Skylines are now made of giants with hearts of steel. Perceptions are constructed through technology and film. Time is only built and rebuilt with the exclusion of histories. The structures of our world are more apparent than ever before. They are ingrained in the processes of life, and continually impact communities through both their material and immaterial consequences. This magazine will examine these structures in the context of architecture, the built environment and beyond. In 2020, we find ourselves at the crossroads of change: cultural, political, and technological alike. Although the challenges we have faced may seem novel in scope, their roots can be traced back to the very foundations of generations past. The COVID-19 pandemic and the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s state of political unrest merely brought these problems to light. As the designers of tomorrow, we are obligated to respond to this change by dismantling and reconstructing the structures that form our very own institutions. A sustainable society built on the principals of justice is one that we must work towards equally. If we have learned anything from this period of time, it is that we are beyond capable of overcoming adversity when we stand together. Moving forward, the Ricker Report will be dedicated to being a platform for critical thought, expression and speculation. The current magazine stands as a framework and reflection for the change that is yet to come. This is our structure. This is the Ricker Report. - The Ricker Report Team
Shravan Arun | Editor-in-Chief, Mila Lipinski | Director of Operations, TJ Bayowa | Director of Outreach, Diego Huacuja | Lead Editor, Hannah Galkin | Lead Editor, Delnaaz Kharadi | Lead Editor, Kriti Chaudary | Editor, Andrew Cross | Editor, Phoebe Glimm | Editor, Michelle Mo | Editor, Alejandro Toro | Editor, Defne ErgĂź | Editor, Rachita Ranjit | Graphic Designer, Sneha Patel | Graphic Designer, Adam Czapla | Graphic Designer, Zach Michaliska | Graphic Designer, Asher Ginnodo | Graphic Designer, Eliza Peng | Graphic Designer, Jerry Rodriguez | Graphic Designer, Ishita Anand | Graphic Designer
Making the Invisible Visible Aneesha Dharwadker
The Role of the Structural Engineer
Prison Abolition and the Carceral Landscape
Book Art, Performance and Feminism
Various Structural Engineers
Power Structures, Equity and Community
Lynne Dearborn and AnnaMarie Bliss
Learning from Hollywood Kathryn H. Anthony
S E E
R E K
Aneesha Dharwadker is an educator and design practitioner with interests in global urbanism, material history, and rural healthcare. She is the founder of Chicago Design Office and editor of Transect, a journal of design criticism. Prior to joining the Illinois School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor, she was a Designer-in-Residence in the Department of Landscape Architecture. Her professional experience in the United States includes positions at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Safdie Architects, and Booth Hansen. She received a B.Arch from Cornell University and an M.Des.S from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AS AN E D UCATOR , R E SE ARCH E R AN D P R ACTI TI ON E R , WH AT D O YO U BE LI E VE I S T H E IMPORTANCE O F HAV IN G A M ULTI FACE T E D A P P ROAC H TO D E SI G N OR A RCH I T E CTURE ?
I think that architecture can be created from more than just the formal context around it. One of the first things you learn in architecture school, especially in undergraduate architecture programs, is site analysis. What are the sizes and shapes of the buildings nearby? What kinds of activities are performed there? What are the access points? Are there any bike lanes? It all has to do with the physical fabric. However, there is an important additional dimension that we need to include: all the invisible elements that create and sustain the context. These can also become a part of architectural analysis. This is certainly going on at the Illinois School of Architecture, and it is also going on in schools all over the world. I am not suggesting anything brand new, but I do think it is important to remember that you have visible context and you have invisible context. The challenge for designers is to make the invisible visible. In that sense, it is very important to have a multifaceted approach. This allows you to acknowledge the dimensions that you cannot see and allow that to affect the direction your building takes and what happens inside it. It is also important to be able to think about politics, public health, and other aspects of society with high public impact. These crises are unfolding right in front of us and architects must be involved in these discourses. But how do you draw public health? How do you draw a police officer teargassing a protester? It is our responsibility as designers to figure out how to represent these issues, as they are at the center of our designs. We need to learn how to include them in our conceptions of context: to design with them or against them. For example, how could we make public spaces safer for protesters? Or, how can we use design to push back the social structures we are used to? Design not just with the structures we are accustomed to, but against them as well. When you take a multi-faceted approach, you are open to ideas and concepts coming from directions you did not anticipate.
TH E C HA L L EN G E F O R D ES I G N ER S I S TO MA K E TH E I N V I S I B L E V I S I B L E .
W HAT H AVE YOU FO UN D O R E XPE RI E N CE D AT T HE IN TE RSE CT I ON OF ACA D E M IA , RE SE ARCH , AN D PR ACT I CE ?
In my first-year teaching here in Champaign, I got involved with a nonprofit called FirstFollowers. They aid young people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to reenter their communities. They had just been given a house as a donation, to be repurposed to meet the needs of the organization. They decided to convert it into a community center: they wanted a space where people could come in, get together, play basketball outside, and have big community meals. My previous practice had been mostly speculative, working more with other architects rather than with the client. This was my firsttime doing client-driven design. The design concepts came from the people who were in the program that year; my job was to guide them through the design process. We did a big design charrette together by printing out the existing floor plans and sketching their ideas over it. Afterwards, my husband, the landscape architect for the project, and I assembled and refined the drawings. It was an amazing experience because it went against everything I had learned. I did not impose any kind of vision, the group members came up with it, and I was the facilitator. I really enjoyed that.
YO U HAV E D O NE RE SE ARCH AN D TAUG H T CL AS SE S A B O U T E VE RY T H I NG FRO M T HE C URRE NT O PI O I D E P ID E M IC TO T H E FUT URE O F T HE G LOBAL D E SI G N P R ACTI CE . H OW H AVE VARY IN G IN TE RPRE TAT I ON S O F T H E D E S IGN PRO FE S SI O N F U RT H E R SH APE D YO UR V I E W O F W HAT T H E RO LE OF ARC H IT E CT O R D E SI G N E R S HO U L D E NCAPSUL AT E ?
Architects can become much more expansive individuals. In most practices, the primary jobs of the architects are solving technical problems, learning software, or creating drawings and presentations. However, it is becoming clear that architects can and should function as public figures. As a result, we need to have opinions about policy, politics, zoning, segregation, how schools are funded, and so on. We need to open up our realm of thinking; the technical dimensions of architecture do not define the discipline. Architects need to become more prominent in the public discourse in general, and we can analyze our world not only through high-brow architectural criticism, but also study where architecture fails and how to fix that. Public agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be run by an architect or an urban planner. I would love to see an architect as the mayor of a major city. Although buildings are really important, architectural education equips us to go beyond just designing buildings. We have to become more engaged citizens than what our education has sometimes guided us towards. As we discuss in my global design practice seminar, you do not always have to be “employable” by corporate firms. One of the first essays we read in that class is a piece called “Against Employability” by Chicago-based designer and activist Keefer Dunn. It is about the idea that architecture school is teaching you how to look really good on paper so that a principal at a firm is going to want to hire you. But we must become bigger than that. We are much more capable than the notions of “employability” at corporate firms make us out to be.
Architecture teaches you how to look at the world; it is not just how buildings come together, but how the entire world is assembled. Understanding that, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something that goes beyond short-term employability. Now, we are realizing that a lot of disassembly is required for the space that we occupy to function in an equitable manner. As architects, we need to be bigger and more vocal. We need to have opinions about things outside of our technical expertise. We need to be willing to have architecture that functions morally, not just programmatically or efficiently.
HOW CAN ARCH I T E CT S A N D DE S IGN E RS AD D RE S S SO C I AL I S SUE S AND MAT E R IA L IZ E TH E I R D E SI G N SOLUTI ON S ?
There are two issues that I am going to talk about. The first has to do with public awareness of architecture. Architecture is only taught at a university level with the very seldom exceptions of some high school classes or summer programs for high school students. There are no nationwide public-school curriculums that teach fourth graders architecture. Consequently, there is a perception that it is a highly specialized field, that only very few people can access to, and only fewer people can be successful at. Part of it is that architects should be making more of an effort to engage with people who are between the ages of six and ten, because kids are still really curious at that age. To be able to make architecture accessible to really young people you have to show them that it is something that does not exist outside of them. They are in it all the time. By the time kids get into elementary school, visual learning is already secondary. Art is as an activity that people can do but it is not essential to the curriculum. Everyone has to be literate in language and mathematics, but not drawing or visualization. I believe that drawing, like any another language, is something people can become literate in. This is something that should be fundamental but is missing from the way we teach young people. Architects can make architecture more accessible to people at an earlier age, so they do not grow up thinking that it is something that is impossible to do. Moreover, by creating more architects, we will have more diversity in terms of architectural thinking and problem solving. The second part is about the fundamental problem that creating architecture requires money. Most of this money is either private money or a combination of private and public money. We currently have way fewer publicly funded buildings than we did even 50 years ago. We should be seriously reconsidering where the money to create
10 ANEESHA DHARWADKER
architecture comes from, and how we take some of the incredible ideas that are on paper or in a model form and actually make them a reality. Architects need to think about diversifying revenue streams. How can you fund a building through grants? We can think about building in a way that a nonprofit would approach a project. Rather than saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have to find a wealthy client in order to make this happenâ&#x20AC;?, architects must realize that there is enough money in the world for everything. Just like there is enough food to feed everyone, there is also enough capital; the problem is that those resources are either poorly distributed or highly concentrated. So, the questions that we really should be asking are, how can architects attack this structural problem and how can we find new sources of money to fund projects?
Design Charrette Image Cour tesy of Chicago Design Office
Communit y C enter Construction Image Cour tesy of Chicago Design Office
CAN YO U TE LL U S ABOUT SO ME O F YO UR CURRE N T R E S E ARC H OR WORK YOU A R E D O IN G RE G ARD I NG PUB L IC HE A LTH AND SOCI AL I S SUE S ?
A RC H I TE CTS
I am continuing to work on the opioid epidemic. Right now, I am really focused on a project that has to do with the treatment of infants who are born into opioid withdrawal. As of 2016, there were an increasing number of women in the U.S. who had an opioid dependency while they were pregnant and transmitted that dependency to the baby. Currently, there is a geographic divide between where those children are born in this country and where the hospitals that are equipped to treat them are located. The most recent comprehensive data that we have, from 2016, shows that there are a lot of rural areas where the numbers of infants born with this problem have spiked. The families that live in these rural areas have to travel across the state just to go to the hospital and might not be able to afford a stay in a hotel. So, long term, we find intensive care unit facilities that do not have space for families to stay overnight at the hospital. We have facilities where the lighting design is not appropriate for treating children that are born into withdrawal. Those are architectural problems. And as this is also a geographical problem. So I am looking at designing prototypes for intensive care units that people can actually build in rural areas that lack appropriate facilities. I have a grant from the Campus Research Board to work on this project and I will probably be working on it for the next year or so.
MU C H
I MA GI NA TI V E THA N TH E A RC H I TE CTU R E W E A CTU A L LY HA V E .
The second problem that I am looking at is dealing with COVID-19 in a university campus setting. This fall, I am teaching an online design studio where we examine the existing University master plan and propose updates to the planning guidelines, the landscape design guidelines, and the architectural guidelines that will allow for social distancing. The architectural proposals in this studio is are for a residential hall on campus, because one of the biggest issues is that we cannot have three people staying in a dorm room anymore. So, we are specifically rethinking the idea of the dorm room or the residential building so that architecture itself is a form of protection against the spread of the virus. Through this studio, I am really hoping
14 ANEESHA DHARWADKER
that we arrive at design ideas that are not just reactive to a crisis but are more universal. This means that we are looking at ideas such as accessibility and efficiency outside of just being reactive, anti-COVID design.
W H AT IS YO U R PE RCE PTI ON O F ST RUCTURE ?
We were talking about financial structures in architecture and I think it is about expanding the possibilities of that. Going back to what we were talking about before, I would love to see architects not relying on the private sector as much, and becoming part of municipal governments. Cities often have planning departments but they do not have design departments. Architects are usually consultants for governments but they are not a part of the government. How can we change that? A lot of people come out of school very optimistic about what architecture can do and then they realize how constraining the private sector is. Architects are so much more imaginative than the architecture we actually have. Maybe there is a different type of job for architects that enables them to be as creative as they can be. Maybe a reliable job at a government institution as opposed to a private institution may actually facilitate that. In terms of bigger societal structures, we are all becoming more open about how white supremacy structures every part of our lives. Because it hasn’t been talked about so openly until now, most times we do not even realize that there are racist systems at play in our everyday experiences. These invisible structures are being illuminated now, and that type of illumination needs to happen in architecture. Due to the invisible limitations that people work in, architects do not realize that their design is doing harm to people because they have been taught that what they are doing is “normal” or “harmless.
A RC H I TE CTS
N OT R EA LI Z E
TH EI R W O RK I S D OI N G HA R M .
ANEESHA DHARWADKER 15
WH AT IS T H E I M PORTANCE O F RE AD I NG LI ST S AN D TH E I R RO LE I N HE L P ING ARCH I TE CT S U N DE RSTAND I D E AS T H AT T HE I R PROFE S SI O N E NCO M PAS SE S ?
Everybody has to read, period. But I am going to discuss a very specific example. We do not read a lot of fiction in architecture classes. Why not? There are entire universes that have been reimagined in books and films and we can learn a lot from them. But we do not because we have this idea that architecture has to be learned from scholarship and from buildings that exist. The thing is, there are so many interesting buildings that do not exist but that could. And the world would be so much better if they did. There is a lot of architecture in fiction and I would love to see more of that incorporated into theory and history courses. I also read a lot of journalism and one of the things that I have realized is that journalists talk a lot about the built environment but do not call it the built environment. This contributes to the notion that buildings come into being without architects, and that is very problematic. If architects were to engage more with journalism, it would help to deal with problems that architects realize are architectural, but the journalists do not. Journalism is about mass media that is written for a mass audience. If architects were to get more involved with journalism, this idea would be easier for people to understand. Ultimately, we can start dealing with a lot more mediums beyond the written word as well. We can start thinking about how Instagram and Twitter are changing the field of architecture. Our daily lives do not have to be separated from our discipline; it can all come together.
Communit y Center Render + Plans Images Cour tesy of Chicago Design Office
16 ANEESHA DHARWADKER
W H AT ARE YO UR E X P E RI E NCE S WI TH ST RUCTURE S AN D SYST E M S AN D H OW H AVE T HE Y IN FLUE NCE D YOUR R E S E ARC H AND PR ACT I CE ?
I had a very Eurocentric undergraduate education. I remember during my History of World Architecture class, the only nonwestern civilization we talked about was the Egyptian civilization. We were making our way through the textbook and when we were getting to the chapter on India, I was so excited. There were maybe 100 students in the room and I was the only Indian. For some reason it felt legitimizing; I had a professor that specialized in Greek and Roman architecture who was going to spend the whole class talking about Indian architecture. But we skipped the entire chapter. It was as if India did not even exist. That made me realize that world history in itself is an extremely limited concept for a lot of people. They do not see world history as something that is comprehensive. They see it as linear, as if modernity can only move in one direction, from West to East, and there is no acknowledgment that there can be a reciprocity there. As a freshman, I realized how problematic this was and also that I could not do anything about it by myself. It was one of those problems that was just too big for me to act on my own. I had my ups and downs during that class, but it was just so evident to me that there was at the time--what we now have the vocabulary to name--a white supremacist structure in play. This culture was framing the way that architecture was being taught, it was framing the way that architecture history was being produced, and it was reifying power, not just spatial and
ANEESHA DHARWADKER 17
Communit y Center Construction Image Cour tesy of Chicago Design Office
geographical power, but also epistemological power. Who is the person who “knows” and what is the place to be “known”? That is the fundamental power imbalance in imperialism. There is the colonizer, and there is the colonized. The colonizer is the discoverer who goes and finds a place, and the colonized are the passive people already there. The colonized were there to be exploited, manipulated, and figured out. The embedded racism (of the course ignoring places like this) was very clear to me, and it was something that at 18 or 19 years old I was not able to address. I do feel that this has changed now, and part of it is that I have evolved as a person. Now I have a way of articulating those ideas that I did not have back then. But this is also about how much social dynamics have changed in the past ten years, and even more after the Black Lives Matter movement started. It is now much more widely acknowledged that these structures have to be dismantled and they are not sustainable anymore.
ARE TH E RE A NY ST RUCTURE S OR SYSTE M S TH AT YOU LOOK TO I M PACT TH RO UG H YOU R RE SE ARCH AND HOW SO?
Returning to the discussion about neonatal intensive care units, there are very strict limitations in how you can layout ICUs for children, and much of the attention is given to how much clear space pieces of equipment needs around them. There is less consideration given to the architecture atmosphere or about a more creative programming. I mean, a neonatal intensive care unit has to be a family-oriented space. The children cannot be in a bubble with health care units. One of the best ways for babies to recover from withdrawal is through the contact with the parents and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an inexpensive tool; it does not cost anything. You just need a comfortable chair and privacy. But where is that? Everything has been reduced to technical formulas, and when you add them all up you end up with mostly mediocre designs. I would say that I had not realized the depth of that until I started digging into what these designs are right now, and how many different possibilities there are to improve.
ANEESHA DHARWADKER 19
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Matt Streid Sudarshan Krishnan Rachel Michelin Rudi Scheuermann Kevin Kalata Abbas Aminmansour James Pawlikowski
Image Cour tesy of Jim Pawlikowski
MATT STREID Matt W. Streid, SE is a Senior Associate at MKA with design experience ranging from low-rise office campus developments, to high-rise office and mixed-use projects across the U.S. He has applied his expertise to the designs of developments, such as Seattle’s Amazon Block 20, Chicago’s 87-story Aqua, and Atlanta’s T3 heavy timber office building. Matt is actively involved in MKA’s High-Rise and Office Technical Specialist Teams, and in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, having led the pilot Chapter of the Young Professionals Committee.
W H AT D O YOU BE LI E VE IS T H E RO LE OF TH E ST R U CT U R AL E N G I N E E R ?
I think that we’re trying to support the vision of the architect and the owner. Our role is to be the structural consultant to the architects. They engage us to solve the structural challenges on the project. That’s who we are today, that’s who structural engineers have always been, but I think that there is a continued evolution. There is focus on expertise across the industry. It is no longer just an architect, there are consultants for every aspect of a building you can imagine. As the structural engineer, we are now going to be involved in a project for much longer, and for a much more detailed duration than the rest of your consulting engineers. Architects tend to like us because we’re the ones who understand the whole scope of the project. A structural engineer touches seven or eight projects for every project that an architect touches, and what that means is that we have a lot more exposure to what’s happening in different projects. As generalists, we’re not just the structural engineer that’s sizing the columns and beams, but we are the general consultant to help the project be successful.
“PHYSICS IS PHYSICS.”
AS A N ALUM NU S OF T HE IL LI N O I S SCH OOL O F ARCH I T E CTURE ’ S ST R U CT URE S PROG R AM , HOW H AS YO U R PE RCE PTI ON O F TH E B U ILT E NVI RO NM E NT C HA N G E D AS A ST RUCTUR AL E NG I NE E R ?
I grew up thinking I wanted to be an architect, because I liked to design buildings. Eventually, that slowly manifested into thinking about what I actually liked about buildings. I liked the technical side of it, which led me into the structures option and, ultimately, practicing as a structural engineer. When I graduated, I was still thinking I wanted to pursue obtaining my license in architecture. However, I slowly peeled away from that. Although I liked the idea of having a dual license, it wasn’t necessary to my growth, per se. But what I learned as an architecture student was invaluable in the sense of learning to respect the design vision. I get why the architect may want to do certain things that may be more challenging from an engineering perspective. The University of Illinois is better than most schools about teaching the technical aspects of architecture, but even with the a more advanced technical understanding coming out of the school’s program, you still don’t realize how much you really don’t know about buildings and how they really piece together. It still amazes me to think about that, even as much as I know about building construction now. I often say that “physics is physics”; anyone can do the calculation to size a beam or a column, but that’s like the most rudimentary part of what we do. What we do is figure out how we’re actually going to make the connections and piece it together and coordinate it with the mechanical trades.
HOW D O YO U BLUR T HE LI N E S BE T W E E N ARC H I T E CTURE AN D ST RU CT U R A L E NG I NE E RI N G , E N S URI NG TH AT T H E C O N ST RUCTI ON OF TH E B U IL DIN G I S E CO NOM I CAL A N D E QUI TABLE ?
It’s a matter of not just being a structural consultant, but being the team player. We have to work closely with the consultants of all trades to understand the impacts to the whole team. Making sure we understand how all the pieces are going together is really critical. The ways to learn how to execute that are just through experience. As a young professional coming out of school, the one thing you’re lacking is experience. That’s my objective is to expose our young engineers to as much as I can and not just have them be task oriented. Have them solve the broad problem as opposed to solving the engineering task. So, experience is critical, as well as blurring the lines to see the whole picture. We also are very adamant, at MKA, about tracking quantities and understanding the weight of our systems. We do that so that when we’re on the next project, we can make estimations based on past project experience. We want to know that value as we move through the project so that we’re always in tune with where our structure is at. Just tracking and learning from your past project experiences is really critical.
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 23
145 Broadway Image Cour tesy of Anton Grassl
145 Broadway Image Cour tesy of Anton Grassl
D O YO U H AVE AN Y ADVI CE TO A M B IT IO U S ST UD E NT S S E E K IN G TO BE CO M E L E A D E R S IN TH E I N D U STRY ?
Just take your career one step at a time. We all want to be successful, but there’s a lot that’s going to come at you when you’re in the working world. You’re going to realize the vast number of things you don’t know in the profession. The most fundamental thing to do at school is to learn how to learn. Go into the working world with your eyes wide open, and be ready to learn, because there’s a lot to still advance in your own personal career. There are no boxes to check to get promoted. It’s all about proving that you’re advancing yourself, and that you’re ready to take the next steps in your career. So, focus on the task at hand and do what you need to do successfully before thinking about the next step. Being successful means being dedicated and focused, it does not just mean executing it correctly. You’re going to make mistakes, and it will happen on a daily basis; it’s all a matter of how do you learn from them. Continue to learn from what you’ve done; it makes you a more reliable professional. Then, as you become more reliable, people will trust you, they will give you more responsibility until you naturally grow into a leadership role. The biggest thing I took away from architecture school is to be receptive to constructive criticism. People aren’t tearing apart your design because you’re a bad architect. They’re doing that so you can learn how to do it better next time. I think that hardened me in a good way to take constructive criticism.
“TAKE YOUR CAREER ONE STEP AT A TIME.”
Sales Force Tower, Chicago Image Cour tesy of Pelli Clarke Pelli
26 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
SUDARSHAN KRISHNAN Sudarshan Krishnan earned his B.Arch from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, University of Mumbai, and his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the University of Illinois, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the fundamentals of structures, structural systems, advanced analysis, and design. His research looks for unique crossovers in geometry, architecture, and engineering. Specifically, he is interested in lightweight structural systems and transformable structures for terrestrial and outer space applications.
W H AT IS T H E ROLE O F T H E ST R U CT U R AL E N G I N E E R I N SOCI E T Y ?
Structural engineers contribute in several meaningful and distinct ways – as practitioners, academics, volunteers, and in other service capacities. Technically, engineers give physical expression to intangible forces, creating buildings that unite structural purpose and architectural form into coherent, efficient, and elegant solutions. In the process, they design safe and durable structures with economical use of resources. As they aspire to fulfill their roles as professionals, they bear a public responsibility for the safety of those who use their buildings. Structural engineers in academia educate the next generations of engineers to carry the torch forward. Their role is not just to fulfill a syllabus, but to inspire and ignite young minds. Besides teaching, they also conduct applied research that may directly influence professional practice and the design industry. There are also other ways engineers contribute. Through volunteer opportunities provided by “Engineers without Borders,” “Community Engineering Corps,” and other groups, they empower vulnerable communities and help them design and construct infrastructure. There is also a volunteer roster for disaster response maintained by the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA) for those who wish to participate. All said, it is about being useful and contributing to a better world.
Sudarshan Krishnan Image Cour tesy of L . Brian S tauffer
W HAT IS T H E I M PO RTANCE O F ST R U CT U R AL E D UCATI ON IN ARCH I T E CTURE ?
We know that structure fundamentally provides support, order, and discipline to a built form. When designed in synergy with form, structure contributes to the overall expression of a building. Many buildings are remembered for their structural expressionism. The current generation of designers are facing the problem of unlimited possibilities. Structural education, therefore, becomes even more important. As design team leaders, architects are expected to know how a building is put together, and how various building sub-systems fit together to comprise the total architecture. With an understanding of the factors that affect structural decisions, architects would be more adept at contributing to the structural planning process. This would ensure better cooperation and effective collaboration.
H OW MU C H STRUCTURE S S HO U L D AN ARCH I T E CT K NOW ?
Whether architects should have structural literacy or structural competency depends on individual career aspirations. In my opinion, architects should master the subjects fundamental to their profession to become technically literate. An intuitive understanding of structures coupled with system-level knowledge would enable them to explore better ways to establish initial decisions in building design. To that effect, architects should be familiar with the criteria and rationale for selection/creation of structural systems and materials. They should know how site conditions, building type, scale, building codes, constructibility and cost influence structural decisions. Recognize also that the Illinois School of Architecture offers some unique programs. The Structures-track for graduate students allows them to pursue professional careers as architects and/or structural designers. In the latter case, they are eligible to take the State of Illinois’ Structural Engineer licensure exam. Many of our architecture alumni are accomplished structural engineers. They are well-rounded structural engineers who understand architectural considerations and other factors that affect building design. Students in the Structurestrack are therefore expected to have structural competency. Their courses have more technical rigor with an emphasis on applied knowledge to solve practical problems. So, when students ask – “Should I take wood or masonry?” I say, “Take both.” The point is to learn as much as possible. Otherwise, you are expected to know or learn on your own when you are assigned projects in practice.
“THE CURRENT GENERATION OF DESIGNERS ARE FACING THE PROBLEM OF UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES.” THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 29
Temple Car Festival Image Cour tesy of Sudarshan Krishnan
H OW I S TH E D E SI G N O F LI G H T W E I G H T ST R U CT URE S D I FFE RE NT F RO M C ON VE NTI ON AL ST RUCTURE S ?
The idea is to minimize the different forces that a structure may experience. Designing structures to act predominantly in direct tension or compression, and with minimum flexure is one way to approach the design of lightweight structures. The objective is also to reduce the amount of material used to an optimal minimum. This means that materials should be used to their full capacity, and the stresses must be distributed as uniformly as possible. As an example, tensioned-membrane structures rely on prestress and shape to provide resistance. “Form-finding” is an essential first step. This is a fundamental difference in the design process when compared with conventional structures. Lightweight structures are optimized, and as such may be sensitive and perhaps unforgiving when not designed correctly. For these reasons, structural engineers play a pivotal role and have greater influence in the design process.
DO YO U T H I NK T H AT A DAP T IVE ARCH I TE CTURE , S U C H AS D E PLOYABLE ST RU CT U R E S, H AS CH ANG E D DE SI G N T H I NK I N G ?
Yes, very much. The advancement in computation and fabrication technologies has popularized new research and design of deployable structures. These systems require rethinking design on several fronts. Designers will have to think of multi-functional spaces through iterative programming that adapts to changes in spatial volumes. Mathematical thinking will become part of design thinking, especially when the goal is to create structures that have maximum expansion when deployed and minimum volume when folded. Architects will need to work together with mechanical and electrical engineers for the design of mechanisms, actuation, and control systems. Detailing of connections and construction methods will also see a considerable shift from conventional designs. Currently, the design process is not able to keep up with the rapid and exponential growth of technologies. There is no doubt that we will be seeing constant changes in architectural practices and pedagogy.
“MATHEMATICAL THINKING WILL BECOME PART OF DESIGN THINKING.” THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 31
H OW D ID YO UR WORK O N DE P LOYA B LE STRUCTURE S START ?
