Professional Practice ILocation: BU C 107 (BU C 107), CANVAS (CANVAS)
- American Institute of Architects. 01/01/2021 - present. Position : Member.
- Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. 01/01/2021 - present. Position : Member.
- American Institute of Architects. 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2020. Position : Member.
- Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2020. Position : Member.
- Architecture, Construction & Engineering. 01/01/2020 - 07/01/2021. Position : Board Member, St. Louis Chapter.
The adage goes that singing is 90% listening; cooking is 90% tasting. I teach from the perspective that designing is 90% seeing. As an architect, seeing requires critical thinking.
Design begins by asking questions, and the questions we ask are fundamentally shaped by how we are trained to see.
Drawing is a fundamental way of seeing as an architect. Thinking and making is another critically important way of seeing as an architect. Exercising imaginative empathy is yet a third, imperative way of seeing as an architect, particularly as it requires seeing beyond what is visible, and seeking to understand diverse and often disparate narratives.
In the classroom and the studio, I recognize that I teach by example and I teach most deeply from my own perspectives. I strive to understand my students, and so I invest significant time getting to know them. This involves drawing with our hands, making things with simple materials to test ideas, and engaging in honest, respectful dialogue about strengths and challenges. I often carry a roll of buff paper with me to desk critiques in studio, relying on my hands and the hands of my students to draw through conversations and ideas.
I also strive to model the process of initiating partnerships and sustaining relationships in the way I design curricula. While students are typically evaluated on an individual basis in school, the ability to work effectively and dynamically with others is paramount to design and architecture. I draw from experiences I have had in research and practice which involve multi-disciplinary collaboration, and aim to make that integral to the learning experience I bring to students. Whether it is by sponsoring students to participate in an interdisciplinary poster session or by having everyone in a studio to sign a thank you note to a guest who gave a lecture, I am confident that my students come away with an expe-rience of collaboration which I believe is foundational to the infrastructure of impact.
Finally, when I teach, I strive to tie lesson plans, pedagogy and methodology back to real world issues. I remind students that if the world were 100 people, only 7 would have the opportunity to go to college; 11 people would not have access to safe drinking water; 22 people would not have basic shelter from the wind and rain. The true measure of what we achieve in the enterprise of architectural design, research and education, is not limited to what is shared inside the walls of academia, but what goes out to make a difference in our communities and the world.
When I teach students about architecture, whether that is how to diagram a concept or how to construct a building section, I hope what they ultimately learn is a way of seeing, a way of asking questions and a way of accessing the transformative power of design. I hope what I teach students mixes with the nitrogen and heat of what they learn from others, with the ingredients in their hearts and the skills of their hand; that the true mea-sure of the gift of education will be that it continues to give, and that it makes a positive, transformative impact in the world.
Westside Community + Studio
Research Methods 2
Research Methods 2 is a required seminar that prepares students for the final, self-directed architecture studio of the professional Masters of Architecture degree program.
- Final Studio: Self-Directed Architectural Design Studio Projects. Arthur Anderson, Sydney Carrillo, Tanner Curtis, Porheang Ear, Hayley Gatchell, Nicole Lyman, Haley Meyer, Connor Morgan, Sharon Rivas, Venisse Sitjar, Derek Stephens, Korey Taylor, Amy Tetreault, Cor. 01/18/2021 - 04/27/2021
- Glendale Neighborhood Community Project. Heliane Djobo, John Willits, Cadin Walker, Bryan Sarabia, Dawson Robb-Wilcox, Mina Maciunas, James Jensen, Taggart Harris, Julia Friedrichsen, Ashley Eatough, Erik Bailey. 10/12/2020 - 12/07/2020
- Deep Mapping: An Exercise in Cultural Excavation and Visual Experimentation. Erik Bailey, John Willits, Cadin Walker, Bryan Sarabia, Dawson Robb-Wilcox, Mina Maciunas, James Jensen, Taggart Harris, Julia Friedrichsen, Ashley Eatough, Heliane Djobo. 09/18/2020 - 10/07/2020
- Hope from Strange Spaces: A Place for Two during the Pandemic. Erik Bailey, Heliane Djobo, Ashley Eatough, Julia Friedrichsen, Taggart Harris, James Jensen, Mina Maciunas, Dawson Robb-Wicox, Bryan Sarabia, Cadin Walker, John Willits. 08/24/2020 - 09/16/2020
- Towards Integration by Design: Reframing Relationships Between Theory and Design: As the global pandemic amplifies disparities in social, environmental and health justice, we are challenged to reexamine the way we frame design problems in education and practice. Culture, identity and power are inherently confirmed through the act of design and production of place. From the pyramids of Egypt to the picket fences of America, the built environment is an artifact and reinforcement of dominant belief systems. The contemporary state of crises underscores the need to re-contextualize design problems in order to reflect narratives and identities that are suppressed, underrepresented or unheard. This presentation shares pedagogical goals, methods and outcomes from integrating a design studio with a theory course “Gender, Race, Queer & Disability Theories in Architecture.” Rather than teaching theory and design studio as separate subjects, the integrated model draws upon theory to create a framework for the studio investigation. Critical theory serves as an origin point, providing language and a lens for understanding relationships between the construction of the built environment and the social construction of gender, race, sexuality and ability. In particular, we explore how architecture can serve as instruments of discrimination, the naturalization of normative values, and the creation of disadvantaged communities. Presentation accepted, 05/26/2021.
- Commonplace Book: Reflections on Gender, Race, Queer & Disability Theories in Architecture. Project Lead: Valerie Greer. Collaborators: Taggart Harris. N/A 12/01/2021 - 12/20/2021.
- Co Diagnosis: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Designing for Co-Diagnosed Medical and Behavioral Health Inpatients. Project Lead: Valerie Greer. Collaborators: Donna Ware, Virginia Pankey, Emily Johnson. Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts 02/21/2020 - 02/24/2020. Total Budget: $5,000.00.