UWinteriM 2020

Seeing Things
ARCH 533
Instructor:
Michael Jefferson

This is a (3) credit intensive Winterim Course.

Pareidolia, or the perception of meaningful images in random or ambiguous visual patterns, is a prevalent tendency in machine learning algorithms. Having been trained to look for features endemic to categories that we (humans) find familiar, these algorithms output images that are recognizable yet disturbing in their distortions. These machine-generated images resist classification and analysis: they are inscrutable by virtue of their ambiguous qualities such as boundary indeterminacy and because their processes are obscured and black-boxed. In other words, because we do not understand their inner workings, machine learning algorithms remain mysterious and unapproachable even as they are enticing.

This course seeks to position machine learning and the images generated from neural networks as a fertile site for analysis. On one hand, this means getting comfortable with a little ambiguity. To do so, the course will embrace contemporary examinations of inscrutability, vagueness, and that which is confusing through readings and discussions particularly as they relate to digital formats. These terms will lend specificity to otherwise amorphous descriptions encountered when studying the unfamiliarly-familiar images arising out of machine learning.

On the other hand, the course will approach machine learning and artificial intelligence on its own terms. We will unpack the mechanics that underly algorithmic processes, understand their operative biases, and analyze them using the tools of image processing. Doing so positions these techniques as analogous to the field of architecture’s disciplinary methods of analysis yet underprivileged as raster-digital technologies become prevalent. Students will generate strategies for both making and interpreting machine-generated images that are anchored equally in the field of architecture and in the techniques and tools of image processing. In conflating these modes of analysis, the course charges students to develop new ways of Seeing Things.

This course will meet during the Winterim. January 2-17. The first half of the course will focus on lectures, readings, and discussions. The second half of the course will develop techniques in machine learning and image processing. No prior skills in coding, image analysis, or machine learning are necessary. The seminar will culminate in a collective installation within AUP.

Seminars – Architecture

Virtual Reality: Visualization, Interaction and Collaboration
ARCH Elective
Instructor:
Gabriela Bustos

The need of using innovative tools to provide quick, efficient, and trustworthy up-to-date solutions in architectural design, lead us to a more state-of-the-art paradigm in the design arena. Above all, the use of one of the most attractive technologies: Virtual Reality offers an environment with diverse levels of immersion and interactivity that favor the three-dimensional working area, ideal for the designer. Therefore, its study and comprehension is imperative and relevant within the universal scientific practice by way of technological conversant systems of the architectural practice.

The elective Virtual Reality (VR): Visualization, Interaction and Collaboration, is a 3-unit credit course that offers participants the possibility of experiencing their design ideas in an interactive and semi-immersive virtual interface during the design process. It will explore the VR technology as an instrument for decision-making during the process of design, for presenting interactive reviews to clients or professors, and for visualizing and management of final projects presentation. In this course interactive-visuals communication and interface with the virtual and collaborative design model is an emphasis. The elective will contain a combination of theoretical lectures, practical and design classes. A presentation of the emerging virtual reality applications in architecture will be identified and discussed.

The course will address multiple technological platforms for the virtual recreation of design products depending on the software that the student is using for modeling. It is possible to convert, import and export design models from a cross platform among graphic modelers to create virtual worlds. In the first phase, proposals of spatial and formal conceptualization will be carried out from any Autodesk® modeler to Tilt Brush on Oculus Rift. The use of this type of platform allows an interactive re-creation of architectural concepts, such as: Expandable space, flexibility, transformation, ephemeral, elasticity of space and metamorphoses. This combination is especially useful in the first stage of the design process in understanding the multi-dimensionality of the space and the “action” factor in some contemporary concepts of design. In a second phase of the course, two ways of exporting the model to visualization systems will be explored in order to allow connecting the designed virtual world with final construction documents, so that the client (or design studio professor) can rapidly visualize the project on their cell phone or tablet. For this purpose, EnscapeTM and Autodesk® BIM 360 Team and Glue will be used. Finally, in the last phase of the course, the students will be able to create a virtual tour to be visualized on smart phones with VR boxes. Two of the suggested applications for this purpose will be Roundme® and Kubity Go.

