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New Provost in Providence

Kent Kleinman appointed provost of Rhode Island School of Design
The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has announced that it has selected Kent Kleinman to serve as its new provost. Kleinman is coming to RISD from Cornell's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, where he was the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean from 2008 to 2018. Kleinman will begin his term at RISD in March 2019. In a statement, RISD President Rosanne Somerson said:
Kent brings broad teaching and administrative experience to RISD coupled with a vision for how we can propel art and design education into new realms of leadership, impact and inclusivity. Throughout the search process, I was continually impressed by his ability to be future-focused while also understanding RISD’s legacies and core culture. Additionally, Kent’s questions and observations reflect his strong natural instincts and distinguished experience in working with both faculty and students. I am excited to work with Kent as our next academic leader to develop opportunities for RISD within the complex and evolving intersections of art, design and the liberal arts.
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The Sandlot

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Student Work
2018 Best of Design Awards winner for Student Work: mise-en-sand Designer: Jonah Merris, University of California, Berkeley Nature is artificial, and occasionally, it is artifice. So how can architecture act as a register of constructed ground in the era of the human geomorphic agent? Jonah Merris designed mise-en-sand, a proposal for a 21st-century exposition that addresses the extraction and exploitation of sand, as a series of six composed set designs that would allow visitors to consider the high volume–low value-paradox of sand as a global commodity. The sites and processes depicted in these vignettes showcase the breadth of scales and geographies across which the construction and deconstruction of ground occurs. Within mise-en-sand, architecture becomes a performance wherein objects are staged and meaning implied—a sandbox where observers can reconsider naturalism as it applies to something as ubiquitous as sand. Honorable Mentions Project name: Cloud Fabuland Designer: Eleonora Orlandi, SCI-Arc Project name: Real Fake Designer: James Skarzenski, University of California, Berkeley
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Professor of Cities

Thom Mayne to take over SCI-Arc’s cities program
Thom Mayne of Morphosis will be rejoining the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) as a full-time distinguished faculty member as the new coordinator for the SCI-Arc EDGE Design of Cities postgraduate program. Mayne, one of the original founders of SCI-Arc, will be taking over the Design of Cities program from current coordinator David Ruy, who will stay on as head of postgraduate studies at the school. Regarding Mayne’s new post, SCI-Arc director Hernan Diaz Alonso said:
“It is wonderful to have Thom Mayne come back home. He is a major part of what SCI-Arc is, was, and will be. Thom Mayne represents everything that we want our students to aspire to. Thom embodies the best aspirations of architecture as a historical, cultural, and political force that is unique among creative disciplines. Thom will help us to maintain the unique spirit of exploration that defines SCI-Arc. In the contemporary world, architectural thinking should be a platform for challenging the status quo. We welcome back to SCI-Arc, one of the pioneers of this idea.”
Mayne has extensive experience as an educator and has held teaching positions at Columbia, Yale, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, and most recently at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Mayne led the school’s Suprastudio, among other institutions. The Design of Cities program is focused, according to the SCI-Arc website, “against the conventional wisdom that cities are hopelessly complex, informal networks beyond the reach of any design model, this program fundamentally believes in the power of the architectural imagination to create sustainable urban designs for the twenty-first century and beyond.” With a long legacy of urban- and sustainability-focused work and research under his belt and a growing momentum toward regional urban transformation in Los Angeles and California more broadly, expect to see Mayne’s provocative ideas take on new life as he undertakes his new position.
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MIT Mini-storage

MIT to consolidate its architecture school in a warehouse revamped by DS+R
MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) is currently scattered all over the school’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus, but not for much longer. The university announced on December 14 that it had tapped New York’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) to convert the historic Metropolitan Storage Warehouse into a central design hub. The idea of renovating the Metropolitan Warehouse, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986, has been kicking around since June of this year. At the time, SA+P dean Hashim Sarkis expressed the desire to consolidate the physical design and research components of the school into one location. The proposed changes would preserve the warehouse’s distinctive red brick facade (likely because of its historical significance). DS+R will be partnering with Boston’s Leers Weinzapfel Associates, no strangers to academic work, to bring 200,000 square feet of classrooms, galleries, workshops, studio spaces, and an auditorium to the former warehouse. A makerspace, accessible to the entire campus, will also be installed under the administration of Project Manus, a group responsible for integrating and updating such spaces at the school. The selection of DS+R began with a long list of potential architects that was put forth by MIT’s Office of Campus Planning (OCP). Representatives from every department of SA+P, Project Manus, and OCP then whittled the list down to four finalists. The remaining studios were invited to give private presentations in October, and feedback on each was taken from SA+P students and faculty, as well as representatives from the city. “A project of this scale and complexity,” said Sarkis, “which demands a design sensibility informed by both art and technology—along with a deep understanding of architecture education as well as the role of public space—is made for a firm like DS+R.” No estimated completion date for the project has been given yet, nor has a budget estimate, though MIT says that the school is in productive talks with alumni about fundraising to pay for it.
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A Rolling Stone…

