Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 6th Dec 2021, 09:03:57am PST

Session Overview
Date: Friday, 09/Apr/2021
8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_C3: Public Space, Parks and Performative Possibilities
Panel Moderator: Brian Sinclair

Ostenda Illuminata: A Socio-Ecological 1:1 Prototype for Networked Public Spaces

Mona El Khafif1, Andrew Mondschein1, Eric Field1, Luis Felipe Rosado Murillo2

1University of Virginia School of Architecture, United States of America; 2University of Virginia School of Data Science, United States of America

Deployments of sensor networks and control systems in public space are central to what has been called "Smart Cities." These deployments, often manifesting as technologies embedded within existing infrastructures, are championed as key drivers of more optimized and sustainable cities. However, hidden and unaccountable infrastructures can alienate citizens and undercut even the positive social goals “Smart City” projects claim to support, creating serious challenges for data protection and privacy. Grounded in a conceptual framework prioritizing meaning generation, imageability, open and responsive infrastructures, Ostenda illuminata (trans. revealed illumination) problematizes the implementation of “Internet of Things'' in urban public spaces. Sustainable, community-centered urban sensing technologies are not just a problem of technological choice and reliability but collective governance, process, and form of open sensor infrastructures and data. In this context, Ostenda illuminata is a prototype for placemaking in urban public spaces. Utilizing urban sensing to gather information about its environment, it responds in real-time patterns of illumination in situ as well as through online networks. Ostenda illuminata uses open and accessible technologies for sensing and technology-embedded architectural response elements that can be distributed variability within single or multiple public spaces. To underscore the problematic “monoculture” approach to embedded technologies currently dominant in Smart City design, Ostenda illuminata is conceptualized as a model for a legible social ecology of techno-material architectures, installations, and systems. By integrating forms, technologies, and processes within open networks that are legible and responsive to a diversity of individuals and groups, Ostenda locates a “middle ground” between infrastructural sensor fabric initiatives and bottom-up technological projects. The project identifies a critical role for designers within multi-disciplinary networks of governments, companies, and communities operating in the digital public realm and offers a model of networked public space that fosters meaning generation with openness and responsiveness for the broadest group of participants.

From String of Pearls to String of Parks: The Compelling Case of Doha, Qatar

Asmaa Saleh AL-Mohannadi1, Brian Robert Sinclair2, Raffaello Furlan1, Rashid Saad Al-Matwi2

1Qatar University; 2University of Calgary

Cities in the Arabian Gulf region have been increasingly global in perspective where the public realm and its components of streets, plazas and parks becomes dominant in the urban planning and design space, place, buildings, and landscapes. The present paper examines the changing approach to park design and place making in the Islamic City, using Doha, Qatar as an illustrative case. Since the discovery of oil and gas in the 1940’s, Doha has faced accelerating urbanization. With a spectacular transformation from a modest settlement focused on pearl fishing to a dynamic international city with outward reach and global impact, Doha’s urban fabric has developed in important directions. Over time, the city has created numerous less prominent and less tourist-oriented parks that serve local neighborhoods while together comprising an emergent and deliberate network. Such networks have manifold benefits, including heightened urban connectivity, promotion of biodiversity, provision of recreational amenity and the promotion of greater sustainability. They also contribute to a unique identify for Qatar -- landscapes that respond to local needs and physical circumstances -- helping to define and support a sense of place in a rapidly developing nation. Doha’s commitment to exploring and realizing a comprehensive and integrated green network speaks to an awakening, globally and notably in the Gulf Region, regarding the demonstrable benefits of a well-designed environment to public health and community vibrancy. The authors contend that the promise of Doha, and lessons learned along its path of progression as a greener city, offer direction to other Islamic cities facing many challenges in an ever-changing and rapidly evolving world. The present research develops a conceptual framework that considers the resonance of architecture, landscape, and urban design in city planning, and advances initial guidelines for providing park networks that proffer greater amenity, heighten environmental responsibility, and improve quality of life. It also underscores that there are common principles that can be understood in addressing enrichment through landscape, while concurrently emphasizing the imperative to respond to and celebrate the nuances of place.

Performance as Action. The Embodied Mind

Loukia Tsafoulia1,3, Severino Alfonso1,2

1Thomas Jefferson University, College of Architecture and the Built Environment,United States of America; 2Universidad Politechnica de Madrid, Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, Spain; 3National Technical University of Athens, School of Architecture, Greece

The paper addresses the concept of performance via a historical investigation of the dynamics observed between design and science through the lenses of cybernetic theories. It proposes a transdisciplinary and historical inquiry on the human – machine – environment recursive relationships. The paper maps parallel events relating design and cybernetic works and constructs a brief historical lineage of scientific approaches to design as they were manifested within design education in the US starting prior to WWII with focus on the behavioral turn of the 1950s. The design methods movement which stemmed from the scientific and technological optimism of the postwar era, looked at the design disciplines through rational scientific foundations. During the 1970s, philosophical and phenomenological critiques to these approaches would forcefully appear. The following generations of the design methods movement and the design thinking approach would “double the vector” and see science as a specific form of design inquiry; rather than apply science to design, science could be understood as a form of design activity, reversing the more usual hierarchy between the two.

From the 1940s-1960s cybernetic electromechanic “perception” devices set in demystifying the human brain to the design methods movement in architecture and its mutations, the paper traces connections between traditionally disparate fields and reveals operations, tactics, and methods that situate the notions of performance and adaptation. The paper argues for a dialectical approach to the contemporary understandings of performance as it was manifested in psychologist and cybernetician Ross Ashby´s “embodied mind” concept in the 1960s. Via the construction of parallel historical lineages, the paper reflects a willingness to transcend disciplinary boundaries that is characteristic of cybernetics’ origins cutting across distinctions between design and science fields as well as those between objectivity and subjectivity, human and machine, and mind and body.

8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_O2: Humanitarian Design, Public Health and Comparative Evaluation
Panel Moderator: Christina Bollo

Imaginaries of Humanitarian Design: Material Versus Social Innovation in the Emergency Shelter

Natalie Florence Severy1, Philip D. Plowright2

1ASU, United States of America; 2Lawrence Technological University

The emergency shelter is an architectural response to humanitarian crises. The metrics of success and failure of emergency shelters, which have influenced much of the research on the architecture of displacement, has focused on the potential of emergency shelters to improve quality of life for refugees. A successful product promises to liberate people and decrease human suffering, an outcome aligned with the goals of the humanitarian development sector. However, to date there is limited critique of how emergency shelters engage with the narratives and imaginaries of humanitarian design. There is a gap in the knowledge when it comes to both understanding the intentions behind the design of shelters (design knowledge ecosystem) as well as the situated outcomes once shelters have been deployed into the field (post-occupancy evaluation).

This paper addresses the first of these concerns, namely it investigates the knowledge ecosystems involved in the creation of one type of commercial emergency shelter design. In this study, we address the Better Shelter housing product as a case study. The Better Shelter is an inexpensive housing unit designed for massive deployment for refugee camps worldwide. These shelters were conceived by a private group, Better Shelter of Sweden, and distributed by the IKEA foundation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The interest in this shelter is how it was conceived to address humanitarian crisis through a technological and material approach with designers leveraging production and delivery advances as well as the underlying ideology of IKEA. However, on deployment in the field, the shelter has had limited success and, in some locations, total failure.

The study uses a Grounded Theory approach supported by knowledge structures of feminist studies, neoliberalism, modernism, and post-colonial studies to investigate the relationship between assemblages of the UNHCR, host country governments, the IKEA foundation, and independent design teams who are a part of this phenomena which we understand as humanitarian design. With a multi-modal approach, this paper argues how the designers, who are negotiating between roles as social entrepreneurs and humanitarianism, make decisions that ultimately have influence over the success or failure of emergency shelters in disputed areas such as refugee camps. The intention of the paper is to advance the understanding of the assemblages of relationships and embedded value systems which affect decisions in the humanitarian design sector and the greater framework of the develop sector of humanitarianism.

Evidence-based Health Centre Design Recommendations for the Malawi Ministry of Health

Anthony Elia, Christopher John Harnish, Joshua Harmony

Thomas Jefferson University, United States of America

In Malawi, burgeoning demand for public health infrastructure raises significant planning, design, implementation, and resilience challenges for the Republic of Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH). As the MOH plans a new health centre prototype, it is essential to consider evidence-based performance goals addressing user-focused programming, infection control, and energy and water infrastructure in a context of limited resources, global pandemics, and climate change. Malawi’s health centers are the initial point of care for 90% of the population. By 2050 the population will nearly double from 18 to 36 million. Despite this tremendous growth, 68% of Malawians will continue to live in rural areas, far from centralized and higher levels of health infrastructure in urban contexts. Concurrently, the national demand for electricity will more than double projected supply, and water resources will become more scarce. This architectural research examines the existing MOH health centre prototype, identifies evidence-based design gaps relative to medical literature and architectural performance analysis, and makes recommendations for a new Health Centre model for the MOH and related stakeholders to consider.

In collaboration with the MOH, Department of Buildings, University of Malawi The Polytechnic and the College of Medicine we define the most pressing problems that will inform evidence-based architectural guidelines. The research methodology examines four main criteria for design assessment: user-focused programming for patients and staff, infection control, and infrastructure resilience. The research begins with a systematic literature review, followed by user interviews, and architectural evaluation of the existing MOH prototype. Analysis of recently built health centres in similar contexts highlight alternative design options. Findings inform human-resource strategic, environmentally resilient, user-focused design recommendations for health centres in Malawi and similar low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Design recommendations are shared with key stakeholders for input and are currently under evaluation and incorporation into a new health centre model for the MOH as it plans to build the next 100 centres.

Design Evaluation and Public Health: Comparing Frameworks For Increased Health

Traci Rider, Pegah Mathur, Margaret van Bakergem

College of Design, North Carolina State University, United States of America

There is increasing interest and urgency around the topic of population health. Despite the crucial impact of the built environment on human health, the built environment is effectively an overlooked strategy in healthcare system structures and policy (Lofgren, Karpf, Perman, & Higdon, 2006). While research in the public health fields often illustrates causal and correlational impacts of interventions on health outcomes, the connection between design and health is generally perceived to be more narrative. Though new frameworks such as the WELL Building Standard and Fitwel attempt to bring structure and validity to this juncture, understanding health considerations in the context of design evaluation has historically been fragmented: operations and health are different lenses for building assessment. Post-occupancy evaluations (POE) have become the evaluation standard for the built environment since its inception in the 1980s, but has never significantly considered health and are cross-sectional by nature. As such, this paper outlines the development of a new framework building on two established evaluation processes: Post-Occupancy Evaluations and Health Impact Assessments (HIA). Post-Occupancy Evaluations seek to measure how well buildings operate after design and construction; Health Impact Assessments are popular in the field of public health, addressing health behavior’s and outcomes both before and after potential or actual interventions. By merging elements of these two established frameworks, it may be possible to better understand true impacts of both the operations and the design of built environments. This paper conceptualizes a framework to establish a holistic baseline for building evaluation. The intersection between POE (design) and HIA (health) formally merges two perspectives on evaluation that have not mingled before. The majority of any cross-disciplinary work in this realm has focused on interventions. This paper overlays these two systems, outlining both the challenges and opportunities for a more holistic type of assessment and analysis for the built environment.

8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_T4: Retrofit Measures, Systems and Solutions
Panel Moderator: Rahman Azari

A Retrofit Scenario Analysis of Wall Systems Materials of a Low-Rise Commercial Building

Ash Ragheb

Lawrence Technological University, United States of America

Low impact building materials have become key player towards achieving environmental sustainability in the built environment. Such materials also contribute to carbon neutral buildings, responding to AIA 2030 challenge and many other initiatives by governmental and professional institutions. Building enclosure incorporates many construction materials that contribute to overall embodied energy and environmental impact. It also affects building operational energy as a barrier between indoor and outdoor environment.

The study methodology performs an eco-balance inventory approach in calculating environmental impacts of exterior wall systems. The paper models an office building over a service life of 80 years and its implications on the environment from cradle to grave. It also quantifies and compares the total impacts of the enclosure systems of this building throughout this life span. The case study building is located in the Midwest in zone 5. The building skeleton is steel construction, columns and beams with multiple moment connections. This is the common method of construction for commercial buildings in this region. The building is a 3-story high that incorporates few sustainable features.

The study calculates the environmental impact of the building to air, water, and land. To achieve its goal, the study provides an assessment to which building enclosure component (walls, roofs) contribute the most to the total building impacts and identify the worst burden among its assembly systems. The outcome tests materials alternatives to use in the exterior wall system to minimize its impact. The paper employs a retrofit scenario analysis to evaluate replacing current high-impact materials with alternatives retrofit scenarios that have lower impacts and briefly calculate the reduction in the total building impacts against the original wall construction materials.

Cost-Effective Energy-Efficiency Retrofit Measures for Existing Buildings: Analysis for Reaching Net-Zero Energy Goals in Heating-Dominated Climate

Mohamed Hossam Mahmoud, Ajla Aksamija. PhD

University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States of America

Buildings consume 44% of the energy in the U.S. New construction buildings now have to abide by energy codes, however half of the U.S. buildings were constructed before 1980, when building energy standards where not as stringent. The annual replacement rate of existing buildings by new buildings is only around 1.0–3.0%. Meanwhile, commercial buildings account for 19% of the total energy used by buildings in the U.S. This study focuses on net-zero cost optimization of existing commercial office buildings in the U.S. The paper presents a methodology that was developed for optimizing net-zero energy commercial retrofit buildings using simulation-based optimization. The methodology was tested considering existing commercial buildings in a heating-dominated climate (Boston), where the

Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data was used to identify characteristics of typical buildings found in this climate. The multi-parameter optimization considered various energy-efficiency retrofit design measures, including building envelope retrofit, HVAC systems as well as various sources of renewable energy. The results identify the cost-optimal design solutions for five common building shapes in three different orientations. The study is expected to be a guide during conceptual design phase for designers and builders, and to help policy managers and energy efficiency program administrators in identifying future energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies to achieve net-zero energy targets.

Assessment of Deep Façade Retrofit Solutions for Housing

Ming Hu

University of Maryland, United States of America

Knowledge and research tying the environmental impact to operating energy efficiency improvement is a largely unexplored area in higher performance retrofit projects. It is a challenge to choose the façade renovation option that represents the optimal trade-offs among different performance objectives. This paper aims to test a multi-objective envelope optimization method to quantify and compare the deep retrofit façade techniques and their induced environmental impact. An integrated life cycle energy (LCE), life cycle assessment (LCA) and thermal comfort model (TCM) framework is proposed and used. Seven building façade retrofit options were studied to evaluate the operating energy saving, embodied energy increase and potential environmental impact. This project aims to better understand the pros and cons and trade-offs of different façade renovation options. The analysis results shows three findings: (a) the building construction method and the materials play equally important roles in the environmental impact; (b) the life cycle approach highlights the fact that energy saving alone is not sufficient when comparing different façade renovation technologies; and (c) for most renovation options, meeting thermal comfort requirements without mechanical cooling is more problematic than meeting them without heating. In addition, we noted that the tested integrated multi-objective optimization method can be applied to the renovation of other building systems, and the analysis results provide decision makers with the most comprehensive information.

8:00am - 9:30amD: Paper Session_T5: Thermal Perception, Boundaries and Comfort Assessment
Panel Moderator: Luis Santos

Performative Environments Of Alliesthesia: Thermal Perception In Solar Screened Offices Under Different Sky Conditions

Niyati Sudhir Naik, Ihab Elzeyadi, Virginia Cartwright

University of Oregon, United States of America

Through this work, the researchers explored occupant’s thermal perception inside thermally nonuniform, indoor environments of solar screened perimeter office spaces. They examined the potential of static-fixed and dynamic-movable solar screens with geometric patterns to influence the subjective thermal perception of comfort and pleasure inside single-occupancy office set-ups. The investigation comprised of a within-subject experimental design that exposed 15 participants under sunny and 12 others under overcast sky conditions of an east-facing, static and dynamic screened, single occupancy experimental office space set-ups during the summer months in moderate climate of ASHRAE, CZ 4C. Every participant, who was exposed for an hour, carried out office-like tasks and responded to questionnaires on the thermal perception of the indoor environment. Besides the subjective responses, the indoor environmental thermal and visual data of the set-ups were recorded during the experimental period. Subjective data on thermal perception was correlated with indoor environmental data to understand the inconsistencies between predicted and actual thermal comfort, and to identify the thermal and visual parameters influencing thermal pleasure under different sky conditions. It was found that the thermal comfort PMV model over-predicted discomfort in the solar screened building perimeter spaces. Dynamic screens under sunny sky conditions could evoke the highest magnitude of thermal pleasure when the indoor environmental parameters indicated a move from predicted discomfort to comfort. Mean radiant temperature, relative humidity, and horizontal illuminance significantly impacted thermal pleasure perception. Moving beyond the usual practice of making architecture for visual delight, through this work the researchers followed a design approach that employed architecture to offer pleasurable thermal experiences for occupant satisfaction and well-being.

Shape-Shifters: Mobile Thermal Boundaries Achieve High-performance for Variable Occupancies in Native American Homes

Malini Srivastava

University Of Minnesota, United States of America

Zero-H, a research project supported by a NSF Planning grant, integrated community focus groups to develop design concepts for affordable, high-performance single family residence design concepts for Native American communities in the Dakotas.

Per the 2010 US Census, 39.8% of Native Americans in North Dakota live below the poverty line. Poverty exacerbates the energy burden. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (LIHEAP Case Study on Energy Burden for FY 2005), the median residential energy burden for households with income less than $10,000 was 15.9%, with 10% having energy burdens greater than 52.1% (90th percentile). To add to these problems, per the Energy Information Administration, North Dakota has the highest energy expenditure per person in the nation. Additionally, from focus group discussions, the research team learned that variable family structures that can shrink or grow rapidly in a matter of hours (range from 4-19 household occupants in the focus group), are a common phenomenon and not addressed by inadequate one-size-fits-all housing solutions. The 2013 National American Indian Housing Council report found that 40 percent of on-reservation housing in the United States is considered substandard and that nearly one-third of reservation homes are overcrowded.

The goal for the architectural team within the research group was to develop concepts of affordable high-performance housing where initial construction costs and ongoing operational costs are substantially lowered. The team used the Passive House criteria as a way to reduce operational energy costs by 80%. In addition, the architecture team developed the concept of interior, mobile, super-insulated wall systems which perform as variable internal thermal boundaries that can be adjusted to variable occupant loads, maximizing conditioned volume when there are more occupants and minimizing conditioned volume to save energy costs when there are fewer occupants. Since the mobile walls are internal boundaries that do not need the typical control layers such as moisture and vapor barriers, they can be lightweight and inexpensive. The thermal boundaries are super-insulated to meet Passive House standard in order to ensure that the body heat of occupants can be modeled as internal heat sources per the building science criteria developed by the german PassivHaus Institut’s (PHI) Dr Wolfgang Feist.

