Dean, College of Architecture | Graduate School of Architecture
E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration
Graduate students: 285
Undergraduate students: 180
Master of Architecture students: 227
Master of Urban Design students: 24
Master of Landscape Architecture students: 33
Master of Science students: 1
Students in Helsinki: 24
Students in Florence: 11
"In recent years, a number of urban projects in Europe have fallen between the traditional categories of landscape and urbanism. These works signal a shift of emphasis from the design of enclosed objects to the design and manipulation of larger urban surfaces. They also indicate a renewed interest in the instrumentality of design—its enabling function—as opposed to representation and stylization. Here, the term landscape no longer refers to prospects of pastoral innocence but rather invokes the functioning matrix of connective tissue that organizes not only objects and spaces but also the dynamic processes and events that move through them. This is landscape as active surface, structuring the conditions for new relationships and intersections among the things it supports."
—Alex Wall from "Programming the Urban Surface"
Alex Wall joins us as for the semester as a visiting professor in urban design. Alex received his diploma at the Architectural Association in London and worked for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), among other firms. Currently he is a principal in the design firm UMnet, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. The firm specializes in projects ranging from interior design and architecture to urban design and planning with a focus on the intersection of urbanization and climate change. Professor Wall recently stepped down as chaired professor of urban design at the Institute for Urban and Landscape Design at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
Continuing as the Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor is Alfredo Payá, who will teach an option studio in the graduate architecture program. Dimitrius Gourdoukis, an alumnus of graduate architecture and practicing architect and professor, joins us from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece. Dimitrius will be teaching an architecture digital option studio. Other continuing visitors include Peter Stempel, Elena Cánovas, Jesse Vogler, Andrew Colopy, and Stephen Mueller. Robert McCarter and Adrian Luchini will be on sabbatical and continuing on leave for the semester are Christine Yogiaman, Ken Tracy, and Kathryn Dean.
Dr. Ted Krueger, associate professor of architecture at Renssealaer Institute, will lead the Laskey Charrette, which will kick off at the All-School Meeting Friday, Jan. 17. The charrette, funded through an endowment in the name of Architecture Professor Emeritus Leslie Laskey, is a two-day workshop and exhibition of projects developed by teams of sophomore architecture students with the assistance of Dr. Ted and the sophomore faculty. The projects will be exhibited Sunday afternoon in Steinberg and all are invited to attend; $1,000 in awards and book prizes will be given. Ted received his PhD from RMIT and his Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University following graduate work in architectural history at the University of Chicago and an eclectic undergraduate education in the social sciences and the arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Oliver Schulze, with Schulze + Grassov Urban Design Studio in Copenhagen, returns to teach the spring break urban design workshop in London with John Hoal, chair of urban design. The workshop, open to all advanced undergraduates and graduate students, will introduce participants to the Public Life Survey methodology, focusing on public space design in London. Students will have the option to participate in a three-day optional tour of London led by John.
Eleven undergraduate students will be studying in Florence this spring under the direction of faculty member Zeuler Lima. Art, communication design, and fashion design students will join the program in new spaces that will foster interdisciplinary work across studios and history, language, and Commons course seminars. This is the first time that the entire cohort of architecture and art undergraduate students will be together in Florence for the semester.
Peter MacKeith will coordinate 24 students who will study in Helsinki this spring. Pentti Kareoja and Matti Rautiola will continue their work with the design studio, Sirkka-Liisa Jetsonen will teach history, Julie Scheu will teach furniture design, and Kimmo Friman will teach buildings systems. Long-time contributor to the program Juhani Pallasmaa will again be involved. An important part of the semester is the extensive professional office visits that give students an inside look at practice and design culture in Helsinki as well as the other Nordic countries.
Two faculty searches will bring candidates to the School for presentations and meetings with faculty and students. Heather Woofter chairs the international search for the chair of landscape architecture. The committee members are Eric Mumford, Seng Kuan, Natalie Yates, Kees Lokman, Ken Botnick (art), and student members Joanie Walbert and Ylan Vo. The search for two visiting assistant professors in architecture is co-chaired by Stephen Leet and Adrian Luchini. The committee members are Sung Ho Kim, Igor Marjanovic, Catalina Freixas, Arny Nadler (art), and a student to be determined. Please watch for the postings of public presentations and submit feedback to the committee members.
In the summer of 2012, Craig Dykers, partner and director of Snøhetta, an international architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design office based in Oslo, Norway, and New York City, chaired the jury for the biennial Steedman Fellowship Competition. The Steedman Fellowship, established in 1925, is supported by an endowment—given to the Sam Fox School's College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design—in honor of James Harrison Steedman, who received a degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in 1889. The memorial was established by Steedman's widow, Mrs. Alexaner Weddel, and Steedman's brother, George.
