#OurChangingClimate: Community Networks for Global Resilience

N. Claire Napawan, Sheryl-Ann Simpson, Brett Snyder (University of California Davis, Department of Human Ecology, California, U.S.A.)

ncnapawan@ucdavis.edu : http://humanecology.ucdavis.edu/people/faculty/lda_napawan_claire.html

ssimpson@ucdavis.edu : http://humanecology.ucdavis.edu/people/faculty/lda_simpson_sheryl-ann.html

blsnyder@ucdavis.edu : http://arts.ucdavis.edu/faculty-profile/brett-snyder

#OurChangingClimate is a participatory design project that seeks to expand and diversify our understanding of climate change by building a network that shares the nuanced and everyday ways in which community members are experiencing vulnerability and resilience to related impacts. It seeks to integrate how we understand climate impacts as a component of our Sense of Place, utilizing digital and analogue tools to support this understanding. The project was launched in spring of 2015 with a series of workshops held for youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, led by UC Davis faculty members, N. Claire Napawan, Sheryl-Ann Simpson, and Brett Snyder and funded by the University of California Humanities Research Institute. The project has since expanded throughout the State of California and other U.S.

regions with efforts to grow to European, and Asian cities by 2018.The proposed workshop will explore the role of design, humanities, and social science perspectives in understanding the small-scale experiences of climate change. Through the integration of community participation, environmental design, and social media, the project provides a more diversified view of local climate impacts and an opportunity for vulnerable communities to contribute to building resilience.


While many may already understand the impacts of global environmental change (such as sea level rise, global warming, species and habitat loss, etc.), these impacts vary dramatically from region to region. It is the specific conditions within a region, city, neighbourhood, and/or household that can determine whether you are vulnerable or resilient to these impacts. The presence of trees, infrastructure, transportation, or food sources can all play a role in determining a community’s resilience. Access to education, health services, or a means of political participation can impact an individual’s resilience. Many times, these small-scale nuances are over-looked when important decisions are made for a community’s future. Despite that, small-scale interventions that support large-scale awareness can have huge impacts on behaviour, policy, and technology, providing opportunities for global impact. In addition, design and humanities projects can give voice to those most vulnerable to climate change including under-represented communities within the political sphere. Thus re-scaling and re-focusing how we talk about climate change is an important effort to building resilience, and the goal of this workshop.

Participants in this three-hour workshop will be introduced to the important role design and the humanities can play in addressing climate change and identify the significance of inclusion and diversification in achieving community resilience. Utilizing their existing social media networks, participatory mapping, and site investigation, participants in this workshop will also explore new ways of communicating their personal experience of change and compare/contrast their experiences with communities around the world.


  • 20 minutes – social media scavenger hunt/ice-breaker
  • 20 minutes – introduction to the #OurChangingClimate project and team
  • 30 minutes – exploration of vulnerability and resilience through aerials and streetviews, and show 45 minutes – physical scavenger hunt, utilizing #OurChangingClimate digital and analogue tools
  • 45 minutes – participant presentation of findings
  • 20 minutes – wrap-up and final remarks

Participants in this workshop receive an #OurChangingClimate toolkit, which includes digital and analogue resources for holding a future mini-workshop/scavenger hunt.

To help with planning please register: https://bunb2017.eventbrite.co.uk


Claire Napawan is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design within the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California Davis. Her research focuses on the investigation of urban public landscapes and their role in supporting community resilience. She was the recipient of the Vanguard Award in 2015 (top 40 emerging urbanist under 40); and a 2016 University of California Climate Action Champion.

Sheryl-Ann Simpson is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California Davis. Her research focuses on the relationships between governments and communities.

Brett Snyder, AIA is a principal of Cheng+Snyder and an Assistant Professor of Design at the University of California, Davis. Snyder works at and researches the intersection of architecture, media, and graphics with a particular interest in urban spaces.

Balance-Unbalance 2017

Balance-Unbalance (BunB)
is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between NATURE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.

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