↑ top

University of Michigan Bicentennial

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning joins in the celebration of the bicentennial of the University of Michigan.

Architecture courses have been offered at the University since 1876, and architecture was recognized as a formal course of study when the program was established in 1906. Our faculty, students, and programming in the fields of architecture and urban planning continue to be an integral part of life at Michigan. Explore the history of the College.

To commemorate the University’s bicentennial year, Taubman College has organized a series of special programs looking at the past and then the future:


Lecture: Robert Fishman, "From the Office of the Dean: A look back and forward"

April 6, 2017

After serving as U-M Taubman College Interim Dean for the past one and a half years and before he takes a well-deserved one-year sabbatical, Robert Fishman will address the college from his architectural and urban planning vantage point. During his time in office, the college administration has stayed the course while the country's administration changed its course. The college and U.S. Department of State's "The Architectural Imagination" exhibition traveled from  the Venice Architectural Biennale in Venice and opened in Detroit. The university launched large new initiatives including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Poverty Solutions Initiatives, and is organizing the School for Environment and Sustainability. Join us as we thank Dean Fishman for his service and as we ask him to share a few final thoughts with us before he concludes the year.


Exhibition: "Persistent Pasts: The Bicentennial Campus as Archive"

April 10 – May 26, 2017
Taubman College Gallery, Room 2016 AAB

Opening presentation and reception: Friday, April 7, 6pm, AAB Auditorium (Room 2014)

Combining historical research and analysis from the students in lecturer Sarah Rovang’s “The Curated Campus” graduate seminar and the design output of associate professor Steven Mankouche’s “What If” Options Studio, Persistent Pasts reflects on the University of Michigan’s campus as a repository of memory. As U-M celebrates its bicentennial year, this exhibition asks how past traditions, tensions, and technologies have left material or cultural traces on campus space today. By laying bare rarely examined aspects of the historical university alongside radical designs for an unrealized present, Persistent Pasts asks us to question entrenched conceptions of what U-M should and could be, architecturally and institutionally. This exhibition is supported in part by a Bicentennial Activity Grant, co-authored by associate professor Claire Zimmerman and Sarah Rovang.

More about the exhibition can be found on persistentpasts.com


Exhibition: “Better Options, The Future Needs…”

September 22 - October 29, opening event Tuesday, September 19
Taubman College Gallery, Room 2016 AAB
Curators: studioAPT Associate Professor John McMorrough, Associate Professor of Practice Julia McMorrough and their Winter 2017 studios

Did anyone foresee the technical, social, political, and conceptual issues that have confronted the University of Michigan since its founding 200 years ago, or the challenges it has faced in the last 100, or 50, or even five years? In the marshaling of its knowledge and expertise, the greatest achievement of the University is not in its continuity, but in its ability to address the unforeseen. Looking forward, the University of Michigan will be unrecognizable, as will the world around it.

“Better Options, The Future Needs…” addresses a future that lies not in the answers to questions we now know, but in the questions we have yet to imagine. Sited at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning’s Liberty Research Annex, this exhibition is equal parts lecture hall and workshop, Agora and salon. The changing arrangement encourages the public to engage with a series of events, reports, and viewings involving architects and planners, as well as other thinkers who work on questions related to the future of the built environment (which, in the broadest definition of the subject, involves everyone and every subject) and participate in a speculation on unexpected futures. This is not a space of display (a history of past work), but a place of creation (of a future we do not yet recognize).

The past is easy, the future is hard; let’s make some better options.

Slide background
Slide background