Emily Schlickman MLA ’12 has recently published “Design by Fire: Resistance, Co-Creation, and Retreat in the Pyrocene” with collegue Brett Milligan (Routledge 2023). Across the world, the risks of wildfires are increasing and expanding. Due to past and current human actions, we dwell in the age of fire – the Pyrocene – and the many challenges and climate adaptation questions it provokes. Drawing upon fieldwork, mapping, drone imagery, and interviews, this publication curates 27 global design case studies within the vulnerable and dynamic wildland-urban interface and its adjacent wildlands.

The book catalogs these examples into three general approaches: those that resist the creative and transformative power of fire and forces of landscape change, those that embrace and utilize fire while also trying to guide landscape forces, and those that intentionally try to retreat and minimize human intervention in fire-prone landscapes coevolved to human agency. Rather than serving as a book of neatly packaged solutions, it is a book of techniques to be considered, evaluated and tested for the cascading, compounding, and aggregating challenges of wildfire.

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