Design legend Murray Moss discusses the future of “anti-disciplinarity”
As the semester closes out, select Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students are likely reflecting on one of the fall’s more atypical visiting teachers. Murray Moss, the figure behind the eponymous Moss, one of the 21st century’s most iconic design galleries and stores, has been taking his knowledge of art and design to RISD, where he delivered two lectures that were followed by graduate workshops at the RISD Museum. When I met with Moss in the lobby of his hotel, he was in a genial mood, sort of unabashedly prepared in his self-professed unpreparedness (a fib; he had quite a bit of material to riff on) for his lecture later that night, titled “Interdisciplinary Design Becomes the Norm.” “I'm not a lecturer,” he admitted, “but I thought, well, at this point I could try anything. What do I have to lose?” The first lecture, delivered this past October, was titled “In Search of a Narrative.” In it, Moss asked design students to consider the narratives and histories objects embody and tell. Sort of. “An object can't tell you anything,” Moss told me in the lobby of his hotel, speaking of his own approach as a curator of design and about what he enjoys about working with students, “but a person can. They can share the way they see what they've done...If what they start to say to me is interesting, then I start to like the thing.” He has, he claims, “never in [his] life seen a trend.” I asked Moss about the increasingly blurry boundary between art, architecture, and design—something that has come to define young gallerists like Jay Ezra Nayssan of Annex LA or Benoît Wolfrom and Javier Peres of Functional Art. “My question would be, why do you ask?” Moss responded. “It's like, what is interdisciplinarity? Why do you care? Who told you that's something you were supposed to waste five minutes on.” I pointed out he was about to “waste” an hour on it. “I know. But I didn't know what it was. I always get in this mess. I pick a topic, because I think it's going to be good, and then five minutes after I agree to do it, it turns out, I read something and I'm like, ‘This is a horrible subject.’ And I'm stuck with it.” His talk, which opened with winking self-deprecation, was, however, decidedly not horrible. He used his subject and its title, which he admitted he picked before he wrote the lecture, as a launching pad to undo the expectations built into the title. If interdisciplinarity is already the norm, then what’s next? “What’s emerging,” Moss told students “is much more radical.” He suggests that “we must pass through, it seems, interdisciplinarity in order to attain anti-disciplinarity.” He suggests that instead of being siloed into fields and disciplines and their correspondent singular methodologies, or even working together with other disciplines, thus still acknowledging those disciplines, we must work in the spaces between disciplines or after them all together that is, anti-disciplinarity—increasingly relevant today. Speaking to students he told them to “check [their] opinion bags at the door,” before exploring the possibilities of learning and creating beyond disciplines and without the confines of taken-for-granted foreknowledge. He then showed off the work of designers, artists, and mathematicians who he says work in the spaces between disciplines, including Ingo Maurer, Maarten Baas, Cathy McClure, and Haresh Lalvani. Although Moss professed disgust at the idea he might have any legacy as a “motivational speaker,” he still has a deep belief in learning and in encouraging new generations to think widely and chase new ideas, part of his motivation for teaching with a radical ethos that looks at the personal and looks for thoughts that exceed and even destroy traditionally held boundaries. “I think that we owe it to the younger people to encourage them to soar.”
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ISTBEST

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Unbuilt – Education
2018 Best of Design Awards for Unbuilt – Education: Arizona State University Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7 Designer: Studio Ma Location: Tempe, Arizona The Arizona State University Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7 (ISTB-7) by Studio Ma will be an interdisciplinary science and research complex that incorporates a new generation of sustainable design solutions, as well as climate-responsive, regenerative technologies. ISTB-7 is a next-generation, triple net-zero facility, envisioned as a prototype for a stand-alone, closed loop infrastructure that ultimately produces and collects more energy and water than it uses. The cross-laminated timber frame building anchors a new research precinct on the Gateway Edge of ASU’s Tempe Campus. Wastewater and air is recycled through a central biome located within the facility’s massive daylit atrium. Set for completion in 2020, the 258,000-square-foot building will support advanced research in sustainability and robotics to help solve the emerging energy, water, and food crises. Honorable Mentions Project name: Bedford Stuyvesant Community Innovation Campus Designer: Ten to One Location: Brooklyn, New York Project name: 80 Flatbush Public Schools Designer: Architecture Research Office Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Holding Pattern

