Taubman College Faculty Present Design Research and Pedagogic Experiments at RE-Building: 98th Annual ACSA National Conference

Taubman College faculty Glenn Wilcox, Kathy Velikov, Geoffrey Thün and Stephanie Pilat will present work from their recent academic research and teaching at the 2010 ACSA National Conference in New Orleans, March 4-7, 2010. Wilcox will present “Assemblies and Aggregations: Design and Production of Variable Cast Units” in the session ‘Material Making: The Process of Precedent;’ Velikov will present “Conduit Urbanism: Opportune Urban Byproducts of Bundled Megaregional Energy and Mobility Systems” in the session ‘Intersecting Infrastructures: Public Works and the Public Realm;’ Thün will present “Building Capacity: Educational Transformation Through Advanced Design & Fabrication Research” in the session ‘Constructs and Concepts: Building in the Design Studio;’ and Pilat will present, ‘Ricostruzione Edilizia: The Postwar Neighborhoods of Ina-Casa Plan,” in the session, ‘Disaster as Design Moment in New Orleans and Beyond.’


What is the role of the building in architectural discourse today? As schools engage in cross-disciplinary dialogues that are essential to the expanded field of architectural practice, does the art and craft of building design remain central to our curricula? Sophisticated technologies now allow us to preview the appearance and predict the performance of proposed buildings. Our traditional conception of design is challenged as decision-making can be automated and building parts can be cut, routed or printed to exact tolerances. Yet the ecological, economic and cultural contingencies that surround each project are increasingly complex. Recent events have exposed the fragility of buildings as objects in the face of natural and man-made forces and the critical role of infrastructure has been made increasingly apparent.

The 2010 ACSA Annual Meeting will engage multiple themes associated with the changing art of building both as artifact and as process in architecture and related disciplines. The conference themes encourages debate on how we might balance traditional definitions of aesthetics, urbanism, preservation and construction with innovative practices that shatter the boundaries of architectural thinking.

These debates will be informed by the city of New Orleans. More than three years after Hurricane Katrina the process and results of the re-building efforts at work in this most vibrant and unique of American cities will be an important point of reference and topic for discussion.

For more information, see the ACSA website: