September 25

Matthew Krissel of KieranTimberlake Architects on the coming Facades+ AM Philadelphia

Architecture East Facades+ News
What you can expect from Facades+ AM Philadelphia. Image: Dilworth Plaza Renovation, Center City District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014. Designed by KieranTimberlake Architects.
 (James Ewing/Courtesy OTTO)
What you can expect from Facades+ AM Philadelphia. Image: Dilworth Plaza Renovation, Center City District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014. Designed by KieranTimberlake Architects. (James Ewing/Courtesy OTTO)

How are computational devices changing the way we approach design? Why is it essential to look at building envelopes as more than just an environmentally-focused skin? These are some of the questions that will be raised at the coming Facades+ AM conference in Philadelphia on September 25.

Matthew Krissel, a partner at KieranTimberlake Architects, will be acting as co-chair throughout the conference. Krissel worked with The Architect’s Newspaper (AN) on the program for each of the three panels due to take place.

Dilworth Plaza Renovation, Center City District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014. Designed by KieranTimberlake Architects. (James Ewing/Courtesy OTTO)

There is a rich history of design here as well as a growing group of young and emerging design practices doing innovative work,” Krissel told AN. “At KieranTimberlake Architects, we are seeking continuous improvement of not just what we design and make but also how and why.”



The first panel will look at how technology is changing the way architects work with facades. From both a performance and poetic perspective, computational design has meant that contemporary designers approach building skins differently. Krissel talked about “augmenting a rich tradition of design processes” and exploring new methods of design. “Beyond simply using computation for expedient production, we see it as a means to expanding the creative potential of the design team.”

In panel two, we take on the WHY, expanding the definition of performance to include desire, poetics, and cultural identity [which] elevate the human experience in meaningful ways,” said Krissel. The panel will also look at how facades can be both environmentally responsive (and responsible) but also contribute to the phenomenological experience of a building. 

The final panel will address, in relation to the previous discussions, what is being done in Philadelphia, the city where KieranTimberlake Architects is based. Surveying Philly buildings of various scales, this discussion will touch on why the design community must see their individual projects as part of a larger urban collective where buildings give back more than they take from society. 

“I wanted the conference to take on a similar trajectory and create a larger narrative about the transformative capacity of design and the built environment,” Krissel added. “This conference is an opportunity to build that narrative that extends from process to outcomes and do it with a mix of established practices and emerging voices in design.”

Facades+AM Philadelphia is at the National Museum of American Jewish History September 25th. Information at am.facadesplus.com.

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