The hypothesis tested was that the Passive House design with the mobile thermal boundaries such that enclosed volume can be made proportional to the occupant load, is more efficient than the same Passive House design without mobile internal thermal boundaries. Simulation tests with WUFI energy modeling included multiple occupancy loads and volumes in design configurations with and without mobile interior thermal boundaries. The preliminary results of this research showed that the Passive House design with internal thermal boundaries which can be adjusted to occupant load performs better than the Passive House of comparable treated internal volume without internal thermal boundaries. This paper concludes with a discussion of variables that need to be tested in future research including relative R-values of internal and external thermal boundaries.

Thermal Preference and Comfort Assessment: Historic Buildings in Hot and Humid Climates

Ezgi Bay1, Antonio Martinez-Molina2

1Illinois Institute of Technology, United States of America; 2University of Texas at San Antonio, United States of America

Research on Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) in historic buildings has increased exponentially in recent years. Religious structures are a critical asset to the heritage building stock and a significant field of study due to the particular occupancy patterns and the impact of indoor microclimate on the occupants’ thermal comfort satisfaction. Based on recent research literature, this paper compares a quantitative and qualitative study performed to assess the thermal comfort conditions using occupants’ surveys, results of a calibrated energy simulation model, and Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) and Percentage of Dissatisfied (PD) calculations. The study was carried out in a UNESCO world heritage site over a 5-month period. Gathering over 221 questionnaires and data from a 12-data logger network logging air temperature and relative humidity values every 15 minutes, the indoor conditions of an 18th century church in San Antonio were monitored. The PMV and Predicted Percentage of Dissatisfied (PPD) were then calculated using Povl Ole Fanger’s method. Using the software IES-VE, the energy simulation model results and the PMV and PD values are compared with real occupants’ subjective opinions. The results show a difference among the three calculation methods, particularly during the summer months when the indoor-outdoor thermal leap is larger. Additionally, the comparison reveals that the thermal comfort predictions using computational energy models are more accurate than utilizing Fanger’s method. The findings will inform architects, engineers, and researchers in their efforts to promote more efficient and healthy historic spaces and to run POEs of existing religious buildings.

9:30am - 9:45amBreak

Network with a cup of 'home-made' Coffee!

9:45am - 11:15amE: Paper Session_C4: Representation, Improvisation, and Visualization
Panel Moderator: Philip Plowright

Online Bricollage: Toward an Architecture of Scavenged Means, Improvisational Methods and Decentralized Processes

Scott G Shall

Lawrence Technological University, United States of America

Architects, as performers, generally require a script. To produce well-formed work, they, like engineers, planners and most other design professionals, demand a carefully choreographed process and a predictable palette of means and materials that are both specifiable and consistent. Driven, in part, by the historic attachment of these professions to patronage-based supports, this need for premeditated choreography creates a bias toward concerns that are easily measured and goals that are either largely internal to the field or easily quantifiable. It also leads to an innate inability to accommodate idiosyncratic or unexpected means without inflating time, cost and effort.

Unfortunately, this demand for a script is at odds with the promise held by tools currently available to the field – a state of affairs that will only become more pronounced as the technologies supporting these tools continue to evolve. Already, the processing capacity available to the architect permits a much stronger embrace of idiosyncratic materials and complex means than can be deployed when operating within the field’s accepted patterns of engagement, as defined by tradition, legislation, and professional training. The sophistication of modeling programs routinely deployed in the design of new work similarly permits the engagement of much vaster, and more complicated, concerns. And the immediacy of widely-available global communication tools, supplemented by the increased capacity of emerging scanning and modeling toolsets, allows for the architect to bring together contributors from around the world to engage thoughtfully in localized concerns, regardless of any given contributor’s physical geography.

The paper that follows will demonstrate that, by embracing the full promise of these technologies and tools, the architect will become able to embrace more improvisational forms of practice. The paper will further articulate how this more improvisational performance will permit the professional to build stronger, more authentic dialogues with communities currently quite distant from the architect’s practice - communities that are built illegally, using scavenged materials and the improvised tactics of the bricoleur. To illustrate the potential application of the points raised, the paper will conclude with a short study of a series of improvisational design performances deployed as a part of a multi-year project in South Africa, wherein the author worked with a small team of students, designers and faculty to collaboratively design and construct, using scavenged materials, localized means and remote technologies, schools, clinics and other much-needed community assets. Completed on a budget of less than $2000, these modest projects illustrate the value of an architecture borne of improvisation, and built by contemporary technology.

The Medium isn't the Message Anymore: When the Renderings were too Good to be True

Aaron Brakke

University of Illinois, United States of America

Access to advanced computation has permitted architects to create renderings that are very accurate and realistic, yet the representations produced by architects and urban planners continue to carry inherent distortion. Research that investigates the agency of representation in architecture, recognizes the increased performative nature of presentation drawings and the “undeniable charm of slick, smooth translucent and reflective surfaces” they awake in their audience. With their ability to fabricate space, computer generated images “further problematize the relationship between the image and the thing” in a world where “collective imagery is a major field of ideological struggle” ( Altürk, 2008). Similarly, thinking of the urban as a symbol of a dominant set of urban relations, Swati Chattopadhyay recognizes that “only certain people and institutions have the language, resources and authority to make themselves and their ideas manifest in public” (2012). Grounded in this acknowledgement, Tran O’Leary use a case study of landscape architecture in a racialized setting to illustrate how “the authority of design elite” can be decentered (Tran O’Leary, Zewde, Mankoff, & Rosner, 2019). Hsueh, et al. have argued that space is rendered into a commodified version of itself and argue that digital architectural representations encourage us to mimic the forms of occupation proposed in the renders, while limiting our ability to think of the potential social impacts of architecture (Hsueh, Chu Hoi Shan, & McGrath, 2016). This paper will discuss how politicians and developers (mis)communicated planned social housing projects in Colombia, how messages masked intent and how citizens have responded to the actual content that has been delivered. Framed by the politics of futuring, it is a pressing concern in times that urge us to decolonize futures and imagination (Miraftab, 2017; Nederveen Pieterse & Parekh, 1995) in order to be able to bring alternative just futures into existence.

On Conflicting Priorities Within Digital Models Of Urban Form

Mike Christenson

University of Minnesota, United States of America

As part of the larger project of architectural epistemology, this work seeks to develop a method for digitally modeling urban form emphasizing conflicting priorities, deviations, and shifts as characteristic. In particular, this work examines how representations can exist as registers of difference. The skyway system in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota is examined as a test case.

9:45am - 11:15amE: Paper Session_T6: Energy, Evaluation and Material Production
Panel Moderator: Ming Hu

Impacts of Buildings’ Energy Data Adjustment on CBECS-Benchmarking Evaluations

Mahsa Farid Mohajer, Ajla Aksamija

UMASS Amherst, United States of America

To evaluate buildings’ energy performance, one predominant approach is by benchmarking their annual energy usage against the representative baseline peers. In this study, six buildings from various categories, all located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, were used as case study buildings. The principal building activities included education, food service, health services (outpatient), lodging, office, and public assembly. To benchmark energy data of the case study buildings against CBECS baselines, first, monthly energy data (i.e., steam and electricity) of the case study buildings from 2016 to 2018 was collected. The raw energy data was then adjusted, using weather-normalization and/or three-year average, depending on the applicability of each method. The adjusted energy data was used to calculate case study buildings’ energy usage intensities (EUIs), which resulted in three potential EUIs for each case study building (i.e., weather-normalized, average, and/or adjusted EUIs). The case study buildings’ EUIs were then used for CBCES benchmarking evaluation. It was found that the raw energy data adjustment methods had a significant impact on benchmarking results. For instance, for the health services case study building, deviation of the weather-normalized EUI from the base EUI was -18%, while the average-EUI deviation was 11%, indicating a significant energy performance difference. Additionally, for the lodging and public assembly building typologies, the adjusted-EUI deviations were, respectively, 13% and -5%. Whereas, the average-EUI deviations were 54% and 8%. Moreover, separate energy intensity benchmarkings (i.e., electricity vs. gas intensities) determined that for the case study buildings with positive EUI-deviation, a specific type of energy (electricity vs. gas) results in a more significant increase in EUI. This is specifically helpful in prioritizing potential future retrofitting considerations, with the objective to identify the most strategic and effective energy-efficiency measures.

Push And Pull Of Policy: Qualified Allocation Plans And The Design Of Subsidized Dwellings

Christina Bollo

Univ. of Illinois, United States of America

This archival research project inventories the organizational performance of state-level housing agencies in dictating the dwelling-design decisions of affordable housing architects. The design regulations for Low Income Housing Tax Credit financed apartments are not uniform across the country; each state agency allocates the credits to projects through policies set in Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs), which are crafted through local stakeholder and political input. This is the first quantitative research project investigating the design direction from QAPs for tax credit financed housing in the US. The data for this study are the 50 QAPs and 20 Design and Construction Standards published most recently. The method is a conceptual content analysis of the design directives, and an inventory of the guidance found in the policy instruments. Results show that more than half of the states provide direction at the scale of the dwelling including guidance on minimum, maximum, and target dwellings sizes and bathroom ratios. Slightly less than half the states include guidance at the room scale and unit layout, including minimum dimensions for bedrooms and living rooms; proportional direction on kitchen and dining room arrangements; and both quantitative and qualitative direction on furnishings. This inventory provides a foundation for future qualitative studies in this research area.

Kawneer's "Machines for Selling" Modernism in the Postwar United States

Tait Johnson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States of America

A “Machine for Selling” prototype was developed by Kawneer, a manufacturer of architectural storefronts, shortly after World War II. Not a machine in the traditional sense, this was instead a comprehensive store system designed to spur interest in renovation by merchants and appeal to shoppers in the postwar period. Significantly, Kawneer envisioned mass-renovation of storefronts using the prototype by designing entire blocks at a time. The downtown of Niles, Michigan, as Kawneer's hometown, in effect served as a test site.

Storefronts were covered in aluminum cladding and remodeled with storefront systems over many decades, showcasing the company's evolving product lines as they were deployed on independent, merchant-owned stores. By the late twentieth century, this resulted in a unified, brown, corrugated aesthetic stretching across blocks of the downtown district. This paper examines the history of Kawneer and shows how its use of a commercial district as a marketing landscape was a function of translating the company’s ideas into modernity and prosperity - two terms resonant with postwar capitalism and a rapidly expanding economy.

Kawneer organized a formal design department immediately after World War II as part of its overall corporate structure. The company, founded by architect Francis Plym in 1906 to initially manufacture storefront window systems, expanded to embrace aluminum and glass as principal design elements. Working closely with architects like Ketchum, Gina & Sharp, and advised by Mies Van Der Rohe and William Lescaze, Kawneer's ambitions broadened from storefronts to the renovation of entire districts. Niles' downtown served as a feedback loop for the company's ideas, wherein not only did the company try new products, but it also deployed marketing concepts locally before expanding nationally.

Niles became a marketing landscape for Kawneer in which terms such as "modern" and "prosperity" were used, which were also found in marketing messages by other manufacturers eager to focus a buyer's attention on a potential bright, shining future after the ravages of World War II. Drawing from the archives of Kawneer in comparison with other aluminum manufacturers such as Reynolds, this paper suggests the need for increased scrutiny on the impact of manufacturers like Kawneer on the development of modern architecture. Twentieth-century manufacturers deeply affected the built environment, not only by associating themselves with famous architects who could amplify their impact, but also through attempts to organize the commercial landscape itself as a marketing landscape.

9:45am - 11:15amE: Paper Session_T7: Daylighting, Empirical Predictions and Environmental Factors
Panel Moderator: Ihab Elzeyadi

From Perception to Design: Daylight Glare Mitigation in Architectural Spaces

Tasbeeh Alaqtum1, Altaf Engineer1, Colby Moeller2

1University of Arizona; 2AIA, LEED AP

Daylight glare is one of the most intricate and dynamic phenomena to work with when designing architectural spaces. It has been researched across diverse fields including ophthalmology, photometry, architecture, environmental sciences, materials engineering, etc. Finding a comprehensive approach that interconnects these disciplines to inform real-world architectural practice, however, has proven elusive. Glare is defined as the excessive amount of light or high luminance ratios as perceived by the eye according to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES 2018). Quantifying excessive light or luminance ratios, however, is challenging due to the eye’s adaptability and constantly changing outdoor illumination. Daylight discomfort glare can be assessed using different methods addressed in previous research studies such as: luminance contrast ratio, daylight glare probability (DGP), vertical eye illuminance, etc. In this study, we synthesize findings through systematic literature review from ophthalmology and photometry to understand the structure of the eye and glare occurrence to assist architects and researchers conducting glare simulations. We analyze glare in an indoor space by performing various daylighting computer simulations and demonstrate how to mitigate it via different design strategies. A computer model of the space is created in Rhino and simulated in DIVA to obtain horizontal illumination data, and DGP metrics. In this study, we use a mixed methodological approach which includes selecting an existing library space and analyzing it via: (1) in-person field visits and collecting horizontal illumination data using a luminance meter, (2) performing two-level baseline simulations: [a] horizontal illuminance at 30” above finish floor level, and [b] a DGP analysis, (3) validating computer-simulated horizontal illuminations with corresponding field-measured data discussed in step 1, (5) assessing and evaluating the baseline and its glare conditions (6) proposing glare-mitigation strategies based on published studies, and (7) presenting an improved design case simulation which incorporates glare control and mitigation with daylighting strategies.

Model Calibration for Circadian Daylighting in ALFA: Developing Empirical Circadian Predictions in Physical Scaled Model

Sara Sahebghalam, Adil Sharag-Eldin

Kent State University, United States of America

Daylight as an important element of sustainability, has a strong impact on human health and well-being. Many studies showed that with access to natural light in the space, the occupants’ mood and performance are improved. This is related to human responses to multi-spectral characteristics of daylight and referred as non-visual effects. These effects play an important role in adjustment of the circadian system, sleep quality and alertness levels. This study utilizes a computational tool called Adaptive Lighting for Alertness (ALFA), a plug-in for rhinoceros that can calculate both visual and non-visual effects within a 3D model to predict circadian potential of daylight. To reduce prediction errors, a physical scaled model was built and tested under overcast sky to calibrate simulation model for real conditions. The quantitative Daylight Factor (DF) results of the physical model dataset for a point-in-time measurement are presented in depth and compared with results of 3D model simulation. The conclusions substantially indicate that the ALFA simulation software predicts the levels of daylight in line with outcome of on-site measurement in physical model with 98.89 percent correlation. The prediction result of the software is slightly marginal under-predicts the levels of daylight with 1.0536 calibration coefficient due to some material mismatch in real-world on-site simulation conditions and software simulation settings.

Additionally, this paper examines if physical models can be used for daylight circadian potential predictions while in design stage. For this purpose, the concept of linear regression was adopted to predict the non-visual to visual effects ratio by using the basic information of field measurement such as daylight factor. The simulation results verified that the average absolute relative error is less than %3, which is acceptable in real-world application. In future studies, validation on other parameters can be performed, such as other sky conditions, various window configuration and orientation, to add this consideration in daylighting pre-design evaluation.

A Pilot Study on the Contextual and Environmental Factors Influencing Window Shading Preference

Anupam Satumane, Siobhan Rockcastle

Baker Lighting Lab, University of Oregon, United States of America

The use of window shading devices can affect building energy use, supplemental lighting demands and occupant well-being related to performance, alertness, and satisfaction. Past studies that have explored the impact of window shading devices on building and occupant performance have been done primarily in the context of office buildings. With the aim of expanding this research to healthcare, hospitality, and educational spaces; this study investigates the influence of program type and sky condition on window shading preferences for a number of shading types. This paper introduces an online survey that recorded participant preferences for eight window shading conditions in the context of six spaces with varying program types. The selected program types represent spaces commonly found in education, hospitality, and healthcare with two levels of privacy; ‘high privacy’, with a typical maximum occupancy of two people and ‘low privacy,’ with furniture designed to accommodate a group of people. A questionnaire was circulated on social media platforms to recruit anonymous participants, who were given a brief description of the program types and then exposed to eight images of that space with varying window treatment conditions. Participants were asked to assign a preference rank to each of the eight window shading conditions for each of the six program types included in our study. This was done to determine whether building occupants prefer ‘closed’ window shading conditions in ‘high privacy’ and ‘open’ shading conditions in ‘low privacy’ spaces. As hypothesized, ‘half closed’ window shading settings were preferred for program types with ‘low privacy’ requirement and ‘full closed’ window shading conditions were preferred for spaces with ‘high privacy’ requirement. The results from this study showed that contextual factors such as program type and environmental factors such as sky condition impact a participant’s preference for window shading types and the degree of preferred occlusion.

9:45am - 11:15amE: Workshop_W4: Developing an Architectural Research Agenda
Panel Moderator: Adil Sharag-Eldin

Katy Janda, University College London, Panelist

Julia Robinson, University of Minnesota, Panelist

Panelists will present ideas, methods and organizational strategies for developing a well-defined architectural research agenda.

Julia Robinson: Architecture is a Cultural Medium:: Application in Research

Professor Robinson’s talk will briefly introduce the research agenda she has pursued in her career and discuss what it means for architecture to be a cultural medium. Subsequently she will present three research projects and her research methodologies, first a 15-year study of the difference between institution and home,  second, the 8-year project on Dutch housing that resulted in her book, and finally, very briefly her recent work on preventing youth incarceration. She will conclude with preliminary ideas about how her work embodies a cultural approach.

Kathryn Janda: Beyond Technology: Re-Designing Sustainability Research and Social Engagement

This presentation discusses existing challenges and new opportunities for energy demand research in the built environment.  I argue that energy use is embedded in a social context, so technical potential (aka better buildings) is not enough.  We need social and organizational engagement as well, which I call “social potential.” From a research perspective, sustainability can only be achieved by continual co-production of learning between experts and non-experts, which requires inductive reasoning, open-ended questions and action research methods.

11:15am - 11:30amBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Poster Session_P3
Panel Moderator: Jonathan Yorke Bean

Methodology For The Valuation of Sustainability in Real Estate.

Sandra Guerrero1, Irene Marincic2

1Universidad de Sonora, Mexico; 2Doctorado en Humanidades

"Methodology for the valuation of sustainability in real Estate"

Sandra Luz Guerrero Martínez/Dra. Irene Marincic Lovriha

Key words: Real Estate. Valuation, Environmental Protection, Sustainability


The implementation of new technologies and systems applied in real estate to improve people's living conditions also represent benefits on various aspects that have a positive impact on the reduction of energy consumption, savings on consumption expenditure and the impact on quality and improvement of the environment. The issue of sustainability and the application of the rules of the new urban agenda on real estate, makes it necessary to include in the methodologies established for the valuation of real estate these indicators that represent an added value on the property, for this reason a proposal is presented for establish sustainability indicators that can be incorporated into the methodologies used and, in turn, present us with parameters that benefit both the user of the real estate and the environment in general.

The objective of this topic is to present a proposal for the real estate valuation methodology, which considers the sustainable aspects of the asset to be valued, and includes the following environmental variables in this analysis: energy efficiency; use efficiency of water and arborization, these variables are analyzed and the following data is proposed as expected results: Cost - benefit of the investment; reduction of CO2 emissions; reduction of heat gain in spaces and finally applied as a sustainability factor that affects the final value of the real estate, obtained by traditional methods.

