Geoffrey ThünAssociate Dean for Research and Creative Practice
Professor of Architecture
Geoffrey Thun is a professor of architecture and associate dean for research and creative practice at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Thun supports Taubman College’s research enterprise, seeking to enhance the strength and vitality of research across the architecture and urban and regional planning programs. In this role, he identifies new research opportunities, enables research collaborations, and facilitates partnerships among U-M faculty and with external partners and organizations. Thun also is co-director of the Urban Collaboratory, a consortium of internationally recognized researchers and designers from different U-M academic units who are focused on integrating smart-city technologies with urban design and who collaborate directly with city stakeholders to address targeted challenges that impact the livability of communities.
Thun also is a founding partner in the research-based practice RVTR. Thun's research and creative practice ranges in scale from the regional territory and the city, to high-performance buildings, to full-scale prototype-based work exploring responsive and kinetic envelopes that mediate energy, atmosphere, and social space. These operational scales are tied together through a methodology that entails a complex systems approach; one that assembles around each project a multiplicity of actors, forces, and contexts and leverages these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents toward integrated and synthetic design work. His academic research has attracted external funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Power Authority, Guardian Industries, and Ford Motor Company.
Thun's creative practice has been exhibited widely. Honors include two R&D Awards from Architecture Magazine (2010, 2016), a Journal of Architectural Education Best Design as Research Article (2013), the Architizer A+ Award Program’s Architecture + Sound Jury Award (2013), an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Faculty Design Award (2012, 2014), and a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in the Practice of Architecture (2011), among others. His research has been published in OASE Journal, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Leonardo, Volume, [bracket], MONU, New Geographies Journal, and Journal of Architectural Education.
In 2016, RVTR collaborated with Pierre Belanger on “EXTRACTION,” representing Canada at the Venice Biennale. RVTR’s “Infra Eco Logi Urbanism,” a major solo traveling exhibition, was exhibited at the Centre de Design de l'UQAM in Montreal, Paul Crocker Gallery, Ryerson University in Toronto, Paul Rudolph Hall Gallery, Yale University, LRA Gallery, University of Michigan, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Ewing Gallery. A monograph of the project, Infra Eco Logi Urbanism: A Project for the Great Lakes Region (Park Books) was published in 2015.
He holds a Master of Urban Design from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo.