and two albums of photos can be found on Facebook by clicking here.



Keynote speaker Denis Hayes with EDRA Board Chair Nicholas Watkins; EDRA43Seattle Co-chair Rula Awwad-Rafferty



Friday plenary speaker Johnpaul Jones; Saturday plenary panel with Jim Diers, Stephen Luoni, & Roberta Feldman



Pre-conference intensive session; Wednesday plenary speaker Cary Moon



POE/Programming Knowledge Network lunch meeting; Display poster presentation


Click here to download Wednesday's Plenary Session presentation, "Exploration in the Seattle Waterfront: Innovations in Design".


Click here to download Friday's Plenary Session presentation, "Indigenous Design Emerging Gifts".


Click here to download Saturday's Plenary Session presentation, "From the Ground Up: Strategies for Community Development and Democratic Design".



Conference Theme: Emergent Placemaking


Diverse, challenging, complex, agile, and interconnected; five words that describe our world today. As we navigate its constancy and change, the world we live in compels us to act in authentic ways, ask difficult questions, and take risks. This is a magical time for placemaking. Successful placemaking demands innovative thinking to respond to shifting contexts and life in a world of increasing complexity, hybridity, and uncertainty. It requires investment and stewardship of both the people and the land that comprise our communities. It advocates for formal and informal efforts to initiate positive community change and achieve spatial justice.


This year's theme, "Emergent Placemaking", speaks to both potentiality and continuity. It captures the value of innovation and creativity in tackling the pressing issues of our time. It advocates for the formation of new, dynamic approaches to understanding and fostering healthy communities. It accepts controversy, embraces diversity, advocates creative problem solving and crosses boundaries.


Seattle is ideal for exploring Emergent Placemaking. Nestled between the mountains and the Sound, the "Emerald City" is one of the nation's forerunners in urban ecological design, community stewardship and participatory processes. It is a place of compelling juxtapositions where urban growth and green design meet, where resilience and change go hand in hand, and innovative solutions for a sustainable future abound. Home to indigenous tribes and new immigrants, guerilla artists and computer start-ups, it is a place where hybrid identities and sensibilities emerge, where the nature of the public realm is interrogated in the local, regional and global scale.


EDRA43Seattle becomes a place of exuberant transformation and connection; the sphere where we explore emergent thought and action.


Sponsors and Exhibitors

This event was made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: University of Washington College of Built EnvironmentsHOK; and Joel Dames Photography.





  Click here to view the complete conference program.






Emergent Placemaking: EDRA43Seattle Conference Committee

  • Lynne Manzo, EDRA43 Co-Chair, Programming
  • Rula Awwad-Rafferty, EDRA43 Co-Chair, Proposals
  • Claudia Bernasconi
  • Gordon Bradley
  • David Fell
  • Danny Mittleman
  • Kevin Nute
  • Elizabeth Vandermark
  • Zhe Wang
  • Julie Wolfe
  • Helena Yoon
  • Bo Zhang