I was always intrigued by mechanisms that made objects expandable and foldable. My research on deployable structures began in a rather unexpected way. We have annual Temple Car festivals in India. They are a delight to watch and participate in. Traditional temple cars are seven to ten stories tall and are taken to the streets for procession of deities. Regrettably, the scale and grandeur of these structures have been substantially diminished over the years and smaller make-shift designs have replaced the iconic tall cars. Shortage of tall storage spaces is one problem. Another problem is the low elevation of tree branches and crisscrossing transmission cables over streets that obstruct the movement of tall cars. Also, tall cars would have to be dismantled after use for easy storage and reassembled with great effort for subsequent uses. I found the most effective solutions to these problems using transformability. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how my research in this area started. Since then, one of my projects has been about designing adaptive temple cars with deployable base and dome roofs that may be expanded and retracted, stored in a compact volume, and reused conveniently. The next steps are to fabricate the parts and construct the cars using minimum technology and traditional craftsmanship.
H OW H AS YO UR R E S E ARC H I N D E PLOYABLE ST R U CT U R E S TR AN SL AT E D TO T H E C L AS SROOM , AND HOW A R E TH E ST UD E NT S I N VO LVE D?
The architecture of future is one that can respond and adapt. In this spirit, I usually include projects on deployable structures in my graduate course on structural systems. Students work in teams to develop and deploy table-top models. The projects present a different kind of intellectual challenge. Students are required to calculate geometries of forms that would expand to a maximum and fold to a minimum volume. They build prototype models to demonstrate motion. The model-making process can be tedious because much depends on the accuracy of geometric calculations and connection detailing. Most students seem to enjoy the intriguing challenge, especially when they see their static models come to life. The extended goal is, of course, for students to recognize the importance and need for an architecture that is responsive to user needs and adaptive to external conditions. This may be best realized through project-based seminars and design studios on deployable structures.
Adap tive Temple Car Design Image Cour tesy of Sudarshan Krishnan
32 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
S tudent Projects on Deployable S tructures, ARCH 536, Fall 2018 Image Cour tesy of Sudarshan Krishnan
S tudent Demonstrating Her Motion S tructure Project , ARCH 536, Fall 2018 Image Cour tesy of Sudarshan Krishnan
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 33
RACHEL MICHELIN Rachel Michelin joined Thornton Tomasetti in 2005 and is a Vice President in the Chicago Renewal Group. She leads an architectural team focused on building envelope improvement and renovation projects. Rachel’s forensic background and design solutions have ranged across buildings of all sizes, vintages, and construction types. She has extensive experience in the evaluation and repair of masonry, concrete, stone, curtain walls, roofing and waterproofing, as well as in the design and incorporation of contemporary materials for window replacement and recladding projects. Rachel is a licensed Architect and a member of the AIA. She is a certified Building Enclosure Commissioning Agent and is passionate about improving the building envelope performance of existing buildings. Rachel is also a LEED accredited Professional with a BD+C specialty credential and implements sustainable design principles into the design, repair and renovation of building envelopes.
W HAT D O YO U BE LI E VE I S T HE RO L E O F ST RUCTUR AL E N GIN E E R S IN SOCI E T Y ?
It’s really to help architects envision their dreams. We are known for being very collaborative. When we get teamed with an architect - we try not to immediately say “No, you can’t do that.” We help them figure out how to construct their idea, leaving that lasting legacy in the built environment. For generations to come, you need both professions. We need designers on a team to push creativity, and structural engineers that come into play by making sure buildings will stand up and are constructible.
“GO OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.”
H OW WAS YO U R E XPE RI E N CE WAS IN TH E UN I VE RSI T Y O F I LLI NOI S I N T H E ST R U CT URE S O PT I ON AN D HOW H AVE T H E SE E X P E R IE N C E S TR ANSL AT E D TO YO U R CARE E R TODAY ?
I was always pulled towards math and analytics my whole life and loved those courses in my undergraduate education. So, in graduate school, I appreciated the variety of courses on different materials. Our capstone project was such a valuable exercise to apply the mathematical problems you might get in one such class into an actual project, and I think that is something incredibly unique about the University of Illinois. For example, we had whole units on MEP systems where we had to apply some real thought into what sort of system we would have to use. It helps so much to have this background when you get into the workforce. In my case, I work almost exclusively with existing buildings, and most historic drawing sets didn’t detail everything out like we do today. Having that background experience of applying structural and engineering theory into architecture was of incredible value. It was really a great way to round out my education.
HOW DO YOU FI ND TH E BAL A NCE BE T WE E N P R E SE RVATI ON AND MOD E RNI Z ATI ON ?
This is very building dependent. For example, in a landmark structure, you wouldn’t want to change the outward appearance or cause any detriment to significant material. There sometimes are opportunities to do improvements, such as adding insulation or storm windows, at select locations to improve performance. However, this needs to be carefully analyzed to make sure the original material is not adversely affected. Then there are projects that are not historic, such as a building that is nearing 40 years old, and components like gaskets and sealants are reaching their usable service life. At this point, the client just wants to give it a face lift. Those buildings are often candidates for an over-clad or reclad. It is a very detailed case-by-case basis, and not one solution fits all.
High-Rise Building Façade Reclad Project Image Cour tesy of Thor ton Tomasetti
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 35
AS A N E X P E RT I N RE PAI R AND R E N OVATI O N O F E X I ST IN G B U ILD I NG S, H OW HAVE YO U IMPLE M E NTE D I NN OVAT IV E SU STAI NABLE DE SIGN P R IN CI PLE S I N TO O L DE R B U IL D ING S ?
I think we go outside the box. For example, one project that I’m working on right now is a seven-story former department store built in the early 1900s that is being converted into an office building. In order to achieve the landmark status, the building must be in good repair and match its original aesthetics. However, over the years, much of the original exterior materials (including windows and spandrel panels) were stripped out. Rebuilding it all as it was back then would be incredibly expensive, not very sustainable in terms of energy performance, and would not be able to meet some modern structural requirements. As the building envelope consultants and structural engineers for the architect, we quickly decided to pursue alternate materials that matched the historic look of the building, using original building drawings as a reference to make sure the details matched. Since there was historic material missing, we worked with preservation agencies to get it right. In the process we talked with a variety of disciplines and requested many mockups to make sure the new components were constructible, met performance requirements, and looked appropriate. It was a collaborative effort, and it’s under construction right now.
AS A G RE E N B UI LD I N G L E A D E R AT T H O RNTON TO M AS E T T I, AN D A M E M BE R O F T HE U S GRE E N B UI LD I NG C O U N C IL , WH AT D O YOU BE L IE VE IS T H E I M PO RTANCE O F L E E D CRE D E N T I ALS, AN D N E T-ZE RO CARBON E M IS SI ON D E SI G N I N B UI LD I NG S ?
I think LEED gives a great background to all of the sustainable principles that should be guiding design decisions. Even if you do not become a sustainability consultant or a LEED certified professional, being familiar with all the credits and learning why they’re important is incredibly valuable. LEED started with just a group of people that wanted to see some change. As we learn more about operational energy, we start to realize that certain strategies have a higher impact than others. I would encourage any student to take the exam. I’m very pro-sustainability. I think as design professionals, we have a duty. This is going to be on our generation. Our temperatures are heating up, and there are fires going on in California. Climate change is real. It’s coming and it will be the biggest challenge for me and all of you in our careers. If everybody did a little bit, we could really make a big impact.
“REMEMBER TO KEEP KNOW THAT THERE’S A 36 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
W HAT OT H E R ADVI CE D O YO U H AVE FOR AN Y AS P IR IN G ARCH I TE CT S OR STR U CT U R A L E NG I NE E RS ?
I would say that the one thing I didn’t realize in school was that the profession of architecture has many different roles to play. Remember to keep an open mind, and know that there’s a place for everybody. For example, design studio was not my passion – I much more enjoyed the classes that focused on the technical aspects of architecture. I was lucky that I found my place. It can be hard if you get into a job only to find that you really don’t want to do it. I have had friends leave the profession because of the long hours. Some of them went to related fields, and some didn’t. It’s a challenge. We do lose people over time. A lot of women leave the profession. The number of minorities in the profession is still too low. I think we have to really encourage everybody that there’s a place for you at the table. Having diversity is so important, and I know increasing this is important to so many. My advice would be to realize that architectural education will open a lot of doors for you, even if you do not go to work at a major design firm. A building is unique, because it’s not like a product that comes out of a factory; there are hundreds of people that work on it, each playing different roles. There are career paths that are not at all like designing a new building, but in order to pursue them you have to have knowledge about architecture and how it’s applied. You can work in small firms, big firms, contracting, or consulting. Try to find somewhere that you’re happy and you feel challenged, but just keep an open mind and realize that there’s a space for you depending on your skills and your interests. Finding it may take reaching out to professors or going to the career fair and talking to professionals. Everybody contributes a multitude of ideas, and it makes us stronger as a profession.
AN OPEN MIND, AND PLACE FOR EVERYBODY” THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 37
RUDI SCHEUERMANN Rudi Scheuermann studied Architecture at the University of Karlsruhe (Germany) and completed a research degree in tensile structures at Bath University (UK). Between 1993 and 2003, he has been teaching regularly at the architectural faculties, at the University of Hannover as research assistant, then at the University of Applied Science in Holzminden as lecturer, followed by the University RWTH in Aachen as guest professor. After 2003, his academic involvement has been focused on research projects and guest lectures mostly within Europe. Despite many other tasks, Rudi’s main focus has always been the development of the Façade Practice within Arup. Since 2009, he is heading the European and, since 2012, also the Global Facade Engineering Practice. In 2014, he was announced to be an Arup Fellow.
W H AT IS T H E ROLE O F T H E E N GIN E E R IN A SU STAI NABLE B U ILT E NVI RO NM E N T ?
Sustainability has many faces that expand way beyond just energy aspects. Sustainability is about saving CO2 both in construction and in operation. However, there are aspects like social usefulness and health and wellbeing that contribute to sustainability too. Engineers, as much as everyone who takes part in the design process, have the task to collaborate and challenge each other’s definition of responsibility. The goal is to find the best agreement in the interest of “total architecture”. Meaning, in the interest of a holistic project outcome. Thus, every person that contributes to the design process has to contribute their “friction” for the best result.
“WE WANT TO WORK AND COLLABORATE WITH THE BEST, SO THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE THE BEST OUTCOMES FOR SOCIETY.”
HOW HAV E YOU M AN AG E D TO IN T EG R ATE I NN OVATI VE , TE C H N ICA L APPROACH E S TO DE SI G N SO TH AT T H E Y C O M PLE M E NT O NE ANOTH E R ?
S olarLeaf Faรงade at the BIQ House Image Cour tesy of ARUP
To be honest, I have been very lucky to be involved in projects with clients that I could convince to allow for innovation. But it is never a result of a single person, let alone just me. And even if I am the one who signs the proposals, to conclude if an idea is real innovation is a product of collaboration with many of my colleagues. We have used the deepest borehole in Europe, at the time drilled for mining research, to benefit a university campus in Aachen (Super C Aachen) with the geothermal heat found in over 1000 m depth. We have been designing the largest borehole field in Europe to make use of the geothermal heat for industrial use (Fronius) in a factory in Austria. We have invented the green algae faรงade for the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg (IBA Hamburg). To generate biomass to be fermented and to produce biogas to turn solar energy from the hot summer months into storable biogas for the winter months. I have worked on product developments for the glued button fixed of insulation glass units, on structural glass ideas for two air traffic control towers, in which the glass carries a large proportion of the roof load to maximize the vision. I was also project director to work on biodegradable prototyping with bio fibers and bio raisins to be manufactured into faรงade components and cladding systems that can be composted at the end of their life cycle. In short, many great ideas we have developed have all been multidisciplinary achievements. They would have never been able to be accomplished by a single discipline! It is the collaboration of great people each knowing and contributing facts to a greater whole. Within and outside Arup: we want to work and collaborate with the best so that we can to achieve the best outcomes for society.
HOW DO YOU TH I NK G RE E N B U IL D IN G E N VE LOPE S W IL L IM PACT H OW PE O PLE C O N C E IV E ARCH I T E CTURE , S PAC E AN D T H E SO CI AL ST RU CT U R E S T H AT B UI LD UP T HE URBAN FABRI C ?
It is certainly a challenge. We are not used to such a green architecture. We are used to having plants only as a bit of “decoration” or just to complement our spaces. Even so, our objective is to introduce green building envelopes as infrastructure elements that improve our inner-city microclimate, filter fine-dust polluted air, and lower ambiance noise in dense urban agglomerations. There are many more psychological effects that contribute to health and wellbeing, which I do not even feel so entitled to talk about as an architect and engineer, but these effects have been proved. Since a few years ago, I have been working on three fronts regarding green building envelopes. The first one is regarding regulatory bodies and communal policies to demand green building envelope components be granted building permissions. So far, we have been successful in convincing the federal state capital of Stuttgart in Germany, as well as the city of Melbourne in Australia, to demand 30% of the exposed building envelopes to be covered with green building envelope components. Both regulations have used the results of the global research project I have started and led within Arup as the basis of their regulation make-over. With designers, I want to develop the systems as principles rather than isolated designs so that architects and designers have the freedom to pursue “their” own designs and styles based on our principles rather than just suggesting finished designs to be applied. With the general population, I enjoy giving lectures about the subject and reaching out to everybody to see the benefits. Currently, I am working on an exhibition in the DAM, the Deutsches Architektur Museum in Frankfurt/Germany, under the title “Simply Green-Einfach Grün”. This exhibition will showcase the possibilities and present the research results that demonstrate the benefits of every single plant in a dense urban context. It will show that everything counts. This exhibition will travel, as DAM-Einfach Grün goes on tour through German federal states, and maybe even neighboring countries like Austria, Switzerland, etc. The idea is not only to educate but also to work on making the successful examples known, so that society gets used to these images. Thus, we hope to create pleasure and desire in looking at these new forms of architecture as a symbiosis of plants and the built environment to benefit society.
“WE HOPE TO CREATE PLEASURE AND DESIRE IN LOOKING AT THESE NEW FORMS OF ARCHITECTURE AS A SYMBIOSIS OF PLANTS AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT TO BENEFIT SOCIETY.” 40 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
F RO M YO U R PE RSPE CTI VE , W H AT IS T H E I M PORTANCE OF A M U LTI D I SCI PLI NARY E D UCATI ON ?
Since I have the pleasure of having both architecture and engineering educations, I can tell you it is a great benefit and yet also a big challenge. Being creative with the knowledge of engineering constraints, you run the risk of being so conservative that the result could turn out to be boring, mediocre, or not outstanding enough. On the other hand, you can encourage innovative engineering knowledge that enables even more creative architectural achievements. It is this double education of the wide-angled generalist view of the architect and the specialistfocused view of the engineer that can be the enabler of a new future for our cities and the built environment as a whole.
W HAT IS T H E ROLE O F T H E ST R U CT U R A L E NG I NE E R I N SO CI E T Y ?
Structural engineers were the heroes for most of the 20th century. Unfortunately, today they have lost some recognition with the extended use of computing, and are often being reduced to â&#x20AC;&#x153;number crunchersâ&#x20AC;?. But the reality is that we have a much greater responsibility these days to optimize material use and to find ways to reduce the application of reinforced concrete to reduce the emission of embodied CO2. Structural engineers are needed to challenge new construction methods, like timber construction for extreme applications and the calculation and optimization of constructive fire resistance. These are just as much as our responsibility as it is to reassure that material efficiency is not reducing safety. These ideas have brought structural engineering into a completely new focus.
Ver tical Meadow Image Cour tesy of ARUP
Image Cour tesy of ARUP
42 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 43
KEVIN KALATA Kevin A. Kalata is a licensed architect and structural engineer with over twenty-two years of experience at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE). Mr. Kalata is a Principal with WJE and is the past Chair of the Building Enclosure Council - Chicago and member of ASTM Committee E06. Since joining WJE in 1996, Mr. Kalata has performed numerous investigations associated with exterior wall systems for both new and existing construction. As part of this work, Mr. Kalata is involved in the testing and assessment of windows, curtain walls, masonry wall systems, EIFS, and other various other building enclosure and cladding systems for moisture penetration, air infiltration, thermal and structural performance. Mr. Kalata has also conducted investigations of distressed buildings, building components, and structural framing systems to evaluate damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, and fire, as well as to investigate construction, material, and/or design defects.
W H E N YO U WE RE STUDY I NG AT T HE IL L I N O I S SCH OOL O F ARC H I TE CTURE , H OW D ID YO U K N OW T H AT YOU WAN T E D TO FO CU S YOUR STU DIE S O N STRUCTURE S ?
I think of architecture as a blend of art and math, and my brain is definitely wired more towards the math side of architecture. When applying to the University of Illinois, it was kind of a toss-up of whether I would study architecture or engineering. The structures option was a nice fit that allowed me to do both.
“ONE OF OUR FOUNDERS, JACK JANNEY, USED TO SAY, “ASK THE STRUCTURE”, AND I THINK THAT IS A GOOD WAY TO APPROACH AN INVESTIGATION.”
W HAT T Y P E O F ST RUCTUR AL E N G IN E E RI N G AN D/O R A RC H IT E CT URE RE L AT E D WO R K D O YOU WO RK ON AT W IS S, JA N NE Y, E LSTN E R AS SOCI ATE S, I N C.?
I work on a whole host of different projects at WJE. I am fortunate to be able to use both my architectural and engineering backgrounds to investigate issues ranging from structural failures and collapses to building enclosure and cladding issues. One day, I may be analyzing a roof truss failure, while the next, I am investigating a curtain wall issue. We do not get to pick the problems, we are just asked to solve them.
W H AT AR E SO M E OF TH E I N I T IA L O B S E RVAT I ON S YO U M AK E W H E N E VALUAT I N G DA M AGE S TO A B UI LD I NG ?
I think it is important to first get an overview of the overall situation and then focus on specific conditions and details. I look for patterns in the damage that help to define the problem. One of our founders, Jack Janney, used to say “ask the structure”, and I think that is a good way to approach an investigation.
Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, IL Image Cour tesy of WJE & Kevin Kalata
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 45
W HAT ARE SOM E O F T H E M OST COM M ON ST R U CT U R AL FAI LURE S TH AT YO U R F IR M IN VE STI G ATE S ?
Some of the more common structural failures that we investigate are bridge failures, parking garage failures, roof collapses, and failures that occur during construction to name a few. These failures can be due to a host of issues including design issues, contractor errors, long term deterioration, as well as natural events (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, etc.).
W HAT IS YO U R I M PRE S SI ON O F T H E WAY T H E FI E LD OF ST R U CT U R A L E N G I N E E RI NG H AS E VOLVE D AN D T H E C U R R E N T STAT E OF TH E PR ACT I CE ?
Obviously, computer software packages are becoming more robust and are enabling engineers to design and analyze more complicated systems with ever increasing speed. The improvements in the analysis tools from the DOS-based programs that I first learned is truly remarkable. I do think, however, that we need to be careful so we do not lose the ability to think independently of the computer. It is important that young engineers are able to perform hand calculations, can conduct general logic checks, and can accurately sketch and draw details, as these skills can be invaluable throughout your engineering career.
W H AT P RO JE CT WAS T H E M O ST C HALLE NG I NG OF YO UR CARE E R ?
My most challenging project would have to be the rehabilitation of Holy Name Cathedral located in Chicago, Illinois. The cathedral, which was built in the 1800s, provided many challenges as no two details were exactly alike. The project involved a number of aspects including: structural repairs related to the reinforcing of the roof structure, repair of decayed wood columns, repair of fire damaged structural elements, lateral reinforcement of the exterior mass masonry walls, support of thousands of decorative wood ceiling elements, improvements to the thermal barrier and moisture managements system, and implementation of a monitoring system to detect and alert building engineers of conditions that could lead to future damage. While likely the most challenging project of my career, it was probably the most enjoyable as it was a perfect blend of structural and architectural issues.
WH AT S K ILL H AS SE RVE D YO U B E ST IN YOUR CARE E R ?
My problem solving skills have served me well over my career as a large percentage of my projects involve determining the cause(s) of failure. Being able to draw from both my architectural and engineering background is essential in helping me understand how building systems and/or components are designed and assembled.
46 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Fire Damage Assessment of Younkers Building, Des M oines, Iowa Image Cour tesy of WJE
Fire damage and S tructural Assessment and Repair of Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, IL Image Cour tesy of WJE
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 47
ABBAS AMINMANSOUR Professor Aminmansour is Chair of the Building Performance Program and a faculty member in the Structures Concentration. His areas of research/scholarship interest and experience include structural steel and reinforced concrete design as well as design of tall buildings. Dr. Aminmansour is a member of the Committee on Manuals of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). The Committee is responsible for the technical contents of AISC’s Manual of Steel Construction (AISC Manual) as well as the Seismic Design Manual. Currently, professor Aminmansour is developing Ready2Steel, a suite of web-based resources for structural steel design including an integrated and comprehensive textbook; powerful and flexible calculator for interactive design of structural steel and composite members; complete solutions of member designs with charts, tables, and formulas that can be saved and/or printed and is fully integrated with the latest AISC Specification.
E A RLY I NTO YOUR ACA D E M IC CARE E R , YO U ST U D IE D M ATH E M AT I C S. W H Y D I D YOU D E CI D E TO MAK E A SH I F T FROM AP P L IE D M AT H E M ATI C S IN TO A RCH I T E CTURE , ST R U CT URE S, AN D CI VI L E NG I NE E RI N G ?
I went to a high school that had an exceptional math department. The teachers were some of the best in the country. In my undergraduate studies, I continued to maintain my interest in math, but I also knew I wanted to go into engineering. In fact, I started off as a nuclear engineering major. I took a lot of architectural engineering courses and I received my bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I went to Penn State for my graduate education and I double majored there in applied mathematics and architectural engineering in the structures option. I eventually got my Ph.D. in civil engineering. I always realized that if you want to get a Ph.D. in civil engineering you have to be good at math, so I knew that math would play a big role in my education both in terms of courses and potential research. In fact, it has impacted the work I do now. In the past, I’ve done work on steel design that has been adopted into the AISC manual several times. The fact that I had an interest in math and majored in mathematics shaped my mind in a certain way that I was able to do some of the things that I’ve done.
“TECHNOLOGY IS LETTING US DO THINGS THAT WE WEREN’T ABLE TO DO BEFORE.”
W H E N D ID YOUR I N T E RE ST IN B U I LD I NG S BE G I N ?
My father was what some people may refer to as a master builder. His work influenced me into building design and construction. When I started my undergraduate education, for some reason nuclear engineering was popular at that time. I saw nuclear engineering as a challenge and I wanted to seize the opportunity. Later I realized that nuclear engineering was not what I want to do for the rest of my life. My passion was in building design and construction, so I went back to my roots. I always saw design and construction as a holistic integrated process. I took some studio courses at the undergraduate level - not to the extent that I can claim to be an architect, but I’ve touched the subject more than the typical engineer has. When I finished my Ph.D. at Penn State, I was offered several opportunities, but I chose to come to a school of architecture rather than an engineering department or jobs in the industry. I chose to come to the Illinois School of Architecture because of the caliber of the program and because of the holistic and integrated approach that the school took. I didn’t just want to teach numbers and formulas in engineering. I bring a lot of real world integrations into my teaching whether it’s in regards to steel or concrete.
H OW W IL L RE ADY 2 STE E L T R A N SFO RM T H E WAY ST R U CT U R AL STE E L D E SI G N I S TAU G H T IN UN I VE RSI T I E S ?
Ready2Steel is a suite of resources for design of structural steel and composite members. If you want to design a beam or a column, you can enter the information and it gives you the answer. It also gives you charts that would be helpful to understand the member behavior. It shows you step-by-step solutions, including all of the formulas. It takes you to the source of the formula in the AISC specifications. Other features it has are very important in education. For example, I have a library of pictures that I have taken myself, and you can put in a keyword such as ‘beam to column web connection’, or ‘ beam to column flange connection’ and it provides you with images and characteristics, pros and cons, and limitations of the connection. To me, when a tool like this comes out, I would look at it as a positive step and an opportunity to question a lot of things. What else can I do that I couldn’t do before? How can I teach the subject better to students? How can a student understand this subject better than they could before this came out? In a lot of work that is being done in architectural and structural design, HVAC, and construction, technology plays a significant role. Technology is letting us do things that we weren’t able to do before. For example, Ready2Steel allows users to not only design structural members, but visually see member behavior though charts, etc. Using it is like playing computer game!. I certainly hope this will add value in our education system and I’m looking forward to seeing that impact.
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 49
W H AT SH OULD A ST R U CT U R AL E NG I NE E R TAK E IN TO C ON SI D E R ATI ON W HE N D E SI G N I NG A S U STAI NABLE TALL B UI LD I NG ?
All of us in the academic and professional practice field of building design and construction need to be very conscious of sustainability issues because we know climate change is affecting our daily life. Because of their nature, tall buildings have a potentially more significant impact on the environment than other buildings do. In my view, when we talk about sustainability in design and construction, we have to look at things from cradle-to-grave. In other words, from when you extract raw materials to make aluminum windows or mullions all the way to when the building is deconstructed. If you look at a tall building with the same measuring sticks that we use for other buildings to see how sustainable they are, tall buildings are not sustainable. In fact, they are very unsustainable compared to other buildings. The structure of a tall building is a lot heftier than it needs to be because of serviceability issues, so it takes more material per square foot of usable floor area. You have to deliver materials to very high places. Tall buildings have a lot of glazing which is not the best material for energy efficiency. There are a lot of reasons why tall buildings, when compared to smaller buildings, are absolutely not sustainable with those measures. But they still have a significant impact on sustainability. There are hundreds of thousands of people every week moving into urban areas around the world and urban density is becoming a more prominent subject. Tall buildings in the urban context could have a significant impact because of the opportunities they provide for a certain concentration of people and activities. Another aspect to consider is the deconstruction of tall buildings. We design these buildings as if they’re permanent fixtures on the face of the earth, but they’re not. They may be very efficient for many years, but at some point that building is not as usable as it was before for a variety of reasons. If you can tear that building down, there are new materials we can use that require less structure. It may not be economical to maintain that building anymore. What does it take to deconstruct a tall building? How much energy does it take? How much waste does it generate? I think a designer needs to think about that as well. It’s our ethical responsibility to think about these things.
Image Cou r tesy of Ab b a s Am in m a n so u r
50 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
I N TH E D E S IGN O F H I G H RI SE B U IL DIN G S, H OW D OE S TH E ST R U CT UR AL E NG I NE E R CO L L A B O R ATE W I T H TH E ARCH I T E CT ?
Certainly in tall building design, it is very important to work as a team. I used to be a chair and I’m a member of the Chicago Committee of High Rise Buildings. In that committee, there are 70-80 of us. There are architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, constructors, lawyers, people who specialize in vertical transportation, and more. I interact with a lot of people in different professional practices. I’ve also sat in on a lot of presentations in those meetings given on monumental buildings around the world and people ask all types of questions. And the common denominator without question is teamwork and collaboration. You cannot design a tall building without teamwork and everybody sitting at the table from the beginning. And by everybody I mean the architect, structural engineer, M/E/P engineer, and contractors. That’s how it’s practiced now. A successful project absolutely requires teamwork collaboration because everything is integrated.
ST R U CT U R A L E N G I N E E RI NG IS A M U LT I D I SCI PLI NARY P RO FE S SI ON . W H AT VARI AT I ON S OF E N G I NE E RI N G AN D A RC HIT E CTURE H AVE YO U E N C O U NT E RE D D URI N G YO U R PRO FE S SI ON AL CARE E R ?
A lot of things that architects and engineers do these days can be done partly because of their great imaginations and creativity. 20 years ago, a lot of the buildings we’re designing today couldn’t built. That doesn’t mean the architects didn’t have that creativity at that time, it was just not possible to build those designs. Computer technology has clearly made a huge difference in how the designer and construction industry is practiced today. Just look at the things you folks do in your studio today. People who went to school 20 years ago wouldn’t dare think about some of the creative design that you feel comfortable with to include in your design today because you know the capability is very different than they were before.
HOW HAS T H E RO LE OF ST R U CT U R AL E NG I NE E RS T R A N S FO R M E D OR ADAPT E D OVE R T HE C OURSE O F YOUR CARE E R ?
The two keys are collaboration with other team members and computer technology. Our understanding of buildings, both in terms of materials and structures, has changed. For example, the Empire State Building was a monumental achievement for its time. But that same building can be designed and built today with a lot less material because our understanding of material and structural behavior has changed and we have computer technology that helps us. It’s still very important that everybody is an expert in their own field but also understands the fields of other team members. An architect does not have to be as knowledgeable about structural design as a structural engineer but they need to have enough understanding so that they can design their building in a way that can be designed structurally and built in an economical way. Structural engineering today is very advanced.
