Keynotes

Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium
First Floor, Architecture East Building


FROM PROTOTYPES TO TERRITORIES: MULTI DOMAIN DESIGN RESEARCH
March 5, Thursday at 6 pm

Kathy Velikov
is a registered architect, associate professor at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the current president of ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture). She is founding partner of the research-based practice RVTR, which serves as a platform for exploration and experimentation in the intertwinements between architecture, the environment, technology, and sociopolitics.

Image credit: © Monica Nouwens




A DIVERGENT MIND: ARCHITECTURE’S INTERDISCIPLINARITY
March 6, Friday at 1:45 pm

Stephen Phillips
AIA, PhD is an architect, scholar, historian, curator, and educator. Phillips is principal architect at Stephen Phillips Architects (SPARCHS) and Professor of Architecture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is the Founding Director of the Cal Poly Los Angeles Metropolitan Program in Architecture and Urban Design. Phillips is the author of L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s-1990s from (Lars Müller, 2014) and Elastic Architecture: Frederick Kiesler and Design Research in the First Age of Robotic Culture (MIT Press, 2017).
Paper Sessions

Caddell Building
280 Ferst Drive
The paper sessions are arranged in multidisciplinary sessions of four or five presenters, with each allowed 10-12 minutes to present their research. The presentations will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A. Paper Abstracts ︎

Session Topics:
"Post"Colonial Narratives
Design Methodologies and Historiography of Computation
Building Skin and Its Performance
Urbanism, Data Structures
Architecture and Social Justice
New Materials and Construction Techniques
Materialization of Space
Historiography of Representation and Design
Technology, Media and Epistemelogies
Workshops

Caddell Building
280 Ferst Drive


Workshop 1: Getting that Professor Position: Understanding the Academic Job Search

by Tarek Rakha, Georgia Institute of Technology
March 5, Thursday at 10:45 am

The Ph.D. journey puts you on a path for the next leap in your career. If your next step aims at a tenure-track academic position in the United States, how do you make sure you build enough depth and breadth to be attractive for the academic job market? Join this workshop to learn about the Academic Enterprise, and how to prepare to successfully land a job in academia. The workshop will demonstrate the process of application. This will include how to search for the best fitting job, and understanding application components. It will also demonstrate success in developing materials such as the Cover Letter, CV, Letters of Recommendation, Portfolio and Writing Samples. We will also discuss expected conduct if you are being considered for a position, including video interviews as well as the details of campus visits, and finally negotiating your first job offer.
Workshop 2: Publishing Research Practice

by Stephen Phillips, California Polytechnic State University
March 5, Thursday at 12.30 pm

Architect and writer Frederick Kiesler was committed to interdisciplinary research surrounding architecture and its ideas. Kiesler developed a unique and varied research practice through sculpture, painting, film, installation art, graphic media, furniture construction, exhibition design, housing, and theater architecture. He was also a prolific writer who used multi-media advantageously not only in his lifetime, but through the invention and construction of a formidable archive after his passing. Development and distribution of one’s work through varied multi-media is extremely important today as in the past. In this workshop we will look at Frederick Kiesler and his research practice to better understand the conception, invention, design, and construction of original ideas and their research, and how we can turn that work into varied media forms for mass distribution, including the continued importance, relevance, and difficulty writing and publishing books.  



Workshop 3: Contested Histories Of Ecological Design

by Lydia Kallipoliti, The Cooper Union
March 6, Friday at 9.15 am.

The term “ecological design” was coined in a 1996 book by Sim van der Ryn and Stewart Cowan, where the authors argued for a seamless integration of human activities with natural processes to minimize destructive environmental impact. Following their cautionary call, William McDonough and Michael Braungart published in 2002 their manifesto book From Cradle to Cradle, which announced a circular political economy replacing the linear logic of  "Cradle to Grave." These books have been foundational in architecture and design discussions on sustainability and in establishing the technical dimension, as well as the logic of efficiency, optimization and evolutionary competition in environmental debates. Cradle to Cradle evolved to a production model implemented by a number of companies, organizations and governments around the world, and has also become a registered trademark and a product certification.
Workshop 4: Practice as Research: Hybrid Epistemologies

by Kathy Velikov, University of Michigan
March 6, Friday at 12.30 pm

In this workshop, we will discuss doctoral research within the context of the changing landscape of architectural research, with particular focus on interdisciplinary research through design and creation methods such as prototyping within the field of computational design and technology, while also opening up the discussion for exploration for design research in other fields such as practices of mapping, drawing, and community engagement in urban studies. Traditional doctoral research however still tends to prioritize text-based knowledge and dissertation format and individual exploration. How can design knowledge, knowledge gained through design practices be more productively integrated into doctoral research practices? Under what circumstances can design be considered as a specific form of experimentation and the knowledge-making? The workshop will take on the form of a cooperative argumentative dialogue, critically exploring positions and presuppositions from multiple sides.
Book Talks

Caddell Building
280 Ferst Drive


Retrofitting Suburbia Case Studies

by Ellen Dunham-Jones
March 5, Thursday at 12.30 pm

Ellen Dunham-Jones is Director of the Master of Science in Urban Design degree, an authority on sustainable suburban redevelopment, and a leading urbanist. Author of over 60 articles linking contemporary theory and practice, she is co-author with June Williamson of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, (Wiley, 2009, 2011) Its documentation of successful retrofits of aging big box stores, malls, and office parks into healthier and more sustainable places received a PROSE award as the best architecture and urban planning book of 2009 and has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Harvard Business Review, NPR, PBS, TED and other prominent venues. She serves on several national boards and committees, is former Chair of the Board of the Congress for the New Urbanism, lectures widely and conducts community workshops. In both her teaching and research she focuses on helping communities address the 21st century challenges that they were never designed for – whether that’s through her unique database of successful suburban retrofits or studio classes on anticipating autonomous vehicles, coping with climate change or suburban blight.  She taught at UVA and MIT before joining Georgia Tech as Architecture Program Director from 2000-2009.
Urban Systems Design: Creating Sustainable Smart Cities in the Internet of Things Era

by Perry Yang
March 5, Thursday at 12.30 pm

Perry Yang published extensively on ecological urban design. A new book Urban Systems Design: Creating Sustainable Smart Cities in the Internet of Things Era that he co-edits and co-authors was published in January 2020 by Elsevier. He is the guest editor of Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science for a 2019 theme issue Urban Systems Design: From Science for Design to Design in Science to explore new urban design research agenda and applications of emerging technologies, data analytics and urban automation to placemaking in the context of smart city movement. Yang is also a faculty fellow of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Tech. He is a board member of the International Urban Planning and Environment Association (UPE), and a scientific committee member of International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE) to chair the session on Urban Energy Systems Design for ICAE from 2014 to 2019. Prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty, he was a Fulbright Scholar and SPURS Fellow at MIT from 1999 to 2000, and an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the National University of Singapore from 2001 to 2008.

Grace and Gravity: Architectures of the Figure

by Lars Spuybroek
March 6, Friday at 12.30 pm

Lars Spuybroek is Professor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where he teaches design methodology and aesthetic theory.  He started teaching before graduating from the Technical University in Delft, and was appointed full professor at the University of Kassel (Germany) in 2001. Spuybroek was the editor of several journals such as NOX and Forum. As an architect he built the HtwoOexpo water pavilion (1997), the Maison Folie (2004) in Lille, France, and large electronic public artworks such as the D-tower and Son-O-House in the Netherlands. His works have been exhibited at various Venice Biennales, the Victoria & Albert, the Centre Pompidou a.o. and are part of the collections of the FRAC in Orléans and the CCA in Montreal. More than 400 articles have been written about his architectural work. The last ten years Spuybroek has turned his focus to writing and teaching. He is the author of The Architecture of Continuity (2008), Research and Design: The Architecture of Variation (2009),  Research and Design: Textile Tectonics (2011), and The Sympathy of Things (2011 and 2016). Spuybroek is currently working on a book for Bloomsbury entitled Grace and Gravity: Architecture of the Figure (2020).
Assembling the Architect: The History and Theory of Professional Practice

by George B. Johnston
March 6, Friday at 12.30 pm

George B. Johnston is Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech and principal of Johnston+Dumais [architects]. He has over 35 years of experience as an architect, educator, academic leader, and cultural historian. He teaches courses in architectural and urban design, cultural theory, and social history of architectural practice; and his research interrogates the social, historical, and cultural implications of making architecture in the American context. He is author of the award-winning book from The MIT Press, Drafting Culture: A Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards, which has been lauded for its insights into the ongoing technological transformation of the profession. As both practicing architect and cultural historian, George is open to and supports research and design projects that involve themes of memory and modernity; institutions of cultural exhibition and display; changing design technologies and representational practices, approaches to American vernacular architecture and cultural landscape; and the critique of the everyday. Propelling his inquiries is this central concern: What recuperative role can architects’ practices play in this age of universalizing technology?
Closing Panel

