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Equity Innovation

Within the Building Tomorrow framework Taubman College is prioritizing equity innovation: academic innovation that promotes equitable access to learning in architecture and planning. To support this thrust, Dean Massey launched Equity Innovation, a college-wide competitive incentive funding program. Open to faculty, staff, and students, this program supports proposals to develop or pilot new modes and formats of teaching and learning, curricular reformulation, and process innovations that promise to make our education more inclusive, accessible, affordable, and satisfying by giving students the options they need to excel with us.

This spring, faculty, staff, and students submitted 10 proposals. Based on an evaluation by a jury of Rashida Ng (Temple University, ACSA), Jeremy Till (Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London), and Barbara Brown Wilson (University of Virginia), as well as consultation with the program chairs and assistant and associate deans, Dean Massey committed $55,000 to fund five of these proposals, which are listed below.

Building Tomorrow Together: A College-Instituted Peer Mentorship Program

Lead: Sarah Scott, Taubman College Admissions Marketing Coordinator

Project Collaborator: Joana Dos Santos, Taubman College Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist/DEI Implementation Lead

Description: This program aims to significantly increase retention and graduation rates as well as improve the experience for underrepresented students at Taubman College through peer mentorship efforts.

Chinese Architecture Theory Collaborative / 践研社 - 中国建筑系列讨论会

Leads: Dr. William Thomson, Lecturer in Architecture; Jieqiong Wang, Ph.D. Candidate in Architecture

Partner Organization: The Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan

Description: The Chinese Architecture Theory Collaborative creates a space to discuss directions for contemporary Chinese architecture design, discourse, and practice; contributes to contemporary Chinese-language discussions on architecture theory; and establishes a platform for the college’s Mandarin-fluent international student cohort.

Democratizing and Decolonizing Planning Education: Enhancing the Global Competence of Current and Future URP Students

Leads: Lesli Hoey, Assistant Professor; Andrew Rumbach, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Colorado Denver,

Participants: Taru, URP Ph.D. Student; Morgan Fett, URP Masters Student

Description: This project enhances the global and cultural competence of Urban and Regional Planning students, exposes the broader public to the planning field while attracting future students, and raises the profile of URP for its efforts to democratize planning knowledge. Four major activities include: 1) internationalizing the URP curricula, 2) trialing mobile workshops, 3) piloting international planning “Teach Outs,” and 4) expanding cases to cover more contemporary and radical planning scenarios.

Interface, Sequence, Access: Rethinking Design Fundamentals in a Digital Age

Leads: Ellie Abrons, Assistant Professor; McLain Clutter, Associate Professor; Adam Fure, Assistant Professor; Melissa Harris, Associate Professor

Collaborators: Orneal Brown, Instructional Technology Specialist, Taubman College; Ken Panko, Director, Duderstadt Center; Arts Engine / a2ru

Description: The project undertakes a year of study and planning to rethink architectural education through the lens of emerging technologies, with the goal of making a degree from Taubman College more accessible, healthful, and aligned with an increasingly digital world.

Tactical Pedagogies: Rethinking Architectural Labor through the Studio Model

Leads: Brittany Utting, Lecturer in Architecture;  Daniel Jacobs, Lecturer in Architecture

Partner Organization: The Architecture Lobby, University of Michigan Chapter

Description: Tactical Pedagogies rethinks the studio model within architecture through a series of conversations and proposed implementations that question modalities of practice and labor in design pedagogy.

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