Taubman College Announces Fisher, Netherlands & Saarinen Visiting Professors

Taubman College welcomes the following fall 2009 named visiting professors:

Max Fisher Visiting Professors

Los Angeles architects Eric Kahn and Russell Thomsen, formerly of COA (Central Office of Architecture)—now IO (IDEA Office), will be the Fall 2009 Max Fisher Visiting Professors. Since 1987, their work has sought to engage a range of issues, from architecture and urbanism to technology and design.

Their recent work includes the donor wall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the lobby of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the winning entry in the Dead Malls Competition, a new student services building at Los Angeles Community College, the VPM prototype for the Dwell Home Invitational, and a series of compelling single family houses in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo.

They were finalists in a housing competition for Livable Places, and the recipient of both the Young Architects Award and the Emerging Voices series sponsored by the Architectural League of New York. A monograph of their work was published in 1997.

Their work has been exhibited and published internationally, and is part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Kahn and Thomsen are both senior faculty members at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and have taught at various other schools throughout the U.S., Europe, and in Japan.

The Netherlands Visiting Professor of Urban Planning

Henco Bekkering will join the urban and regional planning faculty this year as The Netherlands Visiting Professor of Urban Planning for fall 2009. He studied architecture at the School of Architecture of the University of Arkansas in the United States of America as a Fulbright Scholar and at the School of Architecture in the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Until recently he was the senior partner of HKB stedenbouwkundigen/urbanists Groningen Rotterdam for which he will continue to act as advisor. HKB works on all levels of scale of urban planning and design, integrating technical, social, political, economical and legal aspects, stressing contextualism, meaning and historical continuity in urban design.

Since 1995 he has been a professor of urban design in the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University in Delft. His areas of interest include city form and morphology, the relation between architecture and urban design (in large urban projects), exterior and interior public space, the integration of infrastructure in cities, and pedestrian use of city centers. Together with his colleagues in Delft he established the International Forum on Urbanism or IFoU which brought together universities in Europe and the Far East including Tsinghua University in Beijing and the National Taiwan University in Taipei for further development of the discipline of urbanism internationally.

Eliel Saarinen Visiting Professor

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA practices architecture in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and serves as professor of architecture at the University of Arkansas. Working outside the architectural mainstream, his architecture is based in design strategies that celebrate vernaculars and that draw upon them, and that seek to transgress conventional boundaries for architecture. Work produced in his professional office, Marlon Blackwell Architect, has received national and international recognition, numerous design awards and publication in books, architectural journals and popular magazines including Architectural Record (with the honor of having the Keenan TowerHouse featured on the cover of the February 2001 issue), Architect, Arquine, A+U, Detail, Dwell, Metropolitan Home, Contract, Residential Architect, Architectural Review (2002 ar + d prize winner for the Moore HoneyHouse) and The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary Architecture (2004 & 2008).

His residential projects are featured in design books including Masters of Light, New Country House, Houses of Wood, Private Towers, House: American Houses for the New Century, The New American House 3, and The New American Cottage. The significance of his contributions to design is evidenced by the publication of a monograph of his work entitled An Architecture of the Ozarks: The Works of Marlon Blackwell, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2005. Marlon was selected by The International Design Magazine, in 2006, as one of the ID Forty: Undersung Heroes and as an “Emerging Voice” in 1998 by the Architectural League of New York.

At the University of Arkansas he has co-taught design studios with Peter Eisenman, Christopher Risher and Julie Snow. He has been a visiting professor teaching graduate design at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

Most recently, he was the Ivan Smith Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida, the Paul Rudolph Visiting Professor at Auburn University, and the Cameron Visiting Professor at Middlebury College. He was the Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and has also taught guest studios at Syracuse University and Lawrence Tech University. In 1994, he co-founded the University of Arkansas Mexico Summer Urban Studio, and has coordinated and taught in the program at the Casa Luis Barragan in Mexico City since 1996. He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and a M.Arch. II degree from Syracuse University in Florence.