Year in Review 2016-17

Imagining America Conference
Professor Arijit Sen speaks at A New Voice for Publicly Engaged Design Education
New Faculty: Alex Timmer
Alex Timmer

This fall the Department of Architecture welcomed Assistant Professor Alex Timmer to the faculty. Most recently he served as the inaugural Irving Innovation Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where he pursued research on fabrication and energy systems. With degrees from Harvard and University of Michigan, Alex Timmer will bring his expertise to classes on architectural technology and design. Welcome to Milwaukee Alex!

Associate Professor Brian Schermer, in association with Workshop Architects, earned the Environmental Design Research Association’s (EDRA) 2017 Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) for its social research effort, Campus Capital Framework: Mapping Meaning to Inform the Michigan Union Renovation. The EDRA CORE program recognizes and celebrates exceptional environmental design research as applied to design projects. Under this program, Certificates of Research Excellence are issued to rigorous and impactful practice-based design research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design.

Brian was the principal investigator with co-recipients including SARUP alumni: Jan van den Kieboom, Nicholas Robinson, and Sweta Meier.

Machine to Test the Strength Of Materials
Filip Tejchman’s essay, “A New Normal,” on encyclopedias, reference manuals and the codification of disciplinary expertise, was included in the recent ARPA Journal: Instruments of Service, which focused on exploring the various cultures and institutions related to the knowledge making and organization in architecture.

Listen to the “Night White Skies” interview that covers Tejchman’s Graham Grant research and ongoing work here:

ARCH 410 Masonry Studio

Working with Associate Professor Jim Shields, FAIA, the Masonry Partners of Wisconsin continued to fund the 410 Masonry Studio during the Fall of 2016, providing guest lecturers (Johnsen Schmaling Architects, Doug Kozel Architect, DIGSAU Architects), guest critics, and masonry materials for students to work with in studio. The studio also held a masonry day in fall during which three student teams worked with professional masons to construct full-size masonry project mock-ups during the course of a single day. Many students got experience in laying brick for the first time.

This past December, Associate Professor Josef Stagg retired from the Architecture Department after a long career at SARUP. Over the years Joe made numerous contributions to the curriculum of the School, particularly in the areas of Building Information Modelling (BIM), programming, and most recently, skyscraper design in collaboration with HOK in Chicago. Professor Stagg also chaired many PhD committees during his tenure with a number of his students completing their dissertations this spring. Happy retirement Joe!

In August, Associate Professor Greg Thomson left Milwaukee for exciting new opportunities in Berkeley, California. Greg was a key faculty member for UWM’s Solar Decathlon house and part of the Center for Ecological Design. His research in sustainable architecture added an important perspective to both the curriculum. Good luck Greg!

Chief Officer of Getting Things Done
to Dee Nordgren on her retirement!

Year in Review 2015-16

New Face of the PhD Program
Dr. Jasmine Benyamin will be the new chair of the PhD program at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning starting in the fall of 2016. Dr. Benyamin has researched and written on the contested intersection of architecture and photography in twentieth century discourse. She continues to research the architectural manifestations of work at the intersections of architecture, art, film, and popular culture. The previous chair, Dr. Manu Sobti, is leaving this fall to take a new position in Brisbane, Australia.
2015-2016 PhD Year In Review
In the fall of 2015, Payman Sadeghi (PhD candidate) received a research fellowship sponsored by HGA Architects to investigate the use of energy analysis software (e.g., Autodesk Ecotect) during the schematic design phase. Payman’s study demonstrated ways that design alternatives can affect a building’s energy performance.

In the fall of 2015, Layla Qarout (PhD candidate) presented a paper (along with her advisor, Associate Professor Michael Utzinger) at the Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) con-ference in Bologna, Italy. The paper was “Reducing Environmental Impacts of Building Structures through Local Material Sourcing.”

In December of 2015, Zhe Kong (PhD candidate) presented a paper (also along with Michael Utzinger) at the Building Simulation 2015 Conference in Hyderabad, India. The paper was “Solving Glare Problems in Architecture through Integration of HDR Image Technique and Modeling with DIVA.” (The paper was co-authored with Michael Utzinger and Lei Liu).

At the annual meeting of the Vernacular Architecture Forum in Durham, North Carolina, this year, there were two papers from SARUP PhD students: Yuko Nakamura presented a paper on “The Gendered Landscapes of Higher Education: Interpreting the Campuses of Women’s Specialized Schools in Pre-WWII Tokyo, Japan as ‘Negotiated Space.’” Hongyan Yang presented a paper on “How Race Produces and Reproduces Homes: The Everyday Culinary Negotiations of Hmong Immigrants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” Hongyan received the Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships to attend the conference.