Emerging Digital Technology:Parametric Structures
ARCH 583
Instructor:
Kyle Talbott

This design workshop asks students to create experimental structures using parametric methods. Students explore the subtle geometries, material constraints and tectonic sensibilities of contemporary structural systems. Students learn fast and fluid techniques for digital testing, and they practice design-to-fabrication workflows that allow them to bring digital ideas into material reality. Students will become proficient in parametric thinking, and they will better understand digital culture in the profession of architecture. They will understand where the profession is headed, why it is headed there, and how to leverage parametric technologies for career development.

Students complete a series of mini design projects, each exploring a different structural system. Each project results in a small material model. Students learn to design parametric structures using Grasshopper. All software used is available on studio computers. Students with personal laptops get Grasshopper for free with a license of Rhino. Students engage laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC routers to translate digital geometry into material studies. No prior experience with parametric software is required. Students learn techniques through live tutorials led by Prof. Talbott. This is a hybrid course: on Monday we will meet online and on Wednesday we will meet in a SARUP computer lab. (The first class of the semester meets in the computer lab.) Graduate students receive Practice Elective credit for this
course.


Urban Landscape Architecture
ARCH 584
Instructor:
Jennifer Current

This course will explore the complicated relationship of people and nature and nature and cities through a brief history of designed spaces that were products of these complex negotiations.

As the definition of ‘city’ grew and changed, so did the definition of ‘nature’. Designing today with pressing concerns of environment, climate, and sustainability, how does this history inform the
decisions that both modern designers and we ourselves make?

How do we balance form with process?

Seminar format is lecture and project based and will require that students Observe | Investigate | Participate | Take Action

Programming for Architectural Design
ARCH 586 (practice)
Instructor:
Brian Schermer

Architectural programming is the process by which design professionals and their clients seek to determine the scope and nature of a future architectural project. It involves a mixture of formal inquiry, insight, prognostication, and judgment in order to “know” an architectural future that cannot truly be known until it is actualized through subsequent stages of design, construction, occupancy, and adaptation.

  • Learn strategies to define the scope and nature of a future architectural project.
  • Become familiar with programming research strategies and tactics that are prevalent in contemporary practice.
  • Apply research knowledge with the aim of creating better designs.
  • Understand how clients and practitioners engage in collaborative dialogue.
  • Learn about factors and trends that shape the design future.
  • Focus on community-based nonprofits for a genuine service-learning experience.

Art of Detailing
ARCH 716 (technology)
Instructor:
Karl Wallick

Prerequisite: ARCH 516 Building Construction

In architecture, detailing refers to any number of approaches that seek to reconcile technical constraints with poetic opportunities for space. In most cases, opportunities for detail occur at changes in orientation, material, or system. For instance, the way a brick is designed to turn the corner, or how a wall transitions into a roof. While such instances tend to occur at the ‘hand-scale’ (as opposed to building or site-scale) the definition of detail is not necessarily constrained by size or dimension. The way an architect resolves how a tiny building sits in a vast meadow or a dense city would also be within the realm of detailing.

Perhaps we might also title our investigation Marginal Details? Our premise being that the small-scale joints and sometimes nearly invisible technical elements of construction, while perceived only peripherally by most who inhabit buildings, are central to the way we inhabit and value works in our built environment. By emphasizing marginal details over the dominance of holistic figuration, this class seeks to change the terms of architecture’s role in responding to questions of civic durability, reuse and renewal that are so critical to sustainable design strategies.

Addressing both theoretical and technical concerns, the content of this course leans more towards the conceptual issues of detailing rather than the technical side so is a good follow-up to 516. Students will read important texts on detailing and produce drawings and detail fragment models of contemporary buildings.

Fundamentals of Ecological Architecture
ARCH 723
Instructor:
Jim Wasley

(Complimentary with ARCH 788: GREEN ARCHITECTURE IN PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE.Take either or both together.)

What is Ecological Architecture? Given the global environmental crisis, what is the role of design in accommodating the human environment to the natural environment? Given architecture’s dual nature as accommodation and art form, what is the role of design in both carving out and representing our place in the world? What even is our rightful place in the world?

This course will introduce a wide range of theories of Ecological Architecture. In the process we will seek to open up the many diverse possibilities for design to both shape and be shaped positively by a larger awareness of the world; to provide a working theory for each student to develop their own philosophical orientation to the meaning of their creative and professional practice.

This course is a required elective for the Concentration in Ecological Architecture. It offers a theoretical orientation to the topic, and is highly complementary to the content and approach of Arch. 788: Professional Practice of Green Architecture, which is oriented towards practice. While not required to be taken together, the fact that they are both being offered this semester creates a unique opportunity to do so, and I would encourage it. One will feed the other.

Green Architecture Professional Practice Seminar: Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Human Health
ARCH 788
Instructor:
Jim Wasley

(Complimentary with ARCH 723: THEORIES OF ECOLOGICAL ARCHITECTURE. Take either or both together.)

LEED. The Living Building Challenge. SITES. WELL… the rapid growth and ongoing evolution of green building standards both in the US and globally indicates that concern for environmental issues in architectural design is passing from being an emerging theory of practice to a clear professional responsibility for architects.

These concerns both expand our vision outwards to the distant impacts that the construction industry has on the health of the planet, and focus our attention inwards on the health problems associated with the contemporary built environment. The expertise required to effectively address these issues touches on all aspects of design.

This seminar examines the broad range of environmental issues that make up green architecture, with special attention given to issues of concern to the students in the seminar. The course will consist of a combination of lectures, seminar discussions of assigned readings and related activities. The course will be oriented towards achieving a basic level of ecological literacy relevant to the professional practice of architectural design.

History of Building Technology
ARCH 760 (theory, required for preservation studies concentration)
Instructor:
Matt Jarosz

This course is intended to provide students with a broad overview of the history of building technology with emphasis on developments in American architecture. This course will help students better understand how artifacts, buildings, and places shape, and are in turn shaped by, technology. Students will investigate the social process as well as the technical details of innovations in building construction. Students will then be able to critically interpret historic structures and contribute to the development of environmentally responsible architecture. These Investigations will advance the notion that historic places are not only the product of artistic genius, but also of economic, political, and natural conditions of place. Case studies of technology development will be selected on the basis of their relevance and the likelihood of students encountering these technologies as professionals.

This course is a required 3 credit seminar course in the Preservation Studies Concentration program in the M.Arch curriculum. Along with the other courses required for this concentration, it provides a comprehensive understanding of the materials and systems originally found in historic buildings. This master’s level course focus, as measured against the requirements of the traditional master of architecture degree, helps students to develop a deeper and more sophisticated ability to investigate and analyze historic buildings as the preliminary step in preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse.

Non-architecture majors should email the instructor stating why they would like to take the course and attach a CV. This is a graduate level seminar; however, well-qualified undergraduates may be admitted with the instructor¹s approval. Class sessions will begin with a student summary of the reading required for that session. Each student in the class will be required to summarize and lead discussion once during the term.

Course Organization: The course is divided into four sections – wood, masonry, metals, and finishes – each focusing on the details of that building construction material. Within each section, we will examine the historic development of that material as well as participate in a workshop class involving its construction, restoration, or preservation. This approach will provide the student with both the necessary academic foundation of understanding as well as a pragmatic, hands-on understanding of the material. Each section will include a field trip tour or workshop focused on that technology. This unique approach to learning is facilitated by the growing collaborative relationships between the school and restoration experts.

Examinations: Each of the 4 sections will conclude with an exam. The exams will include T/F, short answers, and identification, and will be worth 100 points each. These exams will be in the second half of the final day of each technology section. The exams and the research project described below will constitute the final grade for the course. Participation and professionalism will also contribute to the final grade at the discretion of the instructor.

Research Project: ‘Anatomy of a Historic Classic’. Students will be divided into teams of 2 and assigned an historic building on or near the UWM Campus. Students will create a 3D cut-away, computerized drawing of the building which will be used as a starting point to graphically illustrate all the historic systems and technologies. The required ‘deliverable’ on which you will be graded will be that drawing. It will include descriptive and graphic information about that building.

Field Workshop, Iron Block Building, Milwaukee
Iron Block Building, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1860
Architectural Storytelling: Environmental Justice and Milwaukee’s Built Environment
ARCH 790
Instructor:
Arijit Sen

This is an experimental class that combines primary research and analysis, visual storytelling, and the fabrication of a digital and physical exhibit on environmental justice. Our focus will be the built environment of Milwaukee’s North Side. We are interested in narrating a compelling story of economic, environmental, racial, and policy-based injustices that plague this area. Student work will contribute to an international exhibition produced by the Humanities Action Lab (www.
humanitiesactionlab.org). This exhibit will be hosted at the Mobile Design Box during the Summer 2020 DNC convention in Milwaukee.

The first part of the course will focus on readings on environmental justice. The second part will focus on data analysis and storytelling around issues such as housing justice, transit justice, food justice, jobs inequality, incarceration, climate justice (air quality, brownfields etc.), and health justice (access to green space, crowding). Much of the data, drawn from Milwaukee’s North Side neighborhoods, has already been collected and needs to be organized as a coherent exhibit. Some additional research and data collection may be necessary. The final section of the class will focus on visualizing and fabricating an exhibit. Part of the exhibit will travel across the world to major museums and universities while a larger local exhibit will be exhibited at local venues.


Seminars – Urban Planning

Geographic Information System 1
URBPLAN 591/791-801 URBPLAN 591-801
Instructor:
Michael Benedict

This course is the first in a series of four Geographic Information System classes offered by the Department of Urban Planning. It’s designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of modern GIS through real-world examples and theory.
At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Have a basic, practical understanding of core GIS concepts, techniques, and real-world applications.
  • Understand and demonstrate different GIS technologies and software.
  • Know how GIS is used in real-world scenarios.
  • Understand basic GIS data concepts.
  • Perform basic spatial analysis tasks.
  • Have practical experience using Esri software such as ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro.
  • Experience building an Esri Story Map and sharing it.
  • Understand how to find and search for geospatial information on the internet.
  • Experience with creating GIS projects, visualizing data, performing analysis, and editing geographic data.
Physical Planning & Municipal Engineering
URBPLAN 692 Special Topics in Urban Planning
Instructor:
John Sigwart

The course will focus on the development of land and discuss such topics as neighborhood planning, subdivision layout, mapping and platting, street layout and design, provision of utilities–electricity, water storm sewer, sanitary sewer, drainage and flooding–interaction with local government, organization and structure of local government and general public works activities.

Negotiation and Mediation
URBPLAN 655
Instructor:
Kirk Harris

Negotiation theory and practice, focusing on skills used by planners in balancing the needs of general public with those of private interests.

Planning Local Economic Development
URBPLAN 684
Instructor:
Virginia Carlson

Exploration of the role of planning in the generation, evaluation, and implementation of policies for the development and revitalization of communities

Using Urban Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planning
URBPLAN 792
Instructor:
Paul Vepraskas

A ‘hands on’ course in GIS using commercial GIS software in a computer laboratory setting to provide experience solving problems related to planning and government.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation
URBPLAN 772
Instructor:
Robert Schneider

During the last decade, more than 500 jurisdictions throughout the United States have adopted “Complete Streets” policies to improve road designs for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. Further, more than half of all states and nearly all of the 50 largest cities in the United States have established goals to increase walking and bicycling. These communities see walking and bicycling as essential components of a sustainable transportation system, and many are exploring e-scooters and other micromobility options. Their plans address issues such as personal safety, access to transit, equity, air quality, public health, and changing preferences for living and working in places where walking and bicycling are viable travel options.

This graduate-level course is structured to provide students with information about current practices in the pedestrian and bicycle transportation field. It will cover historical and institutional frameworks, benefits and obstacles to pedestrian and bicycle planning, policy development, perceived and actual safety, facility design, network development, and practical methods of estimating demand and evaluating walking and bicycling conditions. Students will be challenged to evaluate the existing methods critically and develop ideas for improving pedestrian and bicycle planning practices. The course will focus mainly on practices in the United States, though it will include examples of innovative international strategies.

The course will include lectures, guest speakers, field visits, and several assignments, including a group project to propose a new design for a Milwaukee intersection to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and accessibility. Guest speakers (and panels
of speakers) will be professionals working in local, regional, and state agencies, advocacy organizations, and academic settings who will provide a practical perspective on the issues discussed in class.

Water Resources Planning
URBPLAN 782
Instructor:
Nancy Frank

This course is designed as an advanced introduction to water resources planning, with an emphasis on planning for surface water in urbanized watersheds and with special emphasis on sustainable strategies that integrate management of multiple resources (e.g., surface water and groundwater, energy and GHG emissions, air quality, etc.). The urban focus of this course fits well with the role of urban planners in water resource issues. Yet, understanding the watershed context, which almost always includes agricultural and natural resources lands, is also important.

Course Objectives

1. Provide an overview of integrated water resources planning, considering the interactions between surface water and groundwater, land and water, and socio-economic considerations and water resources.

2. Introduce students to the methods and tools used to plan for water resources, including laws, planning methodologies, and strategies for protecting and restoring water resources.

3. Prepare students to be able to develop, communicate, and assess strategies for addressing urban water resource management issues.

Design Studios

Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate

How To
ARCH 650/850
Instructor:
Michael Jefferson

he form itself is of very limited importance, it becomes the grammar for the total work. —Sol LeWitt

This is a studio about methodology. In it, students will make, draw, build, and think about a lot of things. Considering LeWitt’s quote above as an indicator, the models, drawings, and renderings that constitute said things will be understood not (only) in terms of their spatial, formal, or architectural qualities, but in their capacity to convey a larger method through serial exploration. LeWitt’s wall drawings, for instance, (which numbered over 1300 by the end of his career), were less interested in the individual works of art than in the procedures that embodied them. This is what Mel Bochner would describe as the serial attitude or the “concern with how order of a specific type is manifest.”

In focusing our attention toward the methods by which we create work, the studio is oriented toward the creation of logics of composition and, more importantly, toward generating convention. In architecture, we rely on conventions to dictate both the processes of making it as well as of evaluating it. They are the bedrock of our discipline. But sometimes there are earthquakes that reveal fault lines and vulnerabilities, and our conventions break down. This studio is an earthquake. Or, rather, a stress test that redefines the cracks in conventions as opportunities for misbehavior.

As a foil to convention, the studio will employ tools of artificial intelligence to re-read architectural work. In these readings, algorithms will be considered on an equal plane: as a set of rules and procedures that classify and generate new work. Using these tools to evaluate architectural work offers new mediums to reflect on our conventions and methods of making work. Students will explore how and why we create things the way we do. In particular, attention will be devoted to unpacking and rendering visible unseen knowledge (both human and machine) in processes of formation.

The studio will begin with research into artists that work serially (e.g. Mel Bochner, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin). Students then will create their own methodologies following agreed upon typological frameworks. Simultaneously, students
will be introduced to practices of machine learning and image processing. These systems will be played against one another: conflating disciplinary method and machine method. The media that result might be considered as tied up between mediums that represent technical (machine) and conceptual (human) processes. Students will then invent new procedures for disentangling these knots. A series of models, drawings, and other conventional outputs of architectural pedagogy will inevitably be produced. The expected final output will be a description of procedures and tactics that question and probe the territory between artificial intelligence and our disciplinary boundaries: a contemporary manual for

How to…

Heavy + Light : Shaping the Environment through Precast - SARUP X Spancrete Studio
ARCH 650/850
Instructor:
Alex Timmer

Architecture’s role as a mediator of the environment [atmospheric and ecological] is predicated on the types of materials, construction systems, and forms specified by the architect. Choosing a specific material always provides challenges and opportunities to responsibly shape the spaces we occupy. This studio generously supported by Spancrete and the PCI Foundation will ask students to consider both the challenges and the opportunities of using precast concrete building systems. Precast concrete is a flexible construction technology that allows for vast amounts of customization while also providing the framework for mass production. The production, tightly controlled within a prefabrication facility, has also provided architects with the opportunity to maximize spans, reduce waste, and produce consistent high-quality finishes. As is often said, nearly anything can be drawn, structural designed, and fabricated as a precast system. Given these opportunities and challenges students will work closely with the engineers at Spancrete to design and develop their ideas.

While working this semester, students will learn about the various aspects of precast and prestressed concrete construction through the development of a single building. Early exercises and reviews will focus on the part to whole relationship of precast systems, asking students to consider both the module and the underlying geometry. Readings on pattern making and architecture as a field condition will be of importance during the first half of the semester. Mid-semester exercises and reviews will focus on the detailing, production, transit, and assembly of the systems that the students have design. Technical literature, as well face to face contact with the engineers from Spancrete, will be of importance during this period. Finally, students will use the knowledge they have developed over the semester to design formwork and cast their models out of concrete. Students will be expected to leverage everything they have learned in their respective architectural educations to this point. ARCH 301, 303, 510 and 516 will be especially helpful.

The goal of this studio is to give students expertise and exposure to a single construction typology. Student are asked to consider how a precast system can be leveraged to influence environmental issues such as the collection of rainwater, daylighting, and thermal mass? How does the opportunity for the mass production of elements effect the sourcing of concrete, the relationship between the individual parts and larger structural systems, the formwork + production of units, as well as their transit and the assembly?

Powers of Time
ARCH 650/850
Instructor:
José Ibarra

Studio Dealing with the Relative Duration of Things in the Universe and the Effects of Adding Another Thing

n Powers of Ten: A Film Dealing with the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effects of Adding Another Zero, Ray and Charles Eames explored the way daily life was produced through different size scales in the universe, from the subatomic level to beyond the Milky Way. This studio will attempt a similar exploration—one in which time, rather than size, is the primary concern. Time is fluid and its materiality irreducible. To paraphrase Sanford Kwinter, time has been expressed historically through rationalized accounting practices, but these are mere tools meant to abstract and measure the senseless procession of events in nature. Students will work in groups on a site where mass extinction—a better term for ‘global warming’—is most visible: a town in the arctic circle, a city along the coast, or another place exhibiting important signs of environmental unrest. Then, each team will be asked to respond to the trauma of extinction by instrumentalizing time, designing a single project through a series of architectures that range in duration from a few seconds to several years and even deep time (for instance, from event to building and geological strata).

Architecture has long been mistaken as a discipline of stasis. We tend to think of architecture as fixed and finite, having a beginning and an end, and usually oscillating between the act of drawing and the enactment of building. Even so, architecture is already (and has always been) in flux. The world’s mountains, forests, and other landscapes are in fact artifacts of previous human and non-human designs, staging fragile and susceptible natures that have changed time and again. Today, as in the last few centuries, the discipline’s role has been made to reinforce principles of solidity, durability, and stasis: we experience buildings as finished products and forget to account for their pasts and, more importantly, their futures. Powers of Time will create and unveil the temporal narratives of architectural projects by relying on clouds, trees, and mountains to render spatially (but mostly, visible) the different timescales embedded within each design.

A footprint in the sand is always a trace to the former presence (and current absence) of a referent. But, what happens when the ocean waters wash the footprint away? When architects have concerned themselves with time, they have typically done so in a way that is self-referential to each of their projects (e.g. the footprint itself and perhaps the foot, but certainly not the water or even the sand). Eisenman’s indexical project, for instance, attempted to show the spatiotemporal transformations of an architecture that saw only itself: from banal cube to deconstructivist house, the index has a fixed beginning and end, but is the architecture really over at this point?

In response to these two ongoing disciplinary problems—the problem of time and the problem of spatiotemporal representation—this studio asks, how would architecture change if its temporal relationships weren’t self-referential but instead relative to all things in the universe? Or rather, what if time were conceived as something real? Powers of Time aims to reassess architecture by shifting its gears from solidity, durability, and stasis to fluidity, impermanence, and fluctuation.

R A C E T O Z E R O - Zero Net Energy House: A Design Studio
ARCH 650/850
Instructor:
Mark Keane

The Department of Energy is excited to join its two student building design competitions, Solar Decathlon and Race to Zero, into one national Solar Decathlon competition. The new competition will feature two Challenges: the Design Challenge (formerly Race to Zero) and the Build Challenge. Visit the Solar Decathlon website to learn the details. The Solar Decathlon Design Challenge is annual, and the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge is biennial.

Zero Energy Ready Buildings have become readily achievable and cost-effective. By definition, these high-performance buildings are so energy-efficient that renewable power can offset most or all the annual energy consumption. The Race to Zero inspired collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals through a design challenge for zero energy ready buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build high performance and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The Race to Zero was an annual competition from 2014-2018, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution. The competition challenged collegiate teams to apply sound building science principles to create cost-effective, market-ready designs. Past Race to Zero resources will be available for reference to the presentations and project summaries from the past winning teams.

UWM students have teamed with UW-Madison students from College of Engineering from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The competition runs through the Fall to Spring semester with the presentation to the U.S. Department of Energy in Denver, Colorado, in April of 2020. Students who choose to participate in the studio must join the current Fall semester studio during this semester’s finals week and over the Winterim as the competition entry is due in early February. Once submitted each student will create their own set of construction documents. The current team is working for two clients on site in Verona, WI, and Shoal Lake, WI.