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 51
W HAT I S TH E H I STORY AN D IM PO RTANCE O F T H E ST R U CT U RE S PRO G R AM AT T HE UNI VE RSI T Y O F I LLI NOI S ?
The structures program at Illinois started in the late 1800s. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very old and it was actually established as an architectural engineering program. The first architectural engineering program in the country was established in Illinois and it evolved into part of the architecture program. In fact, the architecture program was a part of the College of Engineering initially and then it moved and became more encompassing from an architectural point of view as well. It has a very long history both in terms of time and quality. Some of the graduates of our program have played significant roles in design of monumental projects such as the Burj Khalifa, Sears Tower and John Hancock Center. Our program has had a major impact around the world in some of the most significant buildings that have been designed and built.
Aqua Tower Image Cour tesy of Abbas Aminmansour
52 THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 53
JAMES PAWLIKOWSKI James (Jim) Pawlikowski is the Principal/Director of Engineering at REX Engineering Group, based in Naperville. He oversees all structural, MEP, and construction engineering services. Prior to joining REX in 2020, Jim was an Associate Director / Senior Structural Engineer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago, having spent 24 years there. Jim co-managed the SOM Chicago structural group for 10 years, in addition to having had lead roles on many significant projects throughout the world. He is a licensed structural engineer, and holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture (with structural engineering concentration) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jim also has a Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
IN T HE D E SI G N O F A S U P E RSTRUCTURE , H OW DO YO U BAL ANCE T H E ARCH I TE CTURE , ST RU CT U R AL E N G I N E E RI NG , S U STA I NABI LI T Y AN D FUN CTI ON ?
They are all important elements of a project – not only for superstructures, but for any project. Any project which favors one discipline or goal at the expense of others is not a truly successful project. This is especially true for superstructures – there is so much demand put on the structure, but yet the building also needs to function and meet target performances such as energy usage and efficient material quantities. The key to incorporating and balancing all project requirements and goals is to have effective collaboration and almost constant communication amongst the design team, and also with the client. All parties need to be at the table from the beginning, discussing design ideals and directions, needs, and potential solutions. The project needs to be developed as a whole, and not as a collection of independent systems. I help in teaching classes on both sides of campus at UIUC (Civil Engineering and Architecture). Something I stress is that a successful structural system is the one that compliments and enhances every system. A structural system can be the most efficient in terms of materials and construction, but if it gets in the way of the building function or the aesthetic values, then it is a failure. Structural systems need to balance the requirements of other disciplines while still meeting structural performance and efficiency targets. The most successful structural systems are those that accomplish this, but at the same time enhance all other disciplines and the entire project.
W HE N D E SI G N I NG A N OVE L STRUCTURE LI K E TH E B U RJ K H ALI FA , H OW D O YOU M AN AG E TH E U N C E RTAI N BE H AVI OR O F T HE M ATE RI ALS AND ST R U CT UR AL SYST E M S ?
From the beginning, you must understand what aspects of your proposal are beyond the realm of current convention. Whether it is the height, the span, or the materials, don’t assume that what you’ve previously done is completely applicable. Go back to basic principles, and be sure you know the engineering behind it. Every project is an opportunity to advance the field and look at new ideas. New types of systems or structures that push the envelope come with some amount of uncertainty, and require some research and verification. The Burj Khalifa was always meant to be the tallest building in the world. Taipei 101 was the highest at the time, at 511 meters. When we started, we had conceived Burj to be 533 meters tall, but we ultimately got to 828 meters at the end of design. There is an enormous difference between 533 and 828. As a result, we went back to basic principles and we re-examined our design approaches. One example is with respect to the wind engineering. The current data that was available was only that reported from the local airports – we did not truly understand the wind climate acting at the heights we were pursuing, and we did not feel comfortable merely extrapolating the existing data. Our wind consultant RWDI undertook a comprehensive study to better understand the conditions, including even launching weather balloons to gather data at these extreme heights. The result was a much more complete understanding of this critical design parameter. Another example is with respect to designing one of the more critical elements in the structure – the link beams within the shear walls. We worked with Prof. Dan Kuchma in the department of Civil Engineering at UIUC, who is an expert in strut-and-tie design for concrete, which was a relatively new approach at this time. He helped us to research and better apply this design approach to our thousands of link beams, resulting in a more efficient and also fully vetted design. Sometimes managing the uncertainty on projects goes beyond research and results in building certain “reserves” into these projects. In Burj, for instance, we allocated space for a damper near the top of the building, in the event the wind climate and/or behavior was not as we anticipated. This provision allowed us the flexibility to install a damper to lessen the wind response if needed. However, before the construction was finished it became evident that we had gotten it right and that there was not going to be the need for it – so now this space is the world’s highest mosque.
“A SUCCESSFUL STRUCTURAL SYSTEM IS ONE THAT COMPLIMENTS AND ENHANCES EVERY SYSTEM.” THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 55
“EVERY PROJECT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE THE FIELD.”
Burj Khalifa Image Cour tesy of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
NATO Headquar ters Under Construction Image Cour tesy of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
NATO Headquar ters Image Cour tesy of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
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W HAT AR E TH E LE S SO NS YO U H AVE LE ARNE D W H E N CO NFRO NTE D W IT H U N C ON VE N T I ON AL PROPOSALS ?
One of the great things about working at SOM was that I got the chance to be involved in many projects that pushed the boundaries of the field. These projects required much investigation, and even some second-guessing of ourselves. But when you start working out these ideas to make them possible, we learn a lot. Even if we did not bring these ideas to fruition, the lessons learned can be applied to other projects. That is why it is so important to investigate new concepts, and develop new ideas. One example of this process is the buttressed core structural system we used at Burj Khalifa. This system was an idea we developed for another project, a 300m+ tower in Seoul. As we developed this system, we realized the potential this idea had - and we knew that we wanted to further pursue the capabilities of this system when the opportunity for the next tallest building came.
“ENGINEERS SHOULD STRIVE TO DESIGN STRUCTURES THAT COMPLEMENT AND ENHANCE THE ARCHITECTURE.” IN YO U R E X PE RI E NCE , H OW DO E S STRUCTUR AL E N G IN E E RI N G I NFO RM ARC H IT E CT URE AN D URBAN PL AN NI N G ?
Structure is an integral part of building and infrastructure projects. Engineers should never design in a vacuum, but instead be an active participant in the design process, and even a driver of solutions. Engineers are uniquely situated to accumulate and understand everyone else’s requirements, and propose solutions which not only accommodate these requirements, but also enhance the project. Engineers should strive to design structures that complement and enhance the architecture. The structural system should be expressive of how it performs, which can lead to a meaningful and informed design aesthetic. A goal every structural engineer should have is to design a system so beautiful that you make the architects feel guilty for covering it up. Of course, the beauty of showcasing a structure does not have to result in an overt expression of the structure. One example of this type of structure would be the Hancock in Chicago, where the trussed façade creates the architecture. However, there are many examples where the structure informs the architecture, but it is not directly expressed. Perhaps the best example is the Burj Khalifa. When you see Burj, you do not see the structure – but you understand it. You can see how the structural system works because it helped inform the architecture. This is a more subtle expression, but it is just as meaningful.
THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 59
W HAT D O YOU SE E I N TH E F U T U R E OF STRUCTUR AL E N GIN E E R I NG ? ARE T H E RE ANY SYST E M S OR CON CE PT S T H AT YO U ARE I NTE RE STE D I N?
I think that the future of structural engineering has the structural engineer being a proactive participant and driver of projects, especially in the projects in which we push the boundaries of what is possible. I think there is a real opportunity for engineers to inform the whole process. There are several advancements that are going to change the profession. In terms of analysis capabilities, there is so much more that we understand about the behavior of buildings compared to 20 years ago; we can design more efficient and appropriate buildings. This will only continue to improve, and will also see its way more into how we construct buildings as well. Additionally, material technologies are not going to be limited to just concrete and steel; there have been several applications for timber for high rises and other projects. New composites are showing a lot of potential as well. The future is going to see these other materials becoming more mainstream, and the challenge for structural engineers is to understand and embrace them when appropriate. Furthermore, I think that engineers need to understand energy usage and sustainability strategies for their structures. It is not outside of our discipline. There is a lot of embedded carbon in a structural system. As drivers of the projects, we need to lead in that aspect too. We are going to see sustainability being more important in structural engineering as we move forward.
Universit y of Illinois Campus Instructional Facilit y Image Cour tesy of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
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HOW T R A NSCE N D E NTAL H AS YOUR E D UCATI ON AS A N ARCH I T E CT AN D AS A ST RUCTUR AL E N G IN E E R BE E N I N YO UR P RO F E S S I O NAL CARE E R ?
My architectural background has been fundamental to my structural engineering career. My first passion was architecture. I went to the University of Illinois thinking I wanted to be an architect. I grew up just outside Chicago and always went downtown to experience the buildings – I fell in love with architecture and wanted to be part of it. While at Illinois, I became exposed to the technical side of architecture, and also the structure of buildings – which I decided I wanted to pursue further. Fortunately, Illinois has the program whereby I could study structural engineering while still being part of the School of Architecture. This was ideal, because I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but I also knew I didn’t want to be too far from the architectural side of the profession. My architectural education has given me knowledge and perspective – I not only understand what all the components of a building are, but I understand and appreciate the drivers behind providing good design. I want to design good buildings that also represent good architecture. My education allows me to provide structural solutions that are sensitive to the architecture, and hopefully also help influence its design. My education has also facilitated my collaboration with architects – it’s so important to speak the same language and understand the aesthetic ideals of a project. I’ve built many great relationships with architects over my career, and it’s in part because I share a lot of the same understandings, desires, and passions.
W H AT IS TH E RO LE TH AT T HE ST R U CT U R AL E NG I NE E R P L AYS IN CO NTE M PO R ARY SO CI E T Y ?
Structural engineers play a key role in our society. We’re seen as technical experts who are trusted with the safety and interests of the public. Much like in the building profession, I think structural engineers have a unique ability and obligation to be drivers in advancing ideas and progress.
W HAT WOULD YO U LI K E TO T E L L ANY ASPI RI N G A RCH I T E CT S O R ST R U CT U R A L E N G I N E E RS ?
One of the things that has always driven me is an interest in everything that goes into designing and constructing buildings. I would encourage everybody, regardless of your passion, to take the time to understand and be aware of what the other building disciplines pursue – not only their requirements, but also what are their design ideals. This will help you to better understand the profession, to be a better communicator and collaborator, and to become a more complete professional.
“I FELL IN LOVE WITH ARCHITECTURE” THE ROLE OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER 61
PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCERAL LANDSCAPE REBECCA GINSBURG
Danville Correctional Facilit y Image Cour tesy of Rebecca Ginsburg
64 PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCEL LANDSCAPE
REBECCA GINSBURG Rebecca Ginsburg is a co-founder and current director of the Education Justice Project (EJP), a unit of the University of Illinois. EJP is a comprehensive college-in-prison program that brings together scholars, students, and teachers dedicated to the vision of a more just and humane world. Through its educational programs, events, outreach, and advocacy, EJP supports critical awareness of incarceration and reentry, with special focus on the responsibility of institutions of higher education to engage systems-involved individuals during and after incarceration. Hundreds of University of Illinois faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff, community members, and incarcerated scholars have been involved in EJP’s initiatives since it was formed 12 years ago. Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, her JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California at Berkeley. It was while she was a graduate student at Berkeley that she first became involved in prison education. Her most recent book is an edited collection called Critical Perspectives on Teaching in Prison (Routledge 2019). She is currently working on a prison abolition reader. Rebecca has been a resident of Urbana-Champaign for 16 years. She shares a home with her husband, William Sullivan, and daughters Anna (13) and Isabella (10). It is her great pride that her children don’t think there’s anything unusual about the fact that she teaches in a prison.
PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCEL LANDSCAPE 65
PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCERAL LANDSCAPE REBECCA GINSBURG P
rison abolition is not a new idea, but it has never enjoyed such prominence, at least in the United States, as in recent months. Often partnered with calls to abolish or de-fund the police, it has become a rallying cry at protests since the killing of George Floyd pushed thousands of people onto the streets demanding racial justice and criminal justice reform.
cages have become glaringly apparent, as prisons and jails have become COVID-19 hot spots, threatening the lives of those locked up, prison employees, and members of surrounding communities.
THE HARMS OF IMPRISONMENT ARE MANIFEST.
I hope that it is an idea whose time has finally come. The harms of imprisonment are manifest. From its having become a tool of racial oppression, to its impact on the mental health of those who work in prisons, to the financial costs of incarceration, to its lack of effectiveness in reducing violence, and much more— scholars, activists, and the testimonies of those directly impacted demonstrate that penal incarceration fails to reduce violence and serves, in fact, as a generator of crime. Books have been written on the harmful impacts of incarceration on families of the incarcerated, and also on the ways our current system fails to provide support or healing for victims of crime. In recent months, the public health implications of confining individuals in massive
It’s on the basis of such evidence, and on principles of compassion and human dignity, that many have argued for decades that we should reduce our reliance on imprisonment and, eventually, end the practice all together. Instead of reflexively punishing those that hurt others, abolitionists say, we should seek to understand the contexts that give rise to any given harm and address them. Abolitionists vary in their approaches, but most aspire to replace our adversarial systems with systems of accountability and healing that support empathetic understanding of others’ conditions and
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provide opportunities for building local interventions that avoid future harms. Moving away from our habit of incarceration isn’t something that would or could happen overnight. Penal incarceration happens mostly at the state level, so we wouldn’t expect to see anything like a general closure of prisons across the country or national prohibitions against new prison construction. And, despite critics who hold up the specter of floods of incarcerated individuals being pushed out, in a single gesture, through opened prison gates, that’s unrealistic. No governor would allow that to happen. What, then, might prison abolition look like?
THERE ARE NO BLUEPRINTS. There are no blueprints. Other countries offer hope, but little direction, as what’s required in the U.S. is not just a shift in direction when it comes to how we respond to harm and violence, but also a vision for what to do with the millions of individuals caught up in the current system, whether as incarcerated people, employees, or people whose livelihood depends on penal incarceration. No other country has had to deal with that on such a scale, because no other nation has incarcerated at the rate of the U.S., reaching an all-time high incarceration rate of 760/100,000 individuals in 2007 and 2008. 1 I find the idea of the carceral landscape useful in thinking through the goals of prison abolition and how it might be achieved. The carceral landscape is composed of the interconnected systems that support and reflect penal incarceration. In the United Kingdom, they use the term ‘carceral geography” instead. That expression fittingly emphasizes the fact that the institutions and practices
of interest form physical patterns over the face of the earth; they are real entities that people encounter and must grapple with in their everyday lives. The term “landscape,” on the other hand, draws attention to the visible manifestations of the recurring practices and patterns that have enabled the U.S. to imprison people at the rate that we do. Pieces of the carceral landscape are all around us, though not equally seen by all or appreciated for their import. They include police officers in public schools, street signs that threaten motorists with fines or arrests, neighborhoods depleted of significant portions of their male populations, and communities financially dependent upon the jobs provided by a nearby prison. Pieces of the carceral landscape also include the foster care system, juvenile detention centers, courthouses and jails and, of course, prisons themselves. Television shows that paint incarcerated people as dangerous beasts that need to be locked up form part of our carceral landscape, as do “stop and frisk” practices, and the crumbling infrastructure of many public schools. The carceral landscape is infused and animated by racial and class animus and a punitive orientation towards harm, among other values. Thinking in terms of the carceral landscape allows us to get our heads around what so many abolitionists mean when they call for things like “transforming the structures of our society as well as our relationships with each other” and “develop[ing] new ways of preventing and redressing violence while more expansively envisioning justice anew.” 2 Language like this may be one of the most confusing things about prison abolition for those who hear the term for the first time. Doesn’t prison abolition refer simply to stopping penal incarceration and empowering courts to sentence people convicted of crimes to alternative forms of punishment? Why, then, do prison abolitionists talk in such grandiose terms about transforming systems of justice?
BJS, Key Statistics, Correctional Population Rates By Status on the internet at www.bjs.gov (visited 10/20/2020) Oonagh Ryder, “What Does Justice Look Like Without Prisons?” Novara Media, January 12, 2018, accessed 08/14/2018 from http://novaramedia. com/2018/01/14/what-does-justice-look-like-without-prisons/; Allegra M. McLeod, “Envisioning Abolition Democracy,” Harvard Law Review 2
132:1613 (2019): 1619.
PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCEL LANDSCAPE 67
Well, no, the efforts of abolitionists are not directed at destroying the physical edifices of our nation’s approximately 2,000 prisons, nor are they focused on finding safer ways to punish people. Admittedly, ending our reliance upon confinement could solve some problems, including public health concerns related to housing large numbers in restrictive, unhygienic spaces, but it wouldn’t begin to address matters such as racial inequity or victim impact. Demolishing prisons and replacing them with a new technology for inflicting suffering would not allow us to create the healthy communities so many wish to see. Prison abolition is not simply about tearing down prisons. A landscape approach to abolition helps us to get our minds around that. Mapping the cultural landscape’s workings and mechanisms forces us to acknowledge that–well, it’s huge! Prisons are merely one fixture within a larger, inter-connected system that punishes poverty and other forms of trauma (see: money bail) and fails to acknowledge the social causes of violence (see: arresting women who assault their abusers). The carceral landscape reflects the racism that resides in the bones of American society (see—well, examples are everywhere and include phenomenon as diverse as racially segregated neighborhoods, implicit bias in policing, lack of access to banking services, and lead poisoning).
Examining the carceral landscape makes clear why the goal of prison abolition cannot simply be the physical destruction of prisons, any more than the goal of slavery abolition was the instantaneous release of Africans and African-Americans held in bondage. In both cases, activists understood the complex and interconnected nature of the wrong they meant to eliminate. Slavery abolitionists, for example, called for attendant social restructuring in realms such as political franchise, emigration, education, and land distribution, to name just a few. ”Prison abolition” is a shorthand for more just approaches to dealing with school safety, child endangerment, street crime, intimate partner violence, K-12 funding, urban poverty, substance abuse, and much more, because these systems are connected and reliant on similar logics of punishment, containment, and exclusion. It bears repeating. The aim of the prison abolition movement is not fewer prisons, nicer prisons, or fewer people in prisons. The goal is a society whose social institutions compassionately and effectively address our most intractable problems, such as childhood poverty, income inequality, and caste. A critic might argue that I’ve painted a picture of a carceral landscape that is so vast that it reaches just about everywhere. Yes, that’s the point.
THE CARCERAL LANDSCAPE REFLECTS THE RACISM THAT RESIDES IN THE BONES OF AMERICAN SOCIETY. Follow the connections: parental incarceration - foster care - high dropout rates - juvenile jail. A shortage of substance abuse treatment centers - petty theft three strikes laws – life in prison. Zero tolerance school disciplinary codes - lack of job opportunities - war on drugs – electronic monitoring. I don’t mean to suggest determinism or inevitability, but recurring patterns demand our attention. Particular configurations of forces and institutions contribute to the swelling ranks of people in prison and under correctional system control. More importantly, they reinforce one another in disadvantaging already marginalized and struggling populations.
Given the extent and rate of incarceration in this country, we shouldn’t be surprised that it relies upon an enormous supporting apparatus. Indeed, most significant social phenomenon do. Fortunately, though a given landscape may be huge and complex, landscapes are capable of scrutiny at very small scales. A shift at the microscale can produce changes throughout. The most promising way to proceed is through directed efforts undertaken by individual jurisdictions. Piece-bypiece, localized shifts away from practices that assume the necessity of incarceration—practices seemingly as disconnected from one another as punishing
68 PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCEL LANDSCAPE
homelessness and sending individuals on parole back to prison for breaking curfew—move us in the right direction. Initiatives that most directly decrease the number of people going to or staying in prison include those that allow civil plaintiffs and even victims of criminal offenses to opt for restorative justice instead of criminal justice proceedings and policies that promote decarceraration by allowing the release of individuals currently in prison through compassion release and, especially recently, medical furloughs. In addition, there are initiatives that have less direct impact on prison numbers, but nonetheless reduce the feeding and nurturing of penal incarceration. In addition to the aforementioned decriminalization of homelessness and overhaul of “technical” violations, there are many others—sentencing reform, neighborhood harm reduction services, adult education centers, free prenatal care, bail reform, school finance, anti-racism curricula, raising the minimum wage—the list is long, and many interventions have yet to be imagined. There are plentiful opportunities to strategically address the root causes of trauma and harm, while simultaneously responding to those who have already been impacted with compassion and dignity. As jurisdictions nationwide implement such measures and abandon regressive practices, we inch away from being a society that locks up the victims of our failure to address social problems in an effort to convince ourselves that we have indeed solved them and, instead, become a society that tackles them. Is significant change possible? Looking backwards provides strong incentive for pushing ahead. The prison itself, not so long ago, was the aspiration of dreamers and visionaries. Arguments against the new penitentiary system were plentiful in late 18th century England and in the newly formed United States. Imprisonment represented a powerful departure from previous practices. Imprisonment would be—its critics variously claimed—too gentle, too harsh, too expensive, and in violation of basic principles of liberty. There were
no guarantees that legislators could be convinced to advocate for the penal incarceration experiment, but campaigners continued to push, and succeeded. The earliest prisons were built in a spirit of optimism and progress. In the end, of course, the experiment failed. Ironically enough, we require now the same dogged determination, strategic thinking, and visionary outlook that drove the early advocates of penal incarceration. What we have, that they didn’t, is their example. It teaches not only that perseverance and strategy can produce systemic change, but also that, when venturing into new realms of social relations, we should remain humble and flexible. Our predecessors sought a massive shift of the apparatus of criminal justice from local jurisdictions to the state, from deterrence and incapacitation to rehabilitation, and from public to private punishment. The prison abolition movement today seeks more modest, localized interventions that, hopefully, will eventually produce a transformation of the entire carceral landscape. But that landscape will continue to be vast, and sensitive to variations in local conditions. Another thing we can learn from the mistakes of the past is the importance of remaining firmly connected to the people and communities most directly caught up in the carceral landscape. Without that, we are likely to move forward with well-intentioned reforms without regard for their real-life consequences. The leadership of formerly incarcerated people in the movement today gives me confidence and hope. Piece by piece, at various scales, in various domains, the carceral landscape is being transformed, dissolving into sets of institutionalized practices that are more humane and effective. If this keeps up, the number of entities and structures that feed and rely upon penal incarceration will shrink, as will prisons themselves. The destruction of prisons is not the end goal, but it will be a happy side effect, and a necessity in building communities that allow us to take better care of one another.
THE DESTRUCTION OF PRISONS IS NOT THE END GOAL, BUT IT WILL BE A HAPPY SIDE EFFECT. PRISON ABOLITION AND THE CARCEL LANDSCAPE 69
Mirabelle Jones is a queer non-binary creative technologist, writer and interdisciplinary artist born in Oakland, California and currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Recently, they served as a Senior Designer / Developer for Meow Wolfâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s interactive technology team with a specialization in interactive storytelling, sensors, responsive lighting and sound, 3D modeling and printed sculpture, technical documentation, and computer vision. The first person to obtain an M.F.A. in Book Art & Creative Writing from Mills College with a focus in Fiction, they also possess a B.A. in Language Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. They are an active book artist, interactive storyteller and analog novelist investigating the contemporary role of the book in our digitally-saturated world.
WH AT WAS YOUR E X P E R IE NCE AS A BOOK ART I ST ?
Book art is an interesting field, very niche. It has a rich interesting history. In terms of what I do, I try to gather stories and share them in a way that gets people involved. From the very early ages of book art, the printing press has been used as a tool for democracy. Some zines back in the 1930s were pamphlets on how to make your own birth control, unionize or revolt against dominant power structures. As book art has a place in political history, it covered a lot of the things that I wanted to do.
D O YO U VI E W YO URSE LF AS A PO L I TI CAL ART I ST ?
A lot of people like to say all art is political, I would like to say all action is political. With the art market, it is difficult to say all art is political. For many in the art world, art is treated as more of a currency system in which it is made to be collected instead of serving as the basis for a discussion. So I would say that not all art is political. I think that what I create is a platform for discussion and in that sense it is political.
C O U L D YOU SPE AK O N YO U R P IE CE JARRI NG I I I ?
Jarring III is a set of three books in an edition of 50 that shares the stories of 22 survivors of sexual assault. It was a project that I started to unite those voices and also to create a funding platform for survivors. All these books are in special collection libraries that provide access to the public. All that funding is given to rape centers.
H OW I S YOUR WO RK IMPORTANT TO T H E C O N T E X T I T I S D I SPL AY E D IN?
Very much so. The statistics are baffling around sexual assault on campuses, and it is only recently that colleges have been charged with the responsibility of responding to incidents of sexual harassment. That is something that is still being worked on and not yet perfected.
D O YOU FACE D ISC R I M I N ATI ON AS A N O N -B IN A RY ART I ST AN D H OW DO E S T H AT I M PACT YO U R WORK AS BE I NG VIE W E D AS FE M I NI ST O R N OT ?
I think that people have a long way to go in how they use language around feminism and more specifically, inclusive language. I think a lot of non-binary people are excluded by the discourse around feminism. When people talk about feminism they sometimes use words that refer to anatomy as being equivalent to feminism or feminist. That clearly is isolating for trans-women or any non-binary person and problematic because it is not inclusive. Feminism has a long way to go in terms of centering people that are not white cis women. I think it is divisive to just attribute feminism to white cis women because it does not allow us to progress forward together. It does not allow us to see how feminism impacts all of us and what we can do to fight for feminism together.
72 MIRABELLE JONES
C O U L D YO U E X PL AI N YOUR C O N C E PT O F T H E AN T I SE LFI E ?
I use a self-timer camera to take portrait photography and landscape photography. I then interrupt both the portrait and the landscape by not facing the camera and blocking the landscape with my body. That conveys a lot of my feelings about this country.
JARRING III Image Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
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I AM NOT A CAT Image Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
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HOW D O E S YOUR P IEC E , I AM NOT A C AT , C O N T R IB U T E TO T H E I D E A O F FE M I NI SM ?
With my discussions of feminism I like to be inclusive. So that does not necessarily mean women’s issues mean feminism. That means looking at power structures that disenfranchise people according to gender. I think that it is a very feminist piece of work, in a fourth wave sense.
YO U R E CE N T LY M OVE D TO D E N M A RK , WH AT WAS T HE M OT I VE BE H I ND T H AT ?
I got engaged which was the major factor. I wanted to live where my partner lived. It would be weird to get married and live on different continents. But I was also interested in having a change in my life. I think the United States is a dreary place, and I recognize the privilege I have in getting out of the United States. But it is a very depressing place for me to exist and so I found myself coming in and out of living there. I lived in South Korea for a bit; I lived in Berlin for a bit. I think that pattern will keep happening.
WAS T H AT T H E IN S P IR AT I ON BE H I ND YO U R WO RK , TURNI N G M Y BAC K O N AM E RI C A?
Yes, it was part of it. It was during a cross country trip. It was the first time I drove cross country. It was quite an experience. I wish I had done it sooner because it really opened up my eyes to how geographically huge and different this country is. Driving through America where you see the tensions that exist and being that close to that realm helps you really understand more about the country. In some sense my piece was a misnomer because it was not really turning my back on America, it was looking at differing parts of the country. But it was also turning my back on America because it was a series of anti-selfies or anti-portraits.
H OW H AS BE I N G I N DE N M A R K C H AN G E D YOUR ART ISTI C D I RE CT I ON ?
I do not think I have been there long enough to figure that out. I do know, based on the sheer number of bodies of water, I am going to do some performance pieces based on the water. I have considered returning to more silly work like my Ms. U-bahn piece, which was a metro themed beauty pageant and my IKEA slumber party. Are those things political? Kind of, in a gentle way, in the sense that I am taking back private space. All space is public space.
W H Y IS PE RFORM AN CE A RT YOUR M E D I UM OF CH OI CE ?