Royce Earnest (PhD candidate) presented a paper on Saarinen’s War Memorial Building and mid-century discourse at the Construction History Society of America’s Biennial meeting in Aus-tin, Texas. At the same meeting, Marisa Gomez (PhD candidate in the Madison Art History De-partment, which is associated with Milwaukee’s Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures program) presented a paper on “Factory Made Houses in Post-war America.” Royce also presented part of his dissertation research at the graduate student writing session at the American Society of Environmental Historians annual conference in Seattle.

Sahar Hosseini (PhD Candidate) received a nine-month research fellowship at the Humanities Institute at the New York Botanical Garden. The program is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation to promote discourse among scholars at the interface of art and science.

Recent graduate Caitlin Boyle Moriarty has been named Director of Architectural History for Preservation Studios, a full-service historic preservation consulting firm in Buffalo, New York.

Recent graduate Sara Khorshidifard is now an assistant professor in the College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineering at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

The PhD students are looking for further opportunities to connect student research to professional practice. This spring, SARUP Dean Bob Greenstreet distributed a summary of PhD research areas to local firms to build connections and identify more opportunities for collaboration.

The Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures (BLC) Field School
Associate Professor Arijit Sen led the 2016 summer BLC field school in Washington Park. The Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School is a unique curricular offering at UWM’s Department of Architecture. It is a multi disciplinary setting where students, faculty, scholars, and community members explore ways to see and interpret the city by engaging multiple urban stakeholders in storytelling, ecological conservation, heritage preservation and civic engagement. From Grace Lee Boggs we learned that “We are the leaders we’ve been looking for,” and the job at the BLC field school is to empower such leaders. The specific objective of this project is to:

1) encourage community-based learning and collaboration,
2) collect local histories of places of cultural relevance
3) gain skills that allow professionals to collect and analyze data
4) use the power of digital humanities to disseminate research data and
5) empower local communities by hearing/responding to those voices that are often not heard in urban and official discourses.

Design Lab - SARUP in Chicago
Historic Preservation Studio Technology Workshop at SARUP’s Design Lab in Chicago:

The inaugural Design Lab SARUP (DLS) began an outreach, innovations laboratory in downtown Chicago. The lab was created to provide a space for the advancement of architectural education for undergraduate and graduate students. The studio location in Chicago was selected to offer students hands-on experiences of important heritage and contemporary building developments. Collaboration in the laboratory was led by students in the Historic Preservation Studio and the IP_BIM Studio.

The intent of the lab was to merge the curriculum studies of the Historic Preservation program with the advanced software and technology studies of the IP_BIM studio. Anticipating the movement toward environmental sustainability and reuse of our great heritage places, the lab offered insights into a new dynamic in the professional office. Students were challenged to understand technical and intentional realities of historic fabric by using advanced laser scanning technologies, new investigative techniques and tools, sophisticated software modeling programs, and interaction with professional designers and contractors.

The laboratory began its inaugural season in fall 2015 with a four week field operation during October at the John David Mooney Foundation at 114 West Kinzie Street.

The timing of laboratory activities coincided with the citywide events of the Chicago Biennial, a unique, three- month celebration of Chicago’s great architecture focused on “The State of the Art of Architecture.” As international architects, artists, and design professionals converged on Chicago through a series of lectures, workshops, and exhibits, the DLS students were able to choose from a long list of unique design activities. The lab itself, directed by Adjunct Associate Professor Matt Jarosz in collaboration with Marit Gamberg, HPI Research Assistant and Associate Professor Gil Snyder, was the location of a series of lectures and workshops focused on heritage building technologies, including mass timber and stone, laser scanning, and design proposals for historic restorations and building additions.

Philanthropy - 91K Gift from Dan Wilhelms

UWM Alumnus Dan Wilhelms, ’81, has given one of the largest philanthropic gifts in the School of Architecture & Urban Planning’s recent history. The gift of $91,000 will contribute to the purchase an advanced hand-held laser scanning probe and comprehensive reverse engineering software.

  • Historic Preservation Studio Technology Workshop at SARUP’s Design Lab in Chicago Masonry Expert Simon Leverette of Henry Frerk Sons works with SARUP student Rebecca Holmquist during his workshop (Photo by Marit Gamberg)