Posts tagged with "University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning":

AN interviews the ACADIA 2016 organizers

In just a few days, ACADIA will host its annual conference at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Ahead of the proceedings, The Architect's Newspaper (AN) spoke with this year’s organizers, Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov—both principals of Ann Arbor, MI- and Toronto-based RVTR and faculty at Taubman Collegeto get a preview of what to expect from this year’s impressive lineup. AN: The theme of this year’s conference is Data, Designers, and Cognitive Machines. What is a Cognitive Machine, and what makes this theme especially relevant in 2016? Cognitive machines are programmed with capacities such as sensing, recognition, decision-making, problem-solving, memory, or autonomous behavior. These are not only an increasing part of interactive and responsive built environments, but are increasingly part of the design process itself. Designers are finding ways to work collaboratively with these processes and procedures, and there will be a significant number of papers at the conference where designers are engaging design and fabrication through feedback-based, co-generative approaches using computational tools. How would you characterize the range of work you expect to see from the presentations? Are there any ideological opponents, or ongoing debates for attendees to watch out for? The conference will feature cutting-edge computational design work from around the globe: ACADIA is really an international community, and we’ll have amazing work from North America, South America, the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. Presentations will range from algorithmic design to robotic fabrication to human-robot collaboration, to interactive design, to synthetic bio-digital material research. Debate will abound—the climate of ACADIA is a respectful one, less confrontational than some venues, but it’s not a good conference unless there’s at least one heated debate, and we’ll see where exactly that will emerge. We expect that Neil Leach’s paper presentation will produce some ideological frictions. I understand that hosting the conference at Taubman College has afforded some opportunities in terms of both facilities and faculty. How did this shape this year’s offerings or conversations? The faculty members of Taubman College co-chairing the conference have been active members of the ACADIA (and broader digital design/computation/fabrication/ robotics) community for years, so hosting this conference is very meaningful to us. The Posthuman Frontiers exhibition, which is running in tandem with the conference, features large-scale interactive installations by Taubman faculty, as well as the jury-selected projects submitted to the conference. The workshops—taking place in the three days prior to the conference—benefit from the amazing fabrication facilities we have in the FabLAB. Participants will be using the digital knitting machine, possibly all five Kuka robots, the five-axis milling machine, and the digital classrooms in the Duderstadt Center. Attendees will be able to see presentations in some great spaces on the campus—Elizabeth Diller’s keynote, the Philip Beesley and Iris van Herpen lecture, and the main conference proceedings will be held outside Taubman around Ann Arbor. We’ve made an effort to knit many of the events into the town’s fabric, and to connect the proceedings with that broader community of the University of Michigan, so the key evening public lectures and events will be open to the broader public and we hope to engage them with some of the questions and obsessions of the ACADIA community.

Exhibition on computational design and architecture opens in tandem with ACADIA conference

As part of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) 2016 Conference held at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, POSTHUMAN FRONTIERS: DATA, DESIGNERS AND COGNITIVE MACHINES will feature work that showcases the methods, processes, and techniques discussed at the conference. The show, held in the 3,000-square-foot Liberty Research Annex Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, will be divided into two sections: A “Juried Projects Exhibition” and a Curated Topic Exhibition.” The juried portion of the show will display work that was part of an open call this past spring, while the curated half of the show will be comprised of video and physical project installations. The work will also be published in a full-color catalogue. The exhibition opening will coincide with the ACADIA 2016 Conference, with an opening reception on October 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Liberty Research Annex Gallery.

POSTHUMAN FRONTIERS: DATA, DESIGNERS AND COGNITIVE MACHINES Liberty Research Annex Gallery 305 West Liberty Street Ann Arbor, Michigan Conference: October 27–29, 2016, Exhibition: October 19–November 4

