January 25, 2023

Welcome to the 2023 West Quad Conference – “Extremes: Urban Adaptation and Innovation”!

Just like the fiery rebirth of the mythical symbol, Phoenix, Arizona has been at the forefront of growth, speed, and innovation in the southwest after a period of extreme transformation in a scorching environment. It was largely an agricultural state until the 1960s when it started to see massive urban growth that reflected the “American dream”. Automobile centric development, sprawl of single family structures, and new industries began to mold the valley into a place fit for urban development and commercial investment. This led to a boom in sporadic and ill-planned urban sprawl, in an already challenging environment.

Today designers all over the area have begun rethinking and reshaping the way that we build and use our spaces with the environmental conditions as a driving factor for change.

The theme of this conference is based on the architectural and urban challenges that Arizona faces as one of the hottest states in the U.S. Confronted by 111 annual days of triple digit heat, a continuing water crisis as population booms, and a 454% increase in heat related deaths since 2014, the crisis is, in fact, here. Although it is one of the hottest locations, in the next 30 years, many other cities will be faced with the same challenges. So the “Extremes: Urban Adaptation and Innovation” conference will serve as a warning sign, a display of experimentation, and innovation in dire circumstances in the land of scorching growth.

Host School: Arizona State University

If you have any questions, please email us at mailbox@aias.org!


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