As the small Eastern Washington town of Malden builds back from a devastating 2020 wildfire, Washington State University landscape architecture students visited and helped with re-envisioning the town and its public spaces.
After talking with residents, the students looked to the future of the town while honoring its past. Their ideas, which you can see below, include a conceptual design for a new town square, a fire monument, updates to Malden’s park, and more.
Click on each image to view each PDF presentation
The ancient Roman architect Vitruvius conceived of three primary virtues for structures: beauty, utility, and firmitas, a term that can be translated as permanence. Naturally, buildings can’t be crafted to last through time immemorial. What is permanence if even stone monuments wear away into sand?
Moreover, as Washington State University architecture professor Ayad Rahmani asks in this issue’s essay, maybe the longevity of structures should be questioned. Rahmani writes about Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic view of buildings and their inevitable decay, and that we should perhaps consider their “measured return to the earth.”
We don’t really expect our buildings to last forever, but we rely … » More …
A silent slow burn consumes thousands of acres of Washington State every year and the tribal lands are no exception to this burn. This burn isn’t caused by a wildfire and doesn’t produce any visible smoke. It’s the encroachment of invasive species as they slowly consume native and beneficial vegetation.
Tribes in the Pacific Northwest rely heavily upon natural resources for income generation and sustaining a way of life. There are significant wildlife, agriculture, and rangeland impacts to the Tribal lands.
(The video below was produced by Nathan Moses-Gonzales, M3 Consulting Group.)
Read about Native prescribed fire practices.
Wildfires affect many aspects of a community beyond the charred and devastated landscape. During a major blaze, residents must deal with smoke, fire retardants, evacuations, power outages, disrupted supply chains, and more.
Often forgotten in the equation are the damaging effects wildfire has on domestic animals. Smoke-induced respiratory problems, exposure to firefighting chemicals, and injuries from running through barbed-wire fences are common.
Linda McLean, WSU Extension director for the Colville Reservation helps residents prepare for wildfire season through public workshops and a variety of fire-related resources. She urges all pet and livestock owners to create an emergency evacuation plan for the safe transportation and shelter … » More …