2018 Best of Design Awards winners for Unbuilt – Interior
2018 Best of Design Awards for Unbuilt – Interior: Children’s Institute Designer: DSH // architecture Location: Long Beach, California The design of the new, 20,000-square-foot Children’s Institute, a regional social services center, promotes intricacy and specificity. DSH // architecture designed the office space by avoiding a clichéd open-plan model; instead, the firm developed a concept that incorporates clustered team workspaces, smaller areas for focused meetings, gathering spaces located for chance encounters, and decompression zones for quiet meditation. The layout was based on an analysis of mobility patterns, team structures, and the differing needs of distinct clientele. As a new hub for this nonprofit organization, the work environment inspires the innovative thinking and creative solutions needed for its mission: genuine and effective interventions for some of society’s most intransigent problems. Honorable Mention Project name: Holdroom of the Future Designer: Corgan Location: N/A
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WHO? WHAT!

Travis Scott tweets that he is applying to Harvard GSD
Travis Scott announced on Twitter that he is applying to Harvard this week. Someone from the rapper's team confirmed to Page Six that he is applying to the GSD. While the chart-topping performer does not have a background in design, he does have experience with the Ivy League university where he recently appeared for a question-and-answer session titled “A Master Class on Creativity." He is also not the only rapper to embrace the GSD. Years before he launched Yeezy Architecture, Kanye West famously appeared at the school in 2013 where he told a crowd that he spends a lot of time with architects and respects the profession. West went on to say at the school, "I believe that utopia is actually possible—but we’re led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political. So in no way am I a politician—I’m usually at my best politically incorrect and very direct." The two rappers are close to being family; Scott has a child with Kylie Jenner, younger sibling to Kim Kardashian West, who is married to Kanye West. The two collaborated on a single earlier this year but have not worked together on designs—yet.
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Russian Rings

Herzog & de Meuron completes Moscow tech campus building
Herzog & de Meuron has completed the first building in a massive new tech campus being developed outside Moscow. The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) University East Wing Building is the hub of District 3 of the five-district Skolkovo community. Skolkovo is a new ground-up development meant to be a home for research and technology just outside the Russian capital. District 3 houses the area's university, Skoltech, which will live in the new East Wing Building and two forthcoming structures also designed by the star Swiss firm. The new 1,442,000-square-foot building takes the form of a massive partially-filled ring with a 919-foot diameter. The outer ring and two smaller inner rings house academic facilities, shared spaces, and an auditorium, while staggered bars stretch across the building to house workshops and laboratories. A large basement floor runs across the structure's footprint to accommodate support and technical facilities. A jigsaw roofline cuts across the bars and rings to unite the structure. One result of the building's distinctive parti is a collection of courtyards of various shapes and sizes. These outdoor areas are framed by the building's striated facade, which materially codes the ring and bar spaces. The rings are clad in vertical larch wood fins, while white aluminum fins skin the bars. The building is not the first ring-shaped structure for Skolkovo. In 2010 David Adjaye completed a building for the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo with a large circular podium topped by cantilevering bars. Foster + Partners more recently completed Apple's headquarters with another circular design for a tech campus.
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Renewing the Role

The Bartlett launches dean search to replace Professor Alan Penn
This past week, University College London’s (UCL) Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment announced its search for a new dean to replace Professor Alan Penn, the current Dean who will resign after two five-year terms in the role. The new dean will head the 13 schools and organizations that compose The Bartlett, one of the most prestigious centers for architecture and urban planning in the world. During his ten-year reign as head of The Bartlett, Penn has contributed to major organizational changes within the program. Under Penn’s lengthy tenure, the maximum allowed by UCL, The Bartlett’s curriculum has doubled in size, from 36 to 77 programs offered to over 3,000 students. To facilitate this rapid development, faculty income and staff numbers have increased five-fold. The physical estate of The Bartlett has expanded as well, developing from 18,000 square feet to nearly 46,000 square feet in only ten years. This includes the renovation of 22 Gordon Street and the unveiling of the Here East facility along London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which added valuable housing, teaching, research, and commercial space to The Bartlett community. “Accelerate,” the ground-breaking program designed to increase diversity in the architectural field, was also founded during this time. “I have been lucky to have been dean at a time when the central importance of the built environment to the future of society and the planet has started to be understood,” said Professor Alan Penn in a statement. “UCL has invested heavily and The Bartlett is now a research and educational powerhouse. We attract some of the best staff and students from around the world and working with them is truly inspiring.” The new dean, who will assume the position in September 2019, will have the opportunity to build on the success of Penn and continue to establish The Bartlett as a world leader in architecture and urban planning. Some of the key tasks that will be assigned to the new dean include launching a UCL Energy Impact Accelerator program, expanding opportunities for cross-disciplinary work at business and tech outlet Here East, and engendering diversity, equality, and inclusion among the students and faculty of The Bartlett. Penn will return to The Bartlett after a year’s sabbatical in order to resume his job as Professor in Architectural and Urban Computing in the school’s Space Syntax Laboratory, where he will explore the built environment’s impact on the patterns of socioeconomic behavior of communities and organizations. Details regarding the Dean recruitment process can be found on UCL’s career website.
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"An Exotic Place"

