AN spoke with T. Kelly Wilson, Director of Graduate Studies at the new M.Arch program at Indiana University (IU), about what it takes to start a new architecture program and his vision for the future of the school. Rather than being based in Bloomington, the school will be located in the Modernist mecca of Columbus, Indiana. As the new program opens admissions, Wilson discussed building a new faculty and how the school will approach architecture education. The Architect's Newspaper: What prompted the idea to add an architecture program to the university? T. Kelly Wilson: The president of the university, Michael McRobbie, is wild about architecture. It’s my understanding that when he took his position, he immediately floated the idea of starting an architecture program, but the state has a rule that there can be no duplicate degrees among state universities. Nobody really likes this configuration anymore, but there had to be some political capital and time spent to win in this argument. At first, we started by building an undergraduate degree which would take place partially here in Columbus. It was in the middle of building that degree that we got a call asking us to make a master’s degree. In the past, we discussed with Columbus the idea of having a graduate program, and, of course, architecture was the perfect degree for this town. How do you see the architecture program interact with the larger School of Art, Architecture and Design? We are a satellite program, with the vast majority of the classes taking place in Columbus and many taking place in our nomadic studio which will travel around the world. We plan to have faculty rotate, and we want to utilize all of IU’s artists, scientists, and liberal arts experts, not just architecture faculty. We’ve specifically written into our budget a way in which faculty can interact with our students in many different ways. This will include a very aggressive gallery and exhibition program, as well as a residency program. With a new program comes a new faculty. How are you building that team? We’ve sent out an APB for faculty, and we’ve hired admin to get things going. All of these people need to be designers, and right now we’re looking for seniority. At some point each faculty is going to have to help build this new program, and you never know what that might mean. The second thing that we're looking for in new faculty is that they have their own secondary practice in visual arts. We intend to build a curriculum that gives time to visual arts equal to that of design studios, with the caveat that there’s no homework. The students should be working on their architecture studio work at night. This will give them enough time and space to explore all manner of visual investigation, but we’re not going to write any pedagogy to link the two. We believe that the synthesis belongs in the head of the student, rather than in the curriculum. If you do these two things in parallel for three years, you’ll find the linkages between the two through your own proclivity or happenstance. It will also help you build your own voice on why you would choose one form over another in the work you produce. We are also looking for someone who is an expert in digital fabrication and design and its contemporary techniques. Cummins Diesel has generously donated a number of robots, so we need to build a Fab Lab, and will need somebody to run that. We think we may need to hire nearly five people each year while the program is being built. The next step is getting students. How many are you hoping to have in the first classes, and what is the goal for the size of the program in the future? That question gets asked of me a lot. The practical answer is that we are looking to get one or two studios worth in the first year. So let’s say that’s between 20 and 30 students. The hope is then to double that every year till we get closer to 90 or 100 students. I feel that once you hit about 300 students in the whole school a real culture begins the take shape. Right now, we are getting emails every day for prospective students. Many from around the Midwest, but also a handful coming from out East as word has gotten out. Admissions are open through January, so we will see.
Posts tagged with "indiana university":
Indiana University has announced plans to move its often-overlooked Brutalist Metz Carillon. The move will take the massive instrument from a quiet corner of campus to a location at the center of campus. In its current location, there is no comfortable space for an audience, leading to few performances by the uncommon instrument. Carillons are bell instruments usually built in towers. There are only 600 in the world, and about 60 in the United States, mostly on university campuses. They are played by striking a keyboard of stick-like keys with one’s fists. With at least 23 cup-shaped bronze bells, they are able to play chords and melodies. Carillons are generally considered to be the second largest musical instruments, after large pipe organs, weighing in at as much as 100 tons. The Metz Carillon was built in 1970 and currently consists of 61 bells. Though it sits at the highest point on campus, over the years it has not been used as much as the university has hoped. With the ability to play five octaves, it can play much of the music composed for carillons. With the move and renovation, four new bells will be added to the tower, increasing that range and elevating the instrument to a grand carillon, one of only 30 in the world. The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is also working on reviving the carillon program to include performances by distinguished carillonneurs from around the world. "The upgrade and relocation of the Metz Carillon as part of IU's bicentennial celebration revitalizes and renews the Metz Foundation's original vision for the carillon that began during the IU sesquicentennial celebration in 1970," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie in a press release. "I am delighted that this superb instrument will once again become a central part of musical life on the IU campus. It will open up a whole new area of music where our students, faculty, staff and visitors will have a wonderful new opportunity to experience the renown of our talented Jacobs School of Music faculty and students."
Starting in the fall of 2018, there will be a new Master of Architecture degree program in the Midwest. Indiana University Bloomington (IU) will offer the degree from the campus's new School of Art and Design. The primary focus of the program will be in Columbus, Indiana, the modernist playground located south of Indianapolis. “The addition of the new Master of Architecture degree program, together with the new program in intelligent systems engineering, will contribute enormously to IU’s efforts to create and sustain a culture of ‘building and making’ on our Bloomington campus,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said in a press release. “We view this culture as being essential and transformative for IU, enabling us to maximize the university’s potential for developing its inventions and innovations for the economic benefit of all Hoosiers. At the same time, architecture is a superb complement to IU's outstanding strengths in the arts and humanities." Working with the Columbus community, Columbus Architectural Archive, and the Institute for Coalition Building of the Columbus Education Coalition, an initial class of 20 students will design with the town as a backdrop and site of research. The program will also build on the coursework already available at the IU Center for Art and Design Columbus, which opened in downtown Columbus in 2011. Before the launch of a new Master of Architecture program, an agreement was reached with Ball State University, which is the closest school to offer undergraduate and graduate architecture degrees. The agreement recognizes that the IU program will be distinct in its approach and curriculum from Ball State, and outlines how the two schools can collaborate in the future. "The architectural heritage of Columbus will provide our Master of Architecture students with an incredibly rich and innovative educational experience," said Peg Faimon, dean of the School of Art and Design. "This, coupled with the wide array of opportunities in the School of Art and Design and IU Bloomington, will make this program unique in its ability to educate a new generation of architects ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century." The School of Art and Design at IU Bloomington is young as well, having only launched last year as part of the College of Art and Sciences. The schools focus so far has combined programs of study from the Department of Studio Art and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. The new Master of Architecture program has been approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, a major step in its realization.
Healthcare in the Indianapolis area is getting a check-up, as a new masterplan seeks to streamline operations at one of South Central Indiana's biggest medical institutions. St. Louis–based HOK is leading the design team, which will take on three big jobs: merging Indiana University Health Methodist and IU Health University hospitals’ adult services into one academic medical campus in downtown Indianapolis; building a new regional academic health campus in Bloomington, Ind.; and bringing women’s services near Riley Hospital for Children closer to IU Health in Indianapolis. The project includes an expansion of IU Health's campus north of Indianapolis' central business district, and improving its connections to Riley Hospital for Children about 1.5 miles to the southwest. Several urban planning overhauls are underway in Indianapolis, including a contentious expansion of public transit.