Prof. Keane at keane@uwm.edu for questions or Chad Tracy at ctracy@uwm.edu, for a current student perspective.

Living and building community: The Housing Paradigm
ARCH 650/850
Instructor:
Tatiana Bilbao with Alba Cortes, Ayesha Ghosh and Marc Roehrle
Marcus Prize Studio

The aim of this course is to explore the spatial capacity of design to redefine the collective space. The progressive urbanization of the world along with the scarcity of housing demands new ways to think about the space that exists among bedrooms, people and cities. By using a real case of community housing in Chicago we will look into the possibilities of expanding our capacity to imagine how to design spaces for each person to create its own life, we will question the meaning of sharing, of the new non monetary ways of relationships and the imperative necessity of understanding the peripheries. Today, the generally accepted definition of spaces that can be used domestic and collectively is very narrow. Every human being is different, one may need a kitchen while others do not, and some might think of a home as an attachment while others want the opposite. By establishing the programs that can be ‘shared’ then we can establish a formula for design that does not necessarily fulfills the actual definition of domesticity.

How to enable changing individual needs and the benefits of sharing to become a model of design? The idea is to address innovative concepts of ownership, sharing economies, and other ways of understanding resources, spaces and services. Through examples of collective living, such as co-ops, social housing, vecindades, monasteries, student dorms, and housing for the elderly, the narratives of architecture discussed will provide expressions to how the different needs and complexities can be articulated. This course is organized to introduce students to the ideology of the home and the invention of domestic property in order to reexamine notions of ownership, shared households and domestic typologies. We are interested in broadening the alternatives of the space that exists between the private realm of a bed and the collective sphere of a sidewalk.

How can cities learn from rural communities? How can utopian projects inform our everyday realities? We need to expand our understanding of productive communities. The interest lies in questioning the axiomatic of housing. Instead of beginning a design with a program, prescribed to different single units, we will start by redefining the notion of the unit itself, as well as the logics of walls and partitions, and exclusive definitions of use and identity. We thrive for a deeper understanding of domesticity, for the use of other units of measure, other terminologies to describe and invent new forms of domestic space.

We will work closely to the organization in Chicago Sweetwater to produce a prototype that could be also useful in many neighborhoods of Milwaukee.

Design Studios

Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate – Architecture and Urban Planning

Urban Design Studio_Creating Vibrant Cities
ARCH 650/850 URBPLAN 858/992
Instructor:
Carolyn Esswein and Jim Piwoni

Want to be part of Milwaukee’s renaissance? Where is the next gathering place downtown? Innovative office hub? Unique neighborhood? The studio works on downtown projects with local leaders and architects in response to current redevelopment opportunities. Urban design is about creative placemaking that combines diverse uses and cultural elements with public spaces. Project assignments include site and program analysis, street design for all users, master planning, conceptual architecture, and detailed public space design. Presentations and discussions will include local architects, developers, City staff, and local media.

A large underutilized parcel in the Third Ward, adjacent to Summerfest, will be the focus for the semester. Adjacent to new housing, offices, coffee shops, and the Milwaukee Ballet -your design concepts will explore density, uses, public spaces, event programming, and how to create connections to the thriving Third Ward and lakefront. Public spaces and green infrastructure will be key features of the studio strategies.

Design Studios

Graduate Only

Historic Preservation, Interventions and the Contemporary Addition
ARCH 825
Instructor:
Jim Shields

Offered for the Spring of 2020, this studio takes a comprehensive look at an “Artists Housing & Studio Complex” in Milwaukee’s Historic Third. The site offers an unusual curved historic building that students will be asked to preserve and renovate for the use as either artists housing or studios. The extensive site offers space for new construction artists housing/studios, public green space, and the possibility of a designed pedestrian connection between Jackson Street and a proposed new bridge over the Milwaukee River at the Historic Swing Bridge. The project offers the intersection of Historic Preservation, new contemporary construction, urban design and community building.

This studio will provide a model for the entire building design process from programming to construction documentation. This model will call for design excellence and integrity at every phase in the design of a single public building, pursued throughout the course of the semester with a focus on simple, direct, and elegant design solutions. Graduate students in this studio must be able to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems and materials, and be able to apply that comprehension to architectural solutions.