The aim of the Reimagining 2025:Living with Fire Design Challenge is to center the voices of emerging scholars in current discussions on wildfire risk management. The objective is to enable student-led teams to closely engage with communities in processes of reimagining inclusive, just, and equitable pathways to living with fire.
The Living with Fire Design Challenge supported a first cohort of four teams in 2021, see key outcomes here. These student-led interdisciplinary teams pursued bold ideas to reimagine how communities can live with fire across communities in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, Marin County in California and Boulder County, Colorado.
Building on the success and lessons learned from the first cohort, proposals are now invited in response to the following 2022 Design Challenge theme: Expanding wildfire risk management capacities and capabilities for just, inclusive, and equitable outcomes.Submit your proposal to email@example.com. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until 30 September 2022.
See the 2022 Living with Fire Design Challenge call for proposals here.
Each team must be comprised of at least three students, one faculty advisor, and one community partner. Teams will receive an award of up to USD 20,000, access to a highly experienced mentor network, and pathways to future funding opportunities. The awards will enable teams to co-develop ‘living with fire’ projects with communities at high risk of wildfire impacts.
Learn from the 2021 Cohort
Reimagining Community Wildfire Protection Planning in Ventura County, California A team from the University of California Santa Barbara in partnership with the Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council has focused on the meaningful inclusion of socially vulnerable communities in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) process for Ventura County. The team’s Story Map presents ecological data and diverse community feedback, to visualize “projected” and “reimagined” states of living with fire in just and inclusive ways in Ventura County, California. For details on their project see here.
Reimagining community resilience in Gold Hill, Boulder County, Colorado A team from the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with the CU Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities and the Boulder Watershed Collective is engaged in creative programming for wildfire adapted forest ecosystems and communities using a 100-acre forest thinning/meadow restoration project in Gold Hill, CO. The team's Story Map presents "projected" and "reimagined" pathways for how the Gold Hill community can live with fire. For details on their project see here.
Mentors In 2021, the teams were guided by inspiring mentors who brought interdisciplinary thinking, industry best practices, and human-centered design thinking: Amy Berry (The Tahoe Fund), Daniel Godwin (The Ember Alliance), and Faith Kearns (California Institute for Water Resources). Learn more about our 2021 mentors here.
Inclusive evacuation planning for Marin County, California In June 2021, Wonder Labs also awarded USD 5,000 for a Design Challenge submission received from a team at UC Berkeley. As part of this award, the UC Berkeley team completed a 6-week summer project with Zonehaven AWARE to augment inclusive evacuation planning efforts in Marin County, California. This summer project contributes to community-centered research and visual design for more inclusive evacuation planning. The team was mentored by advisors from UC Berkeley, Wonder Labs, Zonehaven, and Marin County partners. For details on their project, see here.
In 2021, teams co-developed 'living with fire' community-centered projects over a period of six months, from 1 June until 30 November 2021. On 9 December 2021, teams co-presented their work with community partners followed by reflections from Design Challenge mentors at an end of project webinar, available here: https://youtu.be/yUB3Zpfdeoo
Follow updates on the Design Challenge projects on Twitter: @WonderLabs1