I want to see the relationship between architecture and other infrastructure and landscape architecture strengthened, so that we’re building good infrastructure that relates well to the landscape and is sustainable.” — Charles Anderson
Charles Anderson FSLA is the president/principal of WERK, a landscape architecture firm based in what he calls “the heart of LA in a lot of ways, at least for the strange people,” Venice Beach. Living and working next to the Pacific, Anderson has seen firsthand the power and presence of the planet’s water system, and how the drought and rising sea levels, wrought by climate change, have wreaked havoc on California’s landscape.
After graduating with a Masters of Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s GSD, Anderson has worked to combine an appreciation of wild landscapes with his love of contemporary art. Respecting an area’s natural flora is a major motivation for his landscapes – California’s relatively dry biome was not meant for thirsty plants, but the landscape that's been built here has put unnecessary stresses on the region. Much can be learned from the plant life in similar climates, like Greece’s, where water simply isn’t as much of a necessity.
Aside from respecting California’s native landscape, Anderson believes there are many ways to help assuage the drought on the simple, day-to-day level, that don’t require any special technologies or policies. From showering with a bucket to water your plants, to collecting distilled condensation from air conditioners, “there’s a real education necessary on the very micro-way of handing [the drought]; not just the grand scale of water distribution but how to handle it more reasonably and low-tech.”
Archinect is thrilled to have Charles Anderson as a jury for our Dry Futures competition.
Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the Dry Futures competition!