Geoffrey Thün is professor of architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and a founding partner in the research-based practice RVTR. His research and creative practice ranges in scale from 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 complex systems approach; one that articulates the multiplicity of actors, forces, and contexts surrounding a given situation and leverages these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents toward integrated and synthetic design work. His academic research has attracted external funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Power Authority, Guardian Industries, and Ford Motor Company.
Thün currently serves as Associate Vice President for Research: Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts at U-M’s OVPR where he works across a range of campus units and disciplines to catalyze new transdisciplinary research efforts oriented to address pressing societal, environmental and cultural challenges of our time. Thün previously served Taubman College as Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice from 2014-2021. He is co-director of the Urban Collaboratory, a consortium of internationally recognized researchers and designers from different U-M academic units who are focused on integrating smart-city technologies with urban design and who collaborate directly with city stakeholders to address targeted challenges that impact the livability of communities.
Thün’s research and creative practice has been published and exhibited widely. Honors 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), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Faculty Design Award (2012, 2014) and Research Contribution Award (2020), a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in the Practice of Architecture (2011), the Canadian Professional Prix de Rome (2009) and the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architect’s Forum Award (2008).
In 2016, RVTR represented Canada at the Biennale Architettura in Venice Italy and collaborated with Pierre Belanger to produce “EXTRACTION,” an exhibition centering Canada’s role in the cultural histories of international material extraction. RVTR’s “Infra Eco Logi Urbanism,” a solo traveling exhibition, was exhibited at the Centre de Design de l’UQAM in Montreal, Paul Crocker Gallery, Ryerson University in Toronto, Paul Rudolph Hall Gallery, Yale University, LRA Gallery, University of Michigan, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Ewing Gallery. A monograph of the project, Infra Eco Logi Urbanism: A Project for the Great Lakes Region (Park Books) was published in 2015.
Thün holds a Master of Urban Design from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo.