Some of architecture’s most provocative thinkers and practitioners will share their views of the field today and tomorrow as part of the School of Architecture’s annual fall lecture series.
For more than 20 years the School has brought these design leaders to campus, forging relationships with innovative firms and introducing students to the people who are moving the field forward, said School of Architecture Dean Will Wittig.
“We always look for individuals and firms doing exemplary and creative work,” he said. “And it’s not just about great design, we want people who connect with the philosophy of the school, especially in terms of community engagement.”
Alumni regularly attend the lectures, but the primary audience is current students, Wittig said. The speakers know that and their lectures are unguarded, designed to help students understand that the speakers were once students looking for their own design voice, too. “They give the students a sense of how they got to where they are, and the students really respond.”
The series begins Sept. 13 with Georgeen Theodore, principal and co-founder of the New York City-based architecture, landscape, urban design and planning firm Interboro Partners. She is also an associate professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and the director of the Infrastructure Planning Program.
The second event in the series is not a lecture, but an exhibition of the work of students who participated in the School’s study abroad program in Volterra, Italy. The city is known for its alabaster, and students in the program are taught how to carve the soft stone. This exhibition on Sept. 29 is part of the University’s Homecoming Weekend, Sept. 29-30.
Representatives from the Danish architecture firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects will speak as part of the events planned for the Detroit Design 139 Exhibition, running Sept. 13-Oct. 13. The exhibition will be of 20 completed, in progress and planned projects within Detroit and will be on display at 1001 Woodward in Detroit, near Campus Martius. This lecture is planned for Oct. 11.
An interactive panel discussion featuring the 2017 Detroit alumni of the Theaster Gates Place Lab Salon at the University of Chicago is set for Nov. 1. Place Lab is a catalyst for mindful urban transformation and creative redevelopment. This discussion is scheduled Nov. 1.
The series ends Nov. 13 with Billie Faircloth, a partner in the Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake, founded by James Timberlake ’74. Faircloth lectures at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and Harvard Graduate School of Design and is a visiting professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
A second lecture series is planned for the Winter term and those dates and speakers will be announced when they are finalized.
The series is made possible through partnerships with the Great Lakes Fabricators and Erectors Association, Bedrock Detroit, Detroit Creative Corridor Center, NOMA Detroit, AIA Detroit Santec, Smithgroup JJR, HamiltonAnderson, Strategic Energy Solutions, McCarthy & Smith, Inc., CAM and Gensler.
All events begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Warren Lorranger School of Architecture Building on the McNichols Campus, 4001 W. McNichols in Detroit. For more information, call 313-993-1533.