Part of it is what I have at my disposal. I take consent seriously which is why I use myself in all of my photographic works. It is not because I am a vain person, in fact I physically augment myself in an obvious way because I have dysphoria. I do not want to worry about violating someone’s consent, which happens so much in photography due to the photographer’s gaze. I think partially it is for that reason that I have myself at my disposal. I can use myself as free material.
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“I AM TAKING BACK PRIVATE SPACE. ALL SPACE IS PUBLIC SPACE.”
MIS S U-BAHN ME TRO BE AUT Y PAGE ANT Image Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
IS P E R FORM AN CE ART A D IF F IC U LT M E D I UM TO WO R K IN B E CAU SE O F T H E VU L N E R A B ILI T Y I NVOLVE D?
Yes, another reason I like performance is that it helps me reconsider who I am, where I am in the world, and how everything we do is a performance in some respect. I am not suggesting that we are all insincere, but I can never know what is going on in your head all the time and you can never know what is going on in mine. So, in some sense we are always performing to ourselves and to one another all the time. I think it important to highlight that because there is a certain amount of power there in acknowledging that we all do this performance together. It means we are creating something together. We get to decide what the rules are.
â&#x20AC;&#x153; WE G ET TO D ECIDE WH AT T H E R ULES A RE.â&#x20AC;?
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C O U L D YOU TALK ABOUT YO U R P IE C E , COM FORT AN D CI VI LI Z AT I ON ?
Comfort & Civilization was made in San Francisco in response to the housing market. San Francisco is a luxurious place to live in and at the time that I made that piece it was difficult to get a place to live if you were not a single, white male. If you did not have that income it was difficult to find a place to live. So when you look at it on paper there are more single white men with housing than everyone else and it clearly becomes a feminist issue when viewed from that lens. Most people approached it from a class issue and a bit as a racial issue. This is where intersectionality comes in, due to how these are not isolated discussions and how they need to happen together. It raises questions about how does race and feminism intersect and how that intersects with class. So that piece was a bit about that, invisibility, and vulnerability. I was in a small terrarium for 12 hours. I had to hold my legs to my chest to fit in and it was very uncomfortable. It was the way I found to get that metaphor of what it is like to find housing in the Bay Area at that time. I found that the way a lot of people found housing at that time was through association with white powerful men. So if you happened to be a cis white woman in a relationship with a cis white man who is a programmer you could therefore be a part of that world and have security of housing. Imagine how unfair that is for everyone who does not fit either of the roles. Even for those that fit those roles, it results in awkward situations and I saw that happening with a lot of people I knew.
CYANOT YPE Images Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
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H OW DO YOU SE E YO U R E XPE RI E N CE AS A P RO G R AM M E R , A P ROFE S SI O N AS SO C IAT E D W I T H CI S W H IT E M E N AT T H E D E T R IM E N T OF FE M ALE O R N ON -BI NARY P RO F E S SI ON ALS, R E L ATE D TO T H E NOTI ON OF P E R FORM AN CE ?
That has been an interesting journey for me because I do not fit the traditional image of what a programmer looks like or acts like. It was interesting too because I have gone back to looking for work in that field and having to re-encounter all of that sucks. I am definitely not saying that it sucks more for me than a lot of other people who also do not fit the image of a programmer. But I am a big advocate for people finding security where they can and a lot of that is dependent on living and how we mobilize. A lot of the art I make is not marketable and so accepting that and having a way to make art that is going to give me income is very important. So having programming for me is a good fit because I can still do things with programming and have conversations I want to have while getting income back. In that field I have to advocate for gender and trans rights. It is something that comes with being a part of that culture. I also find that I am pushed into the role of lighter programming roles like project management. People are comfortable with someone who is not a cis man being a designer or being a creative coder but they are not comfortable with you being a back end software engineer. They try to push you into corners, which is really upsetting.
THEY TRY TO PUSH YOU INTO CORNERS . HOW H AS YO UR WO R K RE FLE CT E D H OW IN STI TUT I ON S O F T E N P R E SE NT T H E AP P E A R AN CE OF P RO G R E S S WH I LE R E F U S IN G TO D O T H E WO R K N E CE S SARY FO R IN ST ITUT I ON AL CH AN G E ? 80 MIRABELLE JONES
We talked about empathy in one of our previous questions and how you cannot create empathy. You either have it or you do not, because empathy comes from shared experience. But you can force people to do things. You can force them to hire people of color. You can force them to ask for peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pronouns. And, unfortunately, you are going to have to force it for some people to do it. Sometimes the only way to see progress realized is to force certain changes. It would be great if everyone valued diversity. A lot of people say that they do but they do not because they do not see the importance of diversity.
HYSTRIX Image Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
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109 S econds: Invisible Weight Image Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
YO U H AVE SAI D T H AT PE OPL E CAN NOT CRE ATE SH ARE D E X P E R IE N C E S. D O PI E CE S OF YOU R DI G ITA L WO RK N OT CRE ATE SH ARE D E XPE RI E NCE S ?
That is true, but my work is more so creating a space for a shared experience. When I say you cannot create shared experience, I mean I cannot create or have your experience of living your life. I will never know what it is like to live your life. On the other hand, people say you can create empathy machines. Empathy machines are virtual reality simulators and claim that they can show how somebody else feels. That is just wrong to me. To think you can have someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lived experience by means of virtual simulation for an hour or less is absolutely gross to me. It is letting people off too easy. But you can definitely create platforms for shared experience and you can also create environments where you promote people to look for more universal shared experiences.
H OW DO YO U FE E L ABOUT AL L OF T HE L ABE LS PL ACE D ON YOU ?
Language is power, but it is also a trap. It can go either way. We need to be able to communicate with each other. We need to have a discussion, but we cannot have a discussion without demonstrating it in some way. It does not have to be language, but language is often the easy or eloquent one. I like dancers, it is one thing that I do not do, but I feel they have a good way of having discourse without words. For me labels are helpful in identifying spaces that I might want to have conversations in, like queer spaces, nonbinary spaces, and Romany spaces. The people in these spaces are ones that may have similar experiences as me. But labels can also be harmful. I think it depends on who is delivering that label. If someone else calls me a queer and they are not queer, that is different from someone who is queer calling me queer.
YO U H AVE H AD TR AUMATIC E X P E R IE N C E S I N T H E PAST, I S YOU R WO R K A SOURCE OF TH E R APY FOR YOU ?
Absolutely, I started Art Against Assault so that people could work through their trauma, but not in an art therapy context. I admire art therapists, but I am not an art therapist. My interest is not only in helping people process their feelings through the production of art but more so in how we create that as a platform for public discourse. I want to see how you can extrapolate it in order to bring it to a public context.
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YO UR PR ACT I C E IS BOTH M ATE RI AL A ND I M M ATE RI AL . COU LD YO U SPE AK MORE ON TH E D I G I TAL A ND T ECH NOLOG I CAL ASPECT OF YO UR ART PR ACTICE?
It is interesting because I feel like we spend so much more of ourselves online. We are so much more prevalent about ourselves online than we are in person. I am doing a computer vision workshop as part of my residency at the University of Illinois. We are looking at Spark AR by Facebook which allows users to create augmented filters and effects to their selfies. Selfies are interesting to me because although they are utilized as a tool of surveillance and a lot of folks in queer communities find them as a useful source for self-validation. To be like, this is me and I am visible. This is me in this form. It is kind of like labeling because it is a way of putting that label on to be comfortable. To declare, today, I am this, it can be a source of power. But social media is part of a machine that is harnessing our data, and we all just accept it and shrug it off. It has to do with visibility. If I go out on the street and look different from everyone else, I am a bit vulnerable. I am visible but vulnerable. I have become a target, and people used to say you made yourself a target. No, I am me. I am already a target. There is that level of danger of being yourself, and online it may be less so, but there is still a danger there too. There is an invisibility to the internet of who is threatening and oppressive to you.
W H AT D O YOU SE E AS THE F UTURE T R AJE CTORY OF PRI N T E D BOOKS ?
I am interested in the future of books. I have made a few future books, for example my Book Reads You piece which reads your gestures as creative language and Asystole which retrieves the blood flow of your face and turns it into sound. I am interested more in what we think of as the future of reading and writing than in preserving the form of the book. I love book art and I love making books. I love books as objects, but I am not a book fetishist. There is something to consider about how the way we read something physically impacts the experience. Reading is an experience and it is a very precious one to me. I am a bibliophile. I read five to six books a month, but there is a lot we do not consider such as the processes of reading and writing. There is a lot of things that we do that are forms of self-documentation or the documentation of experiences that do not look like journaling but are acts of creation. That is just going to continue to happen regardless of the existence of books as objects. What will these look like in the future? Well, things like VR storytelling and mixed reality headsets already exist.
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“I AM ME. I AM ALREADY A TARGET.”
MIS S U-BAHN ME TRO BE AUT Y PAGE ANT Image Cour tesy of Mirabelle Jones
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MIR ALI Dr. Mir M. Ali is a Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author and editor of a multitude of books and articles. He has written many articles on structural engineering, architecture, tall buildings and cities. As a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Dr. Ali has greatly contributed to the innovation and growth of tall building design. He was a United Nations TOKTEN Fellow and a Fulbright Specialist Scholar and was a long-time chairman of the Structures Division of the School of Architecture. He has traveled and worked in many countries around the world. Although a structural engineer by trade, Mir Ali has varied interests including religion, culture, and other aspects of life and living.
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CA N YO U TA LK ABOUT T H E C O N C E P T O F “ G LOCAL” ?
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“Glocal” is not a term which I invented. I thought it was a great word because we always talk about global and local in everything and this word connects both into a single entity. I think that concept is very important because we need some local coordinates and also global coordinates because everything is in respect to some sort of global reference frame. To answer your question specifically, it is a creation of the physical environment, a sense of belonging to the place.
HOW DO B UI LD I NG S T H AT R E S P ECT T R AD I TI ON AL AND LO CAL VA LUE S O F PL ACE S U C C E E D I N CRE AT I N G A S E N S E O F I D E N T I T Y, AND HOW AR E T HE Y D I FFE RE N T F RO M B U IL D I NG S TH AT ARE N OT SUCCE S SFUL?
When you design a building, you want to create an environment around it so that people want to go to that building, stay inside, and enjoy their stay. You create this in different ways with landscaping, approach, or entrance, and then by making it a lively, cheerful environment. Essentially utilizing a â&#x20AC;&#x153;glocalâ&#x20AC;? approach creates something that attracts people to go there and stay there. If you have a pleasant stay there, that is successful space making. But if you do not, it could be described as a placeless place because it is a place that does not benefit you.
H OW CAN FUT URE ARC H I TE CT S TACK LE T H E NOTI ON TH AT P E R FO RM AN CE -BASE D DE S IGN STANDARD I ZE S T H E I D E N T IF Y O F A PL ACE O R B UI LD I N G ?
In structural engineering, when we say performance-based design, it is more of a freedom of thought. You design the building based on its best and optimal performance. You have room for creativity, free thinking, and satisfying the client at the same time. You are not bound by the building code. You have to design a building such that the performance of which is measurable and verifiable. In terms of architecture, the architect has a major role in creating a sense of identity. They are the entity between technical professions and the client. Architects must use their imagination and creativity to come up with the best kind of design. The reason you see all these high-rise buildings that are all the same is because of the financial constraint placed by the client on the architect. The architect has to design a building that satisfies not only the structural and foundational costs, but also HVAC, mechanical systems, and plumbing systems as well. With these limitations, it is not the case that the architect does not want to come up with something more novel and creative. Architects operate in a field that often times values profit, most times at the detriment of the aesthetic of the building. I think the job of the architect is to explain to client why it is important to make the building attractive and not look the same everywhere. It just so happens that in the areas with lower income you will see more of these cookie cutter buildings compared to wealthy areas.
There was an egalitarian concept used in the past that housed people of different economic classes in the same building. This idea became problematic because new problems arose such as the inability of lower income residents to pay the rent, wealthy residents feeling uncomfortable living with lower income residents, and vice versa. Ultimately, buildings that followed this method led to a decrease of property values. These are unfortunate things and we should not have these issues in society, but unfortunately, they are some realities you cannot avoid. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Prize laureate for his concepts of microcredit and microfinance, believes that in fifty years there will be a poverty museum, meaning there will be no poverty in the world. This is a belief that I disagree with because poverty itself is a multidimensional problem.
H OW ARE LOCAL ARC HIT E CT U RE T Y PO LO G I E S IN T H E G LOBAL SO UTH C H AL L E N G ING FO RE I G N OR IM PO RTE D D E SI G NS ?
I think there should be an exchange of ideas through this interaction. In the past, buildings were designed following a Western model, but overtime this has changed. If you go to China, for example, most of the buildings have some kind of iconic symbol representing their culture. If you go to some Islamic countries, they try to put some Islamic culture into their buildings. Western architects are learning more with globalization, and they are more sensitive to the cultures of foreign countries. Unfortunately, Western architects do not bring the ideas they have learnt in foreign countries to their own countries because they think they have the best thing. Currently, the East is getting more conscious and they are developing their own design, combining Western architecture with their own vernacular architecture, local traditions, and symbols.
DO YOU T H I NK TH AT T H E R E I S AN Y T H I NG T H AT ARCH I TE CT S O R ST R U CT U R AL E N G I N E E RS CA N D O AN Y T H I NG TO RE D UCE SO CI AL ST R AT I FI CAT I ON ?
ELF IS A ION
PRO BLE M"
H OW DID SU STAI NABI LI T Y A N D TALL B UI LD I NG D E S IGN B E CO M E ARE AS OF IN T E RE ST FOR YOU?
When I joined the University of Illinois in 1985, Professor Alan Forrester was the Director of the School of Architecture. He set up a meeting at Allerton Park, where we used to have annual meetings with the faculty, focused on sustainability. He started a discussion and I was a co-moderator. I had to prepare for the discussion and through that I realized that sustainability is a great new thing. Our resources are limited on this planet and at some point, due to the continuous rise in population, these resources will be unable to sustain us. If we do not think ahead, it will be a disservice to the generations yet to come. They will be the victims of our negligence. The first project I worked on regarding sustainability had to do with how to recycle concrete. As a structural engineer, my line of thinking was starting with something structural. After we demolish concrete buildings, we can recycle the material from the site. Later on, I realized that sustainability is not just for materials and structures, it is also for buildings and especially tall buildings that consume massive amount of energy. Professor Paul Armstrong and I did a lot of research on the sustainability of tall buildings. I also had the opportunity to write some papers on sustainability of structures and embodied energy. After that, my interest shifted towards the city as a whole. The city has to be sustainable more than anything because many of the cities are going into decadence due to having too many people, traffic gridlock, overflow in sewer lines, and inadequate water and power supply. In architecture, where you deal with buildings, tall buildings, skyscrapers, buildings, or even a city, everything has to be sustainable. If not, the next generation will run into big social and health problems. I think using a “glocal” approach to achieve sustainability is essential.
“EVERYTHING HAS TO BE SUSTAINABLE”
AS OUR NATURAL RESOURCES ARE BECOMING SCARCER, WHAT OTHER KIND OF SYSTEMS DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE TO EVOLVE IN THE FUTURE?
Although I do think the availability of many natural resources will greatly be reduced in the future, we have to remember that this crisis is not only with sand but also with things like drinking water. As the population is still growing, these issues will become even more common. But in terms of the materials of buildings, I think engineers are creative people. Their creativity has led to our progress from the Stone Age to the 21st century. I will never underestimate people. They will find substitutes if they run out of those materials. And who knows, they may not use the same kind of concrete in the future. What I am really worried is what COVID-19 is doing to societies all over the world. It has a great impact on architecture. I think we may not have to worry about sand and other materials as much as the effect that COVID-19 could have on our society.
HOW DO ALL OF YOUR DIVERSE AND DIFFERENT INTERESTS INFORM EACH OTHER?
I believe in unity in diversity. My interests are always interconnected in some way and I think people are the common element. Whether it is mining, nuclear power plants, or high-rise buildings, it is all relative to people. You have to understand that everything is multidimensional. We have diverse languages, diverse types of people, and diverse cultures, and because of that I always tend to think about diverse things in a unified way. I would describe my interests like a garden. In a garden, you have different flowers, but they make up a single garden. It cannot just be one thing everywhere. There would then be no charm. So, I developed an interest in everything.
"IINBELIEVE IN UNITY DIVERSITY"
HOW HAS YOUR VIEW ON STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CHANGED AFTER YOUR EXPERIENCES IN RESEARCH AND IN ACADEMIA?
Many structural engineers might not like what I have to say, but what I have found is that engineering is too focused and regimented. That is not my personality, and that is why when I got an offer from the School of Architecture, I was happy, because I thought I could teach structures courses, but I would be dealing with architects. I like the personalities, thinking, and creativity of architects. As structural engineers, we just think about the structures, roofs, columns, and foundations. But I noticed that any time you have interest in different things, it can lead to you to new opportunities and new things. Basically, I do not see any difference in all of these distinct things. To me, they are all the same components of knowledge. I have a lot of interest in political science, social science and I study them on my own time. I started studying psychology because you meet people all the time. You have to understand why people behave the way they do. But my primary interest is in engineering and architecture, that is why I enjoyed being at the Illinois School of Architecture.
THE BRIDGE: JOINING EAST-WEST NATIONS AND CULTURES WHILE TREADING LIFE’S DIFFICULT PATH A BOOK REVIEW BY PAUL ARMSTRONG
Paul Armstrong has taught at the Illinois School of Architecture since 1986. From 1986–2001 he developed and coordinated the second-year introductory design studios. He helped establish and taught the Discover Architecture Summer Program for High School Students from 1989–2001. In 2002, he and Mir Ali developed and co-taught the High-Rise & Habitat graduate design seminar until Ali’s retirement. The High-Rise & Habitat graduate design studio has been offered since 2002. He was Chair of the Design Division from 1998–2007.
A BACKDROP FOR MEMORY
We shape our own destiny just as it shapes us. That, in essence, is a lesson that can be drawn after reading Mir Maqsud Ali’s extraordinary autobiography: The Bridge: Joining East-West Nations and Cultures While Treading Life’s Difficult Path. Ali recounts his life story in prose that borders on the poetic interweaving his own life experiences with the cultural and social winds of change that swirl all around him as Bangladesh seeks its independence and its identity. The narrative flow of his story propels the reader forward naturally along a stream of consciousness, like a boat floating with the current of his recollections and observations. Throughout the book, there are digressions into history, philosophy, the arts, music, literature, and poetry intertwined with the social and cultural changes that he experiences in Asia and North America – all through the retrospective lens of an accomplished academic, scholar, engineer, and educator. Ali is naturally humble and self-effacing does not boast of his accomplishments, but allows them to speak for him. The Bridge reveals details about his early life in Bangladesh, his close-knit family and friends, and the
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natural curiosity that propelled an insatiable desire for learning and self-awareness. It concludes with his own and Dora’s — his wife of fifty-plus years — retirement years and declining health. But above all, it is a selfaffirming reflection on a life well-lived and a restless mind that continues to actively seek out new knowledge and engage new life-forming experiences. The Bridge traces a broad cross-cultural arc “bridging” Asia and North America as he recounts his professional and academic career as a young structural engineer in Dhaka, emigrating to Canada to pursue a Ph.D., through his academic career in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois and, most recently, his life today. Ali reveals his passions for history, poetry and literature, religion, and music and blends them with his interests in science and engineering. His Muslim faith shapes his character and sustains him in triumphs and tragedies throughout his life. A leading expert in tall buildings, he has consulted on major projects around the world as well as the causes of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in New York City on 9/11.
In everyone’s life there are defining moments or events that shape our character and determine our destiny. After completing a two-year program in Intermediate Science (I.Sc.) at Dhaka College where he excelled academically, he was accepted for admission to the Bachelor of Science Engineering (B.Sc. Eng.) program in the Ahsanullah Engineering College (AEC) affiliated with Dhaka University. Another pivotal decision was to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. It was during his doctoral studies that he first heard of Dr. Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi structural engineer and partner working for Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) in Chicago who was gaining recognition for his innovative work on tall buildings. Later, he would secure employment at SOM and work under the direction of Khan and John Zils, another structural engineering partner and Khan’s protege who also would later collaborate with Frank Gehry on the ground-breaking Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain commissioned in 1997. Ali’s civil engineering background and his experiences working with bridge structures and soils engineering as well as tall building structures at SOM led to a specialization in tall buildings. In the mid-1980s the U.S. experienced a deep recession and all construction activity came to a standstill. Many people were laid off at SOM, including Ali. He applied for an academic position reasoning that it would be secure employment and that he could continue his research interests and teach. He was hired as an Associate Professor to teach in the Structures Division in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1985. Within two years, he was tenured and in another two years promoted to full Professor and was able to continue his research and teaching without external pressures. Another watershed moment came when he met Dr. Lynn Beedle, who was founder and first Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Beedle appointed him the Chairman of the Architecture Committee, which led to the publication of the monograph Architecture of Tall Buildings published
by McGraw Hill in 1995. Ali was the leading editor and was assisted by Paul J. Armstrong as another editor. It was the first comprehensive book on tall building architecture. His friendship with Dr. Beedle and research in tall buildings would lead to more books and journal articles, as well as a monograph dedicated to the contributions of Beedle himself. Ali also spearheaded and edited the CTBUH Review, its first journal.
9/11, ISLAMOPHOBIA, AND TALL BUILDING SAFETY
In 2001, the unthinkable happened when the World Trade Center (WTC) towers in New York City were destroyed by planes hijacked by Arab terrorists. This set off an anti-Muslim backlash throughout the U.S. that had to be countered by the devout moderate Muslim community within the U.S. As a Muslim and prominent structural engineer with an international reputation in tall building structures, Ali was interviewed by the prominent news outlets including the New York Times in the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11. As an engineer with experience in tall building design, Ali knew that the World Trade Towers were tube structures with closely spaced perimeter steel columns. However, their non-structural core enclosed in gypsum board for fire protection together with widely spaced steel columns carrying gravity loads, made them vulnerable to collapse in such an attack. In response, the School of Architecture arranged a forum in a town hall format with the title “Rebuilding a Way of Life in the Face of Disaster.” Three commentators were invited including Ali. The other two were alumna and Chicago architect Carol Ross Barney (architect of the Oklahoma Federal Building in Oklahoma City) and New York architect Frances Halsband (Visiting Distinguished Plym Professor at the School of Architecture). Ali reiterated his conviction that skyscrapers would continue to be built because they were a necessity with land shortages in urban centers and to accommodate a growing world population that was migrating to mega cities.
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Afterwards, he wrote several influential papers that addressed such building failures and identified strategies to prevent future catastrophic structural failures and save human lives. One of his recommendations was that all future tall buildings shall be built with robust reinforced concrete cores, not steel, and that redundant life safety systems such as sprinklers, well-ventilated refuge floors sandwiched between reinforced concrete floor slabs supported with robust fire-proofed structural members, and additional fire stairs be required in building codes.
THE ENGINEER AND THE ARCHITECT
At SOM, Ali had worked collaboratively alongside structural engineers and architects. He observed how engineer Dr. Khan and architect Bruce Graham had worked closely as team on the most innovative buildings of the late twentieth century including the John Hancock Center and Sears (now Willis) Tower in Chicago. He was intrigued how architects approached problem-solving holistically and wanted to develop a course that would integrate structural engineering with design. This led to the High-Rise & Habitat graduate seminar co-taught by Ali and Armstrong, and was complemented by an eponymous graduate tall building design studio offered by Armstrong. Ali authored two more important books. Art of The Skyscraper: The Genius of Fazlur Khan (2001), which recounted the innovative structural contributions of Khan to tall building design based on his own interactions with Khan during his four-year tenure at SOM and those of Khan’s colleagues. He also served as a member of the Fazlur Rahman Khan Chair Advisory Committee at Lehigh University and was enjoined in fundraising by Dr. Beedle. Ali had two main goals in mind: first, to provide a biography of a memorable life, and second, to describe Khan’s projects and accomplishments. Ali concluded that Khan’s success was attributable not only to his own brilliance and acumen as a structural engineer, but also to the loyalty, support, and collaboration of his colleagues and associates. In 2004, he was the editor of Catalyst for Skyscraper
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Revolution: Lynn S. Beedle—A Legend in His Lifetime. Beedle had an active career with Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC), and as the founder and Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) spanning a half century.
FUTURE OF THE CITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
The CTBUH also considers the urban impact of tall buildings. The Skyscraper and the City: Design, Technology, and Innovation (2007) co-edited by Lynn S. Beedle, Mir M. Ali, and Paul J. Armstrong includes perspectives from architects, engineers, planners, sociologists, environmentalists, and others. In 2007, Ali was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to advise The Malta Environmental and Planning Authority (MEPA) and provide policy guidelines on the siting, use, and design of tall buildings in appropriate locations in Malta. This experience inspired The Future of the City: Tall Buildings and Urban Design (2013) in which Ali, with former student and co-author Dr. Kheir Al-Kodmany, investigates how tall buildings fundamentally reshape cities today and tomorrow. Ali writes that “sustainable architecture” describes an approach to building design that is concerned, at its core, with minimizing resource consumption thus prolonging the availability of natural resources. No manmade micro-environment can survive independently of the larger natural global environment or ecological systems. Although tall buildings use copious amounts of embodied and non-renewable resources, including fossil fuels, materials, and energy-intensive manufactured products, they are also sustainable when one considers their efficient use of land, concentration of people, and multi-functional usages in a single vertical tower. This led Ali to conclude that tall buildings effectively are vertical cities and must be designed to reflect all the attributes and amenities of the city consolidated into a vertical structure serviced by vertical transportation and efficient structural and mechanical systems.
FIND THE FULL BOOK REVIEW AND WHERE TO BUY MIR ALI’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY AT RICKER.REPORT
MIR ALI 101
Professor Lynne Dearborn joined the faculty at the Illinois School of Architecture in 2001. She is a licensed architect and an NCARB certificate holder. She received her professional BArch from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later earned a postprofessional MARCH from the University of Oregon and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professor Dearborn is the current President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). In this role, she is shaping the national agenda for architectural education in the US and internationally and helping to bring resources to architecture programs to better support success for diverse students and faculty. She leads the University of Illinois’ membership in the AIA Design and Health Research Consortium and serves on the AIA Design and Health Leadership Group under the organization’s sustainability umbrella. For six years she has served as the Chair of the School’s Health and Wellbeing Program area. She has developed a set of courses and studios delivered to students in the Illinois School of Architecture from the BSAS freshman year through the MARCH, MS and PhD programs, exposing students to principles of human-centric design and health and well-being research. Through her research and community-based design work, she examines and works to alleviate environmentally linked health vulnerabilities, particularly for low-income and minority people.
HOW H AVE YO UR 3 5 + Y E A R S O F PRO FE S SI ON AL E X P E RI E NCE SH APE D T H E WAY YOU VI E W T H E PROFE S SI ON OF A RC H IT E CTURE , AN D I N W HAT WAYS HAVE YOU SE E N IT C HAN G E TH RO UG H OUT TI M E ?
I started my undergraduate education in 1978 in the B.Arch. program at Rensselaer (RPI). That education was very much a time-honored modernist education that focused on the built aspects of the environment. It concentrated on the buildings and the environmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physical constructions. I was at a polytechnic university, so I earned an engineering degree as well as an architecture degree. Other than one passive-systems elective, my B.Arch. education instilled in me the idea that technology can be used to make buildings that subdue the forces of nature. For example, a designer can disregard the four cardinal directions because all kinds of building skin technologies exist that can make our inside environment comfortable regardless of what is happening outside.
To give context, it was in the time period following Robert Venturiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design and construction of the house for his mother in 1963 -- a project which heralded ideas about postmodernism in architecture. The world was shifting from a focus on the International Style to the semiotics-based thinking of postmodernism. I had one or two professors that talked about people and the experiences people have in spaces, but that idea was in the minority. I was taught within a framework of environmental design, where building, site, and landscape are conceived as spatially integrated design endeavors. Our design problems were not just building-specific; we were taught to understand the building as an intervention into an existing physical landscape. We were not taught to think about how something gets inserted into a social context that already exists. This brings me back to my focus on power structures, because the social context into which we insert what we do as designers is part of the existing power structure. We can either fit into that system or we can choose to question power situations and power inequities.