The new director of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture and Interior Design talks the future and Ohio
Ed Mitchell began his role as the new director of the University of Cincinnati's School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) one year ago. Notable for its innovative century-old cooperative education platform, the school's rankings have dipped in the past decades out of the country's elite programs. In this interview, Mitchell—whose resume includes an energetic mix of professional practice and academic positions at Columbia, Pratt, Yale, IIT, and more—explains his vision for the school and the move from the east coast to the midwest. The Architect's Newspaper: At the time you took the role of SAID director, you were in charge of the post-professional program at Yale and an Associate Professor there. Ed Mitchell: There were things we were doing in studios at Yale that I thought had the mission of a "school." What I liked about the students at Yale—especially the post-professional students—was that they were international. Their perspective on issues was very different from the standard American East Coast background that Yale typically gets. We were doing studios where the problem was wide open—but it was real. It wasn't a problem of program or constructional limitations. What was important was a real evaluation of the aesthetics and formal control of architecture to other disciplines. There were physical aspects of city-making that compelled me. People would come to both of us with questions like: "We've got 1,600 acres. What should we do? We need an answer in three weeks." That was the problem. As a result, our students would get involved in the actual project—meet with state officials, local politicians, developers, fishermen, industry workers, local immigrant communities—and actually stage the city they wanted to have happen. AN: Why did you apply for the job in Cincinnati? EM: Cincinnati, if you've never come out here, is an exotic place. Everything was new here for me. It was like being in a foreign country. As an architect, this is one of the most beautiful architectural cities I've been too, bar (almost) none. Cincinnati is the westernmost eastern city, the southernmost northern city, and the northernmost southern city in the country. Nothing is resolved here! The city has an incredible history that you feel around you all the time. This is the subculture that makes a place interesting. It's the kind of place that I always gravitated to—I lived in Providence as an undergraduate. I moved to New York and San Francisco in the '80's which were both like that. If you were talented and had energy, then people would find out about you, and they might just invite you to collaborate with them. It wasn't like you had to pay dues to gain access. What's interesting about a city like Cincinnati is that it's relatively easy to get into the community to do work. The cost of the education is relatively low—when high tuition cost prohibits at a point of entry from certain economic classes that isn't right. If you are eliminating talent based on income, you're not doing anything important anymore. This was the right school with the right kind of potential. AN: What are you most excited about in your new position as director of SAID? EM: $2 beers and cheap bowling. An exciting art scene of young people in the city. Adjunct faculty who looked like they might have the kind of energy to take this to the next level. I sensed people wanted somebody to push the energy level up—to keep it up and stay positive about it. A lot of people forgot about the University of Cincinnati. On the east coast, it had a reputation as a great school. The midwestern schools safeguarded and championed the discipline of architecture for several decades. I still think of it that way, but admittedly many students are not familiar with the place and its mission. People are a little intimidated about taking risks, and this might be a risky place to be. It's not New York or L.A. or London. But it's a place where culture arises from.
You have opportunities here that you wouldn't have elsewhere. This week was incredible. The first year graduate studio built a pavilion on the main campus in two and a half weeks that's pretty incredible; we have five books coming out next month after one year. We have a new dean incoming from Hong Kong who is bringing a global perspective to the college. AN: What plans do you have for the school? What's your vision for it? EM: A lot of people don't realize Cincinnati has a 100-year old co-op program where a portion of the curriculum is dedicated to students working in offices around the world. The idea of the cooperative was a radical political agenda in the midwest. It would be an exciting mission for the school to take it dead seriously. Not just as a service to professional offices—there's nothing wrong with that—but what the cooperative project really is. Whether that's questioning our urban futures, or taking a group of new students and in three weeks building a community structure to host events, or organizing the junior faculty in a three-city exhibition. There's an attitude here: an "all hands on deck" approach. Everyone pitches in to get things accomplished. I think this is fantastic—something you don't get in a lot of places. People here are competitive and want to do excellent work, but they're supportive and cooperative towards a larger cultural effort. AN: Explain the issues facing the school. EM: The school's reputation was in the accredited B.Arch program. I think we need to define what a Masters program is. The real question is what do we do different here than other schools? It's a relatively small program in size with a "down home" work ethic about what it does. However, that shouldn't stop it from being creative and original. Ohio is full of great subcultures in the arts and music from its utopian past to the birth of punk in Cleveland and Akron. We need to keep that spirit in architecture. There's too much focus on program and not enough critique of architecture. The good intentions of the students and faculty sometimes backfire: the moral is a way of dodging the physique. Some of our students travel internationally through co-op, but historically we haven't had strong enough partnerships with international academic programs. For example, our students will work in Beijing on a co-op, but they haven't actually done studio work there or looked at larger international problems that they'll probably be involved in within offices. So I'm trying to find a way that we can do research-based work within the school. Not only as a studio imperative but as an extended research project in a developing post-doc program or the existing doctoral programs. These projects can become longer-term sustained revisitation of a series of problems. In this way, international studies become less episodic and more engaged with a broader mission statement. AN: Since you were at Eisenman's office in the mid-'90s during the design of the school addition, what insights can you share about the building? Can you tell us how it operates? EM: The building has a legacy as one of the last buildings during the peak of a critical, theoretical approach in formalism. When I got out of school, I thought this was the only thing architecture would be left to do. It's an important legacy to retain, but not one to continually emulate to the point of exhaustion. It's like a medieval city—you have to learn it's internal routes. There are ways of moving about the building that inspire conspiracies, gang organizations, and new collectives. The main space in the building exists as a great gallery of work. SAID tends to occupy this space as much as it can. You can sit there, eat a sandwich, roll around on the floor, look at your work. People are in discussions there. It's a really active space and didactive for our students and faculty. AN: While SAID is one of four broader schools within DAAP, it contains two disciplines: architecture and interior design. Culturally, these programs feel like two different worlds, each with their own academic agendas and representational toolsets. EM: I'd like for the two disciplines to interplay more. There are things that each does better. Something is fascinating about how, in the 18th century, things like color couldn't be described scientifically. Issues like color and shape that weren't normative or relative to a platonic solid fell out of the discourse of architecture because they couldn't be documented, written, and transcribed. Interiors, as a discipline, didn't really emerge until the 19th century when "identity" became an issue. This led to a wide range of proto-formations of architecture and spatial matrices. Cincinnati is full of that because it emerged as a great city during this time of a shifting cultural spectrum. The result is that it's a place where you can invent stuff—there is great high modernism here, there's incredible Victorian architecture, and the landscape and river have its own unique presence. I think you can tap into that variety of circumstances, ecologies, and histories.  
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Pretty as a Peach

