Summit Speaker: Randy Hester
June 10, 2016
Director, Center for Ecological Democracy
Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Randolph T. Hester is a founder of the modern Participatory Design Movement in Landscape Architecture, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley and Director of the Center for Ecological Democracy. For 50 years he has engaged communities in transactive design. His first books, Neighborhood Space (1975) and Community Goal Setting (1982) provide now classic skills to uncover and apply cultural nuances to landscape design. Planning Neighborhood Space With People (1984) and Community Design Primer(1990) spell out a 12 step participatory process to protect sacred places, promote socio-ecological thinking, and achieve cultural expression and environmental justice through landscape architecture and environmental planning. Design for Ecological Democracy (2006) describes a visionary yet achievable civic future.
Hester has created internationally acclaimed democratic landscapes in places as diverse as Manteo, North Carolina, Los Angeles and Tainan, Taiwan. His capacity to adopt hopeless causes, overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and achieve radical landscape and community transformations is legendary. Others describe him as fearless and relentless, distinguished by his use of landscape architecture to produce precedent-setting grassroots designs, save endangered species and cultures, redistribute resources and power, and challenge elitist convention in ways that matter. He seldom whines.