Pokagon Communit y Center Image Cour tesy of Lynne Dearborn
Round Barn S ocial Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi, Dowagiac, Michigan Image Cour tesy of Lynne Dearborn
I was in the Peace Corps from 1984-1987. That time in the Peace Corps, and time in practice before and after, opened my eyes to the importance of understanding people and the importance of designing for people. What makes an environment genuinely beautiful is when it responds to peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs and wants. We must think about how we are influencing the lives of people who use whatever we design. In practice in the 1980s, most of my bosses were not about that. I saw them repeatedly making the same mistakes. What motivated me to further education was observing what was going on in practice and often thinking it was not right. Architecture as a discipline cannot sustain itself in the long term if we repeatedly make the same mistakes.
I completed a post professional Master of Architecture degree at the University of Oregon, and then eventually a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. These degrees enabled me to focus on architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in communities. Much of my work since then has been in underserved communities. I have found myself an advocate for people who oftentimes are left out of conversations in architecture, but who are significantly impacted by the results of architectural and urban design projects. Historically, architects have largely either ignored that subset of the population, or they have designed for them without asking them what they need and want. Architects have tended to take on that power role. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned we need to be better listeners than I was taught to be. We need to listen and carefully observe, not jump to conclusions; not think we have the right answer, but be more collaborative in the process and acknowledge community members as experts about their lives and their communities.
A F T E R WO RK I NG W I T H D IF F E R E N T COM M UNI TI E S TO P RO MOT E POLI CY AN D DE S IGN T H AT LE AD S TO H E A LT HY H OU SI NG AND C O MM U N ITI E S, H OW H AVE DIF F E R E N T ASPE CT S O F T H E ARCH I TE CTUR AL P RO F E S SI O N FURT H E R S H AP E D YO UR VI E W O F W HAT TH E RO LE OF AN ARC H I TE CT SH OULD E N CAPSUL ATE ?
Architects are needed in lots of places. Architects can focus on how the built environment fits into different physical, social, political, economic, and natural systems; a set of things to which many people in the world are not attuned. People’s lives go on in architecture and the built environment, but they do not really think about what is going on or how architecture is impacting them most of the time. That is what architects can bring to the conversation. This can be done through architectural firms, but it can also be done in so many other places. Architects belong in policymaking and organizations where architects can assist people to understand the built environment and its influence on their daily lives. We belong anywhere that an entity has a say or advocates for people’s quality of life.
The built environment is the context within which life happens. We should be looking and thinking more broadly about what architects do. Yes, architects look out for people’s health, safety, and welfare in a code-oriented way. However, we also can think and translate what certain policies mean for people’s everyday lives. Architects do not often show up in those conversations; planners do, because that is what planners are taught and what they try to understand. Policies, codes, and ordinances have a huge impact on what architects can and cannot easily do. If you can make changes at the policy level, it makes the impact broader because fewer architects must advocate for something that is outside of what is currently allowed.
For instance, if you have single-use zoning, it means that people who do not have a car have a much harder life. They either take public transit or walk further to get to a grocery store. Single-use zoning is a taken-for-granted structure that was put in place a long time ago to keep people safe and healthy. Now, there is an understanding that the way that we apply zoning contributes to the lack of healthfulness. There were good intentions initially, but it has been manipulated and used in other ways over time. I think that designers have an important role in rethinking a lot of the legal and policy structures that are in place with respect to the built environment.
HOW H AS YOUR E XPE RI E NCE W IT H RE SE ARCH A N D TE ACH I NG C H AL L E NG E D TH E T R A D I T I ON AL DE F IN IT IO N O F WH AT IT M E AN S TO BE AN ARCH I T E CT ?
In architecture school, I was socialized to be a professional architect focused on conventional practice. Now that I have been in practice, I realize that architects often make “data-free” decisions based on their gut. Sometimes the architects’ intuitive design response is not the right one for others who must live and work in the spaces created. Architects do not always go back and collect information that could help us make better decisions. We might have one conversation with somebody who is in one of our buildings, maybe a CEO or a schoolteacher, that conversation often has a disproportionate impact on what we think or how we act in future design decision-making. We might hear only the person who has a loud voice, but what does it look like if we asked two hundred people? Do we still get the same sense of balance there? Or is that one person that happens to be the loud voice the anomaly, and the other hundred and ninety-nine tell us something very different?
Sometimes I look back to Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe and think of their famous quotes that dealt with people. Corbusier said, “the house is a machine for living in.” If that is true, what does that mean for the human experience? We build our understanding of appropriate design responses through our personal and professional experiences, but I also think that there is an equally important role for evidence in the design process. Getting support for educating researchers to ask these kinds of questions is something that I think we need to do as a profession. Being a designer or an architect is listening, documenting and collecting, and bringing more voices into the conversation. It is about carefully observing and reflecting. It is not jumping into a decision too early and being too wedded to that decision. It is about being collaborative.
Peace Corps, Fiji 1984-1987 A local craf tsman weaving a Bure wall. Nacamaki Village, Koro Island, Republic of Fiji Image Cour tesy of Lynne Dearborn
I think that the other part of my architectural education that has influenced me is that there was/is still the mythology that an architect is a single person working by themselves to create a masterpiece, when in fact that is rarely the case. Learning to design in a collaborative mode is important. It ends with better results because there are more people in the conversation. Sometimes the collaborators are community members, other times it is the janitor in a building. It is thinking across the spectrum of who potential collaborators might be and how that breadth of collaborators can enrich the design process and the outcome. This type of process makes the result something that is more suitable and has the real possibility of improving quality of life.
H OW H AS YOU R WO RK A ND I NVOLVE M E NT IN ARCH I TE CTU R A L PE DAGOGY ALLOWE D YOU TO PL AY A PI VOTA L ROLE IN SO M AN Y ASPI RING ARCH I T ECT ’S E D UCATION?
When some students hear me talk, the same light bulb goes off that I had when I was in the Peace Corps: it is how people inhabit the built environment that is important. Designers cannot make assumptions about what works and what does not work based only on our point of view. We need to get into conversations where there is not an unequal power distribution; conversations that accept others as equals and as people who might know more about something than you. Students who understand that are the ones that have been the most successful among my former students. When I think back to why I shifted and got my Master of Architecture degree and my PhD, it was because I thought the profession needed to be different if it was going to be something that I was proud to be a part of. I think it is rewarding to see that change. To see that this group of people – my former students – understand how to communicate better and that they understand that there is an imbalance of power when someone who has a master’s degree goes and sits with community members who might have a high school education.
Peace Corps, Fiji 1984-1987 Baulevu S ettlement , Nausori, Viti Levu, Republic of Fiji Digging lovo pit for underground cooking. Image Cour tesy of Lynne Dearborn
There is a way to interact with people that lets them know you value what they are telling you; that you are listening and that it is going to impact the design process. When I teach studios, students are interacting with people who are different than they are throughout the design process. This helps students learn how to speak about architecture in a way that drops all the “lingo” that they spent four years learning. It forces students to think : “How do I communicate with people who don’t have the same training that I do, but still appreciate the built environment ?” I think that is the impor tant pedagogical piece. It is impor tant to learn to listen, obser ve, and reflect in a way that is expansive rather than reductive.
Meke Per formance in Mau Village Hall
Meke is a t ype of stor y-telling per formance by, in this case village women, that involves all members in a coordinated song and dance. Groups of village women engage in Meke competitions against groups of women from many other villages. Image Cour tesy of Lynne Dearborn
IN YOUR I N AUG UR AL STAT E M E N T AS AC SA P RE SI D E NT, YOU D ISC U S SE D TH AT WE AR E AT A PO I NT I N T I M E W H E R E W E CAN CH AN G E ARC HIT E CT UR AL PR ACTI CE TO B E M ORE E QUI TABLE A N D E CO LO G I CALLY SO U N D. WH AT I S YO UR V IS IO N FO R YO UR RO LE AS AC S A P R E S I D E N T AN D T H E F U T U R E O F ARCH I TE CTUR AL PE DAG OGY ?
For the past year, I have been par t of a core group of leaders at AC SA that have been involved in racial equit y t raining. Engaging in this training where we learned about and examined existing societal structures which perpetuate historical racial inequities has been momentous. What I learned in the past year makes sense to me, given how many years I have spent working on these issues and how little change is seen from all the energy that goes in to it . What I now understand about the per vasiveness of white privilege in all that we do is truly alarming. We need to investigate and analy ze ever y thing that we take for granted as the best or only way to do something, or the only measure of success.
An example of this is how instructors teach studio. Is t hat really the way we should be teaching studio? Who is advantaged and who is disadvantaged by the way that we teach studio? This goes even to how we award fellowships and scholarship, or how we grade student work . We must dig into some of our basic assumptions and figure out where t hey come from. We do a lot of things that we have just always done, especially in architectural education. I know from thir t y-plus years of teaching that some students do better, and other students do worse, but maybe it is not the student . Maybe it is the way we are teaching.
It is necessar y to address the need to change a nd the need to rebalance the playing field for ever yone. If we think about this issue as a system, it means we must raise the ground that ever yone stands on to the same level. From my experience in architecture and education, how we teach architecture and what we privilege in architecture comes from our histor y of the profession being dominated by wealthy white males. Ultimately there are a lot of things t hat go into this question: what our assumptions are, when we question those assumptions, and how we explore other models without necessarily completely devaluing the ones t hat came before. That is what I am hoping we are going to star t in AC SA this year.
W HE R E D O YO U FI N D T H E I N T E R S E CTI O NS BE T W E E N T HE B U ILT AN D NAT UR AL E NVI RO NM E N T ?
They are ever y where. What we build is an inser tion into t he “natural” environment . I use natural in quotes there because there are few things in the world today that are untouched by human hands. If untouched by human hands is your definition of natural environment , then there is not a lot of it remaining. I think we can talk about natural forces because those still exist , like climate, wind, and water. Designers of the built environment need to understand what those natural forces are and how those natural forces impact the built world. How does equit y play a role in the selection of where we build? How does what we build have an equit y dimension to it in terms of where we build and what happens in those places? How do we build in a more resilient way to address natural forces and the changing contex t of those natural forces? As the ear th warms, we know that lower-income communities are far more vulnerable to weather and health events linked to climate change. Environment- climate -health intersections are also implicit in any conversation about advancing social justice.
HOW CAN ARCH I T E CTURE , CATE RE D TO T H E E NV IRO N ME N T, CON T RI B UTE TO T HE H E A LTH AND W E LLB E IN G O F A COM M UNI T Y ?
Ever y thing we do has the potential to impact peoples’ lives because they exist in the environments that we create. We can make a range of different design decisions, and when we’re faced with one decision, there are multiple possibilities for the outcome. Some of those decisions lead to healthier environments -- environments that are suppor tive of better health for the occupants. Some decisions we value for economic reasons. We need to understand that those health dimensions also have economic consequences and price tags, even if we do not yet have the analysis that precisely quantifies the consequences. Let’s look at asthma. We do have good data
On the economic consequences of asthma and we also have prett y good information about what makes an environment less likely to trigger asthma attacks. We can star t to make t he case for why thinking about the health consequences of design is impor tant . Things like hear t conditions, circulator y conditions, diabetes, stress, and the negative consequences of environmental stress are all linked to design and qualities of the built environment . The ways that we inter vene in the built environment influence the mental and physical health of people who use the space s we create.
HOW CAN ARCH I T E CT S FO ST E R SO CI AL J U ST I CE A N D EQ UI T Y T H RO UG H PO L ICY AN D OTH E R M E AN S ?
We can make decisions that privilege cer tain groups of people and do less for other groups of people. We need to think about what the consequences of our design decisions are for a broader population. I think there are many dimensions to what architectural design decisions can do in relation to social justice. It has to do with how you define the client . It is about how you define the program and who you think about . Is it just the person who pays t he bills, or do you think about yourself as contributing to t he general well -being of the overall population? How do you define yourself and your responsibilities, and where do you put the boundaries of what you do? Do you use your position to better the lives of people who other wise might not have great experiences or great oppor tunities?
When designers work through building codes, zoning ordinances, land -use tenets, it is impor tant to think through a social justice lens. This means asking: Who gets lef t out when a cit y collects information? Whose voice is not heard? Who is in the room or not in the room during these conversations? As design professionals, we do command a cer ta in degree of respect within the communit y, and we must use our position of respect as a way of advocating for more just environments and policies. Par t of that focus on being reflective that I t alked about earlier is about reflecting on what we do, but also on how we can have a wider sphere of influence as advocates for better, more just built environments.
Haiti S tudio, 2014 Petite -Riviere - de -Nippes Image Cour tesy of Lynne Dearborn
HOW CAN ARCH I T E CT S WO R K TO I NFLUE NCE O R G E T IN VO LVE D W I T H PUBLI C PO L ICY TH AT AFFE CT S TH E B U ILT E N VI RON M E NT ?
It star ts with learning to speak to people who are not architects about architecture. It is about not being afraid to get political. We rarely think about design as a political act , but it has distinct political implications. It is knowing what you stand for; knowing where your moral compass lies. Will I not design a prison because I disagree with the way that incarceration happens, what that process looks like, and who is disadvantaged by that ? If so, then what happens when a big prison project comes into the office? Do I leave that firm? Do I advocate for not taking that project ? It is thinking through some of those things and knowing what you will and will not do ethically and morally and understanding the implications of your choices as an architect and designer.
Advocating for policy that suppor ts the common good through a project is more nuanced. For example, the way that much of affordable housing gets funded in the United S tates is through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Ever y state gets an allocation from the federal government for those tax credits and ever y state gets to decide what they prioritize. In one of my research projects, we have been studying what states prioritize in that process. Specifically, how they prioritize design and location aspects and determine what projects get funding. There are processes, public processes, for creating that set of criteria in ever y state. Architects who care about the qualit y of affordable housing should be involved in those public processes. Architects need to understand where they can advocate for change in procedures and policies that affect how they work and how they can impact design standards fo r par ticular t ypes of projects. This happens at the local, state and national levels; so there are many oppor tunities.
For instance, the qualities and characteristics of the public realm are determined in local decision making. Planners are involved in this process but are making some of their decisions with a t wo - dimensional framework . Whereas architects see and experience things in three - dimensions. Being par t of those conversations and advocating for a more just public realm is something that architects can do all the t ime. Architects must pay attention. We must be willing to step into these conversations to make our voices heard. If we are advocating for things that make other peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives better as we know it , we cannot be afraid to interact in those communities to listen and understand what life is really like t here. We need to understand what would make it better in t he minds of the people who live there. We must be willing to amplif y their voices because for whatever set of attributes we have, our voice may be more power ful than their voices. S tand with the communit y and speak with the communit y.
W HAT IS YO UR OVE R ALL PE RC E P T IO N OF STRUCTURE AN D I T S ROLE I N ARCH I TE CTURE ?
Most architects would likely respond to this question by addressing the physical structure that helps buildings remain standing. That is a critical aspect of structure and its role in architecture. For me, when I think about the role of structure in architecture, I think about the role social structure has played and continues to play in architecture. We should not forget the histor y of the profession deeply grounded in upper income levels of societ y for th e architects t hemselves and their clients. This histor y suggests to me t hat we need to be mindful of implicit assumptions about power, who has it , who does not , and how this is reflected in who architects have historically ser ved through their work . So, for me, structure engages the question of power and thinking carefully about what the power balance is in the room. What are the operating procedures and who has power in those operating procedures? Even in architecture firms and the way that architects interact with clients, who has the power ? Is it just the firm principal, or does the firm have a different structure that is flatter or not so hierarchical? Those power structures are
ever y where. We do not acknowle dge them. They are a silent landscape that we exist in. Taking this point of view, think about structure in our School of Architecture at Illinois. If you talk to my colleagues, they are likely to tell you that this is an issue that I am committed to, p ar ticularly when we talk about facult y-student relationships. There is a huge power imbalance bet ween facult y and students in any situation because facult y control students’ grades, their potential to maintain their visa status, their potential to get suppor t or be recommended for a job. Facult y can say good things about students, or they can say lukewarm or even negative things about th em. That power relationship makes students ver y vulnerable. Most students know this, and it influences their abilit y to effect change or speak out . That is something that we must acknowledge, and our school does not do that right now. This concerns me and it is something that I hope the School can address going for ward. We can broaden this out to a larger societal question because these power structures exist ever y where. This means that if I am someone who has been at the lower end of that power structure and move up in that power structure, I should remember where I came from and tr y hard not to recreate the situation where I found myself. I should do what I can to change that structure rather than accepting what I went through as the industr y standard. I am an advocate for looking at what is wrong and where we came from to figure out how we can make it better and how to reduce or eliminate power imbalances. If it means involving students on our committees, then we should involve students on our committees. Some facult y may have difficult y with that . However, if we are making decisions on things that affect students’ lives, then students should be involved in the conversation. That ex tends more broa dly across societ y. We should never be making decisions about what affe cts somebody ’s life without including them in th e conversation.
Peace Corps, Fiji 1984-1987 Siga With Tabu Host (Sunday) Family in with Mau Village, host family Viti Levu in Ma Image Image Cour Courtesy tesy of of Lynn Lynne e Dearborn Dearborn
au Vill age
Dr. AnnaMarie Bliss , PhD, educates future designers, from entering freshman through seasoned graduate students, by modeling compassion, meticulous work ethic, organiz ation, and high-level design scholarship. Her research and design work exemplif y award -winning qualit y with a multitude of national and international recognitions. She teaches design with empathy and understanding of a changing cultural and architectural climate through innovative and active teaching and workshopping strategies that raise students prepared for the world.
WH AT ARE SOM E E X P E RI E NCE S T H AT D R E W YO U TO H I STORI C PR E S E RVATI O N, ADAPTI VE R E U S E AN D E T H I C S ?
This all stemmed out of an amazing study abroad experience I had when I was doing my masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree at Kansas State University. I went to Orvieto, Italy, and I lived on the top of this very small and quaint Etruscan hill town. I had a little flat that I lived in, and it was there that I started to figure out that the world was not just all the homes you see in the suburbs. I am from a small town in Missouri, and many homes I lived in were part of communities like that. So, seeing these historic places really fed my desire to understand how and why we have such variety in these different communities around the world. When I was living in this little hill town, I realized that if I saved my money, I could travel somewhere every weekend. I traveled all over Europe by myself. I put everything I owned in a backpack and I just did it. I was a very shy, quiet person, but it taught me how to get outside of myself. I started to engage these amazing buildings and see how Europeans take old structures that are falling apart and repurpose them into apartment buildings, office buildings, and medical facilities. I was completely shaken because the outsides maintain this character that we understand, but the insides were completely revitalized. We have this nostalgic view of a place as we are walking through a city and then suddenly, there is air conditioning, and everything is clean or contemporary. When I step back and think about the viewshed that I have created out in the community, my image of a place is about the historic fabric of the city. I think about context. For me, it was about zooming out of the context and then zooming back in to understand how the fabric of that could be reused. Then I started to really get into the nuts and bolts of how we preserve. I started taking a few more courses at Kansas State, and then ultimately ended up working for a preservation firm and learned everything that I do now I from STRATA Architecture + Preservation (previously known as Susan Richards Johnson and Associates). This is how I learned about the preservation work that I do, and it is what trickled me into this line of work specifically. It all started from that study abroad program in Italy.
Orvieto, Italy Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
WH AT ARE SOM E PROFE S SI O NAL E X P E R IE N CE S YO U H AD T HAT SH APE D YOUR CARE E R ?
I am an odd case. I started college very, very young. I was 15 years old when I started college. I had my first degrees in calculus and physics, and then I went to Kansas State University to do my master’s degree and realized that I loved the power of learning. But I also realized that I needed to have professional experiences. I did internships with different firms. I think you really figure out what you like and do not like through doing those. I had my ‘aha’ moment at the preservation firm, STRATA Architecture + Preservation. As I had broken my foot right before my very first day on the job, I was in a boot and it was challenging to start field work. But they said, ‘You have to find a nice outfit to wear. You are going to meet the governor.’ My very first project ever in my preservation career was to do a restoration and renovation of the Missouri governor’s office. That had a huge impact on the way that I went about thinking how we design for the public, but also for what happens behind closed doors. He needed a place where he could be introspective and to think on important laws and the bills that they were passing, but it also had to be a place that people could visit as a tourist destination. It had to be a place that the people of Missouri could be drawn to. The second big thing was that I was working for a firm and had already done all this preservation work. After my PhD, I took a year off teaching to go work for a firm, and I realized that I really missed preservation. So, I asked my firm if they could give me these little projects. What started off as one project turned into me developing and becoming the director of the entire department. I started the Historic Preservation Department at the firm I was at, which turned into working on the Wainwright Building by Louis Sullivan in St. Louis, which turned into being one hundred and eighty feet in the air on a boom lift inspecting roofs of historic structures in Iowa and Colorado. It gave me the confidence to start my own historic preservation firm amid a pandemic. I am currently working on restoring the Peoria Warehouse District. All those little things led me to where I am at today, but all of what I do is in service of making sure that I am teaching my students how to be ethical and responsible designers.
T HROUG H O UT YOUR R E S E ARCH , W H AT H AVE YO U FOUND I S T H E I M PO RTA N CE OF H I STORI C P R E S E RVAT I ON AND TH E PUB L IC â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S E X P E RI E NCE WI TH HI STO R ICA L LY SI G NI FI CANT SI T E S ?
The thing that I learned from my disser tation work and in my practice is that how we preser ve matters. How we do t hat act of preser vation is so impor tant . What we show as historic, what we do not show, what we just allude to, it all has an impact on how we experience places of the past . We have to do a really good job about making sure that we are staying true and authentic to the structure, while also ser ving a future purpose. We must make sure that we are not detrimental to the historic significance of something. I do a lot of work on the signification and significance of buildings and it is so impor tant that we are ushering things into this new age, but we are not forgetting about where we came from.
A RC H I T E CT S H AVE A U N IQ U E ABI LI T Y TO H E LP C O MM U NI TI E S, AND TH E P EO P L E LI VI NG I N TH E M . F RO M YO UR E XPE RI E NCE , W HAT ARE SOM E WAYS T HAT ARCH I TE CT S CAN H E L P B OT H T H E PR ACTI CE AN D T HE P E O PLE TH RO UG H E T HI CAL RE SE ARCH PR ACT I CE S ?
One of the biggest things that I advocate for in the research methods course for our graduate students is that our research must engage populations of all kind s in ethical ways. We need to do that , not just because that is what is required by the law and the government , but because engaging people ethically is what we should require from humanit y. It is our job to keep people, especially those who are vulnerable, safe now more than ever, as this has really come into the forefront . Through our work , we have this abilit y to advocate for the most vulnerable by treating them in an ethical manner. We have to make sure that the solutions t hat are derived from our research are not just equal or ethical, but that they are also equitable. To bring ever ybody to the same level is the end goal here. It is about treating people with equit y and being ethical at the same time, so that our solutions bridge gaps as opposed to creating new ones.
IN YO U R RE SE ARCH YO U LO O K AT H OW PE O PLE I N T E R ACT W ITH H I STORI CAL S IT E S, ADAPT I VE RE U SE , A N D E T HI CAL RE SE ARCH P R ACT ICE S. H OW H AVE T HE S E D IF F E RE NT ARE AS O F RE S E ARC H AND PR ACT I CE F U RT H E R SH APE D YOUR V IE W O F WH AT T H E RO LE O F AN ARC H I TE CT SH OULD E NCAPSUL AT E ?
I would say that I am investigating both the interaction of people with places and historical sites, but also am investigating the perception of those places. I am looking at the physical interaction, but also at our understanding of how we see. That is impor tant because it links to the idea of an image. We tend to think about the prett y pictures on our Instagram, but so much of what we do as designers is linked to the disseminated image. I care about how we see places. It matters how we see places because that is how we make decisions about preser vation. That is how we make decisions about adaptive reuse and destruction. Ultimately, I care about what we see both in person and online. That is why I also work on social media and alternative media as a means of disseminating these images. Social media helps
us to have access to different places, but it also maintains t his ethical and equitable way of getting to other places that maybe we cannot be at physically. We give broader access to individuals who may not be able to physical ly occupy a space through these varied forms of media. We as architects have this dut y to not just be architects, but designers and stewards of humanit y in the built environment that ensure t hat we are creating accessible places to all kinds of people. I do not just mean things such as ADA accessibilit y, but I mean places that people can interact with and be a par t of. We have this responsibilit y to interact with one another as designers, but also with the populace in an ethical and an empathetic way. You cannot design or teach design without empathy. That is the foremost thing that I think we must remember as designers: empathy is the name of the game.
Palau Dissertation Site Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
Pop-A-Shot Project Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
Pop-A-Shot Project Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
HOW H AVE YOUR E X P E RI E NCE S W I T H R E S E ARC H AN D T E ACH I NG C HALLE N G E D T H E T R AD IT IO NAL D E FI NI TI ON O F W HAT IT M E ANS TO BE AN ARCH I T E CT ?
I came into the field with a single black-and -white image of what it meant to be an architect . I had this romanticized view of architecture, only because I was dead set on being a doctor or an engineer. When I found architecture, I realized t hat I could do a lot of things [in this field]. I have since realized that we as designers have this broad impact on t he spaces and places that we design. We have influence on the contex t , the people, the communit y, the histor y, the culture, and more. It reminds me of the historical definition of the architect: the chief builder. We truly have an impact t hat sometimes we fail to see. I would say that I strive to teach my students that their ideas, their voices, their goals, and their dreams matter. But we also need to understand how they can and will shape the world for better or worse. I would say that , in doing all the things that I do, teaching and research, I strive to engage the full contex t with the understanding that there are implications beyond what I can see on my Instagram screen or beyond what I see on t he news. We have a broader and more complex impact .
I just finished the Pop -A-Shot headquar ters in the historic Peoria Warehouse District . Although the space still retains its historic integrit y, it is a really contemporar y place to work in. We just kind of polished it up. It is like that old pair of tennis shoes. If you just give them a little love, t hey will look like brand new Jordans. I do that , but with buildings. So, what we do is we get creative about how to look at those guidelines, and then make them contemporar y and appropriate for present day use. Then, we leave physical traces of the old in the midst of the new. Think of t hem like ghosts of the past , but nice ghosts that remind us that places not only have histor y, but also a future.
H OW DO YO U VI E W TH E RO L E O F SO CI AL AN D ALT E R N AT IVE M E D I A I N T H E R E S E ARCH O F H I STORI C P R E SE RVATI ON AND A RC H IT E CTUR AL D E SI G N?
I use social media in a couple of different ways. I use it to investigate how people are talking about historic places and to understand what kinds of things we can and should do to make sure they still have an impact in the present as well as the future. I also use social media and alternative media as ways to advocate for the place. Historic places
become endangered through thoughtless development . We see that here in Champaign with towers going up. We see t hat all over the place with all these places that become unoccupied because it was a great tax incentive to build a big building to get new market tax credits. The economy does great , but we forgot about historic places. I would say places that have cit y councils who advocate for their histor y of ten lose places that are significant to development .
I use social media to share places that can be restored to remind people what can be done with creativit y, a little sweat , and suppor t from the communit y. So many places across the United S tates and the world are also par t of our collective human histor y, and we just do not know about them. We must get them to not just be a par t of collective histor y, but a par t of our collective memor y. We can do that through talking about them and through sharing them. It is really about the image. We must share what we know through media to make sure that people know about places and spaces from the past . I would say that the big thing for me is that , right now, social and alternative media provide us with an Internet archive, and we are the keepers of the past for the nex t generations.
H OW DO E S T H E PAST, C O L L E CTI VE M E M O RY, AN D C O L LE CTI VE H UM AN E X P E R IE N CE D E FI NE TH E F U T URE OF CI T I E S ?
What is interesting is that , as architects, we think about place and space as stewards of architecture. We watch Instagram for those sweet videos and high-st yle designs. But when you step back , you realize that vernacular and ever yday architecture is what forms the contex t that we live in. All these high-st yle buildings are surrounded by vernacular architecture or vernacular structures that we use daily, but we just do not think about them in the same way. Bottom line, that contex t shapes the cities that we live in. The projects that I work on, especially in Europe, where I did my disser tation work , are knit into the fabric of some of the most famous cities in the entire world. When cities like Paris, Barcelona, and S tockholm become destinations to visit , they are neighbors to the locals. They are cultural centers, but also vessels of these shared memories that I am talking about . Our past then shapes how we can use and t hen reuse those spaces. When we are destroying them, we are reshaping the cit y, and we are forgetting a bout traces of the humanit y that built it . It is about sharing culture and par t of that collective memor y. We think about humanit y
and we think the about the spaces that are listed in United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organiz ation (UNESCO), the United Nations (UN), and the World Heritage List . Those places are listed because they have outstanding universal value, and if you think about what that means, this should matter to ever ybody. Having those things matter to ever ybody or more people means that then we can use t hose to shape the way that we live in the cit y and the way that we move for ward with creating space and place.
