Today's Reviews Include:

Advanced Studio Dean Almy
Architecture - Design V Judith Birdsong
Advanced Studio Coleman Coker
Integrative Studio Matt Fajkus
Vertical Studio Cisco Gomes
Advanced Interior Design Studio Lysa Janssen
Architecture - Design III Daniel Koehler
Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio James Lord & Roderick Wyllie
Architecture - Design V Smilja Milovanovic 
Interior Design Core I + III Clay Odom
Architecture -  Design III Suhash Patel & Kevin Sullivan
Comprehensive Studio T. Andrew Stone & Claire Townley

 

Links to watch each studio's live-stream will be added to this page at 10:00 a.m., once the review has begun. Each review will be broken up into three sessions:

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 

Advanced Studio - Green New Deal Superstudio

Instructor: Dean Almy

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in association with the McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture have invited designers to be part of a historic, national event to translate the core goals of the Green New Deal—decarbonization, justice, and jobs—into design and planning projects for their respective regions.  A national climate plan like the Green New Deal will be understood by most people through the landscapes, buildings, infrastructures, and public works agenda that it inspires. The Superstudio is a concerted effort to give form and visual clarity to the scale, scope, and pace of transformation that the Green New Deal implies.

As our contribution to the national discourse, the architectural studio will investigate 3 cities in Cascadia: Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland. (The studio will be organized into 3 teams, each responsible for one of these cities.) We will consider the implications of the 15-minute city agenda with an eye toward how the principles of the Green New Deal can be manifest through the design of urban density and housing choice. Each of these cities has moved its urban policy away from single-family zoning toward a more equitable and inclusive mixture of typologies. The investigation will move through a series of progressively tighter scales: from city to neighborhood, to block, to building. Using housing as the principal medium of investigation, the studio will look to demonstrate how the architecture profession can engage this conversation as an important voice shaping the future of the city.
 

 

Architecture: Design V - Analog Architecture in the Anthropocene

Instructor: Judith Birdsong

In this studio, we will explore extreme sites on earth that are analogous to future sites that we anticipate engaging more generally on earth due to environmental and climate change. Since the beginning of space exploration, NASA and other agencies have used terrestrial analog missions on earth to simulate the conditions on other planets. By addressing conditions on earth that are analogous to those found on other planets, scientists are able to simulate their missions in these environments, hence reducing the risks of the actual missions while increasing their chances of success. As we hasten toward dramatic human-caused climate change on earth it is, in part, the role of the architect to work toward architectures of resiliency that can both mitigate climate change and provide architectures that adapt to these changes.

This studio proposes that contemporary analog sites can be predictive of more common future conditions on earth. Similar to how scientists have selected space analog sites underwater, in deserts, and at polar regions, earth analogs could also be situated in select sites that are analogous to increased desertification, ocean level rise, increased flooding, loss of glaciers, changes in flora and fauna, and other locations that share similarities to future widespread environmental changes. The final project for this studio will entail the design of an earth analog environment for the Anthropocene. 

 

Advanced Studio - Community Empowerment Through Increased Ecological Literacy and Issues of Equity in Marginalized Communities

Instructor: Coleman Coker

The studio will use a Public Interest Design approach to achieve a greater understanding of the needs of the community in which you work. To explore this, the studio will incorporate readings and discussions about Public Interest Design methodology. Through a social-economic-environmental lens, students will be able to better engage their stakeholders, empowering them by 1) learning how to apply critical thinking and new design approaches to complex social and environmental issues; 2) developing new communication skills that expand their ability to offer inclusive community-based design; and 3) identifying and employing ways in which architects can help create well-designed, resilient, and equitable communities that promote dignity for all.

This is a research-based design problem that focuses on environmental justice issues. Students will begin by researching environmental equity issues in Houston neighborhoods affected by pollution. Much of the hazard comes from the city’s large petrochemical industry, as well as increased vulnerability from extreme climate events—like Harvey—that occur more frequently and with greater intensity. Student investigations will identify a specific neighborhood where health and quality of life are being compromised. From research, students will propose a design solution that improves the lives of that community’s citizens, helping bring about environmental equity. Students’ design program and building design will be of their choosing—meant to overcome issues of inequity, while making a significant contribution to the built fabric of that community.



Integrative Studio - The Poetics of Building Performance

Instructor: Matt Fajkus

Each student team will design a magnet school focused on a particular type of performance - theatrical, musical, athletic, etc.- that will be incorporated into the theoretical school's curriculum. The building shall include educational facilities, including classrooms, for general coursework and learning, in addition to specialized support facilities for this specific focus.
 
Buildings, like human performers, must perform in relation to both other performers (buildings), and in relation to an audience (users). The challenge for the studio is to create a building that is at once a performer and the setting for a performance. This will require that the students examine the technological and physical ramifications of building performance and its future in the city, and explore ways that program mixes can be intelligently incorporated in buildings in a productive and synergistic fashion. As part of their programmatic research, students will be expected to communicate with professionals, educators, and other students that are directly involved with the chosen field of performance for which their building will be designed. Through this discussion, they should also begin to take a stance on how the design of their building will enhance the nature of education and performance within the building.

 

Vertical Studio - Situated

Instructor: Cisco Gomes

The SITUATED studio will investigate the frictions and reconciliation of site and occupation with a focus on highly differentiated site conditions, ritualistic uses, and spectation of these ritual activities. Assigned projects are structured to promote ways of thinking about space, order, and experience which emerge from an understanding of the physical world, and its occupation, as fundamentally anisotropic. The studio posits that the very purpose of architecture is to differentiate space, that is, to make the world less homogenous.

The final project will continue to investigate how the margins between spatially uncompromising programs and the particular circumstances of a specific site can be a ripe source of architectural invention. We will combine the siting and terrain issues of the first project, the architectural implications of spectation of the second project, and introduce attention to a third-order activity: the social performances afforded by the circumstances of the architecture itself. The design of a high school football stadium and support facilities will be shaped by the observation that many, perhaps most, of the interesting things happening at a high school football game in Texas are not happening on the gridiron. Without neglecting the needs of providing a regulation football field and a suitable quantity of seating with good sightlines, the architecture of incidental socialization, access from and connectivity to the surrounding urban situation, views beyond the field itself, interactions of home team fans and visitors, before and after game activities, and much more will be addressed.

 

 

Advanced Interior Design Studio - Painted Churches, Stencils, Trompe-L’Oeil, and a Hotel in Schulenburg, Texas

Instructor: Lysa Janssen

Located an hour and a half from Austin, Schulenburg, Texas is the Official Home of the Painted Churches of Texas, and serves as a center for local tourism to the surrounding Painted Churches. Often lauded as a secret gem of Texas—to replicate the old world Gothic structures of their homeland—early settlers utilized colorful patterns, stencils, and trompe l’oeil effects to create unexpected, economical, dazzling, and joyful decor.

The site of this studio will be the Von Minden Hotel in Schulenburg. Built in 1927 as a traveler’s hotel, it has a rich and racy history that includes a vaudeville theatre, prohibition-style speak-easy, pizza parlor, and numerous accounts of supernatural hauntings. With an interest to “Refurb the Burg,” the current owners are looking for exciting yet considered program, development, and place-making ideas to help reinvent the hotel and revitalize its surrounding small town and hidden gems. Through collaboration with owner input, students will develop a framework for a new hotel typology based on researching current hotel trends and take into account the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry.  Likewise, the Painted Churches will serve as a springboard to inspire new explorations of decor and material techniques, as well as opening a conversation into the ways in which other immigrant cultures have celebrated and interpreted their heritage through design. 

 

Architecture: Design III - Artist-in-Residence Center

INSTRUCTOR: Daniel Koehler

Austin is the uncontested capital of live music. Music is played everywhere: at festivals, in concert halls, clubs, coffee shops, grocery stores, in the streets, and even at the airport. The city owes its unique character to thousands of artists who have chosen to share their art with this particular community, turning a once sleepy town into an oasis of music. Yet, Austin’s relentless growth has put a lot of strain on both the artists and club owners. Rising rents and property prices have forced many artists to relocate and numerous clubs to close. The situation has been further aggravated by the ongoing pandemic. Austin's music scene will need help to survive, thrive, and continue attracting visitors and new residents to the city.

​As part of the many, ongoing initiatives to save the Austin music scene, an anonymous donor has joined forces with the City of Austin to create a musician-in-residency program. The goal is to offer temporary lodging and practice space but to also provide a performance space that will allow the musicians to share their work with the local community. The site purchased for this purpose is located on Lake Austin Boulevard, a quarter-mile west of MoPac, and in close proximity to Downtown Austin and Colorado River. The hope is that by offering the musicians a home and a stage on Lake Austin Boulevard this project also acts as a catalyst for bringing the Austin music community to this predominantly residential yet very central neighborhood.

 

Advanced Landscape Architecture - Planting Justice

Instructors: James Lord & Roderick Wyllie

This studio will examine the potential for the landscape to be a tool and forum for activism, remediation, advocacy, and restoration. Focused on the grassroots organization in Oakland, California whose mission is to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing, students will consider the historical framework that underpins the nation’s system of incarceration. Against the current backdrop of society reckoning with these systemic inequities, the landscape can be a vehicle for healing and empowerment. Students will explore ways of amplifying the mission of the organization through spatial design and materiality. In addition, modes of representation and communication will be expanded to address audiences beyond the academy.

 

Architecture: Design V - Analog Architecture in the Anthropocene

Instructor: Smilja Milovanovic 

In this studio, we will explore extreme sites on earth that are analogous to future sites that we anticipate engaging more generally on earth due to environmental and climate change. Since the beginning of space exploration, NASA and other agencies have used terrestrial analog missions on earth to simulate the conditions on other planets. By addressing conditions on earth that are analogous to those found on other planets, scientists are able to simulate their missions in these environments, hence reducing the risks of the actual missions while increasing their chances of success. As we hasten toward dramatic human-caused climate change on earth it is, in part, the role of the architect to work toward architectures of resiliency that can both mitigate climate change and provide architectures that adapt to these changes.

This studio proposes that contemporary analog sites can be predictive of more common future conditions on earth. Similar to how scientists have selected space analog sites underwater, in deserts, and at polar regions, earth analogs could also be situated in select sites that are analogous to increased desertification, ocean level rise, increased flooding, loss of glaciers, changes in flora and fauna, and other locations that share similarities to future widespread environmental changes. The final project for this studio will entail the design of an earth analog environment for the Anthropocene. 

 

Interior Design: Core Studio I & III - Interiorities: Designing for Relations Between and Making With

Instructor: Clay Odom

This semester we will seek to define Interior Design using a series of studies that critically explore interiorities as well as their generation and proliferation. We will also explore types of interiorities that may themselves be generated between discrete interior conditions. We will not consider, as a first question, explicit forms of program as drivers of these interiors although program and explicit modes of occupation are critical. Instead, we will privilege the critical investigation and consideration of human perception, spatial qualities of relationships between people, objects, and contexts, and subsequent qualities of space and atmospheric conditions as generative, affective drivers of interiority. We may continue by asking: How does interiority drive, rather than merely respond to, issues of form, use, or context? How is interiority related to and different from exteriority? How do conditions such as light, color, or temperature affect interiorities?

Given the radical interiority of 2020 and the complete recalibration of our daily lives, we must also consider the deep question of what community means. What might it mean to not only design for, but to make with others? Most importantly, how do we make with contexts and with living things that are not human? How might this change how we think about the process of design and ultimately the profession of the interior designer?

 

Architecture: Design III - Artist-in-Residence Center

INSTRUCTOR: Suhash Patel & Kevin Sullivan

Austin is the uncontested capital of live music. Music is played everywhere: at festivals, in concert halls, clubs, coffee shops, grocery stores, in the streets, and even at the airport. The city owes its unique character to thousands of artists who have chosen to share their art with this particular community, turning a once sleepy town into an oasis of music. Yet, Austin’s relentless growth has put a lot of strain on both the artists and club owners. Rising rents and property prices have forced many artists to relocate and numerous clubs to close. The situation has been further aggravated by the ongoing pandemic. Austin's music scene will need help to survive, thrive, and continue attracting visitors and new residents to the city.

​As part of the many, ongoing initiatives to save the Austin music scene, an anonymous donor has joined forces with the City of Austin to create a musician-in-residency program. The goal is to offer temporary lodging and practice space but to also provide a performance space that will allow the musicians to share their work with the local community. The site purchased for this purpose is located on Lake Austin Boulevard, a quarter-mile west of MoPac, and in close proximity to Downtown Austin and Colorado River. The hope is that by offering the musicians a home and a stage on Lake Austin Boulevard this project also acts as a catalyst for bringing the Austin music community to this predominantly residential yet very central neighborhood.

 

Comprehensive Studio - 2D4D

Instructors: T. Andrew Stone & Claire Townley

This studio's project consolidates essential community functions in a prototypical civic building by relocating and reimagining two existing downtown facilities: Fire Station No. 1 and the Downtown Community Court. In addition, the community court will be expanded to provide a counseling and mental health center and added services left to the student’s discretion and informed by their research. The integration of the fire house’s high alert tasks with the community court’s peacemaking and mental health functions will be a central topic of exploration.

Located on the northwest corner of 6th street and the southbound I-35 frontage road, the proposed site presents a number of challenges and opportunities. Some of the considerations that students will be encouraged to explore include the building’s presence in an urban context; the site’s proximity to I-35 and the prevalence of homelessness; the rich and diverse history of 6th street and its changing legacy; as well as the imagined future of the district, including proposed changes to I-35. Additionally, student’s spatial problem-solving abilities will be challenged by the physical limitations of the site, including fire truck access and the capitol view corridor height restrictions. It is expected that mass timber will make up a significant portion of the students’ proposed construction systems.

 

*All listed studio descriptions are subject to change