Spatial Improvisation Exercises for Architects

Gray Read

Florida International University, United States of America

Part of the preparation for dramatic acting is a series of improvisation exercises that help actors hone their skills. Might architects engage in parallel exercises that explore the performantive potential of built elements? In classes at Florida International University School of Architecture I developed a series of exercises that invite young architects to consider built spaces as what Bruno Latour calls “non-human” actors:

  • In large classes, student teams do a short exercise, analyzing our school of architecture building to find places of dramatic potential, which they interpret in 10-second scenes and draw in storyboard, plan and section.
  • In design studio students in pairs constructed a third actor to participate with them in a performance that addressed one of architecture’s fundamental social qualities.
  • In a weeklong workshop in Genoa, Italy students made short videos that combined scenes with drawings to explore the inherent drama of fundamental elements of architecture – door, wall, steps.

All of these exercises investigate interactions between built spaces and people, who, in their movements, interpret these spaces for their own purposes in the course of daily life.

Informal Health Access in Liminal Space

Ulysses Vance

Temple University, United States of America

According to the COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking, provided in the Analysis of HHS data by the University of Minnesota Hospitalization Tracking Project, the most extreme urban and rural hospitals reported overcrowded ICU beds upwards of 75% capacity in 2020. With the continued surge in medical care and, in particular, the long-term intubation of patients, space for procedures comes at a premium. Concurrently, per the American Hospital Association, the expense per capita in the hospital is approximately $4500 per patient, and considering that in these conditions, patients are primarily confined to a bed in a shared environment, the cost for recovery in these spaces is over-extended past the cost typically associated with particular types of care.

The investigation into utilizing liminal spaces in Medical Facilities to support care involves determining whether ambulatory care support in corridor space can relieve the strain of overcrowding inpatient areas. By definition, liminal space is inactive or underutilized space. However, in hospitals and medical facilities, they incorporate everything from support spaces to patient wards. In determining the feasibility of transitioning support for ambulatory patient care from egress paths to into temporary patient service zones, the work of this research interrogates lighting techniques, screening techniques, and material identification to subtly inform persons in these conditions as to places in use and bring attention to changing needs for maintaining safe distances from others. The resolute inquiries consider the behavioral, biological, and bodily requirements for patient recovery guided by intentionally maintaining medical integrity's physical closeness.

Human-Robot Interactive Synergy (HRIS)

Mona Hashemi, Ebrahim Poustinchi

Kent State University, United States of America

Human-Robot Interactive Synergy (HRIS)



Using industrial robots in projects other than fabrication and mass production has attracted wide range of attention among architects and designers. These machines have become a means for creative study in design and architecture, and there has been a lot of research in this field in academia and practice. From the book Robot House (Testa, 2017) by Peter Testa containing projects to use robots for representing artistic outcomes to the creative robotic studio of Bot & Dolly, the researchers have tried to propose nonconventional use of the robots in design disciplines. However, these developments are still in their initial steps and need more exploration by researchers in different design-related categories.

HRIS is a project-based research that aims at taking a deeper look into the robotics opportunities in creative design through a drawing experiment and creating a platform where human and robot can work together interactively. It enables real-time interaction with the robot arm through human inputs and a custom-made end effector. This experiment shows how interactive collaboration has progressed and what the restrictions and possibilities of the robot are considering the design criteria. This project gives this opportunity to recognize different aspects of this interactive process. Using the idea of bridging the physical and digital gap, this project-based research is an investigation on using robot as a collaborative and creative design tool.


In this project, the human-robot collaboration interface is designed based on a hand-drawn input by the human user. The image recognition process through the implemented camera, the data processing in the computer and the robot feedback are the processes through which this real-time interaction becomes possible. The Scorpion (Elashry & Glynn, 2014) Plugin in Grasshopper provides the necessary tools for controlling the Universal robots and acts as the bridge between Grasshopper, a visual programming language that runs within the Rhinoceros 3D application, and the physical robot. Understanding how the raw data can be transmitted to the computer through vision and sensor feedback, how it can be processed, and finally sent back to the robot are the critical parts of this experiment.


This research demonstrates how the robot can actively respond to human movement in real-time and how this feedback can be systemized and programmed in a third machine to follow a particular procedure. This platform exemplifies a hybrid collaboration in which the communication between human and robot enhances the robotic capabilities and the computational control into the process. Questioning the potentials of using robot in creative design, HRIS provides the opportunity for users to interact with robot and participate in a production workflow without having expertise or background in the robot-related software.

Keywords: robotics, design, human-robot interaction, user interface, human-machine interaction


Elashry, K. and Glynn, R., 2014. An approach to automated construction using adaptive programing. In Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2014 (pp. 51-66). Springer, Cham

Testa, P. 2017. “Imaging,” in Robot House, edited by P. Testa, New York, NY: Thames & Hudson Inc., 155-219.

Classification of Natural Plant Physiology, Behavior, and Morphology to Inform an Adaptive Architecture

Anahita Modrek1, Aletheia Ida2

1University of Arizona, United States of America; 2University of Arizona, United States of America

In the context of the 21st century, which identifies anthropocentricism as a dominant reason for environmental impacts, a consensus is emerging for thinking critically about adaptation and developing necessary actions in response to emerging socio-ecological realities. Continuous processes of urbanization are constantly impacting natural environments, which are deeply interrelated with the aggravation of cumulative environmental, economic, and social problems. This combination results in a profound ecosystem crisis, including climate change, at the epicenter of which are cities and, inevitably, architecture. The natural and urban environments are undergoing a systemic change driven primarily by the evolving processes in culture, science, industry, and commerce. As a result, the architecture discipline seeks to overcome its own preconceptions and adapt to these enhanced understandings of ecological relationships. Therefore, early research in this work focuses on developing a classification of the meanings of responsiveness, as a mode of adaptation, at different scales.

There is a growing cultural fascination with new knowledge of nature’s science and of natural forms, both living and non-living. Design based on the integration of nature’s science and architecture seems a practical and environmentally friendly strategy for designers in this era. As architecture allows us to create environments in which we can flourish, there is no better place than the natural world for inspiration. Therefore, different plant systems are investigated through a comparative and woven framework of intersecting regional challenges. The materials and the natural systems of adaptation that emerge through identification of prevalent regional opportunities impacting multiple aspects of a society could provide implications for local design and construction methods.

The adaptation system of these plants is established through three main characteristics: physiological, behavioral, and morphological. Each of these characteristics are a function of dynamic systems as expressed by visible and non-visible change. In this research different features of pine conifer, wheat, and ice plants that can fold and unfold are studied and classified in behavioral groups based on changes in their physical characteristics at different scales in response to humidity. Other examples include mangrove plants that physiologically filter water-borne pollutants, and desert cacti that develop specific morphologies (such as ridges, bristles, and spines) and shallow root systems to adapt to harsh climate conditions.

The evaluation of these natural systems for commonalities and differences through methodical and rigorous comparison of their flows and compositions reveals that adaptive systems have a strong relationship with context. Similar systems in varying contexts have different performance characteristics and different ways of responding because of the complex set of parameters within the context of evolutionary design. These adaptative systems in nature respond to a complex challenge, showing inherent traits that allow for adaptation to climate change, indicating that both material selection and design strategies need to be based on the specific ecological realities of a given context.

Key words: adaptation, ecology, natural systems, materials, responsive architecture

Building a Morphology in the Historical Data of Urban Things

Brian Thomas Rex, Mahmoud Sadek, Autumn Schlomer

South Dakota State University, United States of America

As a formally trained urban designer, encountering Geographic Information System (GIS) and its derivative graphic images have been a siren call. There is something absolutely real about it. GIS is the technology of our time that makes you think that Borges’ fantastical concept of a full scale (realistic) map of a place just might be possible. There is always something contemporary that makes us think we can prove Borges wrong. In GIS, rather than thinking we’d need to unfold it to it full extents, we are caught in a cycle of wishing that we could just get that last dataset. There is always one more constellation of datasets that may reprove the contemporeinity of the medium. Reality would come to life if only we could get a sense of what each household makes relative to its property value—or some such corporate-consumer fantasy. It seems so contemporary and “new”.

What GIS makes is alluringly, factual, real-time, and databased. The shapes and surfaces it generates are the calculated presence of clickable geocoded data whose values are available in a guided process of interactive query that divines graphical images of a range of surfaces neatly adjacent to each other. The bounds of the surfaces are not really borders; they are the linear inflection points between two types, values, chronologies, or qualities of category. They are not the spatial border between two places, just its mean.

An urban designer is intrinsically tied to the geometry of land and the shape of the spaces generated by its parcelization according to a variety of bona fide and fiat factors; GIS presents an interesting dilemma. GIS is graphical just as we are. It is mapped onto a terrestrial model. Yet, in its engine, it is not essentially geometric. It is geographic—location by its mean and its center. Geometry and geography are functionally different but their datatypes in GIS are seemingly the same. It doesn’t take much to be confused but we’d offer this: The geometric projections of urban design require a database defined and measured by a clear sense of its borders and boundaries not its centers and gradients.

A comparative study of Brookings, SD and New Ulm, MN is where we discovered some necessary translations and practices of GIS graphics to urban design geometries. In this presentation we review how we aggregated varied datasets and built a discernible practice in how translate the graphical representations of GIS into the geometries from which we build. This practice of connecting thick datasets to carefully delineated graphical traces make a physical yet phenomenal narrative of urban things. It presents space in the city as both formal and motive. It juxtaposes and conventionalizes new combinatory shapes of time, value, and volume.

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Poster Session_P4
Panel Moderator: Valerian Miranda

Phoenix performs!

