PULLMAN, Wash. – A symposium on revitalizing rural environments will be held Thursday, March 29-Saturday, March 31, at Washington State University and the University of Idaho.

The symposium will address the destabilization of small villages and towns around the world due to mass migration to urban centers. At a time when information has the potential to distribute knowledge and resources in egalitarian ways, today’s unsustainable urban congestion instead often recalls problems of the 19th century’s Industrial Revolution such as pollution, lack of medical care, squatter housing, overburdened infrastructure, and tensions between demographic groups.

Professor Liu Jiaping, director of the Green Architecture Research Center at the Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, will be a keynote speaker. Jiaping, one of a few architects who is a yuan shi (national scholar) in the China Academy of Engineering, will lecture on “New Vernacular Architecture and Ecosophy Inheritance,” 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, in Spark G45 on the WSU Pullman campus.

Professor Jeffrey Johnson, chair of Architecture at the University of Kentucky, will also be a keynote speaker. He will speak on “Superblocks and the Return of Rural Places” from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in the Art and Architecture South 2nd floor gallery at the University of Idaho.

A student charrette will also be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Saturday, March 31, in the Carpenter Hall gallery on the Pullman campus.

The event is sponsored by WSU’s School of Design and Construction, Asia Program, Honors College, Humanities Institute, and Elson S. Floyd Medical School; the Confucius Institute of Washington; Integrus Architecture; the University of Idaho; and the Rural Communities Design Initiative.

For more information and additional events scheduled for the symposium, go to http://sdc.wsu.edu/blog/revitalizing-rural-environments/ .



  • David Wang, professor, School of Design and Construction, (509) 335-8642, davidwang@sdc.wsu.edu
  • Tina Hilding, communications director, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, (509) 335-5095, thilding@wsu.edu