Historically, research and creative practice have been constructed as “opposites." This is not an unusual struggle in architecture schools, particularly in the context of a research university. Moreover, this perceived tension between design and research is indicative of an age-old struggle within the field of architecture to understand its own nature as an “applied art.” The boundary between the “art” and its “application” has always been an existential crisis for the field. In some instances, design can be a purely creative activity not unlike creative practices in music and art. In other cases, design can be a purely problem solving activity, not unlike research in engineering and industrial production. The boundaries between these activities are never clear, since their methods and techniques in the context of design are ultimately very similar.
The Research Through Making Faculty Research Grant Program at the University of Michigan seeks to set aside these struggles by acknowledging MAKING as the common denominator that cuts across the imaginary boundaries between design and research.
Faculty from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning competed for a limited number of grants. Entries were evaluated by a distinguished jury from outside the College that this year included Sarah Herda - Executive Director of the Graham foundation, Reed Kroloff -Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, and Catherine Seavitt-Northernson - Visiting Professor at Cooper Union.
The recipients of the 2009 Taubman College Research Through Making Grants were awarded last winter to:
Robert Adams, Spontaneous Mutations, Genetic Deletions, Adaptive Environments, and Assistive Technology in the Compression of Developmental Time
Josh Bard, Steven Mankouche, and Tsz Yan Ng, Digital Steam Bending
Karl Daubmann, In Search of the (w)hole
Nataly Gattegno and Jason Johnson, Aurora
Perry Kulper, Spatial Blooms + Here be Dragons
Keith Mitnick and Mireille Roddier, Heterogeneous Constructions
Please join the college in viewing the results of the first Research Through Making Grants at an evening reception. The exhibition will be open January 15 – February 4, 2010, in the College Gallery.