Elena Rocchi

ASU, United States of America

How can spatial performances of the urban sprawl be augmented? In turning absent, a city becomes receptive to any change of meaning -- an "Espace Propre" as the effect of what it is imagined, an event. If, on the one hand, the increased reliance on cars' transportation turns the city's built form invisible, on the other hand, the ritual of driving enacts cultural performances of its environment as generative dérives reinterpreting that sense of absence.
A multiple-case design research paper examines contemporary research on building performance in the Phoenician urban system, intertwining media, and architecture to break disciplinary boundaries and challenge conventional representation modes. The purpose is to test how to grasp what is "perceived but not apperceived" (Leibnitz) in architectural education. It uses a methodological approach that involves an in-depth exploration of a city's perceptions using videos as data collection. The procedure is sequential. Two instrumental bounded case studies follow each other: the outcome of looking at a part of a historical movie informs the selection of the second case study — a design studio. The first case study — the prelude to more extensive research — is the content of the first fourteen minutes of Psycho (1960) as Hitchcock's Phoenix image. An exploratory case study was conducted in 2015 before a research question was identified, done following film analysis in terms of mise en scene to investigate a place. The second one is the analysis of a six-year studio's design phases. It involves extensive data collection, including a combination of film analysis and students' observation of situations using movie clips, the method used to look critically at the environment. The research purpose is to develop a more in-depth understanding of how movies shape how cities are seen by observing ways the interaction between students and films infers design narrative. Considering the issue across the studio's processes and outcomes not only extends across the intuition the Hitchcock movie but provides a test of a theory. It informs how architectural students can actively perceive a continually changing environment and capture moving images of the city to inform preliminary projects using transmediation introducing programs as situations.

Cities or Urbanization? Urbanism as Object | City as Process: Pedagogical Permutations + Provocations of the In-Between

Brian R. Sinclair, Alberto de Salvatierra

School of Architecture, Planning + Landscape - University of Calgary, Canada

The “city”—as a construct—has loomed large in our lexicon, both within design fields and in public discourse. Urbanization, as a phenomenon intensified over recent centuries, has seen cities amplify and the hinterland shrink. The research, pedagogical in focus, is situated at the nexus of the debate: Is the city a discrete object or has its boundaries been eroded by far reaching and broad scale urbanization? A senior graduate level required course within an accredited Master of Architecture program, ARCH 675: Urban Systems focused on the contemporary city with an eye to fostering discourse/debate on the legitimacy of the circumscribed city in a traditional sense versus possibilities of unbounded urbanization as an emergent phenomenon. Urban Systems recasts questions of the city in light of shifting landscapes and dramatic forces: on one hand long-standing developments such as global migration and the movement of capital, while on the other more recent emergencies including climate change, economic downturns and health crises. Overarching explorations of the city and urbanization was an acceptance of complexity and development of students’ world & self views via three inter-connected assignments: journal, urban manifesto & videographic essay. The paper concludes with critical observations on the learning model and suggestions for addressing urbanism in the curriculum. Architecture students across the planet are immersed in a milieu of upheaval and uncertainty, compelled to rethink their world in light of a deadly pandemic, social unrest, climate change, propaganda wars and widespread turbulence -- while concurrently called upon to take a stance.

Development and Construction of The Field of Dreams EcoCommunity

Jörg Rügemer

University of Utah, United States of America

Field of Dreams EcoCommunity (FOD) is a collaborative effort between the author as researcher and architect and the client, a non-profit organization offering services related to affordable housing constrcution. In this function as a homebuilder, the client also acts as its own general contractor, which set the stage for the development of FOD.

FOD is the re-imagination of the affordable housing typology in the Southwestern States of the US and consists of twenty, 1,500 square feet units in ten twin-home buildings, newly constructed on an abandoned baseball field in Kearns, Utah. As one of the development guidelines, underlying principles of how we live and the types of spaces we need to accommodate these desires were re-examined, challenging the contemporary notion that quantity of space supersedes spatial quality and design clarity, with the goal to provide high quality housing within an optimized, moderate footprint sensitive to both inhabitants and local environment. To achieve these goals, FOD is the synthesis of both modern technology and vernacular principles, utilizing what is immediately available onsite as its primary energy source in form of passive winter solar heat gain; it supplements only what cannot be generated onsite to meet modern standards of comfort through technological means. Traditional ideas of orientation, passive energy design, thermal massing and daylighting are key elementsin the outward expression of the buildings. This strategy creates energy-efficient houses with a high resilience factor, thus making the survival in extreme climate conditions possible without external energy sources and without increased capital investment.

Native Plant Roofs for Biodiversity

Meghan Blackson

Kent State University, United States of America

Designers and botanists across the world are making vegetated roofs more ecologically productive and biologically diverse. One way to increase biodiversity is through selecting and planting local and regional native plant species. Although many native plants have been shown to establish on green roofs, it is important to know what native plant communities can succeed within different types of green roofs. To answer this question, this study focuses on the native plant establishment across three roof types: a conventional semi-extensive green roof, traditional meadow roof, and blue-green roof with reservoir. Presented here is the plant survival data four years post establishment. We comment on the influence of substrate, weed colonization and flowering for pollinators. This information is helpful to architects and researchers alike, who both hope to better understand how to design for greater ecological productivity and biodiversity.

Post-revolutionary discourse reflected through architecture in Hermosillo, Sonora (1920-1950.)

Anabel Leyva1, Juan Luis Loredo2

1University of Sonora, Mexico; 2University of Sonora, Mexico

The governments emanating from the Mexican Revolution sought to represent the social ideals and achievements obtained through this conflict via their architectural and aesthetic speech developed in the decades after the end of this armed struggle in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora.

the hypothesis mentioned above is the starting point of this research.

To validate this conjecture, the following objectives were established: to know the way in which revolutionary ideas were represented in the institutional architecture in Mexico; understand how the ideals of the Mexican Revolution influenced the architectural development of the government in the decades after the struggle in Hermosillo, Sonora; explore which were the main architectural representations made by the state administrations of that time in the state capital.

The methodology used is qualitative, inductive and with a narrative design supported by official documents, catalog, photograph, field research and interviews with experts on historical, social and architectural affairs of the city at that time.

Currently this research is in the process of development, however, it is possible to identify some partial but inconclusive results. What we can anticipate is that in the city of Hermosillo, the examples of institutional architecture of the post-revolutionary period had a late manifestation. A possibility to support this claim revolves around the attempts to imitate the architectural trends used in Mexico City and its surrounding area.

Therefore, examples of institutional buildings can be found, in Hermosillo, of great similarity to representative buildings of the aesthetic speech manifested by the post-revolutionary governments.

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Workshop_W5: Initiative to Develop Dedicated NSF Funding for the Discipline of Architecture
Panel Moderator: Hazem Rashed-Ali

Lawrence Bank, Georgia Institute of Technology

Hazem Rashed-Ali, ARCC Past-President, University of Texas at San Antonio

Chris Jarrett, ARCC President, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Introduction to an ARCC initiative to secure dedicated NSF funding for faculty in the discipline of architecture, including identifying community need and basic science questions. Q&A session to follow. 

11:30am - 12:15pmF: Workshop_W6: Publishing with Taylor & Francis
Panel Moderator: Alexandra Staub

Krystal Racaniello, Architecture Editor, Taylor & Francis, New York

A presentation by Taylor & Francis describing the process for publishing a book, from proposal submission to editorial assessment, peer review, contracts, timelines and manuscript delivery. Q&A session to follow. 

12:15pm - 12:30pmBreak

Grab and Go Lunch from your very own Refrigerator!

12:30pm - 1:30pmARCC Annual Awards Program

Recognition of ARCC's 2021 Awards Program Recipients

1:30pm - 1:45pmBreak

Network with a cup of 'home-made' Coffee!

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Paper Session_O3: Community Participation and Decision-Making Practices
Panel Moderator: Traci Rider

Expanding Youth Opportunity Studio: Design Research Engaging Community Participants

Julia Robinson, Alysha Price

University of Minnesota, United States of America

ABSTRACT: A successful research-based design studio that includes community engagement is dependent upon pedagogy that serves both student and community participants. This case evolved from 2019 to 2020 based on lessons learned by the research team of students, faculty, community members and contributing critics. The 2019 Preventing Youth Incarceration studio addressed the needs of at-risk youth, including those in detention. The research-based studio explored adolescent development, mental illness, addiction, and trauma, addressing the county request for a spectrum of treatment facilities that are not institutional and meet the new concern for trauma-informed care (Olafson et al, 2014). Work with community members began in fall 2019, when the studio focused on North Minneapolis, a neighborhood of origin for many adjudicated young people, and affiliated with UROC, the university research center. A community consultant selected nine community members to work on the project, who received a stipend to cover their time and expenses. They served on reviews alongside design and incarceration professionals. In fall 2020, the studio continued, but due to COVID-19, held meetings online, rather than at the research center. The paper addresses the challenges of developing a design pedagoyt that supports student learning while engaging community participants. It focuses on selection of participants, scheduling reviews, maintaining participation throughout the semester, and the challenges of working with community participants in in person versus online.

Queering Arts-Based Development

Laura Katherine Walker1, Michael David Styczynski1,2

1Other Work, Michigan; 2Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI

Emergent modes of arts-based development and occupation of public spaces in rustbelt cities are creating communities of creative capital, collective care, and social justice activism. Arts-based development and queer theory both contest social norms and explore the power struggles against heteronormative constructions of identity. “Queerscapes” deploy queer theory to reimagine human and non-human performances and interactions with space and one another. Queer theory and arts-based approaches to spatial occupation redistribute power and ownership to ultimately disrupt and transform social conventions.

Arts-based development is communalized through shared tactical and cooperative appropriation and stewardship of undervalued land by marginalized communities. As such, queer theory offers a conceptual framework to understand the nuance and complexity of alternative reclamation of sites defined by urban austerity. This paper highlights the creative strategies that arts-based communities use to reimagine normative conceptions of urbanism. We introduce a framework to understand queering and queerscapes in land-use development and examine the ways in which abandoned or privately owned sites have been queered for dwelling, learning, and performances by different communities aligned by shared values.

