Degree(s) Earned
M.U.D. ’06, Ph.D. Arch ’14

Current Employer: University at Buffalo - School of Architecture and Planning

Hometown/Country: The Hague, Netherlands

Current City/Country: Buffalo, NY, United States

/ Alumni / Master of Urban Design, Ph.D. in Architecture,

Conrad Kickert

Assistant Professor of Urban Design

“The College is such an incredibly energetic and inspiring place — this still inspires me to create a similar kind of place in my own academic environment.”

Why did you choose Taubman College?

Taubman College had excellent resources to help me excel as a M.U.D. exchange student and as a Ph.D. student. The faculty has a tremendous amount of research experience in my field, and the University of Michigan library system is unprecedented. Ann Arbor is also a very inspiring place to live, meet others, and to learn.

Describe the work that you do.

After working in a variety of design offices, think tanks, and universities over the past 15 years, I now teach and conduct research on the relationship between buildings, society, and the city. As a university professor, I blend finding and creating new insights through my research with sharing these insights in classes with architecture and urban planning students as well as in presentations to professionals and academics.

What are some of the projects that you have worked on recently?

I have recently completed the book Street-level Architecture – The Past, Present, and Future of Interactive Frontages. This book studies why the relationship between buildings and the city have deteriorated so much at eye level, and what we can do as designers, developers, and citizens to improve our eye-level experience of cities and their buildings.

How did Taubman College prepare you for your career?

My time as a M.U.D. exchange student and Ph.D. student has fundamentally changed the way I look at the world. It has significantly expanded my horizons as a designer and scholar, providing me with new skills, insights, and discipline that I use every day of my current career. The College is such an incredibly energetic and inspiring place — this still inspires me to create a similar kind of place in my own academic environment.

What is an important lesson that has stayed with you from your time at Taubman College?

Think critically — which often means you need to take a perspective that doesn’t align with your colleagues or even your professor. Take every opportunity you can get to learn, not just from your own courses, but from visiting lecturers, your fellow students, and other faculty. Use the library to its fullest extent. Enjoy your time; you’ll remember it fondly.

What did you like best about attending Taubman College?

The incredible energy of the place! I have yet to find a more exciting and inspiring environment than the giant and buzzing studio that is at the heart of the College. But even in lectures, seminars, and one-on-one meetings, the College exudes an extraordinary sense of ambition, innovation, ethic, and drive to make the world a better place.