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PUBLIC: Present Predicaments in Architecture and Urban Planning

PUBLIC Conference

PUBLIC: Present Predicaments in Architecture and Urban Planning
Friday, September 28, 2012, Rackham Amphitheatre

PUBLIC is the third installment of a series of conferences exploring present predicaments in architecture and urban planning. This conference will focus on the relationships between planning, architecture, and the public while exploring the social impact of designs and decisions. Questions to be considered include: What role should public space play? What is the public definition of beauty? What forces enable planning and architecture to redefine culture and serve as a catalyst for change?

A diverse group of experts who actively shape the public opinion of architecture and planning will respond through informal discussion to a series of four "provocations." These free-ranging conversations will underscore the complexities and contradictions inherent in each provocation as well as suggest potential solutions to such predicaments. Open discussion at the end of the afternoon will encourage the audience to take part in the conversations.

Details

September 28, 2012
Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Time: 1 PM – 6:00 PM

The conference is free and open to the public. Lunch provided. Doors open at Noon.

For transportation and parking details, visit: pts.umich.edu.
*The closest public parking structures: Maynard Parking Structure, and E Washington Parking Structure


Panels

PUBLIC will be a series of four conversations.

Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good

The exponential growth of the modern city has estranged us from a role in shaping it. For many, the city seems just too big, too intractable, too inaccessible. But around the world, and throughout the United States, individuals and organizations are intervening directly in their own environments, bringing incremental improvements to their streets, blocks, and neighborhoods. These acts of micro-urbanism, of informal urban design, are characteristically small in scale, and often temporary – the opposite of the qualities we traditionally associate with good design – yet their power resides not so much in their forms as in their impacts, in their immediate ability to infuse places with value and meaning.

In conversation:

  • Ned Cramer
    Editor-in-Chief, Architect Magazine
  • Cathy Lang Ho
    Commissioner and Curator for the U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale
  • David Van Der Leer
    Assistant Curator of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Guggenheim Museum; co-curator for the U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale

Beauty as a Public Right

In recent discourse, the public role of design has focused on programmatic constructs that omit the visual dimension of architecture from the equation. While iconicity played a significant role in the explosion of architecture into public life in the 1980's and 90's, today the image has been disregarded as elitist and as such, argued as not belonging in the public realm. This conversation will use evolving notions of beauty, ugliness, and the sublime to explore what role character may play in the construction of public life, and the design tool that can be deployed to that effect.

In conversation:

  • Tatiana Bilbao
    Principal Architect, Tatiana Bilbao S.C.
  • Matias del Campo
    Principal, SPAN Architecture & Design
  • Marc Kushner
    CEO, Architizer; Partner, HWKN
  • François Roche
    new-territories, R&Sie(n), [eIf/b∧t/c]
  • Joseph Rosa (moderator)
    Director, University of Michigan Museum of Art

Are You Receiving? Providing Public Platforms for Architecture and Design

Our understanding of the world is based on connecting and interpreting ideas according to associations and the juxtaposition of information within a given context. The linking or accumulation of information helps us form a complex picture of daily life leading to greater interaction, engagement, and understanding of our place in the world. As such, this method of structuring information based on the accumulation and remixing of data is proving significant both online and off. Fueled by advances in production processes, materials research, social and environmental concerns, as well as influences drawn from theoretical discourse, architects and designers such as Tobias Armborst, Iker Gil, and Eric Rodenbeck are developing projects that function as public platforms. Such platforms engage a broad public in questions and issues related to interdisciplinary practice across architecture and design as a way to rethink the role of and open up these fields and stretch their range of influence. From installations to events, publications, and digital projects, these practitioners are carving out new avenues for experimentation as a way to develop output that engages diverse audiences.

In conversation:

  • Tobias Armborst
    Principal, Interboro Partners
  • Iker Gil
    Director, MAS Studio
  • Eric Rodenbeck
    CEO, Stamen Design
  • Zoë Ryan (moderator)
    John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, Department of Architecture and Design, The Art Institute of Chicago

13178 Moran Street

13178 Moran Street: Grounds for Detroit, an exhibition project of five experimental architecture installations, is an invited submission to the 2012 Biennale di Venezia as part of the exhibition Common Ground curated by David Chipperfield. The creative repurposing of vacant homes and open lots as sites of architectural experimentation uses the physical material of Detroit – its excess building stock and accumulated open spaces – to project new programs for old forms. This project proposes architecture as a means to finding opportunity rather than solving problems, an approach that resonates with the contemporary condition of a city like Detroit.

In conversation:

  • Ellie Abrons
    Lecturer in Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Adam Fure
    Lecturer in Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Meredith Miller
    Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Thom Moran
    Lecturer in Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Catie Newell
    Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Rosalyne Shieh
    Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Sarah Herda (moderator)
    Executive Director, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning