Taubman College

Ph.D. in Architecture / Symposia, Conferences, and Other Events

In addition to coursework, the Ph.D. in Architecture offers and supports events that contribute to the education of its students. These include those organized by the program and by students. Funding from the S.C.A. Paraskevopoulos Memorial Fund enables the college to bring distinguished scholars to participate in these events. The program also supports the participation of students in professional and academic conferences.

The Doctoral Symposia occur every year over the course of a semester. Organized by the Ph.D. coordinator and students, distinguished visitors, are invited to deliver a public lecture, open to all, as well as a seminar solely for doctoral students and faculty. Initiated in 2007-08, the inaugural speakers were Werner Sobek, Jonathan Hill, and Reinhold Martin, followed the next year by Keith Besserud, David Leatherbarrow, and Nancy Stieber. The intent of the Doctoral Symposia is to engage speakers whose work crosses over two or more of the areas represented in Doctoral Studies and by the professional M.Arch. degree, thus promoting interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration among students and faculty.

Every few years, with the support of Taubman College, students organize an Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. These began in 2005 with "Homeland(s) in Question-Relocating 'Europe' in the Spaces of Cultural Negotiation", followed three years later by "Global Suburbs: Discussing International Metropolitan Expansion." The most recent conference, "The Lean Years: Infrastructure, Dwelling & Sustenance" was held in March 2011. The Lean Years event website is located at theleanyears.wordpress.com. The purpose of these student-initiated conferences is to create a forum for Architecture and Urban Planning doctoral students, both within and from outside the University, to discuss an issue of particular relevance to current students in Doctoral Studies.

Students have also organized Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops on their subjects of interest. These include "Classics and Architectural History" (2006-07) and "Reproducing Suburbia: Planning Retirement in Sun City, Arizona" (2008). These workshops include discussion groups, as well as lectures by speakers invited from other institutions.

Students organize other events, in collaboration with doctoral students in the Urban and Regional Planning, through the student organization, Planning and Architectural Research Group (PARG). This group was created by students in 2005 to facilitate a collegial environment between the two doctoral programs and to increase opportunities for academic service and research within the college. Most recently the lectures series "Emerging Voices" was created, with the support of Doctoral Studies, to bring younger researchers and scholars to the college in order to share their work with the students.

Once a semester, P+ARG students organize a Casual Colloquium event where doctoral students from both Urban Planning and Architecture convene to share current research in a casual atmosphere. These events not only offer an opportunity to socialize, but also to experience the expansive variety of doctoral-level research that is taking place in our college.

Outside the university, students as well as faculty participate in national and international conferences of professional and academic organizations by delivering papers and posters, organizing sessions, as well as serving on panels. These organizations include the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), the International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF), Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC), Urban History Association, and the Space Syntax Symposia. Students' travel to participate in such venues is supported by Rackham Graduate School and Doctoral Studies in Architecture.