Caddell Building
280 Ferst Drive

Danielle Willkens is a practicing designer, researcher, and FAA Certified Remote Pilot who is particularly interested in bringing architectural engagement to diverse audiences through interactive projects. Her experiences in practice and research include design/build projects, public installations, and on-site investigations as well as extensive archival work in several countries. As an avid photographer and illustrator, her work has been recognized in the American Institute of Architects National Photography Competition and she has contributed graphics to several exhibitions and publications.  She was the 2015 recipient of the Society of Architectural Historians’ H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship and her research into transatlantic design exchange has been supported by the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant.

Athanassios Economou is Professor in the College of Design at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr Economou’s teaching and research are in the areas of shape grammars, computational design, formal specification of style, computer-aided design and design theory with over forty published papers in these areas. He is the Director of the Shape Computation Lab and the Director of the Architectonics Study Abroad Program at Georgia Tech. Recent funded projects include the project Shape Machine, NSF/iCoprs, and Courtsweb: A Visual Description of Federal Courthouses, GSA/US.Courts, $1.3M. Design projects from his studios at Georgia Tech have received prestigious awards in international and national architectural competitions. He has been invited to give talks, seminars, and workshops at several universities including MIT, Harvard, TU Vienna, Tsinghua Univ, U.Michigan, NTUA, among others. Dr. Economou holds a Diploma in Architecture from NTUA, Athens, Greece, an M.Arch from USC, and a PhD in Architecture from UCLA.

Tarek Rakha is an architect, building scientist and educator. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech, and Faculty at the High Performance Building (HPB) Lab. Prior to joining Tech, Dr. Rakha taught at Syracuse University, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and MIT. He completed his Ph.D. in building technology at MIT, where he was part of the Sustainable Design Lab. He leads efforts in the acquisition and implementation of scholarly collaborations with government, industry and academic partners. This includes multiple externally sponsored projects supported by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
Perry Yang is an Associate Professor and Director of Eco Urban Lab of the School of City and Regional Planning and the School of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Perry’s work focuses on promoting ecological and energy performance of cities through urban design. He has been awarded prizes in international competitions continuously from 2005 in Asian cities, including the 2009 World Games Park at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a project opened in July 2009 and featured by CNN as an "eco-friendly" venue. His urban design work was published in the January 2010 issue Ecological Urbanism at WA (World Architecture), a leading architecture journal by Tsinghua University. He has been involved in smart city projects in Japan from 2016 to 2020, including one of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic sites at Urawa Misono, in collaboration with Global Carbon Project (GCP) and the University of Tokyo.

Nassim Parvin is an Associate Professor at the Digital Media program at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Design and Social Interaction Studio. Her research explores the ethical and political dimensions of design and technology, especially as related to questions of democracy and justice. Rooted in pragmatist ethics and feminist theory, she critically engages emerging digital technologies—such as smart cities or artificial intelligence—in their wide-ranging and transformative effect on the future of collective and social interactions. Her interdisciplinary research integrates theoretically-driven humanistic scholarship and design-based inquiry. That is, she both writes traditional scholarly papers and makes digital artifacts that illustrate how humanistic values may be cultivated to produce radically different artifacts and infrastructures. She is an editor of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, an innovative open-access journal in the expanding interdisciplinary field of STS and serve on the editorial board of Design Issues. Her teaching has also received multiple recognitions inclusive of the campus-wide 2017 GATECH CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.

