URI Landscape Architecture Lecture Series continues Feb. 18 with talk on ‘Designing the Difference’

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KINGSTON, R.I. – February 4, 2010 – The University of Rhode Island’s Landscape Architecture Lecture Series continues on Feb. 18 with a lecture by Ben Uyeda, chief architectural officer of FreeGreen, a Boston-based design firm working to design low-cost housing as a sustainable option. His talk on “Designing the Difference” begins at 7 p.m. in Weaver Auditorium in the Coastal Institute building on the URI Kingston campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Uyeda’s interest in designing sustainable housing for developing nations has taken him to a multitude of countries around the world and led to a meeting with the prime minister of Dominica to discuss using environmentally sensitive building practices to revitalize the local economy. He has worked to address social issues such as homelessness and environmental sustainability by integrating fundraising and coalition building techniques into architectural processes.

Uyeda got his start as co-founder of Zero Energy Design, an architecture and energy consulting firm launched by the leaders of Cornell University’s 2005 Solar Decathlon team. His present company, FreeGreen, is the world’s leading provider of house plans and was recently named by International Design Magazine as one of the 40 companies that will transform the world of design in 2010.

In his lecture, Uyeda will dissect FreeGreen’s rapid emergence and the concepts that have led to its success, including his belief that higher prices don’t always cost more, architects don’t make buildings they make media, and mass publication is better than pre-fabrication.

Other speakers in the URI Landscape Architecture Lecture Series are URI Professor Angelo Simeoni on March 11; URI Professor Will Green on April 1; and Barbara Faga of engineering and design firm AECOM on April 22. All talks begin at 7 p.m. in Weaver Auditorium of the URI Coastal Institute in Kingston.

The URI Landscape Architecture series is co-sponsored by the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association, and Gates Leighton & Associates. For more information about the series, contact the URI Department of Landscape Architecture at 874-2983 or Professor Will Green at wagre@uri.edu.