Dykers writes in the design brief for the competition: "With over half of the global population now living in metropolitan areas, the world is experiencing the greatest surge of urban growth in history. This intense growth has created new pressure on resources, as global and local societies increasingly struggle to adapt to urbanization's resultant ecological stress. Increases in poverty, conflict, and environmental degradation in both cities and rural areas have brought traditional developmental and design strategies under greater public scrutiny. As human density increases, we are seeing greater emphasis on dynamic processes rather than on objects and ideas as cloistered creations. Isolated learning and categorized education is giving way to collaborative dialogue and interactive development focused on creative and proactive approaches to complex problems. While it has, in the past, been considered useful to segregate skills and knowledge into neatly defined categories, these separations are now often seen as artificial and an impediment to more productive and adaptable proficiency. Nearly all forms of professional disciplinary organizations and pedagogies are changing. The arts and the sciences are merging with greater fluency; prediction and intuition are given equal consideration as contemporary challenges emerge. Cross-pollination and diversity of ideas, sources, and strategies are more common across a widening field of core studies and practices.
"Architecture, art, and design are all a part of this profound change; often they are the catalysts for new methods of thinking in other professions. A university building for advanced understandings of architecture and art can have pride of place in presenting these values, which are essential for a sustainable and healthy future. A new graduate building at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is envisioned to emerge from this context of change and catalyst."
The goals for the new building described in the competition brief read:
• Design a built environment for architecture, art, and design education that engenders multiple opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning, the collaborative discovery of new knowledge, and the practice of creative activity using space, place, and adjacency to facilitate and inspire these activities.
• Envision a net-zero energy facility that maximizes opportunities for users to actively participate in sustainable practices.
• Cohesively complete the east end of the Washington University campus and the Sam Fox School's "ensemble" of buildings through responsive building design.
• Achieve through contemporary landscape design a reinvigoration of the University's original intertwined, hybrid campus typology of built form and landscape architecture.
The program for the building was described as a new architecture and art building for the Sam Fox School that would be a laboratory for advances in interdisciplinary architecture, art, and design practice and instruction. The program included: Studios for graduate and undergraduate architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, graduate art, and graduate interdisciplinary design; faculty and administrative offices; auditorium and classrooms; exhibition, critique, and review spaces; digital fabrication and technology spaces; social spaces; and carefully considered exterior spaces.
The Steedman completion drew submissions from around the world and helped our thinking about what a new building for the school and the university could be. The inspiring and generous lead gift for the building, given by Anabeth and John Weil, has jump-started the fund-raising efforts, allowing two important steps toward the realization of the building to begin. The first is the development of a visioning study, which will provide an important context for the programming of the building. This project will be led by Professor of Practice Eric Hoffman and will include meetings with faculty and students; the compilation of the various planning studies and design proposals such as the Steedman entries; and coordination of university plans for the lower Danforth campus, which include the development of underground parking and the creation of a major new public space for the campus in front of Brookings Hall. Second, we will begin the process for selecting an architect and design team. The first step will be a request for qualifications from design firms, from which a subset will be asked to submit a more detailed proposal. A short list of firms will then be selected and invited to campus in the fall of 2014 to meet with stakeholders, make public presentations, and meet with the selection committee. The selection committee, appointed by the Chancellor, will include members of the board of trustees, myself and Dean Colangelo, and faculty and student representation. Members of the committee will visit the firms' offices and tour representative projects. The selected team will do both an in-depth program development and design for the new building, which is slated to be completed within the next five years.
More than five years ago, the university approved the 10-15 year strategic plan of the Sam Fox School, titled "Design for Excellence." The mission reads in part:
The unique structure of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts allows us to build on the strengths of each unit and draw on our combined energies and the resources of Washington University, to chart innovative directions, create new knowledge, advance the theory and practice of our field, and address the social and environmental challenges of our time.
Buildings and landscapes embody aspirations; they connect us to our history and our place through the future experiences they anticipate. They separate us from our environment and reconnect us to light, wind, water, and each other. Chartres Cathedral defies gravity to show us how stones can fly, and standing under the oculus of the great dome of the Pantheon you can see the earth move. The weight of stone, the horizon of a landscape, or the glass wall that reflects our desire to know where we are constitute a degree of magic where substance becomes poetic. As Otavio Paz, the Mexican poet has suggested, the work of the poet [architect] is to find those metaphors [of material imagination] that allow us to share experience. When shared these experiences let us know that we are in this together.
Have a great semester!
Bruce Lindsey, Dean