2016 ACADIA Conference announces full keynote schedule

This year’s ACADIA conference, entitled "Post Human Frontiers: Data, Designers, and Cognitive Machines" will focus on design and research that lies at the “intersection between procedural design, designed environments and autonomous machines.” ACADIA, the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, has recently announced it keynote line-up, which includes Elizabeth Diller, who will be accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the conference. The conference, which will run from October 27th through the 29th, will be held at the University of Michigan Taubman Collage in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The keynote speakers will range from academics to practitioners, each bringing their own perspective on the state of the growing field of autonomous machines for making architecture. final_diller_keynote Four keynotes will discuss their recent research and practice in the field of computer-aided design. Speaker Mario Carpo, Dr.Arch, PhD, HDR focuses his research on the intersection of architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology. Iris van Herpen’s talk will explore her Haute Couture digital fashion, and the relationship between craftsmanship and innovation. Visual artist and architect Philip Beesley, MRAIC OAA RCA will continue the discussion of digital fabrication and design, looking at Beesley’s association with the Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG). LASG is an international consortium of academics, institutional, and industrial partners developing building techniques that have the qualities of living organisms. Director of the Architectural Association’s Design Research Lab (AADRL), Theodore Spyropoulos’s work looks at the intersection of form and communication. Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), will be awarded the ACADIA 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award and will give a keynote address. Keynote Schedule – Thursday, October 27th 1:30 pm – Theodore Spyropoulos Thursday, October, 27th 5:00 pm – Iris van Herpen & Philip Beesely Friday, October 28th 6:30 pm – Elizabeth Diller Saturday, October 29th 6:00 pm – Mario Carpo For the full schedule of events go to 2016.acadia.org.

Detroit Resists decries lack of community representation on Venice Biennale U.S. Pavilion panels

Earlier in September, the community organization Detroit Resists submitted this essay, “Let’s get serious: “Community” and “Activism” in the Architectural Imagination,” regarding the recent controversy surrounding the U.S. Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. In a follow-up, they've written this "Annotation" regarding an upcoming series of panel discussions taking place at the Biennale. A full resolution version of the image above is available here. Entitled “The Architectural Imagination,” the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale exhibits “speculative architectural projects” authored by twelve “visionary American architectural practices” for four sites in Detroit. According to curators Cynthia Davidson and Mónica Ponce de León, these projects comprise “new work that demonstrates the creativity and resourcefulness of architecture to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.” Post-bankruptcy Detroit is a city shaped by violent processes of displacement in the form of mass evictions, mass foreclosures, mass water shutoffs, and mass blight removal primarily targeting the city’s working-class African-American families and communities. Taking this city as a field upon which to demonstrate architecture’s relevance, the U.S. Pavilion gestures to architecture’s long colonial tradition of appropriating sites of race- and class-based inequality as laboratories of disciplinary research. On October 1, 2016, the curators of the U.S. Pavilion will host “conversations” under the title of “Architecture and Change.” “Change” might be a very appropriate topic for the curators to address. As perhaps the most generic, value-free and depoliticized term in the historiographical lexicon, “change” offers itself up as a precious discursive resource: a word that can refer to virtually any difference over time whatsoever. Whether the architectural projects displayed in the U.S. Pavilion are posed as harbingers of “change” or consequences of “change,” conversations on “change” run the risk of displacing political understandings of historical transformation as, for example, in the form of decolonization or democratization. Repeated references to “the social” and “the political” in the description of these conversations may function as a ruse: these categories may be brought up as frames for discussion in order to elide their absence in the curatorial process itself. The circling of disciplinary wagons around the notion of architecture that the U.S. Pavilion advances is perhaps most vividly revealed in the constitution of the panels in “Architecture and Change.” The panelists are all faculty members from one of four schools of architecture in the United States, each with a deep stake in the U.S. Pavilion project: the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is the Pavilion’s institutional organizer and direct recipient of the funding for the Pavilion provided by the U.S. Department of State, while the Princeton University School of Architecture, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture are official sponsors of this specific event. These schools are also employers of nine of the visionary American architects displaying work in the U.S. Pavilion. The panels, therefore, consist of the representatives of four institutions, discussing the work of faculty employed at these institutions, and funded by the same institutions themselves. As the list of the U.S. Pavilion’s sponsors reveals, most of the capital supporting the Pavilion comes from corporations that would directly benefit from the displacement of Detroit’s working-class African-American communities: Shinola is a luxury fashion company, Westin is a luxury hotel chain, and Aperol is a luxury liquor; Dassault Systemes makes Catia and other 3D software that designers use to make luxury architecture; and the Deshler group, Global Transportation Management, and GS3 are different subsidiaries of a single corporate conglomerate supplying the parts and logistics that manufacturers use to make automobiles, luxury and otherwise. The list of the U.S. Pavilion’s sponsors is itself an important text; it illustrates how the Pavilion participates in the current alignment of architectural attention and economic investment that is transforming Detroit into a city of gentrifying consumers and it points to the beneficiaries of the architectural imagination that the Pavilion stages. Who is absent from these conversations? We might suggest that the very communities these processes pretend to aid are both invoked and erased. Architecture can never change in decolonizing and democratic ways without transformative engagement with movement-based activism—the only site of emancipatory agency in our historical conjuncture. This is a proposition that the U.S. Pavilion not only refuses to grapple with but also, with all the talk of “change” floated around it, might actively attempt to displace.