R E L AT IV E TO YOUR SPE CI FI C WO R K IN A RCH I T E CTURE , W H AT IS YO U R PE RCE PTI ON O F ST RUCTURE S ?
I used to think structures were my calling. My first degree was in math and physics, and I was bound and determined t hat I was going to be an engineer. I thought I liked to see t he world in black and white, but realized that gray was a lot more fun. I taught structures at Kansas S tate Universit y both as a teaching assistant , then as the lead teaching assistant , and then as the co -instructor for the course before I star ted my PhD work . In fact , when I was initially applied for PhDs, my intention was to do structural engi neering and architecture as a dual PhD to look at historic structures and how their structural proper ties could be used as ways to save them because we do not necessarily have diagrams of how the amazing structures of the past worked. From putting together, the structure for a high rise to star ting to think about restoring Notre Dame, that was what got me up in the morning. I realized that I wanted to hybridize math, science, and preser vation because that is what I was star ting to fall in love with. But I realized at the end of it all t hat I had more of the social and cultural impact that I wanted to do through the preser vation teaching of architecture.
To me, structures are threefold. One, it is te aching how structures are the literal foundation of the building and design process to students like you. Two, it is about the remnants of the historic places that I am saving. The third par t is more abstract because it is how we understand communit y, culture, place, people, the makings of place, historic buildings, districts, cultures, communities, and dynamics bet ween all those ideas. Those are all built and embedded around a structure that is political, cultural, social, economic, and environmental. Understanding these systems is paramount to teaching design, the preser vation work that I do, and creating a design communit y that is empathetic. Again, I want to say that being empathetic is so impor tant .
H OW DO E S T H E PAST, C O L L E CTI VE M E M O RY, AN D C O L LE CTI VE H UM AN E X P E R IE N CE D E FI NE TH E F U T URE OF CI T I E S ?
I think the big thing is understanding that , a lot of times, t hat is what is lef t , and that is how we approach to design and restoration. There is still a lot of design work that goes into the work that I do, even though there is so much t here. We must know how to approach the structure based on what is lef t . I would also say that it comes down to the communities that these places are in, because for some of t hem, it is about collective memor y and understanding both t he political and social realms that are involved. Of tentimes, it is a political or economic decision whether a building is destroyed or saved. I see those other structures, the communit y structures, behind what I am doing that are so impor tant to how we approach saving places. If my work is looking at how people are impacted by preser vation, I must understand the different social structures that are working to save a place or driving it to be destroyed.
ARE T H E RE ANY STR U CT U R E S OR SYST E M S T HAT YO U LO O K TO I M PACT T H RO U GH YO UR RE SE ARCH AND H OW SO?
I would love to strip all of that away. I would love to say t hat we save places because they belong to humanit y, not because they belong to a political or economic structure that is going to have some influence on the way that we are using t hem. I want them to be about saving places, because that is a par t of our histor y and our heritage. They should be about t he culture and the communit y that are using them. It is hard for me when I see these beautiful and amazing places get torn down because somebody decided that a newer building should take its place. Here in Champaign, there are these high-rise buildings that are only par tially full, and we have lost amazing treasures that have been designed by some of the best architects that we have ever had, the people who understand the principles that maybe we cannot always impar t to future designers. Being able to walk through a historic place gives you some sense of where we came from as a profession and what things we have still to learn. That is probably the crux of why we need to understand what we do and why we do it with respect to the past for helping the future.
Museu Picasso Dissertation Site Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
Greece Travels Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
AS P RO FE S SORS AT T H E U N IV E R S IT Y OF I LLI N O I S, YO U H AVE H AD TH E O P PO RT U N I T Y TO T E ACH CL AS S E S B OTH SE PAR ATE LY A N D TOG E TH E R . H OW HAV E YO U M E LD E D YOUR P E R SON AL TE ACH I NG ST Y L E S AND W H AT WAYS O F T E AC H I NG H AVE YOU B EG U N TO I NCO RPO R ATE I NTO YO U R OW N T E ACH I N G ST Y L E S S I N CE TE ACH I NG TOG E T H E R ?
AnnaMarie Bliss (AB): I do not know how many of you know t his, but Professor Dearborn was my doctoral advisor. I learned so much from her because we have been together now for eight years in August . I have learned so much from her; from being a student and learning how to be a good doctoral student , how to be a good researcher, all the way to how to be a good teacher. I would say so much of my pedagogy is influenced by the great work that she does. She has taught me a lot about how to inter face with students, how to present material, and how to set boundaries. All these skills are a par t of being a good educator, but also how to have and foster deep connections with our students. I think I bring an understanding about technology because I am a big proponent of using social media as a tool to teach. She is a big par t of the reason that I think I have success in my teaching. Lynne Dearborn (LD): I taught for more than t went y-five years before Dr. Bliss and I began teaching collaboratively. I star ted teaching long before computers were an integral par t of almost ever y thing we do. I still have hundreds of hard copy slides that I use to generate for ever y lecture. Dr. Bliss has clearly helped me figure out how to be a bit more digitally sav v y and taught me ways to incorporate technology into classes. Even though we are not the same person and we do not think the same way, due to our close relationship as Ph.D. advisee and adviser, some people say we can complete each other’s sentences. The other piece of teaching together is that we do a lot of advanced planning, probably a lot more than a lot of facult y do when they teach. We star t with an overarching arc of what we want to accomplish in a course. We ask , ‘What do we want students to know and be able to do when they complete t he course?’, and from that ver y broad arc, we then look at t he smaller details and work out a prett y specific timeline across the semester and for ever y class session. When we teach ARCH 171 together, it means we also have six TA‘s that we orchestrate together. Ultimately, even though each of us has specific responsibilities, we understand wh at the other one is doing. It involves a great deal of communication. We have joint documents that we work on, we have PowerPoints on Google that we of ten simultaneously work on and develop together. Some facult y, when they co -teach, they divide things up neatly ; like, ‘Okay, you are going to take t he first half of the semester and I am going to take the
second half of the semester, or, you are going to take even t he first half of the class and I am going to take the second half. We do not work that way. We really inter weave our t wo st yles. I think this makes a richer experience for the students, and there is some definite value to this much finer- grained integration. However, it does take a lot of work . AB: I think we both already were highly organized, systematic people. Bringing that together had a much broader impact because we were so on top of things from t he ver y beginning. The dynamic bet ween the t wo of us was that Professor Dearborn is focused on the theor y and making sure that students understand and have a good foundation of the principles, whereas, I am really interested in the application [of these theories]. I think t hose t wo par ts of our brains meld together and we work well as a team. There are bits and pieces of both of us in each of those things. That is why it works well together.
T HE T WO OF YO U CO AU T HO R E D TH E ARTI CLE , ARC H IT E CT UR AL RE SE ARCH L E G AL LY AN D E TH I C ALLY C O N S IDE RE D . H OW D I D YO U B EG IN TH E PRO CE S S O F W R IT IN G TH I S ART I CLE , WH E N AN D H OW D I D YO U DISC OVE R T H AT T H I S WO U L D B E SOM E T H I NG TH AT YO U WO ULD CO -W RI T E ?
LD: We were invited by the editorial board of Technology : Architecture + Design ( TAD) to write that ar ticle because t hey wanted an ar ticle that addressed this topic. Ethics associated with human-subjects research are a weakness in a lot of architectural research, par ticularly architectural research which is technology-focused â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a subarea of architectural research that traditionally has not included human subjects, their beliefs and opinions. The editors invited me first; but I decided it would be a better ar ticle if I had a co -author because the topic could be addressed more comprehensively. Af ter the TAD editors said yes, I asked Dr. Bliss if she was interested in co -authoring. Good co -author relationships are about bringing a piece along together. That was what I was hoping we would do, and I think we accomplished that . You get a much more robust ar ticle, just like if you are working on a design project . In my experience, a single -author design project of tentimes does not have nearly the complexities and intricacies of a jointly authored design project . We began the ar ticle based on the request that they gave us. We then brainstormed a couple of different times about what we thought should be in the ar ticle based on their request and how we wanted to cover it . Then, we subdivided the tasks and went through our
por tions, and then we swapped the writing and went through it again. This method is similar to the way we teach classes. It was not that I did the first half and she did the second half. Instead we broke it down; I did par ts one, three, and five, and she did par ts t wo, four, and six. Then, we brought t hem together and wove the narrative into a single voice. AB: We did that with the same goal in mind. Even if you did one, t hree, and five, and I did t wo, four, and six, we still both knew what all those par ts were going to have. We had the same vision.
LD: We write in different st yles because we are t wo different people, so the value of swapping writing pieces is that it star ts to even out the writing st yle a little bit . It was too long when we finished it . It was supposed to be t went yfive hundred words. I think the draf t was more like six or seven thousand. We were more than t wice the length we were supposed to be initially, so we had to edit it down.
AB: A weakness in research is that we need to approach humans in an ethical manner while keeping equit y in mind. Our doctoral training influenced how we approach human beings and how we approach research. There is something t hat happens methodically, but also systematically. That is something we brought to the ar ticle and the journal t hat people maybe did not quite understand; expanding t he conversation to how we think about research or how we should approach research, especially as designers. Too of ten, we think about research on lighting or building materials and we forget about the human factor.
LD: One aspect of the ar ticle is about something that we have both noticed from going to conferences a nd listening to presentations. It is also something that the TAD editorial team has experienced. A lot of times, facult y will use students as their research subjects and not understand t he ethical boundaries. Going back to the question of power, if I am your facult y member, then there is a facult ystudent power dynamic that must be acknowledged. When you use a student as a research subject , a Professor cannot assume that a student wants to be a par t of their research. Facult y cannot include students without asking t hem. This was a section that was greatly expanded in our first draf t that we had to edit down because the editorial team did not necessarily see that as being as big an issue as we did. For us, that is a huge ethical aspect for architectural research because for many architecture facult y, their work with students is what they write about .
T H E IL LI N O I S SCH OOL O F ARC H I TE CTURE H AS R E C E N T LY E N ACTE D A NE W C U R R IC ULUM WI TH TH E I NC LU S IO N OF H E ALT H AND W E L L-B E IN G CL AS SE S. H OW D O E S T HIS CH AN G E SE E K TO AD J U ST TH E SCH O O Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S ACA D E M IC PROG RE S SI O N, A N D W HY D O YO U BE LI E VE I T IS V ITA L TH AT ASPI RI N G ARC HIT E CT S LE ARN ABO UT T H E SE TOPI C S ?
LD: For me, the exciting par ts of the new curric ulum is that it has the potential to put people at the center of the design equation. I taught in the old curriculum for a l ot of years, and to me, one of the values of changing it has been that , in the past , students have seen the product of design as a built object . By being able to put humans at the center of the design equation, thinking about human experience, thinking about the object as a piece in a larger tapestr y that is a built world, we see the sum of the benefit , par tic ularly of the first four design courses that are different from what was in t he old curriculum. By the time we get students as juniors now, they have a lot more knowledge and skill development around things like urbanism and understanding that cities are complex places. That is one of the big benefits of the new curriculum. I think if we move into the new graduate curriculum, one of the real benefits is that students can specialize in a way that they were not able to specialize in t he past . So why is a specializ ation like health and well -being impor tant ? A lot of studies show that the built environment is not a neutral background. It affects people. It affects t heir qualit y of life. It affects their health. We know that now, and I think it is impor tant that we arm students and future professionals with that background knowledge to have a better sense of the implications of their design decisions. It is not just an economic decision; it is not a first cost economic decision only, nor is it just about the form of the building. Form A and B have different potential results and effects
on people. Choosing material A and choosing material B can make a huge difference in the indoor air qualit y, in the reflectance, and how people see things in the space. There are these other dimensions to the decisions, and a lot of t hose dimensions have been neglected in the past . They have been thought of either as unimpor tant , or architects have t hought they understand the implications of their decisions and so they do not really need to read any thing else or listen to anybody else on a topic about which they are “exper ts”. AB: I agree with ever y thing that she is saying. I have been recently practicing and thinking about what we do as practitioners. We are responsible as a par t of what comes to us from the AIA and what comes to us as being registered architects. You need to remember that you are responsible for the health, safet y, and we lfare of the public. That is par t of your charge. We must think about t hose as human- centric as opposed to just ensuring that t he building stands up and does not fall on people. There are other aspects of doing that , and I think the way that we are approaching the curriculum is that we are teaching with that approach. It is human for ward, human first . What is exciting about that is that , as Professor Dearborn alluded to, buildings always are affecting people, whether we think about it or not . What I think is different bet ween how she and I see this is I work on perception and cog nition; what our understanding is when we take that environment and how we visually perceive, think about , and understand it . Professor Dearborn is interested in other things, like social justice and equit y. We have all these other wonder ful health and well -being facult y, and we all have these different areas of interest that round out health and well -being ver y nicely, so we offer you a curriculum that is ver y complete. LD: The other piece of that is to understand that the professional associations —the AIA , the accrediting boards, the licensing boards— are beginning to understand t hat the old definition of health, safet y, and welfare is woefully inadequate. Simply being sure that the codes are met is the most basic minimum. We understand a lot more about how the environment affects peoples’ lives and their mental health, their physical health, and their qualit y of life than what the codes currently reflect .
AB: I think we are star ting to see some acknowledgment of t hat , especially from IDPH, which is the Illinois Depar tment of Public Health and other public health entities. From working in hospital design, we are star ting to see some acknowledgment of that in public health code a nd how that relates to buildings. There are still other bodies that need to recognize that . You will also notice, as you look across t he spectrum of architecture schools right now, that there are these programs in health and well -being and health and architecture that are star ting to pop up. What I think ours does well is that we are not just doing healthcare architecture. We are thinking about the broad ways that health and well -being impact design, whether that be senior care living or aging in place or clinic spaces or residential uses. There are so many other places that we need to positively impact health and well -being, and I think our program does that quite well.
HOW HAV E YO U SE E N TH E T R A N S IT ION I N TE ACH I NG A N D C U R R I CULUM AFFE CT T HE IDE AS AN D WAYS I N W H IC H STUD E NT S ARE CU R R E N T LY APPROACH I NG T HE IR P ROJE CT S OR WI LL AP P ROACH TH E M I N TH E FUT URE ?
LD: The first four design courses have made a hug e difference in the tools and the knowledge that students bring to their design effor ts. There is a greater abilit y to integrate some of what I will call the theoretical content , although it is not really t heoretical. It is real. It is simply, ‘How do we understand a building’s relationship to the neighborhood?’. To be able to t alk about that with junior students is different than what I could do before. The new undergraduate curriculum has brought a level of sophistication around things that are not just physical design. There is a better understanding of the finer- grained nature of aspects of design. AB: I have taught a couple of different graduate studios since we transitioned into the new curriculum, but also teaching in t he junior studio and working with students just in general, especially though RE ACTION S tudio this summer, we were a lot more people - centric. I am seeing students be more human- centric in design of interior spaces a nd thinking about all the different aspects of an interior space that we had not been thinking about before. So of ten we get caught up in those beautiful ex terior renderings, those design shots that happen at the top of your board. Instead, we were having conversations about how people were feeling or how t hey might feel in an interior space, which to me is where we spend our time and is so impor tant . It was nice because it was something I had not seen before. I think that is of ten lef t out of a lot of the projects that I had reviewed before.
I have been reviewing at Illinois for eight years, so seeing students engage with how human beings might be in a space is impor tant . I brought consultants into all my studios this past year and in the summer, and they were all interested in how the people using the space might feel. The students are star ting to have a better grasp of that because we were not having the tough conversations about , ‘Hey, that is a horrible space to be in’, and instead it was, ‘I really like how the windows are placed. Oh, I think that maybe if you move that desk six feet to the lef t , we would have a better workspace’, as opposed to having to give a full primer again on how to design an interior space. S tudents are now putting t hemselves in spaces as opposed to drawing the boxes on CAD with the doors. S tudents are finding themselves in the spaces that they design, and I think that is so impor tant .
HOW DO E S T H I S PE DAG OGY T H AT YO U H AVE CRE ATE D TO G E T HE R T R AN SI T I ON I N TO A N E R A FI LLE D WI TH TE CH NOLOGY ?
LD: Remember that a pencil is technology. There is a range of technology. A different t ype of technology is just another tool. Figure out how to use that tool, learn how to use that tool, but also learn how to integrate the different tools together. It may go from what we call low technology, the pencil, to much more complicated technology. Always remember that each one of those tools is just that . The tool should not get in the way of someone designing what they are imagining. The hang up for me in having students be so heavily reliant on digital technology is sometimes digital technology is limiting, just as I would say perhaps in the past a pencil could have been limiting in some ways. It is figuring out how all these pieces fit together, but also understanding how those pieces work with your brain and remembering that the physical element -- having something in your hand -- gives you that really t hin inter face bet ween brain and idea or product . Being able to draw on your iPad or your tablet is a great step for ward, but figuring out how to move along that whole continuum without seeing big breaks or drastic changes in the design, t hat is wholly a result of the technology that is being used. How students transition bet ween and integrate different t ypes of technology, from low to high, is a concern of mine.
AB: I think that we made this emergency transition online and students adapted quite well for the most par t in terms of being able to do projects. For me, teaching online with students who are technologically sav v y is always great because we were able to use Conceptboard, we were having Zoom meetings, we were using Google Teams, we were using Box, we were drawing on each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iPads. There were all these other ways to connect . Despite ever y thing, I still had excellent studio culture, which is something I was really worried about . We are worried about not having that physical studio culture, about spending time in studio, but really, it is about connection. That was sor t of my primar y concern. Figuring out the tool stuff was secondar y because I wanted there to be this personal connection inter face. When we had to stop building models in studio, that stunk , but we have all these other awesome programs now that let us get into the building af ter they are digitally built . We are looking at Enscape. I have students w ho have VR headsets. I have an AR program on my iPhone that I can use to move through peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s projects. Teaching them how to use these other tools so that we are still getting inside of the project so that we do not have as many scale issues is impor tant to me. The spring semester was evidence that students have this amazing abilit y to adapt and be resilient in the face of something that was unprecedented. Then, we as facult y get to respond to that and tr y to do new things, which was cool. That is sor t of where my Instagram was born, from being able to showcase all the co ol stuff the students were doing. Yes, I still want you to know how to use an X-Acto knife and to cut a straight line and to have qualit y craf tsmanship because that is a life skill. Some of what we do is teach life skills. I think , like Professor Dearborn, my concern is about where the divide is bet ween the entr ylevel manual technology to the high-level technology and students having issues being able to take what is in their brain and put it on paper or in the computer. I do not ever want to see a technological tool be a limiting factor for someone, and the pencil vice -versa. If you do not know how to use Grasshopper or Rhino, you end up with a box, but what if you could draw the cur ve with your hand? How do we put those t wo things together ? We must find a happy middle ground. I know that sometimes, the c riticisms of architecture school are that we do not teach yo u how to do all that stuff. There are not enough hours in the day, I do not t hink , to teach you Grasshopper, Rhino, all of those things, but our job is to teach you to think critically and to give you
t he skills to be good designers, to be good stewards of the built environment , and then we star t to figure those things out together. I am a big proponent of Google and YouTube. That is the other way I use technology in my classroom. If I do not know how to do it , let us figure it out together.
IS T H E R E A D I SCO NN E CT T HAT C O ULD PO S SI BLY HAPPE N BE T W E E N T EC H N O LO GY AN D T H E E X P E R IE N T I AL NAT URE O F ARC HIT E CT URE AN D SPACE ?
Studio Trip to Chicago Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
LD: It is interesting because we star ted this se mester with a little VR project . Again, I am not going to go out and be able to make the VR happen, but I could see the value of t hat as a tool. I think my students saw the value of that as a tool when they were able to get inside what was a relatively simple, straight-for ward interior design project . They were able to feel what it feels like. Can I get by this table? Do I have enough room to pull out this chair in this space that I am creating? Some things that I, in the past , might have had students do in physical space to say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Okay, so we are all sitting around a table. Let us all get up out of our chairs and see how far they go back . Where is the wall going to be behind me?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;, for example, and really figure out what t hat space is. VR allows you to test that out in the design process, which I think has great value and allows you to actually get inside the design in a way that most other media does not really let you do. We can make prett y pictures, but we cannot actually get the sense of a body in space.
AB: I think this goes back to some of the discussions that we have had about paper architecture. There are so many t hings that look good and beautiful on paper. We talked about some of our sister schools having good paper architecture, but maybe they do not arm students well en ough to be technical designers. Some of what we are able to do with VR , which I am such a proponent of af ter having used it this past semester, is to give students the abilit y to not just have the paper and the beautiful image, but also to have it work in practice. When you have the beautiful image and it actually works, that is magic. I am working on grants right now to get VR headsets in the VR lab for just architecture because I think instead of doing it at the end of a project , we need to be doing that from the ver y first concept development phase. We check that thing ever y other day or ever y week and see where you are at in space. It gives you a greater sense of what you are doing. It was amazing to listen to students in the VR lab like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ah, cra p, if I would have just moved that door six inches.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Actually having to go into this space and think about that with the VR headset made a big difference in how their final designs turned out . I feel like my brain works in VR now, like I have d one enough design work , I have built enough projects that I can see t hose things even looking at it in plan. My brain can already see those things, but you as a student have not had those experiences yet . Giving you a tool to have that experience earlier would be such a great way to integrate technology or this VR realm to architecture studies, which could be sor t of a pre - construction administration-t ype relationship that you would have with your design. I will tell you that I learned t he most in practice being out on a construction site.
LD: I completely agree with that . The first project I worked on that was really close to my office made it so that I could go to the site ever y day at lunchtime and see it as it went from a hole in the ground to all the pieces along t he way. I learned an incredible amount of what a drawing looked like versus what it feels like as the different pieces go on and you star t to really shape the interior space around the person. It is that body-in-space experience. AB: I think it is really telling. I love taking students to go look at the projects that are being built around campus that we can walk to. Obviously, with coronavirus, that is not great . Having students see what a stair tower looks like, what does egress look like when it is in the ground before all the stuff happens around it . How does the structure look before people get inside of it ? What do those open-we b joists feel like when you are star ting to look at floor-to - ceiling heights? Then you guys can really have this amazing understanding visually of what that is. That is something that unfor tunately technology cannot afford us. There is something different about understanding it and having that tactile experience.
H OW D O YOU TH I NK T E C H N O LO GY I S G O I NG TO E T HI CALLY I M PACT D E S IGN E R S AN D ST UD E NT S M AK IN G D ECI SI ON S I N TH E FUTURE ?
AB: I think ethics is impor tant , but we also are struggling with equit y right now and who has access. The ethics piece is always going to be ver y impor tant , but as we are struggling with equit y amongst students and who has access, we have to be cogniz ant about the ways in which we are using technology to create environments that are better, or to have exchanges that are better that are also still ethical. There is this weird balancing act going on right now that we
have not had to deal with, and it is something that I have been having lots of conversations about recently. The other t hing that I am concerned about with respect to technology, especially thinking about social media because that is a big par t of my research and that is a big par t of how I share with students and inter face with other professionals, is we have to be cogniz ant about confidentialit y, about copyright , about keyboard warriors, and people having commentar y. There are so many other aspects. So many people from so many places have access to this black hole on the internet of information. It is about how we get access and who has access. Is it ethical, is it equitable? Not just equal, but equitable. Making sure that all boats rise. It is something t hat I think we are going to be having conversations about for a long time. This is a point that will be emphasized for a lot of designers and a lot of academics as well.
LD: The other thing I was going to say is questions of ethics in what we do are also amplified because of the technology we have available now; this question of who owns content and how that content get used? How do we acknowledge the authors of content ? These are all questions that have been a concern of mine for a long time because so much content is accessible via the internet . When I was the Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Associate Director for Graduate programs, I developed a session for grad students at the star t of graduate school. It is about the student code of conduct because the Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Associate Director for Graduate programs has been the person who of ten addresses inadver tent plagiarism. I am a stickler for it , first because it is stealing and aga inst the law, but also because we must acknowledge who owns ideas and who said cer tain things and who originated cer tain design ideas. We need to understand our obligation to acknowledge t he people who generated the original ideas out there when we have this whole treasure trove of stuff that can inspire us. I am a firm believer in the idea that we build on the work of others, but we need to acknowledge that othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ideas form t he basis for our work . In some ways, it goes back to the my thology of the original idea and the fact that we believe our design work must be original. My point is that people have been thinking thoughts for many thousands of years and designing buildings for many thousands of years. There is probably not much original lef t , but we can build on the ideas that are out there and improve on them. We just need to acknowledge where they came from -- what their source is.
AB: We look at precedents. As facult y, all the time, we ask , â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What is your precedent ? Do you have a precedent for that ? What could be an inspiration for that ?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;. One thing that technology affords us is the abilit y to look at precedents we may not have had the sor t of instant access to before. When I was in school, we had to go to the librar y and look things up. Like Professor Dearborn says, it is getting students to acknowledge where those things came fro m, but also making sure that you as students understand that you have t he abilit y to adapt those ideas because you probably have ways to make them better or to use them in another climate or with respect to another culture. I think something that has not changed is that we all come from ve r y different worldviews and our understanding of precedent , of place, of space, of technology, and of appropriate uses of technology are ver y different from place to place to place. Think about t he students who come from Asia or who come from South America. Their understanding of these things is so different from those of us who grew up right here in the United S tates. Being sensitive to those things is impor tant as well.
H OW HAS TH E U SE O F T EC H N O LOGY AFFE CT E D T H E T E AC HI N G O F H E ALT H AN D WE LL-BE I N G AN D HOW MI G H T I T AFFE CT ARC H IT E CT URE PE DAG OGY I N T H E FUT URE ?
LD: The ARCH 321 (Environment , Architecture, and Global Health) class in the B SAS core curriculum was conceived as a flipped classroom course. I attended lots of seminars and workshops on campus through the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning about course deliver y, content deliver y, online and ways to do that . For five years or so, I have worked on creating that class as a class where the content is delivered online and then what happens when students are together in the classroom is much more conducive to having people work together in a space. This allows the students to learn together, learn from each other, and come to new ways of understanding application of the knowledge about health and design in that process. When Professor Bollo was hired, I got to hand that off to her and she has done amazing t hings. It is going to be a great class this fall and in the future due to the grants she received for the summer of 2020 to develop more original content . She has taken the situation t hat we are in right now and used it as an oppor tunit y to build new content for that course that will be online. To me, the technology offers some potentially different and more appropriate ways to deliver content . We do not always want or need to have students sitting in large lecture halls just passively absorbing. We need to have oppor tunities for students to come together to be synerg istic in the
learning experience and to give students the oppor tunit y to learn at their own pace and in their own time in the online format . The hybrid model of course deliver y -- the flipped classroom -- and the oppor tunities for application are huge steps for ward that technology has allowed us to work with and to star t to bring into the way we teach.
ARCH 171 Halls Ridge Precedent Study Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
AB: I am reimagining ARCH 171 this summer. That is my big project now that RE ACTION S tudio is done, which is bittersweet for me because that was such a great studio to have this summer. Now I am really honing in on ARCH 171 and redoing that . The approach to that now is that I am tr ying to take all the concepts that are impor tant to that class and putting them into terms that are applied. We are going to have a theor y section, but also have application back and for th. I am setting it up so that you have more application t ime, so that you are learning concepts and theories through doing. If you have students that do not have access to being par ts of a synchronous lecture, they still get all those same experiences, but doing them digitally. I am using Compass as one route to deliver information because that is our plat form, but also using Conceptboard and Box. There are a lot of really amazing ways that I have been working through to make sure that all of that content is still coming to you, but that you actually feel like you own the content and you can adapt the content to use for your own design. There will be a lot of shor ter-term design t ype projects. It will have maybe a little bit more of a studio feel via online than previously, but I am hoping we can use this as also a way to get our friends who are not yet architecture majors to join us. Hopefully, it feels kind of like a collaborative class. I do not want to feel like the talking head on Zoom. I want people to feel like they have ownership of the content of architecture because really it manifests for you. That is the way that I am approaching this. I think having all the different use of technology is a really great way to do that . I will be using Instagram and those kinds of things also to approach students because I feel that has been successful recently.
W H AT AR E SO M E POS SI BLE SO CIA L IMP LI CATI ON S TH AT C O U L D COM E FROM TH E U S E O F T E CH NOLOGY I N ARCH I TE CTURE ?
LD: I am going to leave it to the students to be able to do better at this than my generation has, but I hope that we can better communicate to non-architects. Architecture is ver y inwardly focused on our profession and par ticularly in academia we are ver y inwardly focused. Of ten, we are just t alking to ourselves. When I do communit y-based work , it is all about tr ying to get students to be able to talk about architecture to normal, regular people. I think that the various social media plat forms give us the oppor tunit y to do more of that . I think we must carefully consider the language that we use, the ways that we converse, and the kinds of imager y we use. I think it is an oppor tunit y really to bridge the divide bet ween our profession and, more broadly, the people who live ever y day in the environments we imagine and create. They must exist , and we hope, thrive in what we create. It gives the architecture profession t he oppor tunit y to increase that dialogue. There are plat forms and ways of increasing the dialogue that can be helpful to us as a profession, because if we do not do better at that , we will cease to be useful to the world. The general public really does not care about our intellectual ideas. What they want to know is, ‘Am I comfor table in t his space, or, ‘Do I feel good about being in my office?’. They are less concerned about the more esoteric aspects of our design ideas. I think that is really an oppor tunit y t hat the current digital environment provides for us. AB: I am a big proponent of using social media to share what we are doing because for the same things that Professor Dearborn is pointing out . It creates broader conversations amongst many different minds. We are seeing engagement from other designers, but also from people who maybe did not think that they had a voice in design. We must be able to filter out the noise that is impeding some of that from people who have things to say that are not pro ductive. We want to make sure we have conversations that are for ward t hinking, that are about human beings. I understand that of tentimes what we see on Instagram is that beautiful image, t hat money shot , that top -tier rendering, but my hope is that in some ways sharing this gives or helps us to share with the world that our work has value. One of the things I have been fighting a lot in architecture is how there is this divide in what architects and engineers and contractors are paid and our work is so under valued because people think that they can do it too or they think that it is easy. We make it look
look easy, so people do not think that they should have to pay for it . I am hoping that people can star t to understand t hat there is real value in what we are doing as designers, and that we must think about health and well -being. If anyone could do it , then they would. They cannot necessarily create spaces that are beautiful, that keep people healthy, that keep people productive. I think we are going to see a huge shif t in how people approach office buildings, how people approach home offices, especially considering COVID. We are star ting to realize that people can work from home. How i s that going to change the landscape of the cit y and the high-rises that we are seeing, and what kinds of spaces will we have in our homes to create productive environments? I think we will see more of that through the lens of others as people star t to take note of that and post their images on social media. What I am really interested in is photos and tha t still image of an instant and how we perceive that with respect to what is happening around us. I think on social media we put that image out there that it is always per fect . What is our one image, and how is that going to change our landscape of how we are talking about cities, people, culture, and technology ? I think this is going to be a conversation that is going to ramp up in the nex t few years as we star t to fig ure out how we are sharing what we do as designers from our homes.
REACTION Studio Image Courtesy of AnnaMarie Bliss
Affordable Housing Oregon 1991-1995 Image Courtesy of Lynne Dearborn
REACTION STUDIO The REACTION Studio was born out of necessity and flexibility. In the summer of 2020, the novel coronavirus required the typical summer studio to move online and address the world pandemic. Originally, there was discussion that the virus would end before the course. However, COVID-19 continues to inflict worldwide injury to economies, communities, and healthcare capacities. The timeliness and novelty of the solutions presented in this volume exemplify high-quality architectural interventions that provide a range of opportunities to fight the pandemic. REACTION STUDIO
Students were asked to create a novel COVID-19 testing and contact tracing facility that allows for walk-up and drive through testing, on-site tracing office spaces, and staff support areas. Initially, the project was meant to be short-term and mobile, but as the virus’s impact continued to change through the course of the summer, more innovative solutions developed. Each student’s REACTION approaches design from a different perspective relative to their own understanding of the needs of the community they chose to design for. Herein, the reader will see solutions that are mobile, modular, community-mission driven, or approaching permanence for the site. In an unprecedented studio atmosphere for the Illinois School of Architecture, design interventions were graphically documented, shared online during daily Zoom calls, facultyand peer-reviewed on Conceptboard, and developed through constant communication between students and the supervising faculty, Dr. AnnaMarie Bliss, PhD. The studio took advantage of the opportunity to engage health and design experts online for critique and direction. Students were tasked with researching healthcare environments, COVID19’s impacts, modular design, flexible and adaptable design solutions, and opportunities for unique intervention. They chose sites of importance for their design and justified the location using their research and understanding of the regional and local healthcare shed. The work presented proudly showcases eight weeks of hard work, dedication, research, and astute design.
Image Courtesy of Ushma Karia & Rachita Ranjit
Dr. AnnaMarie Bliss W HY D ID YO U CH O O SE TO MAK E COVI D -1 9 TH E CE N T R AL TOPI C FO R YO UR STUD I O?
I had been contracted to teach summer studio before COVID-19 even happened. I was really interested in teaching students about community health, and how the issues of community health shape the way we designed the built environment. Community health is so broad that you think beyond hospitals, you think beyond the med ical center, and you start to look at the nitty gritty issues that happen within communities. What I realized was that we could still t ake on community health in the COVID-19 era. So, all I did was reframe the project. We basically were to do the same project, but to adapt it to deal with COVID-19, such that it implemented strategies that can be deployable, temporary, permanent, or transformable. Those are things that we look for in community health too, but with a focus on the current pandemic. I think all of us also went into this studio thinking t hat weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be done with COVID-19 by the end of the studio, and that the solutions weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve designed would be irrelevant. Now, it seems like they are really at the forefront.
DI D H AVI NG N E W I N FO R MAT I ON RE G ARD I N G C OV ID -1 9 O N A DAI LY BASI S PO S E A PRO BLE M T H E STUD I O?
I think that we were anticipating the new information. We were finding more out about touch points and whether or not transfer was happening by touch and surfaces. We were also finding more out about air solutions like HVAC systems. I believe the way that we address these is through novel solutions and making sure that there was natura l ventilation and sanitation points. We really spent a lot of time thinking about don/doff stations and PPE because we realized it was t he way we were going to prevent this pandemic. We had to make sure that we had the right attire and sanitation steps in place so that people would feel safe in the space. That was the crux of dealing with the changes. We were able to adapt our program and we were able to adapt the solutions t o meet current research. I asked students to date their drawings. Every time they made changes; they knew what t he current research was at that specific time. Then we can go back and say, all right, on this date, this is the information and the design reflects that. We were pretty good about t racking the research and how it evolved with o ur designs.
T E L L U S ABOUT YOUR E X P E R IE N C E ST RUCTURI NG A N D R U N N I NG AN O NLI NE STUD I O?
It meant that we were really engaged in communication. Communication is always important in class, but this was t enfold. We relied on messaging apps more heavily. We used GroupMe, and I would send articles via GroupMe. To be honest, people are checking your phones wa y more than youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re checking your email or box. It made it easy for the students to pull up the article while they were on a walk or cooking dinner or watching TV. A lot of time was spent on Conceptboard bec ause it was great to use for pinups and commentary. We spent a lot of time in Zoom breakout rooms to facilitate these conversations as well. We did a lot of pinups, and that is not something I typically do in studio. I think it gave the students the ability to see what others were working on, t o be engaged, and to produce commentary. I will say that my summer studio students probably became much better r eviewers of projects because they know how to do it and had much more practice. This was the first fully online graduate studio that the University of Illinois has taught and it was really successful. Image Courtesy of Jesse Han
H OW I M PORTANT WAS I T TO I NCLUD E P RO F E S SI O NALS AN D OT HE R R E VI E WE RS I N T H E ST UD I O PRO CE S S ?
Involving professionals in the studio is impor tant for me. It is really impor tant to have those people engaged, especially when we’re pulling in people who are also in the same field. I brought in a physician, we had healthcare designers, and people who engage in communit y health and work . Dealing with these people teaches students how to deal with the client , how to meet users’ needs, and to look at the stakeholders who are involved in a process. When designing a communit y health center, the client may be the communit y health board, but it is impor tant to talk to th e physician because they ’re the one using the space ever y day. My goal was to spend time with people who might actually use the space and also with people who are designing for healthcare settings. I would say that was a learning proce ss for them too, because they got to hear about the new research from t he students who were digging into it . Professionals valued t he opinions of students who are in an academic realm and have the time to do the research to be engaged and are par t of the design process. It was mutually beneficial. Those professionals were able to engage in our school and my hope is that we’re creating strong alumni relationships, but also that we’re creating really strong firm connections. I’m tr ying to facilitate those connections with firms because it is impor tant to have connections in other major metropolitan connections like Kansas Cit y, New York , Dallas and as facult y, we have to facilitate those.
W H AT H AV E YOU LE ARN E D T H RO U GH T H E RE ACTI ON ST UD I O?
One is how resilient and adaptable students are. So many students came into the process really ner vous about having an online studio, but we got through it all together. This was achieved through communication that happens through giving grace to the professor, but also the students gave it to me and to one another. Facilitating a lot of interaction was key. We learned about being adaptable, flexible, resilient , and the students rose to the occasion. Nex t , we learned that graphics play a huge role in our perception of design. We create graphics so that people understand our design process, our intention, and the narratives that we create. This was not a graphic design studio, but it helped us to focus on how we communicate as designers. I got a critique of my teaching evaluations that said, this was really graphic design heav y, and I am kind of okay with that . It really tells me that we spent a lot of t ime thinking about communication. We have to do that as designer and I am glad that we spent the time to do that . I am also interested in how social media played a role in RE ACTION studio. I think this was the best publicized studio we have ever had. When people had questions, I saw them engaging with the posts and with students that were becoming exper ts on the subject at hand. My goal in all of my studios is to give some level of knowledge that is actually practical beyond the design processe s. I felt like t he students actually became exper ts this summer, and that was the greatest achievement .
W HAT I S N E X T FOR R E ACTI ON STUD I O?
Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m working on making sure that the student work is getting published. I have gotten a couple of different papers and t hings into conference to highlight the student work . This is impor tant because I want them to give them credit for the work that they did on this really pressing issue. I will also be presenting at the AC SA educators conference and open meeting. I am making sure that the work is being shared but also publicized. I would love to see their work get more recognition.
Image Courtesy of Hannah Brostoff
REACTION REACTION WITH WITH A A CAUSE CAUSE
In many instances, short term solutions can often provide long term responses to systemic problems. These REACTIONs address the pandemicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s testing and contact tracing needs, but also stand in support of a broader community or global missions including sustainability, social justice, and inequity.
COVID-19 testing and tracing solutions that embraced the temporary, mobile, and ever changing nature of the pandemic manifested as structures that are deployable. These REACTIONs build upon principles of adaptability wherein they can be quickly implemented to meet the needs of the immediate context. Each of the projects in this group realizes the fluctuating status of the virus as a priority for design and versatility.
Image Courtesy of Hannah Brostoff
Image Courtesy of Imani Jackson
Modular approach to swift implementation was conceived in the form of modular units that could be rapidly assembled and easily expanded to create a REACTION of the appropriate type and scale for the site. These REACTIONs provide standardized modules that may be quickly manufactured and readily available also making the pandemic’s status a priority for design and deployment.
In some instances, architecture’s presence to react to a temporary event is strengthened with forethought to ensure the structure’s long-term existence. The REACTIONs designed as permanent installations address community need, future expansion of transportation infrastructure, and even the scars left when permanence too is ended.
Image Courtesy of Matt Ehlers
Image Courtesy of Enzi Zhao
W H AT ARE SO M E OF TH E WAYS YOUR PROJE CT DIF F E R S FROM E X I STI N G C OVID -1 9 R API D TE ST I N G SI T E S ?
Unlike existing testing sites comprised of tents, the Mobile Protocol facilit y would be a fairly complex and technologically involved investment . Ideally, the benefits created from the mobilit y of the structure and the speed of the deployment process would justif y its complexit y. Imani Jackson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Deployable
Current testing centers are a product of quick , temporar y architecture rooted in panic and anxiet y. With the changing scenarios and deteriorating conditions, it looks like we are having a tough time containing COVID. The current test centers are makeshif t with materials that do not contain t he virus. Our project is designed keeping in mind the t ransitional nature of COVID. Our research was focused on exploring cardboard as the primar y material for construction which was unique and was less explored architecturally. Current needs include testing centers, but the future demands provision for vaccine centers. “Adaptabilit y ” is t he underlying concept of our proposal. Conver ting these testing centers into vaccine centers would be ideal. Our approach focuses on modular solutions which cater to the progressive and flexible architecture. We believe in efficient compact planning with clean division for the hot and clean zones. Rachita Ranjit & Ushma Karia – Modular
We used a phased response to approach the Boston public health crisis. Designing with phases allows immediate healthcare while also having the potential to greatly impact t he future of the communit y. We were happy to be a par t of the permanence series, as we desired to reimagine the future use of the RE ACTION center and its site for Chelsea, Massachusetts. Thinking beyond the immediate need for rapid COVID -19 testing and treatment , in this project , we have also explored how to make public spaces safe and friendly in the time of pandemics. Within the building, we added rest areas, more windows and natural light , and cour t yard views for our staff. Image Courtesy of Imani Jackson
Andi Saban & Prajak ta Gharpure – Permanent
My project is a permanent space that transforms into a new use post COVID -19. Because of the rapid need for testing centers, most are temporar y tents or repurposed hospital space that will disappear when testing is no longer needed. However, we have an oppor tunit y to design spaces that can be beneficial right now as testing centers and i n the future as infrastructure that is needed in our cities. Hannah Brostoff – Reaction with a Cause
HOW DO YO U PL AN TO U T IL IZ E YO UR RE ACTI ON (O R S I TE M ATE RI ALS) FO L LOWI N G COVI D -1 9 ?
COVID -19 testing centers will become memorials by removing some of the structures which reveal the voids initially created for structural stabilit y and utilit y purposes. Void memorial is an appropriate form to commemorate the deaths and human effor ts to fight the pandemic. Delnaaz Kharadi & Taisuke Wakabayashi - Permanent
Af ter the pandemic, my RE ACTION project aims to ser ve the communit y by conver ting into a food bank and communit y garden. The configuration of the circulation and program is meant to easily transition from a testing site to a food bank & communit y garden. Rosallie Howell - Reaction with a Cause
Image Courtesy of Delnaaz Kharadi & Taisuke Wakabayashi The Mobile Protocol can quickly be reconfigured into a mobile vaccination facilit y. The modular interior walls can be moved around to create new spaces, and the patient area can ser vice nearly any communit y in need of these ser vices. Imani Jackson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Deployable
I chose a site near one of the most vulnerable communities in Dallas. I would hope that my design could be offered to t his communit y for use as they see fit . That could mean continuing to provide general health ser vices or perhaps it could be transformed into a small school or communit y center. No matter the choice, the modular components allow for the design to be transformed as needed. Logan Whitley â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Modular
W H AT D O YOU T HI N K ABO UT T H E IL L I N O I S SCH OOL O F ARCH I T E CTURE C O L L A BO R ATI N G WI TH ME D ICAL P RO FE S SI ON ALS O N ST U DI OS SI M I L AR TO T H E R E ACTI ON SUM M E R STUD I O?
It was a ver y beneficial and unique oppor tunit y to receive feedback from medical professionals early on in the design process. It seems that we as students have so few oppor tunities to learn from other professions, or to learn about the mechanics of our own profession, for that matter. The school should absolutely be collaborating with medical professionals during studios centered on medical facilities. Imani Jackson – Deployable
I think it is a necessit y for architects to engage with other professionals. As an architect we design for our users and t he best way to understand them is to colla borate with t hem. Having medical professions for a health and well being studio not only helps us understand our users but also builds our communicative and obser ving skills which would place us on better levels in practice. Rachita Ranjit & Ushma Karia – Modular
I think it is always beneficial to collaborate with professionals in other fields for our studio projects. We will have to do this constantly in the real world, so gaining this experience now and learning how to ask the right questions will only help us be better architects in the future. Hannah Brostoff – Reaction with a Cause
COVID -19 testing center as a design project sits on an intersection of professional knowledge of the procedure of testing along with the responsibilit y of designing workable and efficient spaces. Working with professionals played an impor tant role in understanding the procedure of testing and impor tant medical terminologies. We learnt a lot from professionals about their firsthand experience of how medical procedures occur in realit y. The feedback on our designs was ver y insight ful and helped us detail our project to make it more functional. Delnaaz Kharadi & Taisuke Wakabayashi - Permanent
W HAT WAS T H E M OST E N JOYABLE PART O F T HE S U MM E R RE ACTI ON STUD I O?
I think the most enjoyable par t for me was the research on t he deployable structures. It was ver y much cool to find how designers have reacted to nearly similar problems earlier and how the different decisions in their designs have resulted in ver y much different outcomes. Shaahin Davami – Deployable
I most enjoyed the collaboration with Dr. Bliss and my peers. Dr. Bliss organized near daily breakout groups which allowed all of us to comment on each other’s projects in a more intimate way than a full class critique would. In addition, Dr. Bliss communicated with ever yone in a way that made her feel like a par t of our team rather than a boss /superior. She was open to any question and wasn’t afraid to say “I don’t know, let’s do some research!” Logan Whitley – Modular
The most enjoyable par t of the summer RE ACTION studio was the people I was able to work with and learn from. This was a tough class as well as a tough time outside of class, and my classmates and Dr. Bliss helped me get through it all with positivit y and hope. Hannah Brostoff – Reaction with a Cause
The experience that we had in Dr.Bliss’ studio was unlike any other (not because it was online, or in the summer, or only 8 weeks). From day one, we were all a team. We pooled our research together as students, had almost daily oppor tunities to critique other’s designs, and had reliable inspiration, encouragement , and understanding from Dr. Bliss. The oppor tunit y to have such a studio experience empowered us as young designers to take seriously the role of design in a world health crisis. We worked inc redibly hard without getting war y, sketched without complaining, and went through design iterations with fer vor. Andi Saban & Prajakta Gharpure – Permanent
Image Courtesy of Logan Whitley
W H AT I S TH E M OST B E N E F IC I AL TAK E -AWAY F ROM TH E SUM M E R R E ACT I ON STUD I O?
Despite it being such a shor t studio, we invested a lot of time into research throughout the entire studio. The studio topic was so unprecedented and relevant that it was necessar y in order to keep up with all the new information we were learning about the virus. I think the fact that our designs were grounded in research helped give us the credibilit y to defend our projects. I believe evidence -based design is beneficial to any project and I will definitely approach all future projects in this way. Jesse Han - Modular
Good designers and spaces are adaptable. I think it is always beneficial to collaborate with professionals in other fields for our studio projects. We will have to do this constantly in t he real world. So, gaining this experience now and learning how to ask the right questions will only help us be better architects in the future. Hannah Brostoff â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reaction with a Cause
Image Courtesy of Andi Saban & Prajakta Gharpure This summer’s RE ACTION studio has been an exciting learning process for the both of us. Little did we know about t he scientific specificities on the COVID -19 virus, testing procedures, and contact tracing processes. Also, before t his studio, we had not had the challenge of implementing t he idea of “deployable,” “modular,” or “temporar y.” Nor have we had to tediously defend a site selection with copious research to back up our decision. We are grateful to have been involved in this summer studio. Its exigent topic will continue to affect how we think about architecture as a solution. Andi Saban & Prajak ta Gharpure – Permanent
There are times that you may not have a lot of good samples of work for the subject of your design project . So, knowing how to study the problem and react quickly is definitely an impor tant skill which designers need. Shaahin Davami – Deployable
LEARNING FROM HOLLYWOOD A SEMINAR ON
ARCHITECTURE, CINEMA, ENVIRONMENT AND BEHAVIOR
KATHRYN H. ANTHONY, PH.D.
LEARNING FROM HOLLYWOOD
ACSA Distinguished Professor KATHRYN H. ANTHONY, PH.D. is the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s (UIUC) longest serving female faculty member. She holds a Ph.D. in architecture and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. The 2020-21 school year marks her 40th year teaching architecture. Her research has earned national awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), and American Institute of Architects (AIA). She received the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA). She has authored over 100 publications and five books: • Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places, (2017) • Shedding New Light on Art Museum Additions: Front Stage and Back Stage Experiences (co-authored with Altaf Engineer, 2018) • Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession (2001) • Running for Our Lives: An Odyssey with Cancer (co-authored with Barry D. Riccio, 2004) • Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studio (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991; 20th Anniversary Edition, 2012). Dr. Anthony has testified before the US Congress and served as international media spokesperson about gender issues in design on radio, television and podcasts, as well as major newspapers and magazines. The New York Times (April 13, 2009) featured her words as the Quotation of the Day. She has been invited to lecture at conferences and universities throughout the US and abroad. She teaches seminars in gender and race in contemporary architecture; social and behavioral factors in design; social and behavioral research methods in design; entrepreneurship in design, diversity, environment and behavior; and architecture, cinema, and environment and behavior.
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LEARNING FROM HOLLYWOOD: A SEMINAR ON ARCHITECTURE, CINEMA, ENVIRONMENT, AND BEHAVIOR KATHRYN H. ANTHONY, PH.D. ARCHITECTURE IN A STARRING ROLE
Memories of far-away places from our favorite films
remain with us all our lives, imprinted in our heads, ingrained in our hearts. Unforgettable movie scenes form our first impressions of distant locales such as the Greek islands, the African continent, or Beijing’s Forbidden City. Yet the average viewer is unaware of the powerful role that filmmakers and directors play in shaping how we perceive places and spaces and their unique impact on each of us. Architectural backdrops where film characters live, work, and travel offer hidden meanings, providing insights about psychological, social and cultural values that can have long-lasting social impacts. Haunting designs of horror homes, heists, and hideouts terrorize us. Just as directors create and reflect stereotypes about gender, age, race, and ethnicity, they also create iconic images and reflect stereotypes of buildings we routinely frequent like hotels, motels, cafes, and restaurants; institutional spaces like classrooms, courtrooms, and hospitals; as well as mysterious spaces we rarely set foot in like mental health care facilities, prisons, and
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convents. Fascinating scenes set in train stations and airports, stairways, mazes, and even restrooms, serve as symbolic spaces that reflect characters’ inner selves. Filmmakers and directors create iconic images, memorable spaces and places that spark viewers’ curiosities. Film destination tourism has intensified as audiences seek to recreate special experiences that first captivated them on screen, whether visiting inspiring natural scenery, famous urban landmarks such as hotels, bars, and restaurants, or celebrity homes. Hollywood works its magic in many ways including through architecture. Here background becomes foreground, and buildings, spaces and places shoot their way to stardom.
HOLLYWOOD WORKS ITS MAGIC IN MANY WAYS
EVOLUTION OF THE SEMINAR
For nearly a decade, my seminar, “Architecture, Cinema, Environment and Behavior” has offered fresh insights into the symbiotic relationships among these disciplines. The course challenges the traditional structure of architectural education by highlighting important links with the world of cinematic arts.
highlighting a film he is currently working on whose details are not yet released to the public. One-on-one, all students introduce themselves to Anshuman and then engage in a candid conversation. In 2019, Prasad made his first return trip to campus, providing a unique opportunity for students to meet him in person.
The seeds of the course originated in 2002 when I served as masters’ thesis advisor to Anshuman Prasad, a talented student newly arrived from India, and a lifelong film buff.1 Although he studied at Illinois for only one year, our mutual influence was long-lasting, sparking a collaboration now nearing two decades. Prasad’s thesis, “Beyond Mise En Scene: Narrative Through Architecture in Mainstream Cinema (1980-2002)” was one-of-akind, a comprehensive review of movies from various perspectives, including the influence of the physical environment on characters’ behavior and storytelling.2 While at Illinois, Prasad took advantage of his spring break to visit Los Angeles, where he interviewed some of Hollywood’s leading art directors and production designers. That trip served as his launch pad to the movie industry.
Longtime guest speakers have included UIUC film studies experts: Robert Baird, on the startle effect in cinema;4 Sandy Camargo on architecture and cinema in Italy, as seen in Cinema Paradiso, The Passenger, and L’Eclisse; Victor Font on the long sequence shot as seen in Birdman and Russian Ark; and course alumnus John Nelson on architecture and cinema: the real world of the imaginary. Every year Jamie Nelson and Robert Baird from the UIUC Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning provided critical technical assistance allowing us to engage in lively discussions with all our remote guests. Robert had also served on Anshuman’s master’s thesis committee, so each year our seminar is a special way for all three of us to reconnect.
Fast forward to today, when Prasad has now become one of Hollywood’s award-winning set designers, with over 30 major films and TV series to his credit, including The Hangover (2009), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019).3 I recently met with Anshuman for a fascinating in-depth conversation, a behind-the- scenes look at his stunning set designs for Maleficent. Our interview should appear in a subsequent publication.
I WILL NEVER VIEW A FILM IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN.
Every year Prasad appears via video conference at our seminar for two sessions: the first providing an overview of his career to date, and the second, a secret session
- EMILY KOESTER
Since 2012, I have taught this course every year as a graduate elective seminar. A total of about 120 students have completed it. In addition to the USA, students have hailed from across the globe including representatives from China, France, Germany, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Serbia, Spain, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Leibowitz, Ed. “Set master Anshuman Prasad.”Illinois Alumni. (January 27, 2016). https://uiaa.org/2016/01/27/set-master-anshuman-prasad/ Prasad, Anshuman. “Beyond Mise En Scene: Narrative Through Architecture in Mainstream Cinema (1980-2002).” Master’s Thesis. School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003. 3 “Anshuman Prasad.” International Movie Data Base (IMDB). https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1618791/?ref_=nmawd_awd_nm 4 Baird,Robert. “The Startle Effect: Implications for Spectator Cognition and Media Theory.” Film Quarterly 53:3 (Spring 2000), pp. 12-24. 2
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THIS CLASS HAS ALTERED THE WAY IN WHICH I WATCH MOVIES. I CAN NO LONGER JUST WATCH MOVIES. I AM ANALYZING THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CHARACTERS. I NOTICE THAT I AM MORE CONSCIOUS OF ALL THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OCCURRING SIMULTANEOUSLY IN THE MOVIE, INSTEAD OF JUST PAYING ATTENTION TO THE PLOT. - ROB DEERING
Anshuman Prasad Returns to Campus to Meet with Architecture and Cinema Seminar Champaign, IL, 2019 Image Courtesy of Kathryn H. Anthony
Living Among the Stars Antonius Viehmann
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Course objectives are to empower students to: • understand various links among architecture, cinema, environment and behavior. • identify and critically analyze major cinematic works where architecture, environment and behavior have played major roles. • become familiar with some leading authors on architecture and cinema.
• become familiar with some leading film directors who specialize in architecture, environment and behavior. • become familiar with experts on cinema and architecture on the University of Illinois campus. • present cinematic analysis and critique in a way that communicates effectively for design audiences.
ACT ONE: MOVIEMATCH.COM, DISNEY AND HITCHCOCK On the first day of class, we start with a question: What’s your favorite film of all time? It’s what I call “moviematch.com.” Within just a few minutes, students often discover movie soul-mates who share a passion for the same film-- a great way to break the ice. Student information sheets due at the start of the semester have revealed some fascinating surprises. For example, one student was a child star in TV commercials, which he later showed us in class. Almost all have been film buffs from a young age. No matter their country of origin, just about everyone grew up with Disney films. Many had made multiple visits—some as many as 10 times-- to Disneyland or Disneyworld, either in the US or abroad. We enjoy seeing students’ younger selves and their families posing for scenic photo ops at the Magic Kingdom. Among the required books for the course are journalist Carl Hiassen’s Team Rodent, an entertaining yet scathing critique of the Disney empire,5 Mark Lamster’s anthology on Architecture and Film,6 featuring a set of thought-provoking essays, and Steven Jacobs’ book,
The Wrong House: Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock,7 a comprehensive analysis of residential set designs that form the backdrop of Hitchcock’s suspenseful, iconic films. Jacobs has reconstructed floor plans of several Hitchcock set designs, including the Greenwich Village apartment in Rear Window, the penthouse apartment in Rope, and the Bates house in Psycho. These provide an in-depth look at how architecture and interior design both shape and reflect the characters of these classic films. A close reading of Jacobs’ work and a related class project about the design of Hitchcock homes inspire students to develop their final course projects. Students are required to participate in a private Facebook group that provides a user-friendly platform for communication throughout the term. This has proven to be a popular component of the course, allowing us to share up to date information, prepare, coordinate and discuss in-progress assignments, and to conduct peer evaluations of student work. It remains a convenient way to stay in touch long after the course is over.
