Stuckeman School to welcome Peruvian designer for lecture and exhibition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —  The Stuckeman School in the College of Arts and Architecture will welcome Coco Alarcon, a Peruvian architect, landscape architect and public health researcher, to the Stuckeman Family Building at 6 p.m. on March 22 to present a lecture and open an exhibition as part of the school’s Lecture and Exhibit Series.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture, Alarcon’s Bracken Lecture and exhibition are both titled “Happy Landscapes: Wellbeing by Design,” and will reflect how landscapes can address happiness, mental health and wellbeing. He will also explore how theories from social psychology and other fields can guide landscape architecture practice. Alarcon will share his experiences and ongoing work examining systemic applications of these approaches in the urban Amazonian region.

For the past 12 years, Alarcon has worked in low-income communities in Peru, where his work centers on designing, building and assessing projects with a community-engaged, holistic approach to understand the connection between the built environment and human and ecological health.

Alarcon is one of the founders of Traction, a nonprofit community design firm that “champions participatory design, action and research to improve human, ecological and economic health in underserved communities,” according to its website. Traction consists of designers, builders and researchers from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering, environmental engineering and global health that emphasize community-driven design processes and thorough impact assessment. Alarcon serves as the site director in Peru, as well as the lead designer and researcher.

Alarcon is currently pursuing his doctorate in global health and implementation science at the University of Washington. He holds a master of landscape architecture degree and a global health certificate from the University of Washington, and he earned his bachelor of architecture degree from the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. Alarcon was named a National Institutes of Health Fogarty Global Health Fellow and a Landscape Architecture Foundation Olmsted Scholar.

The lecture will be held in the Stuckeman Family Building Jury Space and offered via Zoom. Those attending the lecture virtually must register in advance. The exhibition will open immediately following the talk in the Rouse Gallery, which is adjacent to the Jury Space, and will run through May 31.

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