Creative collectives have cooperated to form interdependent, decentralized networks, allowing new types of architectural and urban forms to emerge as responsive environments. This study engaged specific organizations over a two-year period, and it evaluates how they employ queer theory to reframe normative spatial conditions and rituals. This research demonstrates how spatial aspects of queerscapes are a mechanism for the agency and liberation for oppressed identities. The intention is to serve as a guide for empowering marginalized communities through social and creative infrastructure.

The New Stewards: How Non-Architects Shape Public Understanding and Decision-Making of the Built Environment

Irene Hwang

University of Michigan, United States of America

With the rise of the internet, social media, and streaming content, the amount of information regarding architectural thinking and making is more commonplace and accessible than ever before. As resources dwindle and populations grow, pressures of overcrowding and climate change demand that as a society, we make more-informed, well-considered decisions about our shared, built environment. This paper describes the difficulty of meeting that demand, positing that architects’ and architecture’s capacity to steward better outcomes is limited because non-architects have more power to shape society’s concerns and priorities for the built environment than do architects. This paper charts how the protagonists of traditional and new media have become the genuine shapers of public opinion, thereby shifting oversight and responsibility of the built environment from architects to non-architects.

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Paper Session_T8: Matter, Materials and Manufacturing
Panel Moderator: Fauzia Sadiq Garcia

Non-Rigid Formwork System for Sustainable Concrete Construction

Giovanni Loreto1, Arash Soleimani1, Lauren Stewart2

1Kennesaw State University, United States of America; 2Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America

The last hundred years in civil engineering have been widely dominated by the use of concrete and cementitious materials. Concrete use has become so prevalent that it is now the second most consumed commodity after water. Although cementitious materials have a low embodied energy (of approximately 0.90 MJ/kg), they are used in vast quantities. In 2019, world production of cement amounted to approximately 2.8 billion tons, with production and use accounting for almost 8-9% of total global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The technology has improved, providing stronger and more durable concrete; however, the construction techniques have not advanced at the same rate. Despite continuous and constant innovations, the traditional use of rigid, flat formwork panels has defined reinforced concrete members as a uniform cross-section, prismatic structural elements in both design codes and construction methods. These resultant shapes have become practically an inevitable conclusion for concrete constructions.

This research presents experimental results on the use of a non-rigid formwork system that has been developed by looking at different parameters, including mold materials, mold configurations, and construction methods. The analysis of a potential flexible formwork is tested, and results are compared to that of rigid formwork. In addition, an optimized high-performance concrete mixture developed to take full advantage of the new formwork system and address problems related to reinforcement and construction methods is also presented.

The results show that using such technology enhances material reduction and design optimization compared to traditional concrete mold systems while improving sustainability, performances, and adaptation to various architectural forms. By challenging the paradigm of rigid formwork, this paper introduces a technology that impacts the embodied energy and the carbon emission associated with new concrete constructions by possibly saving up to 30% in concrete volume compared to an equivalent strength prismatic member. In addition, the provision of an inexpensive, extremely lightweight, and globally available formwork material in place of wood will help address the need for housing in building economies that rely on reinforced concrete construction but lack in access to wood construction materials. Thus this research presents results that offer exciting opportunities for engineers and architects to move towards a more sustainable construction industry.

Plasticized Design: Fusing Plastic Chemistry and Architectural Design to address Health Impacts

Joiana Hooks

University of Minnesota, United States of America

Globally, 8.3 billion metric tonnes of virgin plastic was produced between 1950-2015, according to Our World in Data research.

With some utilization spans as low as 12 minutes, reports show 90% of productions were discarded within less than a year; only 9% recycled. Subsequently, 4.9 billion metric tonnes of discarded materials now occupy landfills and dumps.

Production and disposal methods cause noxious chemical contamination, and don’t utilize plastic’s compositional structure, considering most remain 400-1,200 years, says an ACS Perspective by Chamas et al. This underutilization encourages exponential virgin production cycles; thus, disposal and contamination. Closing this “loop” with primary or secondary recycling methods pose equally threatening implications, as both require significant energy, fossil fuels, and water in addition to reinstituting noxious chemicals.

Thermoplastics, types 1-6, are the most abundant plastic subset and therefore prioritized for safe mitigation. Due to thermal degradation factors and susceptibility to contamination, thermoplastics suffer compositional weakening with repetitive thermal and mechanical processing, making cyclical reprocessing difficult.

For instance, primary recycling requires ancillary resources for heat and chemical washing to ensure pure feedstock is remanufactured into similar or original product types; i.e., bottle to bottle.

Additionally, Secondary recycling remanufactures cleansed feedstock into new items that, unfortunately, become unrecyclable with each “re-cycle” through decreased purity from use, product proximity, trace substances or plastic additives.

Architecturally, plastics are ubiquitous, quickly becoming a preferred building/design material. Even construction uses plastics extensively. From cladding to flooring or reinforcement chairs to insulation; common plastics of these industries include polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, expanded polystyrene, polypropylene, polyethylene, acrylic, etc.

Architects specify plastic products generally addressing aesthetic, durability, and performance factors. However, information necessary to comprehensively consider environmental and human health contributors, such as plastics’ compositional unyielding, sensitivity to heat and contamination, or CO2 emissions, are not readily accessible to architects, nor intrinsic in specification writing processes.

In fact, in building sectors, plastics are integral in meeting various Net Zero and carbon neutral challenges. Challenges seeking to dispel the very factors plastics contribute to.

This research proposes a reference specification framework that discloses embodied environmental and human health implications of plastics to architects, engineers and specifiers. Enabling conscious decisions beyond cost, aesthetics, or product warranty. Rather, designers can now consider factors of embodied energy, Co2, red list chemical presence/exposure, or compositional stability throughout the product’s life-cycle, i.e, production, construction/installation, occupancy, demolition and reuse.

Ultimately, designers gain agency to choose products that transition safely through life-cycles, hence, maintaining a closed loop from manufacturing to reuse; greatly reducing virgin productions.

In conclusion, production, disposal, and certain recycling methods of plastics products pose detrimental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, chemical leaching, and cancerous byproducts. All greatly affecting the health of humanity, the environment, and nonrenewable resource quantities. Awareness of these exceedingly harmful impacts during design material detailing and specification processes is key in mitigating the unchecked growth of the ubiquitous industry plastics. This framework brings awareness to harmful impacts as well as agency for designers to choose responsibly for the long term.

Investigating Scales Of Performance: Mycelium Ecomanufacturing In Dhaka’s Urban Settlements

Iffat Ridwana, Mae-ling Lokko

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States of America

With a human population density 1.36 times higher than Mumbai (32,300) and 24 times higher than New York (1800), Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh, is the world’s densest metropolitan city at 44,000 people per square kilometer. Dhaka’s high-density “informal” urban settlements embody unique formal characteristics, microclimatic conditions, scales of biomass waste production, and labor patterns that activate new opportunities for ecomanufacturing. This paper investigates two scales of performance in the built environment including the potential of dense urban settlements to perform as urban production centers for emerging bio-based mycelium technologies, using organic wastes as a renewable material feedstock; as well as the material performance of derivative bioproducts. This form of ecomanufacturing leverages the variation of spatial planning, environmental patterns, and materials of development in informal settlements, alongside the workforce organizations in a case study area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. To characterize the material performance of derivative products, a literature review evaluating the compositional ratios of organic food and agricultural wastes available in the case study urban settlement was done and this study includes (i) mechanical tests on biocomposites developed with a range of pilot organic food waste, agricultural waste and invasive species substrates performed according to ASTM D-1037 Standard and (ii) thermal conductivity and hygric characterization of optimized mycelium biocomposites according to ASTM standard C518 and ASTM E96 standards respectively. Design strategies for matching microclimatic conditions and passive energy flows to the production stages of mycelium bio-composites within the dense urban settlements are explored, and finally, the interior conditions of designated ecomanufacturing spaces within a case study building cluster are investigated using Energy Plus simulation software. The spatial and construction material analysis in the case study area showed significant opportunities to develop this production process in comparative social and economic contexts. This distributed waste transformation over time has the potential to extend ecomanufacturing beyond the borders of informal urban settlements to serve as a highly integrated ecomanufacturing service for intersectoral waste resources in urban communities.

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Paper Session_T9: Thermal Performance, Energy Use and Visualization
Panel Moderator: Alison Kwok

Adaptive Model Conditions for Thermal Comfort in Schools: Comparative Study in Hot climates of California, Peru and Nairobi, Kenya

David Mwale Ogoli

California Baptist University, United States of America

This study examined adaptive model conditions for thermal comfort in School buildings by comparing them in three hot climates of Riverside, California, Lima in Peru and Nairobi, Kenya. It observed different thermal comfort conditions using the ASHRAE adaptive model. This model used the predictive mean vote / predicted percent of dissatisfaction (PMV/PPD) as developed by P.O. Fanger in the late 1960’s and the Adaptive Model which has rapidly become widespread around the world. This article scrutinized which model is more suitable and energy efficient for the three locations. Many literary sources, dating from the first century with Vitruvius, and then leaving a gap up to the 1960’s were reviewed. The article noted that the bulk of research in this study started in the 1960’s and continued up to the present date. Many authors of books and articles about thermal comfort such as Fanger, Olgyay, ASHRAE, deDear, Nicol, Humphreys, Nishi, Rohles, and Szokolay were reviewed to assess the best design approach for each location.