Mario Carpo and Elizabeth Diller Confirmed as Keynote Speakers for ACADIA 2016

This years ACADIA 2016 conference: Posthuman Frontiers: Data, Designers & Cognitive Machines has announced Mario Carpo (Reyner Banham Professor of Architectural Theory and History, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL London) and Elizabeth Diller (founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro) as confirmed keynote speakers. In 1999, working alongside Ricardo Scofidio, Ms. Diller was awarded the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, becoming the first in her filed to do so. Now, Diller will also be receiving the ACADIA 2016 Lifetime Achievement award, an esteemed accolade that represents recognition by colleagues worldwide of consistent contributions and impact on the field of architectural computing and design culture. Co-Founder and Design Partner of Future Cities Lab, San Francisco and recently elected member to the ACADIA Board of Directors and ACADIA President, Jason Kelly Johnson cited how "Diller’s pioneering work at the intersections of architecture, art, technology and philosophy" made her an "ideal" choice as a keynote speaker. Johnson went on to add that "the ACADIA community will celebrate Diller's critical explorations integrating design, computation, and theory into a radically inventive and culturally relevant body of work from installations to buildings to urban landscapes." Mario Carpo was also seen by Johnson as a pivotal speaker for ACADIA 2016. "Carpo's keynote will bring a much needed theoretical and historical perspective to the conference," Johnson noted, going on to say, "His research is a catalyst for critical discussions related to digital design, technology and culture."  Carpo has a strong pedigree in the field of architectural research, focusing on architectural theory, cultural history, and the history of media and information technology. Notable publications include The Alphabet and the AlgorithmThe Digital Turn in Architecture 1992-2012 and his award-winning opus: Architecture in the Age of Printing which has been translated into several languages.

The conference will focus on design work and research carried out in the fields of practice and academia  that relate to "procedural design, designed environments and autonomous machines". More specifically, ACADIA 2016 will concentrate on contemporary trends in computational design that has been used to develop "quasi-cognitive machines" and "integration of software, information, fabrication and sensing to generate mechanisms for interfacing with the physical realm." Papers that touch on relative disciplines such as material science, biology, art, computer graphics, civil engineering, and human-computer interaction have been called to contribute to the discussion.

"Every year the ACADIA conferences bring together a world-class group of designers, architects, engineers, fabricators and thinkers exploring the intersection of computation, digital technologies and architecture," said Johnson. "In North America it has become the event to present, explore and debate emerging ideas in the field."

This years event will be held at the University of Michigan Taubman College in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the conference itself will run from October 27 - 29, 2016.

On View > Fellow Fellows at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning's Fellow Fellows exhibition, highlighting the work of its 2015-2016 Architecture Fellows, is set to open this Wednesday, March 23.  Over the last year, the fellows spent their time in residence at Taubman developing their research projects while teaching three classes. William Muschenheim Fellow Cyrus Peñarroyo's BLDG_DRWG  challenges both scale and order via hand-crafted imagery, employing tape, ink and paint, and post-creation digital manipulation. His "1:1 investigations" aim to re-establish "existing architectural conditions," the results of which are used to construct a fragment of an unfinished building. Ashley Bigham, the school's Walter B. Sanders Fellow, presents Safety Not Guaranteed, which seeks to represent architecture as synonymous with conflict, war, and defense. In doing so, Bigham also searches to find an alternative to the phrase "defense architecture," which only pertains to "fortresses, citadels, bastions and urban walls."  The project views all architecture through the lens of paranoia, amplifying the sense of fear within the context of suburbia and domestic architecture. Lastly, Willard A. Oberdick Fellow David Eskenazi's For the Trees questions the nature of paper-based architectural modeling. The many creations are merely forms, with no doors or windows to signify they are somehow meant to be a building. They raise questions like: What role do they have? Are they representations, replicas? Are they replicating each other? If so which is copying which? Further questioning inevitably follows: Is the viewer seeing the original, or the copy? Fellow Fellows runs from March 24 through to April 30, 2016.

