architecture

Borders and Walls: What is the Agency of Architects in Geopolitical Conflicts?

ANE GONZALEZ LARA Pratt Institute PechaKucha Presentation Boundaries and borders have generated lots of attention in the political realm of our country over the last years. The proposed Wall between the United States and Mexico has created different perspectives from architects and builders across the country. Following this debate, a question arises: What is the agency of architecture and architects in this issue? This presentation focuses on a Borders Studio taught at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture, a borderland school that draws students from both sides of the border. The studio was created after seeing how polarized and diverse the opinions about the proposed wall were among architects and builders and in order to stimulate the critical thinking abilities of the students. The studio involved a series of projects that tackled different scales. Each student found their own voice on the conflict during the semester and the studio created a platform for them to bring issues like immigration, labor...

Role of the Ephemeral in Recovery and Renewal

AKI ISHIDA Installed during the Tohoku earthquake relief fundraising event, CONCERT FOR JAPAN, at Japan Society in New York City on April 2011, the Luminous Washi Lanterns was a meditation and celebration of renewal through light and impermanent materials. The paper examines the role of the ephemeral from the ancient to contemporary Japanese culture, collective experience during an ephemeral performance, and translation of traditional Japanese renewal rituals into a piece that engages a diverse range of people outside of Japan. How can designers instigate a process of renewal following a disaster in manners that engage people of all ages and backgrounds in a collective healing experience?...

An Economy of Knowledge: Research, Architectural Practice and Knowledge (in) Translation

ANDREW MAHER and INGER MEWBURN How does new knowledge ‘flow’ within an organisation? In this paper we report upon a case study in which ethnography is employed to render visible the ‘knowledge transfer’ (strategically redefined as ‘knowledge translation’) occurring between a PhD researcher and the members of the organisation in which he is ‘embedded’. In this case the PhD student is located within an architectural firm and an industry context that is not accustomed to housing researchers in its midst. The path of knowledge flow, or rather its translation, is not found to be smooth. Knowledge ‘flow’ happens only in leaks and trickles through the organisation. We discuss the implications of this case for how ethnographic research in a business context might be communicated to an audience who do not necessarily value scrutiny of this nature....

The Built Environment: Exploration toward a New Paradigm

DOROTHY DEASY, ERIK LUCKEN, WILLIAM DOWELL, GRETCHEN GSCHEIDLE and LAURA LEENHOUTS For most businesses, group work is the way in which ideas are given voice. In this study, ethnographic research was conducted to explore group work and the environments in which it occurs. The research provides context for architects and designers who are conceiving improvements or reinventing the ways the built environment (e.g., furnishings, décor and architecture) influences the outcome of group activities. The research took place in two phases; phase one sought to develop a set of observable hypotheses and phase two sought to validate the hypotheses through observation. In the first phase “embedded reporters” were recruited from Herman Miller and Gensler staff to serve as observers of their own group work and to report on idea flow, knowledge transfer, size of groups, reasons for working together, stage of process, etc. During the second phase of the study, an ethnographic researcher shadowed a “hub” person skilled in group work for 1 –...

Tell Them I Built This: A Story of Community Transformation through Design, Youth, and Education

EMILY PILLOTON Good morning. I’m really excited to be here. Last time I was here, I was down the street at the Trustees Theater for all of five hours, while on a cross-country road trip. It’s nice to be back and to have a little bit more time to spend here and to tell the story — and to do so as part of the theme of a conference. What I want to do is just tell the story, and hopefully provide a little bit of context and maybe inspiration under the theme of renewal. I am the founder of this nonprofit organization called Project H. I was thinking this morning about the theme of “renewal,” what that means to me, and what that has to do with my own practice. I came from a background in architecture, and I was thinking about what I do now vs. why I got into architecture in the first place — which at the beginning was really about having grown up with a father who wanted to be an architect, living vicariously through that dream, being a math nerd, but also being really creative. Somehow architecture became this perfect storm...