The analysis of several studies conducted in countries with similar climatic, social, and economic conditions appears to suggest that the best design approach to achieve optimum thermal comfort in these diverse parts of the world were made by applying the adaptive model since people living in the tropics tend to adapt to a wide range of temperature fluctuations. Three sample schools were modelled using building information modelling (BIM). Simulations were done using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to study air flow and thermal comfort. Measured data were gathered in the School building in California for comparison and validation. Indoor renderings were made using Autodesk 3DS Max.

The study suggested that when humans are considered as laboratory subjects, they tend to have a universally agreeable thermal comfort range about 65°F – 78°F (18.3°C-25.6°C) but when they are given more control of their living or work space, the comfort range widens. It is possible that the economic, cultural and technological expectations of people may be factors that account for the extension of the thermal comfort zone. When the comfort zone was extended, the energy-efficiency in buildings was enhanced. The study further suggested that forcing a building onto a site that would constantly reject it as being unsustainable would increase demand of energy for occupants in the climate. Many developing countries lack significant research studies and this is a request to consider more similar in-depth studies.


ASHRAE, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2017: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, (2017).

P.O. Fanger, Thermal comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1972.

R.J. de Dear, G.S. Brager, Developing an adaptive model of thermal comfort and preference, Pt 1A (1998), pp. 145–167.

Automated Energy Use Data Collection and Comparative Visualization in Public Schools for Game-Based Environmental Education for K-12 Students

Philip Reim1, Yang Song2, Malini Srivastava3

1North Dakota State University, United States of America; 2Texas A&M University, United States of America; 3University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, United States of America

Live visualizations of building occupants’ energy use produce heightened energy consciousness among occupants (Faruqui et al., 2010) and motivate actions taken to reduce consumption (Faruqui et al., 2010). In particular, smart energy monitor technology implemented in K-12 schools not only directs students’ attention to the energy implications of their decisions at school, but also encourages the same degree of energy awareness at home (Fell & Chiu, 2014). In spite of these documented outcomes in the literature, [Name of City] Public Schools district did not have any means of metering, monitoring and providing visualizations of energy use data in the schools for educational and environmental benefit.

This paper documents a successful process and method for implementing smart energy monitor–based frequent comparative visualizations in seven public school buildings in a serious pervasive games–based educational and engagement effort. A collaboration between the local university, municipality, utility and the school district was created to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions from municipal buildings (of which the schools are a part). The authors, who lead the work of this partnership, worked with public school district administrators, device manufacturers, and utility companies to effectively structure and install functioning live energy displays in the schools by securing a [State] Department of Commerce grant for energy education and efficiency measures.

For effective use of the functioning live energy displays, the method builds on a pervasive serious energy game designed, implemented and tested by the authors in classrooms with consistent success in achieving energy savings and learning gain amongst students. The paper describes the partnerships, roles, processes and methods needed to identify appropriate technology and evaluate the costs and returns on investments for the parties involved. This paper further describes the workflow developed by the authors, using Python and Adobe Illustrator scripts, for collecting live energy data from the smart meters, normalization of the collected data, and the production of an age-appropriate (for elementary, middle and high schools) comparative visualization. These visualizations are then displayed on monitoring systems and summarize comparative energy use reductions between meter-equipped schools with the goal of creating competitive comparisons in the serious games. The displays can be updated at any convenient time interval and presented to students in digital or printed formats.

As the testing of the hardware and software commences, the COVID-19 pandemic–related school closures have created an opportunity to test a version of the educational game component that is fully asynchronous and more widely accessible beyond the school building. The installation of the hardware and the successful research and creation of a real-time visualization process provides the potential for testing the impact of energy use in schools and transfer of knowledge from the school environment to the home environment.

Faruqui, A., Sergici, S., & Sharif, A. (2010). The impact of informational feedback on energy consumption: A survey of the experimental evidence. Energy, 35(4), 1598-1608.

Fell, M. J., & Chiu, L. F. (2014). Children, parents and home energy use: Exploring motivations and limits to energy demand reduction. Energy Policy, 65, 351-358.

Visualizing Thermodynamic Flows in Architectural Research: Multi-scalar Co-benefits of Waste-heat Utilization in Data Centers

Sara Ghaemi, Aletheia Ida

University of Arizona, United States of America

This research examines the excessive heat produced by datacenters, which according to the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy "are one of the most energy-intensive building types, consuming 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building. Collectively, these spaces account for approximately 2% of the total U.S. electricity use." (Strutt, et al., 2020). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the reliance of communities on datacenter infrastructure anticipates an increased insurgence of their rapid growth. In some ways, because of the extreme heat-generation from densely packed information technology (IT) equipment, the datacenter provides a unique testbed for architectural systems research that may lend to future low-energy and reduced embodied carbon footprint solutions for buildings in general.

Energy in the form of excessive heat is often considered problematic to either human comfort or machine functionality. Many modes of heat removal by mechanical systems are based on thermodynamics of sensible and latent content of air mixtures and require large amounts of energy input to modify the air-mix to a reasonable temperature. According to the International Energy Agency, "Cooling is the fastest-growing use of energy in buildings. Without action to address energy efficiency, energy demand for space cooling will more than triple by 2050 – consuming as much electricity as all of China and India today" (IEA, 2018).

Current methods of waste heat utilization are reviewed for district-scale and building-scale examples, including those in Scandinavia and the US. In some cases the large-scale datacenter waste heat is coupled to heating needs for housing at district scales (Malkawi, et al. 2018), while in other cases edge-cloud datacenter waste heat is utilized directly within the same building for low-income residential units enabling reduced energy costs and open access to internet. (Litvak 2017) In addition, the design research presented here focuses on system-scale waste-heat utilization through biomaterials, both for carbon sequestration and biofuel production.

With this work, one of the useful tools for defining the thermodynamic flows and identifying useful waste-heat output is the Sankey diagram, which provides a visual indication of relative energy values and states across the comprehensive building design. In addition, the work demonstrates the importance of integrating empirical material prototype testing alongside simulation analyses, including those for computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) and building-scale energy consumption. In combination, these co-linked tools and methods provide insight for architectural research and design by emphasizing the potential relationships of energy flows, materials, and functions. Integration of such techniques in the design process might allow us to shift away from increasing dependency on high-energy cooling systems and ultimately improve the performance of buildings in the midst of intense socio-environmental climate change and pandemic challenges with increasing temperatures and dependency on internet.

1:45pm - 3:15pmG: Workshop_W7: Writing for Architectural Journals: Guidelines, Tips, and Pitfalls
Panel Moderator: Philip Plowright

Simi Hoque, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Green Building

Philip Plowright, Editor-in-Chief, Enquiry: Journal of the ARCC (ENQ) 

Marci Uihlein, Executive Editor, TAD (Technology, Architecture, Design)

Led by editors of architectural journals, the workshop will provide guidance on writing for academic journals including structuring the papers, evolving an argument, providing adequate literature support, and developing conclusions. Examples will be discussed and attendees will have the opportunity to solicit feedback on their work. 

3:15pm - 3:30pmBreak

Take a Tour or Visit an Exhibit

3:30pm - 5:00pmKeynote: Michelle Addington_RESEARCH REDUX
Session Chair: Aletheia Ida
Session Chair: Beth Weinstein

Michelle Addington is dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where she holds the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture. Originally educated as a mechanical/nuclear engineer, Addington worked for several years as an engineer at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and for E.I DuPont de Nemours before she studied architecture. 

Material and performance research in Architecture is often entangled in a methodological network constrained by missing knowledge, unsupported by foundational methods, clouded by conflicting domains, and untethered to meaningful impacts. The robust academic structure that both undergirds as well as overarches the research enterprise that forms the fundamental core of most disciplines, and should be that which frames and guides our research activities, is all but missing from our field. There is no consistent development and progression from undergraduate to graduate to doctorate to post-doctorate to faculty; what we have instead are small ad hoc fragments scattered about the world—a bespoke independent study program advertised as a research master’s degree, a funded special initiative that is singularly self-contained either as a unit or as a faculty member’s lab. While canon in architectural history is certainly being questioned, we know the extents of the field and what it considers as its principles and governing criteria. We cannot say the same about material and performance research in Architecture. Academic research both governs canon and is governed by canon. Without canon, there is no stable ground from which to launch an investigation, to open up an inquiry, to dismantle an accepted belief. Without canon as stable ground, then the starting point becomes that which we do and that which we are familiar with—aka practice and precedent. 

Much of what we call research is thus incremental and relative, which is not to discount it as incremental research is certainly considered a worthy undertaking. But we are often left without a clear and meaningful beginning and ending point for what drives the iteration other than the desire to try something or to make something. Even when research is intended to tackle a grand challenge, such as climate change, we tend to allow precedent and practice to co-opt the starting point and the ultimate question, keeping us bound to the way that we do things, albeit with some possible improvements. Big questions devolve into minor adjustments if we even are able to implement the results. More often than not, we aren’t able to implement results beyond prototyping or demonstration 

A robust research structure allows for questions large and small, enables methods that are repeatable and verifiable, establishes paths for dissemination that range from knowledge building to implementation to definitive (and verified) contribution. But we don’t have such a structure, and we don’t have the critical mass or canonic foundations to build one. For too long, we have tried to cobble together some semblance of a research structure for investigating materials and performance: a grant here and there, a few dozen doctorates, some experimental work carried out by firms, a scattershot of engineering-like papers appearing in numerous journals. For too long, many of us have been critical of what we perceive as the lack of rigor in how we educate architects in the questions and methods of research as well as in what qualifies as the products of research. Maybe it is time to stop trying to fit into the normative research structure that is the backbone of the more atomized disciplines, and build a research ecosystem that truly capitalizes on what knowledge we do bring to the table, what unique skills and capabilities we can bring to bear, how we fluidly collaborate and embrace enormous breadth across disciplines. What could and should it be?

5:00pm - 6:00pmLounge

BYOB (bring your own beverage)


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