Wasserman Projects holds panel discussion on the future of Detroit architecture

As a part of Detroit's Wasserman Projects exhibition, Desire Bouncing, a panel discussion addressed the future of architecture and art in Detroit. The panel was moderated by Reed Kroloff, principal of Jones Kroloff and former director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. The panel included exhibiting artist Alex Schweder, associate curator at MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design; Sean Anderson, architectural critic; Cynthia DavidsonVenice Biennale U.S. Pavilion co-curator; and Mitch McEwen, assistant professor of Architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan. Detroit is physically changing. Some of its architectural treasures and thousands more of its abandoned homes have been demolished. But now that Detroit is undergoing the slow process of rebuilding, what kind of architecture will replace it? This and other questions were discussed among an expert panel of architects and critics that gathered last Friday at Wasserman Projects, a gallery and event space in a renovated fire truck maintenance facility in Detroit's Eastern Market. Around 50 guests attended the panel discussion, called "Architecture By Any Means Necessary." Kroloff began by asking the panelists, "What are things architecture can do beyond creating a city environment?" "Structures are receptacles for stories, for meanings," said Alex Schweder, an artist who often combines performance and architecture in his work. "The structures in Washington D.C. are a manifestation of stories we tell about our country." "Buildings can perform things we never thought were possible," said Mitch McEwen, a founding partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio. Her example of Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which changed her conception of architecture, lead to an argument about the interaction between a building and its visitors. Cynthia Davidson described her distaste for Detroit's Renaissance Center, the headquarters of General Motors, often criticized for its confusing walkways and lack of synergy with downtown. "[Designer John] Portman makes you realize how controlling architecture can be," she said. In response to a question about what new architecture in Detroit should do, Schweder advocated architects and city managers give up some control. "Our roles can be collaborative with client and users," he said. "People want voice and agency in the look and use of their city." The discussion took a turn towards political issues and actual implementation of these ideas. Sean Anderson, acknowledged the difficulty Schweder's proposal. "History is often not recognized by developers that come and rebuild cities." During the audience question portion of the panel, someone mentioned that vast areas of Detroit that have no architecture, but "only the ghosts of architecture." He then wondered if this "absence" was worth preserving. "Detroit is a city of single family homes," answered McEwen. She felt that memorializing vacancy was the wrong approach. "I hope the city rebuilds, but with respect for the logic of the single family home." Desire Bouncing will be on show through April 9th at the Wasserman Projects at 3434 Russell Street, #502, Detroit, Michigan 48207. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScgU9lB3Ves

Twenty photographs chosen for postcards of Detroit at the U.S. Biennale Pavilion in Venice

As part of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, 20 photographs by 18 individuals have been chosen as winners of the “My Detroit” Postcard Photo Contest. “The twenty photographs to be printed as postcards will help us tell the exhibition visitor short stories about life in Detroit,” explained co-curator Cynthia Davidson in a press release. The pavilion, entitled The Architectural Imagination, will present 12 speculative architectural projects for four sites around Detroit. The postcards, made from the contest winning photographs, will be available at the pavilion as well as be part of the exhibition catalog. Picked from 463 entries, the images were chosen by photographer and sociologist Camilo José Vergara, who has photographed Detroit since 1985, and Davidson. The images range from views of iconic Detroit architecture, including the Michigan Central Station, to family portraits of local Detroiters. Ten of the contest winners are Detroit residents. "Detroit has a rich culture and history to draw from as we work toward creating a vibrant future," said Robert Fishman, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning interim dean and professor. "The photos recognized in the postcard contest are a reflection of Detroit over time that we are excited to share with the world." The Architectural Imagination is being organized through the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture, by co-curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de León. The U.S. Pavilion will be open at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale from May 28 – November 27, 2016. The Postcard Photo contest winners are: Sara Jane Boyers, Santa Monica, CA Derek Chang, New York, NY Jon DeBoer, Royal Oak, MI Antoinette Del Villano, Brooklyn, NY Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Reno, NV Geoff George, Detroit, MI Erik Herrmann, Ann Arbor, MI Julie Huff, Detroit, MI William McGraw, Dearborn, MI Ayana T. Miller, Detroit, MI Ben Nowak, Oak Park, MI Kevin Robishaw, Detroit, MI Salvador Rodriguez, Saint Clair Shores, MI Harrell Scarcello, Southfield, MI Sue Shoemaker, Brown City, MI John Sobczak, Bloomfield, MI Cigdem Talu, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Corine Vermeulen, Hamtramck, MI

