Design by Fire : Resistance, Co-Creation and Retreat in the Pyrocene book cover
1st Edition

Design by Fire
Resistance, Co-Creation and Retreat in the Pyrocene

  • Available for pre-order on June 27, 2023. Item will ship after July 18, 2023
ISBN 9780367767617
July 18, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages 108 Color Illustrations

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USD $42.95

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Book Description

Across the world, the risks of wildfires are increasing and expanding. Due to past and current human actions, we dwell in the age of fire – the Pyrocene – and the many challenges and climate adaptation questions it provokes.

Drawing upon fieldwork, mapping, drone imagery, and interviews, this publication curates 27 global design case studies within the vulnerable and dynamic wildland-urban interface and its adjacent wildlands. The book catalogs these examples into three general approaches: those that resist the creative and transformative power of fire and forces of landscape change, those that embrace and utilize fire while also trying to guide landscape forces, and those that intentionally try to retreat and minimize human intervention in fire-prone landscapes coevolved to human agency.

Rather than serving as a book of neatly packaged solutions, it is a book of techniques to be considered, evaluated and tested for the cascading, compounding and aggregating challenges of wildfire.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Stewarding Change  2. Landscapes of Fire  3. Pyric Lexicon  Approaches to Designing with Fire  4. Resistance  5. Co-Creation  6. Retreat Epilogue  7. Pyro Futures

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Emily Schlickman is an Assistant Professor of landscape architecture and environmental design at the University of California, Davis whose research explores design techniques for accelerated climate change. Schlickman received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MLA from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Brett Milligan is a landscape architect and professor of landscape architecture and environmental design at the University of California, Davis. There he is the director of the Metamorphic Landscapes Lab, dedicated to prototyping landscape-based adaptations to conditions of accelerated climatic and environmental change, through extensive fieldwork and transdisciplinary design research. Much of his work is based in California, undoing and reworking colonial legacies of land reclamation, water infrastructure, flood control and fire suppression. He is a co-founder of the Dredge Research Collaborative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring the human alteration and design of sedimentary landscapes, and co-author of the book Silt Sand Slurry: Dredging, Sediment, and the Worlds We Are Making.


"It’s no longer enough to live with fire. We have to live with a fire age. That requires new thinking, novel classifications, fresh metaphors and models, a vision of what can happen where fire, town, and country converge, so it’s great to see what landscape architects have to say. Design by Fire is a welcome contribution to an urgent problem." Stephen Pyne, ASU, Author of The Pyrocene

"Design by Fire is the essential guidebook and atlas for the pyro-future that is already here. Whether homeowner, concerned citizen, designer, or policymaker, you will find in these extraordinarily researched and illustrated pages a foundation for understanding—and living in—the world to come." Alexander Robinson, USC School of Architecture, Author of The Spoils of Dust: Reinventing the Lake that Made Los Angeles

"Design by Fire is a necessary book for all landscape architects and planners. The insightful interviews, succinct strategies, and emphasis on co-creative approaches structure the book, while the authors challenge us to grapple with current practices. They help us imagine a future in which reparations can bring traditional ecological knowledge to the forefront and imbue us with a culture of stewardship." Miho Mazereeuw, MIT, Director of the Urban Risk Lab