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Courtyard Institute Heritage Talk Series (No. 5, 2014):Visions of Seaside

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In 1980 Robert and Daryl Davis began developing an 80-acre land parcel on a desolated stretch of beachfront in northwest Florida. Working with town-planners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk they embarked on a journey that would change the status quo paradigm of suburban development, by making a compact, walkable, and diverse place that promoted civic life in the public realm.

Seaside makes a convincing argument for building sustainable, beautiful, and regionally-responsive places. During its slow, successional development it has served as a living laboratory for the principles of the New Urbanism. Since the early 1980s, over a million people have experienced Seaside as temporary residents renting cottages and homes. Additionally, it continues to draw a million visitors annually. This illustrated discussion will cover Seaside’s history and future visions for this iconic place.

Talk Arrangements:

- Organizers:

Courtyard Institute

Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP)

The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu

- Date: 12th April, 2014 (Saturday)

- Time: 10:00-12:00 with Q & A

- Venue: No. 28, Zhonglao Hutong (See map attached)

- Ticket: RMB50 per person, including a drink

- Language:English

- RSVP:Rsvp.sihe@gmail.com (seats will be reserved for those who RSVPed)

About the Speaker


Architect + Urbanist

5015 16th Street NW

Washington DC 20011

(202) 882 7722 work

(202) 321 8655 mobile


Dhiru A. Thadani is an architect and urbanist who has been in practice since 1978. As a design principal and partner for more than thirty years, he has completed projects the world over, and he continues to provide a broad range of consulting services in architecture and urban design.

Thadani was born to the boisterous urbanism of Bombay, India and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1972 to attend the Catholic University of America, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture. During his forty years in Washington, he has taught, practiced, and worked to place architecture and urbanism in the public eye.

He is the author of The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary, published by Rizzoli in 2010, and co-editor of Leon Krier: The Architecture of Community published by Island Press in 2009. Thadani’s latest endeavor, Visions of Seaside: Foundations / Evolution / Imagination / Built & Unbuilt Architecture, was published by Rizzoli in September 2013.

Since its formation in 1993, Thadani has been a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and has been a member of the CNU Board since 2005. He was a 2001 Fellow in the Knight Program for Community Building, a four-time recipient of the CNU Charter Award for design, and the recipient of the 2011 Seaside Prize.

Thadani has been the principal organizer of numerous design workshops, charrettes, and professional symposia, and his work has been widely exhibited and published. He has lectured extensively throughout the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.

His professional work has included new and adapted buildings, new developments, neighborhood revitalization, and urban retrofits and infills. Thadani seeks to support planning at the regional level that provides for coherent open space, transit systems, and architectural environments that are responsive to their culture, climate, and context. His goal has been to create neighborhoods, town, and city centers that are walkable with a balance of workplace, housing, shopping, public spaces, and civic institutions in proven patterns that are essential for them to endure.

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