On View> “Some Views of Triumphal Arches” by James Michael Tate

Los Angeles–based architect James Michael Tate will offer a “speculative investigation” of one of architecture's most enduring forms at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, titled Some Views of Triumphal Arches. Tate, who was the college's 2014–2015 Willard A. Oberdick Fellow runs the architecture studio practice T8projects and recently co-organized the yearlong series On the Road in L.A. (Read AN's review of On The Road here.) For a year, Tate conducted a “daily ritual of collecting and drawing the principal façade of one triumphal arch: unbuilt, destroyed or standing somewhere in the world at some moment in time.” The resulting exhibition is a reflection on monumentality, and how the various objects relate to each other across time.

Architects and artists want to turn this vacant Detroit home into a community opera house

Detroit's 90,000 vacant homes and residential lots have proven to be fertile ground for artistic exploration, giving rise to verdant floral installations and canvases for sought-after graffiti artists. Now architects and artists from The D and beyond hope to turn an abandoned property at 1620 Morrell Street into something truly surprising. Dubbed House Opera | Opera House, the project aims to turn a decrepit, 2,000-square-foot house into a public performance space “where Detroiters could tell stories through music,” according to a Mitch McEwen, the project's principal architect. She spoke to WDET for their story, “From Blight to Stage Right”:
It evolved from a small group of artists in New York to a large group of folks across the country … neighbors have started to talk about performances or people in their families who perform that might get involved. And so we've really expanded from an immediate, emergency kind of dialogue to one that's about culture and talent that's already in the neighborhood, and how it can have a stage there at the House Opera.
McEwen bought the two-story home for just $1,200 in a public auction, paid off its delinquent property taxes, and got to work raising money for its second act. So far the project has received financial support from Graham FoundationKnight FoundationTaubman College – University of Michigan, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, as well as numerous individual benefactors including Mark Gardner, Theaster Gates and Dr. Larry Weiss.

BREAKING: Davidson and Ponce de Leon to Curate the U.S. Pavilion Exhibition in the 15th International Architecture Biennale in Venice

Call it the Floating City meets Motor City. The U.S. Department of State selected the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan to organize the exhibition of the United States Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon take Detroit as their starting point. Out of the ashes of Motown and Ford comes an urban archetype that provokes the exhibition title: “The Architectural Imagination.” Much has been made of Detroit’s “ruin porn” and the pervasive blight that has transformed the city from a dense urban fabric to a patchwork. In Venice, “The Architectural Imagination” will present new ideas for sites in Detroit that ultimately have global application, each developed and explored by a select architectural team. As such, the city, which comes with a narrative of the hopes and fears of twentieth century urban America, might prove the model for a creative, resilient, and sustainable 21st century city. “Historically Detroit has been a place of invention from the Kahn brothers to Motown to techno,” explained Davidson. She noted that the city is a site of American ingenuity applicable to many cities, however underscored architecture as the critical component. “Architecture itself has an important role to contribute to any city through form,” she continued. “We should be speaking through architectural form not just urbanism. Detroit is a laboratory for rethinking typologies.” The organizers are forming a committee of advisors to select four sites in Detroit. A call for participant portfolios open to U.S. citizens and residents will go out in a couple of weeks, said Davidson. Davidson is executive director of the nonprofit Anyone Corporation, based in New York City, and editor of the international architecture journal, Log. Ponce de Leon, recently named next dean of Princeton University School of Architecture, is currently the dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan and principal of MPdL Studio.

University of Michigan plans $28 million architecture building expansion

Five years ago, the University of Michigan shelved its plans to expand its Art and Architecture Building. Now, a bit further along on the country’s economic recovery, the University said this week it would build a $28 million addition. University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning will be the primary tenants of the building, which U-M has tapped Integrated Design Solutions and Preston Scott Cohen to design. Located on U-M’s North Campus, it will also house the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. The new wing will be named for Alfred Taubman, the architecture college’s namesake, who donated $12.5 million toward the addition. Plans for a $13 million, 16,300-square-feet addition were originally drawn up in 2007, but administrators scuttled that project after the financial crisis. Now with twice the budget, the design is hotly anticipated on campus.