Coming Soon



April 4th-6th 2014

University of Oregon. Lawrence Hall. 

All Lectures in room 177

All Panel Discussions in room 177, with the exception of Oregon Style which will be in Room 206.

Workshops in the Lawrence Hall Courtyard

Wilson Smith Design Charette in room 206


Since its creation in 1995, the EDC’s HOPES (Holistic Options for Planet Earth Sustainability) conference has remained the only ecological design conference developed and managed by students. Held every year in April, HOPES works to promote the deeper understanding and broader application of sustainable design principles.Over the past ten years, the conference has brought such luminaries as Shigeru Ban, Sim Van der Ryn, Samuel Mockbee, James Hubbel, Angela Danadijieva, Michael Pyatok, Steve Badanes, Richard Register, David Orr, John Schaeffer and Clare Cooper Marcus to the University of Oregon campus.


Dissonance. Synthesis. Initiation.

In past years these conferences have been focused around singular issues from a specific perspective of design. This year however we set out with a new approach: bringing together individuals from multiple disciplines to confront the pertinent issues of our time as a collective. This approach parallels the Oregon School’s history of challenging conventional ideas of conservation and sustainability, HOPES [19]: “Collaborative Futures” looks to re-articulate and direct the contemporary discourse of what it means to foster a sustainable city, region and planet. We have brought together professionals, academics, researchers, professors, and students in fields ranging from biomimicry to sociology  for a truly uniquely collaborative conference this year.


As always the HOPES Conference is arranged around a basic format of lectures, panel discussions, and workshops/charette. This year we have 8 Lecturers who will give lectures based on outlining who they are what they do, they have all been selected based upon their individual ideas of sustainability and their unique stance on what the future of design holds. The 6 Panel Discussions (Oregon Style, Why Designers?, Emancipated City, Citizen Expert, Collaborative Justice, and FUTURE!) will bring together professors and professionals alike to debate and talk about specific facets of sustainability in design. The workshops will instruct students on how to create a Vaquaponics system (worms and water) with a student expert, and to help produce a Mobile Work Station with the designBridge team. The design charette will be led by Wilson Smith a Senior Designer at Nike and will address the needs of those affected by Hurricane Sandy, participants may even have their design selected for a real world application.


The HOPES symbol represents our increasing connectedness on a local, regional, and global scale. The circle represents a common whole, while the lines speak to the multitude of ways in which we all communicate our ideas. The colors speak to our environment and growth and the nature of our school.


Problems cannot be solved from within the same paradigm in which they were created, “writes Annie Leonard in The Story of Stuff. Many disciplines have become aware and are active in the pursuit of “sustainability” through the unique perspectives of their specific fields. However, discipline-specific efforts are fundamentally limited in responding to inherently interconnected, and therefore interdisciplinary issues. To pursue innovative solutions we must challenge conventional reductionism, existing hierarchies and complacent approaches. By fostering a collaborative dialectic and  enabling access to a vast compilation of knowledge, philosophy and appropriate application, what might be possible? Ultimately this expanded context must be made accessible for the expansion of otherwise narrow understandings. Can one unified understanding of sustainability exist? Or instead an amalgamation of interdependent approaches to it? How might these differing approaches to sustainability find common understanding and realization? We intend to challenge contemporary accounts of what it means to be sustainable. We invite dissonance, we seek synthesis and offer initiation into collaborative thinking, so that we may measure past efforts and define areas of newly shared approaches. 

Graphic Schedule Wilson Smith Neri Oxman David Cook Carolyn Steel Randy Hester Himat Khalsa Lola Sheppard


7 thoughts on “HOPES 20

  1. The Robert D. Clark Honors College says that you are accepting submissions for art, literature, projects, diagrams, etc. Where can we submit these items? What are the guidelines and/or themes for the submissions?

  2. WOW. 19 years! I was part of the first HOPES organizing group. I’m so glad to see the conference continuing and evolving.

  3. So where does one find a detailed version of the schedule that includes descriptions of the events? Preferably in printer-friendly format, as well as the same for the list of speakers.

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