Geoffrey Thün is Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. He is a founding partner in the research-based practice RVTR. He holds an M.UD from the University of Toronto, and a Professional BArch and BES from the University of Waterloo. Within the architecture program, he has taught design studios, courses in urban systems, sustainable site and landscape and material systems.
Thün's research and creative practice ranges in scale from that of the regional territory and the city, to high performance buildings, to full-scale prototype-based work exploring responsive and kinetic envelopes that mediate energy, atmosphere, and social space. These operational scales are tied together through a methodology that entails a complex systems approach; one that assembles around each project a multiplicity of actors, forces and contexts and leverages these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents towards integrated and synthetic design work. His academic research has attracted external funding from the U.S. Department of Energy / National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE/NREL), National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Research Council of Canada (NRCan), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Guardian Industries, Ford Motor Company and Wanxiang Group Corporation.
Thün's academic research and creative practice has been highly awarded, published and exhibited widely. Awards include two R&D Awards from Architecture Magazine (2010, 2016), a Journal of Architectural Education Best Design as Research Article (2013), the Architizer A+ Award Program's Architecture + Sound Jury Award (2013), an ACSA Faculty Design Award (2012, 2014), a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in The Practice of Architecture (2011), a Special Jury Prize from EcoStructure Magazine (2011), the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council for the Arts (2009-2010), a Young Architects Forum Award from the Architecture League of New York (2008), and a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence (2005). Critical writing and projects have been published in OASE Journal, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Leonardo, Volume, [bracket], MONU, New Geographies Journal, Journal of Architectural Education, and in book volumes published by MIT Press, Routledge, Taylor and Francis, Princeton Architectural Press and Jovis Verlag.
In 2016, RVTR collaborated with Pierre Belanger on EXTRACTION, representing Canada at the Venice Biennale. RVTR’s Infra Eco Logi Urbanism, a major solo traveling exhibition was exhibited at the Centre de Design de l'UQAM, Montreal (2013), Paul Crocker Gallery, Ryerson University, Toronto (2014), Paul Rudolph Hall Gallery, Yale University New Haven CT (2014), LRA Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (2015), and the Ewing Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (2015). A monograph of the project, Infra Eco Logi Urbanism: A Project for the Great Lakes Region, was published by Park Books, Zurich in 2015.
As Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice, Thün supports the College’s research enterprise, seeking to enhance the strength and vitality of research across the Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning programs. In this role he identifies new research opportunities, enables research collaborations, and facilitates partnerships among faculty both within U-M as well as with external partners and organizations. Thün is a co-director of the Urban Collaboratory, an outward-facing consortium comprised of internationally recognized researchers and designers across different University of Michigan academic units focused to integrate smart city technologies with urban design and collaborate directly with city stakeholders to address targeted challenges that impact the livability of communities. He currently serves the university on the Executive Board of Directors for mCity, and the Exercise & Sport Science Initiative.