Hou is a professor of landscape architecture and director of the Urban Commons Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle. His work focuses on public space and democracy, community design and civic engagement.
In a career that spans the Pacific, Hou has worked with Indigenous tribes, farmers and fishers in Taiwan; neighborhood residents in Japan; villagers in China; and youth and elders in North American cities on projects ranging from conservation of wildlife habitats to designs of urban open spaces. With a multidisciplinary background in architecture, landscape architecture and planning, Hou has written extensively on the agency of citizens and communities in shaping the built environments. His current projects include Spaces of Creative Resistance, supported by the Global Innovation Fund at the University of Washington.
For this lecture, Hou will examine how designers and planners can positively impact the increasingly unstable environment humans now find themselves in. The ability of cities and communities to cope and adapt to future changes and disruptions will play a critical role in the safety and well-being of citizens and places. How design and planning can respond to the increasing levels of uncertainty and disturbances through both tactical interventions and long-term efforts presents one of the most critical challenges for the allied professions.
The talk is part of the College of Architecture’s 2021-22 Hyde Lecture Series, which features speakers from across disciplines under the common theme of “Emerging Opportunities for Equality in Planning and Design.” The series focuses on the anticipated “new normal” and looks to draw insight and explore what solutions planners and designers can offer in the post-pandemic future.