Savannah College of Art and Design shows off its historic buildings
In the heart of the American south, more than 15,000 students at Georgia's Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) stroll through more than 100 rehabilitated historic buildings every day. And, beyond Savannah’s charming squares set amid historic architecture, the university also has reclaimed buildings and interiors in Atlanta, as well as in Hong Kong and Lacoste, France. As SCAD founder and president Paula Wallace puts it, “SCAD comprises a menagerie of extraordinary historic buildings.” These international historic sites have been thoroughly documented in a new book that highlights the university’s history through the lens of its rich built environment in SCAD: The Architecture of a University. The book, published by Assouline, is a luxurious montage of more than 200 color and archival photographs spread across 360 pages. Wanting to share the school’s built history with architecture and preservation aficionados across the globe (as well as with prospective students), the book attempts to create, as Wallace says, “a sumptuous visual experience…that invites readers to tumble headlong into each spread.” It’s intended, she says, to serve as an “invitation.” SCAD has been honored for its conservation efforts by organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Institute of Architects, and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. Detailing the importance of historic preservation, SCAD: The Architecture of a University celebrates the university’s reuse and revitalization of historic buildings, and serves as a visual guide for reframing historic buildings for contemporary uses and needs—a purpose that extends well beyond the interests of a single institution. From Poetter Hall, an 18th-century fortress-like building that was home of the Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory, to a former Hong Kong courthouse built by the British Government in 1960, the book offers a retrospective history spanning four decades with detailed narratives of 40 of the university’s architectural jewels located across its four global locations.