Ken‘s professional and academic interests explore the intersections between the ecological sciences and the design and management of landscapes. In particular, Ken is interested in the relationships – ecologies – of natural and socio-economic processes that form and sustain the patterns of our urban environments. He views the activities of the allied design professions as catalysts for identifying, understanding, designing, and managing the inherent potential found within our built environments.
In his teaching, Ken emphasizes the development of a holistic and integrated approach to design, exploring the intersections that generate and support the multiple ecologies of place. Through a basic understanding of ecological principles he believes that the designers of our built environments have the unique opportunity to translate ecological processes into forms that build upon the rich diversity of our urban ecological environments.
Building on these interests, Ken and Nancy Rottle have recently published a book with AVA Publishing titled Ecological Design. Developed as a primer on the topic, as it relates to the field of landscape architecture, the book provides a foundational understanding of the principles and concepts promoted through the application of ecological processes in design. Ken has also recently begun teaching a summer field course titled, Reading the Elwha, that is tracking the ecological and cultural shifts created by the largest dam removal in U.S. history.
Ken‘s research interests cross multiple scales, but are topically focused on ’demystifying‘ the emerging strategies and technologies for sustainable development. He is currently working with the International Urban Training Center in Seoul, South Korea on a training manual for agency and non-profit employees from developing countries in south and southeast Asia on urban mitigation and adaptation strategies to climate change. Closer to home, Ken is also leading a research program, in collaboration with the local professional roofing and building community and the Green Futures Lab that examines the regional effectiveness of green roof and living wall strategies for mitigating the hydrological and environmental impacts created by urban development.
Landscape Architecture in the UW College of Built Environments
Position: Assistant Professor