Joseph Choma is the Founder of the Design Topology Lab and an Associate Professor of Architecture at Clemson University. He is the author of Morphing: A Guide to Mathematical Transformations for Architects and Designers (Laurence King Publishing, 2015) and Études for Architects (Routledge, 2018). As a researcher, his interests lie at the intersection of mathematics, folding, structure and materials. As an educator, he is invested in the advancement of design pedagogy through computational thinking. His work has been shown in five solo exhibitions and twenty group exhibitions internationally. In 2013, he was awarded the Emerging Voices citation by AIA Atlanta. In 2017, Choma led a team which was awarded First Place in the Composites in Architecture Design Challenge presented by the Architectural Division of the American Composites Manufacturers Association. In 2018, he was a keynote speaker at the Future of Architecture and Building Biennale in Mumbai, India. In 2019, he was a keynote speaker at FAB15 in Egypt. He has also given invited lectures at the ETH Zurich, University of Cambridge, Cornell University, Georgia Tech and taught a workshop at Carnegie Mellon University. His recent material explorations have been noted by Composites World Magazine as "spearheading research into the use of foldable composites". He completed graduate studies in design and computation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, Choma is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, where he is a Cambridge International Scholar. Recently, he was also selected for the 2019-20 NCCR Digital Fabrication Researcher in Residence at the ETH Zurich..


Todd Cronan is the author of Against Affective Formalism: Matisse, Bergson, Modernism (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2014) and articles on photographic "previsualization," orthodoxy, Brecht, Adorno, Merleau-Ponty, Santayana, Simmel, Valéry, Max Ernst, Rodchenko, Minor White, Le Corbusier, R.M. Schindler, Richard Neutra and the Eameses. He recently drafted a book on art and politics between the Wars—Between Affect and Alienation: Rodchenko/Eisenstein/Brecht—and is finishing up a study of The Meaning of California Modern on the mid-century architecture of Schindler, Neutra, Raphael Soriano and the Eameses. He is in the early stages of a book (co-written with Charles Palermo) on the films of Billy Wilder and a catalog essay on Vincent Van Gogh. Certain basic theoretical issues are focusing elements in his work including the nature of intentionality, meaning, chance, and autonomy. He is also a founder and editor-in-chief of nonsite.org. He advises topics on all aspects of the European avant-garde (painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and film) as well as North American painting, photography and architecture.

George B. Johnston is Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech and principal of Johnston+Dumais [architects]. He has over 35 years of experience as an architect, educator, academic leader, and cultural historian. He teaches courses in architectural and urban design, cultural theory, and social history of architectural practice; and his research interrogates the social, historical, and cultural implications of making architecture in the American context. He is author of the award-winning book from The MIT Press, Drafting Culture: A Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards, which has been lauded for its insights into the ongoing technological transformation of the profession. As both practicing architect and cultural historian, George is open to and supports research and design projects that involve themes of memory and modernity; institutions of cultural exhibition and display; changing design technologies and representational practices, approaches to American vernacular architecture and cultural landscape; and the critique of the everyday. Propelling his inquiries is this central concern: What recuperative role can architects’ practices play in this age of universalizing technology?

Lydia Kallipoliti is an architect, engineer and scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of architecture, technology and environmental politics. Prior to Cooper Union, she was an Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she directed the MSArch program and Syracuse University; she also taught at Columbia University, Pratt Institute and the Cooper Union. Kallipoliti is the author of the book The Architecture of Closed Worlds, Or, What is the Power of Shit (Lars Muller, 2018), as well as the History of Ecological Design for Oxford English Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. Her work has been exhibited in a number of international venues including the Venice Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Shenzhen Biennial, the Oslo Trienalle, the London Design Museum and the Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Social Events
Welcoming: March 4, Wednesday at 8 pm in the Heffernan House

Opening Reception:
March 5, Thursday at 7 pm in the Crow’s Nest, Architecture West Building

Digital Fabrication Lab Tour:
March 6, Friday at 9.15 am

John Portman Tour, Downtown Atlanta:
March 7, Saturday at 11 am.

MLK, Jr National Historical Park: March 7, Saturday at 12 am.

Beltline Tour:
March 7, Saturday at 1.30 pm.




Contact: 
Divergence Ph.D. Symposium
+1 404-894-4885
divarch-contact@design.datech.edu

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Architecture
245 4th Street, NW, Suite 351
Atlanta, GA 30332