Ashley Scott Kelly

The Road to Dawei
Environmental governance and advocacy planning in southern Myanmar, 2015-16

Ongoing research with the University of Hong Kong.

With Dorothy Tang and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
"The Road to Dawei" is an advocacy infrastructure planning project that addresses development impacts via environmental policy and physical implementation scenario-building. The simultaneously planned and under construction Dawei-Kanchanaburi Road Link connects Dawei, Myanmar to Bangkok across critical forest habitat and a culturally rich landscape just emerging from ethnic civil war into a new industrial and agricultural development paradigm. Weak environmental and development regulation requires multi-pronged approaches. Our planning project consists of three components: Promoting ecosystem services along the road; strategies for locating points of critical wildlife connectivity where data is scarce; and promoting sustainable road construction technologies. All three comprise a transcalar approach, from construction details to specific site strategies, landscape and transboundary planning. The landscape design team included policy specialists, ecologists, infrastructure planners, GIS specialists, and computer programmers to model scenarios and propose alternative construction practices to minimize environmental damage and fragmentation of critical wildlife corridors. The work is used to build institutional capacity and regional and national levels of government, the road builder, and civil society groups.

Online: Design for Conservation

The South America Project
Narrating the ecological crisis in cases from the Peruvian Amazon, 2011-14

With the University of Hong Kong.

"Myths" of conservation discourse (population and poverty as drivers of deforestation, biodiversity as merely scientific, etc.) frequently decouple the global-regional from the local specifics of place. Design here, through its physical and social agency, involves the visions for five unique environmental interpretation centres and demonstration grounds, each constructing partial perspectives that bridge global conservation (e.g. man-and-the-biosphere reserves) with paradoxes of the highly physical territories of conservation movements and remote agricultural frontiers of the Peruvian Amazon. Deeply entrenched in the methods and instruments of conservation science, as well as geography and anthropology, the project argues to momentarily problematize definitions and classifications promulgated by the use of these tools across multiple disciplines and discourses. Through collaboration with three local NGOs, each regionally distinct and of divergent scales, capacities, and structure, the work aims to make tangible IIRSA's immense, yet indirect, relationship to deforestation and alter our perception of risk and stewardship of (a distant) nature.

Exhibited: 14th Annual Buenos Aires Architecture Bienal

Presented: ESRI Geodesign Conference, Peking University; and
Projects in Process Symposium at the 14th Annual Buenos Aires Architecture Bienal

Published: Landscape Architecture Frontiers, volume 1, issue 6

Development and Conservation Awareness Map (DCAM)
Development and Conservation Awareness Map, 2015-16

Ongoing research with the University of Hong Kong.

The Development and Conservation Awareness Map (DCAM) is being piloted in Myanmar's Tanintharyi Region with civil society groups and international NGOs. The objective is to coordinate often contradictory knowledge of development projects, at any stage of planning and operation, impacting the region and to facilitate dialogue. This is paramount given the current climate of domestic and international investment in Tanintharyi, the complex state of dual-administration, the simultaneous presence of several international NGOs, the persistence of displaced persons and ethnic conflict, the drafting of new land use plans, forest laws, and impact requirements, and not least the region's critical ecological value. As new plans for projects are discovered or as existing projects change course, they can be added to the map via simple drawing tools, uploading, and commentary by the platform's diverse user groups.

Online: Development and Conservation Awareness Map

Counterpart Cities, PRD, China
Climate Change & Cooperative Action, 2011-12

With the University of Hong Kong.
Terence Riley, Jonathan Solomon, Dorothy Tang (Curators)

Led by a curatorial team from the University of Hong Kong, the work suggests the collaboration of regional resources given impetus and/ or affected by climate change: Climate change as opportunity. Alongside wide-ranging research introducing the complexity of the region through the lens of major natural and man-made infrastructures, three design teams from Hong Kong and three from Shenzhen exhibit their visions for the regional cooperation of ports, freshwater delivery systems and cross-border ecologies.

Exhibited: 2011 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture; and Hong Kong Central Market Gallery

Hong Kong Topography
Hong Kong Ground, 2013-14

At the University of Hong Kong.

This map presents initial trials of methods that can enable designers parametric and categorical control over complex surfaces, point clouds, and heavy data, from site-scale manipulations to the projective visualization of entire territories and land mosaics. The test site is a 27-square-kilometer area of Hong Kong Island that contains a representative sample of the territory's "features," including forested mountainsides, cascading artificial slopes and superimposed public grounds. The model is 100% interpolated from spot elevations, non-urban contours, and two-dimensional feature data.

Presented: 11th Annual SmartGeometry Conference, held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2014

Gateway NRA Revitalization
Mapping the Ecotone, 2007

Collaboration with Rikako Wakabayashi.
This project creates a highly visible, experiential public infrastructure that responds to the shifting ecosystem of Jamaica Bay and defines a new vision of the relationship between nature and people. Though within New York City, it is a stretch to call this an urban park in the context of Manhattan. Gateway must be made more accessible in terms of its idea.

Awards: First Prize Van Alen Inst Envisioning Gateway Competition 2007

Published: Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park, 2011; 1000x Landscape Architecture; LA Journal China; others

Grand Army Plaza
Prospect on Structure, 2008

The call to reinvent the face of Prospect Park's 526 acres of forest, water and wetlands is to signal a new public attitude with the extension of the park's ecological systems and interface with the City, creating a multifaceted network of open space, transit and cultural exchange.

Awards: Honorable Mention Reinventing Grand Army Plaza Competition

Exhibited: Design Trust for Public Space Exhibition Brooklyn 2008

Published: Reinventing Grand Army Plaza 2009

LeKinkeliba Foundation Senegal
Bamboo Growth Economy, 2009

Due to high seasonal climate variation and its influence on regional worker patterns, the project aims to stem rural-urban migration and the exodus of Senegalese youth to Europe through the teaching of dry-season agro-forestry techniques and economies. The growth of bamboo clumps within the colony, as well as the landscape of production and harvesting is adapted to passively provide shade and wind-break to buildings and people. Basic necessities of water, shade and shelter organize the colony into clusters not dissimilar from the traditional African village, while redefining its aesthetic character based on the means of felling, curing and drying of this native African species of bamboo.

Exhibited: Shown via at the 2010 Venice Biennale

Published: Selected for Harvard's StudioWorks 2010