IT REALLY IS A SEMINAR WHERE EACH INDIVIDUAL GETS A CHANCE TO ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT WE SEE AND WHAT DIRECTORS MAKE, USING ARCHITECTURE AS A MEDIUM. - DOOWON SON
Hiassen, Carl. Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World. NY: Ballantine Books, 1998. Lamster, Mark (ed.) Architecture and Film. NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000. 7 Jacobs, Steven. The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2007. 6
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ACT TWO: RAPID-FIRE COURSE ASSIGNMENTS Teams of students complete a series of rapid-fire biweekly assignments on a wide variety of topics, selected from the list below. They are encouraged to view films together so they can watch, pause, re-watch and discuss specific scenes. Multiple assignments are intended to spark ideas that can be expanded and refined as students develop proposals for their final course projects.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF AWARDS CEREMONIES AND FILM FESTIVALS: Students analyze the history of ceremonies such as the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Cannes Film Festival, the role that architecture plays behind the scenes, and the economic impact of these events on their host cities. Aaron deRoux and Joshua Downes analyzed the historic 1926 Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theater in Park City, Utah, longtime venue for the Sundance Film Festival, along with the new state-of-the-art theatre, The Ray, featuring a 500-seat custom built space and Dolby Atmos sound system, introduced in 2018. According to the Sundance Institute, the 2018 festival gathered 124,900 attendees, supporting 3,323 jobs, and raising a whopping $191 million in total economic impact for the state of Utah.8 Zachary Campbell, Phil Hietter, and Letizia La Spia studied settings for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Since 2005, awards ceremonies have been held at magnificent architectural venues including London’s Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall. Steffen West and his teammate Max Boehringer, then an exchange student from Munich, examined the Deutscher Filmpreis (German Film Awards), also known as the Lola Awards and the venues in which they have been held, including the Palais am Funkturm, a classic work of modernist architecture home to the 2019 awards ceremony. Shailee Dave, newly arrived from India, studied the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) recognizing Bollywood movies. Awards ceremonies have been held in Mumbai, India, and in several continents.
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FILM DESTINATION TOURISM: Students analyze how real-world architecture and landscapes have become meccas for destination tourism. Examples include the imposing McCallister house in Winnetka, Illinois featured in Home Alone; Cameron’s Modernist home in Highland Park, Illinois, showcased in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; the Corleone residence in Staten Island, New York featured in The Godfather; The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining—where Room 217 remains the most requested room; and the Crown Hotel in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England, which received a surge in bookings after the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral. ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS DEPICTED IN FILM: Students analyze key themes based upon directors’ use of a particular element across a number of films. Examples include windows, doorways, attics and cellars, stairways, elevators, escalators, ramps, restrooms, front porches vs. backyard spaces, corridors, lobbies, courtyard, and atrium spaces. For instance, students examine the importance of windows in Atonement, Room, Disturbia, Rear Window, and American Beauty. ARCHITECTURAL TYPOLOGY DEPICTED IN FILM: Students analyze, compare and contrast how one typology is depicted across several films. Examples include transit stations (airports, train stations, bus stations); service/hospitality (hotels, motels, restaurants, cafes), residential (single-family, multifamily), educational (schools, colleges, universities), healthcare (hospitals, mental hospitals, medical offices), workplace environments; courthouses and prisons. For instance, students study the architecture of mental health institutions in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; Girls, Interrupted; Gothika; It’s Kind of a Funny Story; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Shutter Island; and The Silence of the Lambs. Prison films include American History X, Escape from Alcatraz, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Experiment. Students analyze the architectural design of courtrooms, comparing the judge’s bench, jury seating, attorney table, spectator seating, defendant, and witness box in To Kill a Mockingbird, 12 Angry Men, And Justice for All, and JFK.
The Symbolism Behind the Steps Nineveh Rasho 8
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sundance Institute Brings $191 Million in Economic Impact to Utah with 2018 Sundance Film Festival.â&#x20AC;? Sundance.org. (July 17, 2018). https://www. sundance.org/blogs/news/2018-sundance-film-festival-economic-impact-report#:~:text=Park%20City%2C%20Utah%20%E2%80%94%20 The%20nonprofit,economic%20impact%20of%20%24191.6%20million.
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Cultural Insight of Bathrooms in Movies Richard Ignacz
Lockdown: Prison Architecture in Film John Dohse
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ARCHITECTS DEPICTED IN FILM: BEYOND THE FOUNTAINHEAD: Students analyze how architects are depicted in three films. Everyone is required to watch the legendary Howard Roark in the cult classic The Fountainhead. They then select two other films portraying architects in leading roles, either in fictional roles or documentaries. They compare and contrast how the physical environments reflect, shape, or influence characters’ behaviors. Fictional architects in leading roles include 12 Angry Men, (500) Days of Summer, The Architect, Housesitter, Inception, Indecent Proposal, The Lake House, Love Actually, One Fine Day, Sleepless in Seattle, and Three Men and a Baby. Documentaries about architects include Da Vinci’s World – Engineering an Empire, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?, and Philip Johnson: Diary of an Eccentric Architect. Among the architectural documentaries are Archiculture, The Dessau Bauhaus – about Walter Gropius, and the Siza School – about Alvaro Siza. THE ARCHITECTURE OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK: Students compare and contrast two Hitchcock films showcased in Jacobs’ The Wrong House: Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock, analyzing the relationships between environment and behavior in each along with the director’s use of framing, lighting, and other cinematic techniques. Students analyze pairs such as The Lodger and Psycho, Rope and North by Northwest, Dial M for Murder and Rebecca, The Birds and Rear Window, The Man who Knew Too Much and Vertigo, Under Capricorn and Marnie. For most students, this is their first introduction to Hitchcock films. Given the acclaimed director’s attention to the most minute architectural details, this assignment always turns out to be a favorite. ENVIRONMENT-BEHAVIOR IN INTERNATIONAL FILMS AND THEIR HOLLYWOOD REMAKES: Students compare relationships among architecture, environment and behavior in “twin” films: one produced abroad along with its Hollywood remake. With nearidentical plots, this assignment provides an ideal opportunity to compare how cultural differences in architectural design create, shape, or reflect characters’ behaviors. Twin films include Stanno Tutti Benne (Italian) 9
vs. Everybody’s Fine; Three Men and a Cradle (French) and Three Men and a Baby; Eat Drink Man Woman (Chinese) and Tortilla Soup; Infernal Affairs (Hong Kong) and The Departed; Shall We Dance? (Japanese vs. USA); Man Som Hatar Kvinnor (Swedish) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; La Cage aux Folles (French) and The Birdcage; Die Trapp Familie (Germany) and The Sound of Music. ENVIRONMENT AND BEHAVIOR IN INDEPENDENT OR INTERNATIONAL FILMS: Students analyze social, psychological, and cultural aspects of films created outside Hollywood, either by independent film directors or international directors. Among the international films studied are French directors Jacque Tati’s Mon Oncle and Playtime, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie and MicMacs a tire-larigot; and Indian director Mira Nair’s The Namesake. IMAGE OF THE CITY IN FILM: Students are asked to select a particular city and analyze the ways in which it is depicted in different films in light of Kevin Lynch’s criteria of edges, nodes, districts, paths, and landmarks spelled out in his classic book, The Image of the City.9 A team of students on exchange from Barcelona looked at how their city was portrayed in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Biutiful, and L’auberge Espagnole; a team of Chinese students analyzed Beijing in The Last Emperor and Farewell My Concubine. Others studied the image of Tokyo in Tokyo Story and Adrift in Tokyo; Paris in 2 Days in Paris, Amelie, and Moulin Rouge; and New York City in The Adjustment Bureau, August Rush, Escape From New York, New Jack City, Jungle Fever, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Fifth Element. EBERTFEST: Students attend the annual Ebertfest Film Festival held each spring at the historic Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign, introduce themselves to attendees, attend at least one film along with one panel discussion with directors, producers, actors, or film critics, and write about their experiences. It’s been a special pleasure to accompany my students to Ebertfest and to watch their jaws drop upon entering this beautiful architectural gem. Most had never set foot in the Virginia Theatre or a film festival before.
Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1960.
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ACT THREE: FAVORITE FINAL PROJECTS
Starting with a proposal, students submit their final projects in a series of iterations throughout the latter part of the semester, benefiting from extensive peer review. A short article potentially suitable for publication, a PowerPoint presentation, and a set of exhibit boards are required. What have been some of my favorite projects? Nineveh Rasho studied the role of stairways in The Artist, Doctor Zhivago, Death Becomes Her, Gone with the Wind, Psycho, The Shining, Titanic and Vertigo. In these films, stairways are settings for love and admiration, fear and anxiety, escape and refuge. Rachita Ranjit and Madina Akhmetova studied rooftops in Babyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Out, The Fountainhead, Her, Just Like Heaven, The Matrix, Sleepless in Seattle, and Vertigo. Richard Ignacz applied the lenses of culture and gender to examine how restrooms are portrayed in Bean, Dumb and Dumber, Hidden Figures, Mrs. Doolittle, Liar Liar, Psycho, Pulp Fiction, Scary Movie 2, and Shall we Dance? Shivayogi Gajare analyzed the architecture of heists in films such as The Bank Job, Die Hard, Foolproof, Inside Man, and Tower Heist.
THE COURSE HELPS YOU TO ANALYZE SITUATIONS IN DIFFERENT ARCHITECTURAL BACKGROUNDS. FOR INSTANCE, WE ALL WERE WONDERING WHAT GENRE TEMPLE BUELL HALL WOULD BE STAGED IN, AND WE HAD A LOT OF FUN PICTURING DIFFERENT MOVIE SCENES IN IT - RACHITA RANJIT
On Top: Rooftops in Cinema Rachita Ranjit and Madina Akhmetova
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Sushant Sapre analyzed the design of horror houses in American Horror Story: Murder House, Amityville Horror, Beetlejuice, The Conjuring, The Exorcist, The Innocents, Paranormal Activity, Psycho, Sinister, and The Uninvited. Dikshit Mahaveer Chand analyzed the architecture of fighting in The Karate Kid, Rocky II, Real Steel, Creed, and Dangal. Johnathon Nelson and Jezabel Cardenas analyzed the graphic design of Gotham City in several Batman movies spanning over two decades, starting with Batman through The Dark Knight Rises. Pratik Uchil explored the role of The Empire State Building in An Affair to Remember, Elf, Independence Day, King Kong, Oblivion, Sleepless in Seattle, The Amazing Spiderman and Superman II. Neeti Menon and Sayuj Srivastava studied mazes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Fall, Inception; as well as in animated films like Alice in Wonderland; Finding Dory; Inside Out; The Jungle Book; Monsters, Inc.; Spirited Away; and Trolls. Mazes have been a favorite topic for study in several iterations of this seminar.
COVID-19 Collage Yue Shi
Life These Days Madina Akhmetova Richard Moy studied set designs, computer generated imagery (CGI), and interior and exterior design elements in starships and terrestrial buildings depicted throughout multiple Star Trek films and TV series, comparing them with modern-day architectural designs of the era. He analyzed camera angles and movements, lighting and materiality, and how famous present-day landmarks are portrayed in futuristic utopian societies. Antonius Viehmann’s “Living Among the Stars” covered an in-depth analysis of environment-behavior in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Phil Hietter examined the architecture of superhero homes in film, how the home environment shapes and reflects characters in Iron Man, Batman Begins, Thor, Deadpool, Venom, Spider-man, Man of Steel, and Wonder Woman.
How to Survive a Horror House Sushant Sapre
ACT FOUR: A SEMINAR THAT SPARKS PUBLICATION
One of my favorite aspects of teaching this seminar is introducing students to the world of publishing and the chance to see their names in print for the first time – hopefully providing an incentive for more to come. I always encourage students to investigate original, thought-provoking topics that have potential to reach a large audience outside of class. And once the course is over, I have followed up with selected alumni whose projects did just that. I’ve worked closely with former students to help revise, edit, update and expand upon some of the best final projects, a labor-intensive process that in some cases took only a few months, while in others, a few years. Once we polished up the manuscripts and illustrations, often
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Alfred Hitchcock’s “COVID” Rachita Ranjit
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creating powerful new images that had not yet been developed in class, I’ve pitched them to editors, and again worked closely with them to rework the pieces as needed. Although not all of my pitches were successful, overall our efforts have proven well worthwhile. Together we collaborated on some exciting publications. Aaron Merchant, Emily Koester, and I co-authored a piece about modern homes in American movies, television, and advertisements. In it, we examine images of modern homes in films such as American Psycho, A Clockwork Orange, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Wall Street, and TV series Parenthood and Modern Family. We presented our paper at a theory of architecture conference in Istanbul, Turkey, where it received an enthusiastic response and was published in the conference proceedings.10 Robert Deering, Curt Pratt and I co-authored a piece on “Why Hollywood Needs to Change its Conception of ‘The Architect,’” published in ArchDaily.11 Erik Butka, Meagan Calnon and I wrote another piece for ArchDaily, “’Star’ Architects: The Story of Four Budding Architects Who Made It in Hollywood,”12 also reprinted in The Huffington Post. Anshuman Prasad played a starring role in our article. Yet another ArchDaily publication was co-authored with Anastasia Sekalias, “4 Lessons Pixar Films Can Teach Us About Architecture,” a piece that attracted thousands of hits on social media, more so than any of my other publications at the time—proof that simply picking the right topic is half the key to success.13
The most recent outgrowth from our seminar, a product of my sabbatical leave, was my co-authored publication with our former exchange student from Barcelona, Fernando Nebot Gomez, and his teammate Yashasvini Rao, entitled “From Gangster City to Gotham City: The Changing Image of Chicago in Films,” for ArchDaily.14 It’s a project that was in the back of my mind ever since I first saw their stunning graphics in class years ago. Collaborating with former students and watching their projects evolve-- from an initial germ of an idea, to a presentation for our small class, to a publication for a large global audience— is one of the most rewarding aspects of our seminar.
ACT FIVE: HITCHCOCK AND THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
In spring 2020, as our seminar was among the first to pivot from face-to-face to remote instruction, we invented a new assignment: Alfred Hitchcock resurfaces in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Students were asked to assume the role of the master director, to write a short narrative, and to create a scene capturing the emotions surrounding COVID-19. A few of the students’ jarring images are shown here. One can only imagine how Hitchcock, were he alive today, would capture this global health crisis. No doubt it will provide a wealth of material for future film directors, visual and performing artists, writers, playwrights, and musicians for generations to come.
10 Anthony, K. H., Aaron Merchant and Emily Koester. “Modern Homes in American Movies, Television and Advertisements: From a Culture of Paranoia to a Culture of Cool.” In Proceedings of the ARCHTHEO’12 Theory of Architecture Conference on House and Home From a Theoretical Perspective. Dept. of Architecture, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul, Turkey, October 31-November 3, 2012. 11 Anthony, K. H., Robert Deering and Curt Pratt. “Why Hollywood Needs to Change its Conception of ‘The Architect’.” ArchDaily (October 25, 2013). http://www.archdaily.com/441844/why-hollywood-needs-to-change-its-conception-of-the-architect/ Article Editor’s Choice Film. 12 Butka, Erik, Meagan Calnon, and K. H. Anthony. “”Star” Architects: The Story of 4 Architects who Made it in Hollywood.” ArchDaily (June 19, 2013). http://www.archdaily.com/388732/star-architects-the-story-of-4-architects-who-made-it-in-hollywood/ Article Editor’s Choice Film; Reprinted as Butka, Erik, Meagan Calnon, and K. H. Anthony. “Hollywood Architects: The Story of Four Budding Architects Who Made It In Tinsel Town.” The Huffington Post (June 19, 2013). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/star-architects-the-story-of-four-architects-whomade-it-in-tinsel-town_n_3465042.html 13 Sekalias, Anastasia and K. H. Anthony. “4 Lessons Pixar Films Can Teach Us About Architecture.” ArchDaily (October 17, 2015). http://www. archdaily.com/771987/4-lessons-pixar-films-can-teach-us-about-architecture 14 Anthony, K. H., Fernando Nebot Gomez, and Yashasvini Rao. “From Gangster City to Gotham City: The Changing Image of Chicago in Hollywood Films,” ArchDaily. (February 8, 2020). https://www.archdaily.com/930654/from-gangster-city-to-gotham-city-the-changing-image-of-chicagoin-hollywood-films
LEARNING FROM HOLLYWOOD
STAR TREK: The Motion Picture (1979) Budget: $49 million Box Office: $139 million Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols
STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine (1993-99) Seasons: 7 Starring: Avery Brooks, René Auberjonois, Terry Farrell, Cirroc Lofton Colm Meaney
The crew of the newly built Enterprise-A investigate a foreign unknown object in the remote parts of space and uncover a sinister plot by an alien race.
The entire series takes place on a Space Station near Bajor, and constantly battle to defend the station.
STAR TREK: Generations (1994) Budget: $35 million Box Office: $118 million Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, William Shatner, James Doohan, Walter Koenig Two captains, Kirk (William Shatner) of the original Enterprise and Picard (Patrick Stewart) of the Enterprise D team up stop a villain from changing the course of history.
STAR TREK: Insurrection (1998( Budget: $58 million Box Office: $117 million Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis
STAR TREK (2009) Budget: $150 million Box Office: $386 million Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin
The crew of the Enterprise attempt to stop Data from interfering with a peaceful race of people, but in doing so, discover the planet has strange side effects, such as aging reversal.
The new novice crew of the Enterprise are formed and take on their first assigned mission – to boldly go where no man has gone before.
STAR TREK: Beyond (2016) Budget: $185 million Box Office: $343 million Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin The crew of the Enterprise find themselves in a mysterious world, and must find a way to escape. They are aided by other individuals also trapped on the planet.
LINKING PAST AND FUTURE IN ARCHITECTURE & ENVIRONMENT BEHAVIOR ROBERT J. MOY, ARCH 576 AC, SPRING 2018 STAR TREK IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Budget: $21 million Box Office: $133 million Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols
STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) Budget: $30 million Box Office: $96 million Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols
The crew of the Enterprise go back in time to 1980’s San Francisco to prevent a change in history.
The crew of the Enterprise-A discover that several rogue crew members attempted to sabotage peaceful negotiations for peace with the Klingon Empire. Kirk and McCoy are wrongly accused of assassination of a Klingon chancellor.
ROLE OF ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN ELEMENTS IN STARSHIP AND ON TERRESTRIAL BUILDINGS AS IT RELATES TO ENVIRONMENT & BEHAVIOR.
STAR TREK: First Contact (1996) Budget: $60 million Box Office: $67 million Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis The Next Generation crew take the Enterprise-E for a spin and learn that the Borg traveled back in time to 2060’s Earth to change history and prevent first contact with extraterrestrial life. The crew successfully stops them and reverts the damage.
STAR TREK: The Next Generation (TV series) Episode years: 1987-1994 Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis
STAR TREK: Voyager (1995-2001) Seasons: 7 Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Tim Russ, Robert Duncan McNeil, Garrett Wang, Jeri Ryan
“The continuation of the Enterprise-D onto new adventures with a new crew. To explore strange new worlds and new civilizations and to boldly go where no man who gone before.”
The crew of Voyager are stranded in the far reaches of the galaxy, and undertake an estimated 75-year journey home.
ANALYZING FUTURE ARCHITECTURAL STYLES FOR INCORPORATING STYLES & ELEMENTS FROM THE PAST.
STAR TREK: Into Darkness (2013) Budget: $185 million Box Office: $467 million Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin
STAR TREK: Nemesis (2002) Budget: $60 million Box Office: $67 million Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis
After a terrorist attack in London in the 2250’s, the crew of the Enterprise must stop the architect of the attack – Khan – from destroying other parts of Earth.
The crew of the Enterprise embark on their final journey – testing the limits of their abilities.
DEPICTING FAMOUS PRESENT-DAY FAMOUS LANDMARKS AND THEIR SIGNIFANCE IN A FUTURISTIC UTOPIAN SOCIETY.
ROLE OF CAMERA ANGLES AND MOVEMENTS, LIGHTING & MATERIALITY IN REINFORCING/ENHANCING THEMES OF THE FILMS.
Star Trek “Original Series” (1966-69)
Star Trek “Generations” (1987-94)
Star Trek “Generations” (1987-94) http://startrekspace.blogspot.com/2010/12/naked-now-tng.html
Star Trek “Original Series” (1966-69)
Star Trek “Original Series” (1966-69)
The crew of the USS Enterprise take on new discoveries, explore strange new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.
Star Trek “Generations” (1994)
Star Trek “Generations” (1994)
Star Trek “Original Series” (1966-69)
STAR TREK: The Original Series (1966-69) Seasons: 3 Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols
The interior of the USS Enterprise D’s bridge (cockpit) has interior design elements and styles derived from the 1980’s. Neutral tones, crème whites, skylights were all incorporated into the design. Wood accents, which were also popular in the 1980’s interiors, were also used in the set. This is also complemented by the crew of the ship, which are also wearing uniforms with colors popular from the 80’s, such as maroon, yellows, and dark blues. In terms of Environment & Behavior, the lighting plays a crucial role in reminding crew members about the current ship status. If it’s a neutral white color, there is no alert. If it’s red, it indicates the ship is currently under red alert and all crew members must report to their stations. The 1980’s was a time when pastel colors, light neutrals and soft tones were used excessively in interior design in commercial and residential buildings . Wood accents and trim were also used to complement the design.
In The Original Series (TOS), the USS Enterprise’s bridge (the control room of the space vessel) resonates with a mixture of 1960’s interior design with futuristic and modernism design elements. The futuristic-looking seating, control panels, consoles and walls seem to have been married with bright and vivid primary colors, and wood accents, which were all characteristic of popular interior design styles during the 1960’s. Crew members enter through the rear, and a curved guardrail typically wraps around the rear half of the room in which crew members must walk around in order to get to their assigned station. The overall design of the room forces crew members to face the front of the bridge. The futuristic-looking seating, control panels, consoles and walls seem to have been married with bright and vivid primary colors, and wood accents, which were all characteristic of popular interior design styles during the 1960’s
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA
Star Trek “Into Darkness”
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek “Into Darkness”
Star Trek “Into Darkness”
YEAR: 2250’s A.D.
The Golden Gate Bridge is always in the background in all scenes depicting a future San Francisco in the 23rd century. It adds a sense of familiarity to the scene, reminding the audience of the city’s history. It is also used as an iconic symbol representing history and culture of the former country United States in a futuristic utopian intergalactic society. With so many films depicting missions conducted in many far-away foreign planets and interactions with aliens from distant civilizations, it would definitely be beneficial to use a familiar landmark to establish a reference point for “home”. If we consider the context of Silicon Valley, it is the technology capital of the world, and hub of scientific and technological advancements.
STARFLEET ACADEMY, CALIFORNIA, USA
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
RIVERSIDE, IOWA, USA
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek (2009)
YEAR: 2250’s A.D.
Star Trek (2009)
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek (2009)` https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlphfLO3MYA http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Riverside_Shipyard
The quaint and secluded rural Midwestern town of Riverside, situated in the heart of Iowa, may not be known to many people, but the introduction of Star Trek placed this small town of just 1,000 people into public consciousness. The creators of Star Trek named it the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, and in the film Star Trek (2009), and Into Darkness (2013), the small town has been transformed into a large starship factory and shipyard in the Star Trek universe. The towering and futuristic-looking smokestacks portray a dark and industrial look-and-feel to the atmosphere. As a young Captain James T. Kirk approaches the factory in his motorcycle, he encounters a jungle of pipes, conduits and wiring that make up this large scale construction yard. Camera angles swerve in and out of these pipes, giving the audience a sense of awareness of the magnitude and scale of such starship construction projects. The scene is strikingly similar to the many depictions of the 20th century.
The future San Francisco is reminiscent of other future utopian films, with its wide streets and towering skyscrapers. Common materials used in almost all earth buildings in Star Trek films and TV series include glass, metals, simple lines and forms. Even in interior scenes, large expansive curtain wall glazing give people inside a complete view outside, and conversely, allow people outside to look inwards. The large expansive exteriors immediately outside Starfleet Headquarters as well as future San Francisco allow us to see everything around us, and the streets as well as pedestrian sidewalks are visibly wider than present-day San Francisco. This allows the chracters to freely roam around. In Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), Khan deliberately crashes the USS Vengence and takes off running in the streets of future San Francisco, where is pursued by Spock. The wide streets, coupled with towering skyscrapers and obstacles allow Khan to easily disguise himself and blend in with the crowd. However, because of the expansive curtain walls lining the base of many of the buildings, Spock easily locates him.
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
Star Trek “Into Darkness” (2013)
YEAR: 2259 A.D. In many scenes, the camera pans around the dark exterior finishes of both the existing “historic” buildings and the imaginative futuristic skyscrapers in order to create a sense of darkness and gloom in the scene. The interior hallway is very bureaucratic and authoritarian, with its Doric columns and large volume spaces. It makes the characters feel as it they are small and insignificant. However, more familiar landmarks are still visible, such as the London Shard , Big Ben and some of the 18th century vernacular. In a futuristic world so seemingly foreign for us in the present-day, the sight of familiarity adds a level of comfort to viewers, assuring them of the continuation of civilization and humanity well into the distant future.
• LARGE EXPANSIVE GLASS VOLUMES ALLOW CHARACTERS TO SEE THROUGH AND HAVE MORE SPATIAL AWARENESS. IT IS ALSO A SECURITY FLAW, AS SEEN IN STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS (2013) - STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS (2013), STAR TREK (2009) • GLASS CURTAIN WALLS ARE A PRIME FOCUS OF MANY SHOTS IN THE FILMS, AS THEY SHOW THE FUTURISTIC UTOPIAN SOCIETY IN THE BACKGROUND.
TNG: “We’ll always have Paris”
TNG: “We’ll always have Paris”
YEAR: 2290’s Perhaps the most iconic piece of architecture in all of France, and arguably in the entire continent of Europe, is the Eiffel Tower. It is depicted in pristine condition in all Star Trek movies/TV series in the background of many scenes. While the Eiffel Tower stands tall and prominent in the background in all camera angles, the present-day surrounding buildings, however, are seemingly replaced by sleek futuristic highrises. The importance of the iconic Parisian landmark is emphasized visually through camera angles and its position is obvious and very conspicuous. But what was the purpose of doing this? This was essential in that all the directors of Star Trek all wanted to convey to the audience that their vision of “future” cities still contain rich history, culture and heritage of their respective nations, especially in architecture. They want to show the world that the future can be a place where people can have their own national identity, but can also be a part of a united global community.
ROBERT J. MOY, ARCH 576 AC, SPRING 2018
Star Trek: Linking Past and Future in Architecture and Environment Behavior Robert Moy
LEARNING FROM HOLLYWOOD
GOTHAM CITY: A GRAPHIC ANALYSIS 1989
http://wallpapersprison.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Batman-Movie-Wallpapers-Wide.jpg www.imdb.com http://user48769.vs.easily.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/batman1.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/23/Gotham_skyline.JPG http://www.angelfire.com/film/batman/movies/returns/design/gothamplaza.jpg http://xelias.yagg.com/files/batman-returns-inside3.jpg http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com http://i.imgur.com/QFU3e.png http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://mygeekblasphemy.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/ http://mygeekblasphemy.com http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.centives.net http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.vfxtalk.com/newsimages/ http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://41.media.tumblr.com/ http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/7/11/1342018184544/The-Dark-Knight-Rises-008.jpg https://reviewbutter.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/the_dark_knight_rises_2012_gotham_new_york_city_bridge_explosion.jpg
Gotham City: A Graphic Analysis Johnathon Nelson and Jezabel Cardenas
LEARNING FROM HOLLYWOOD