Participants

Kelly Bair

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago; Principal, Central Standard Office of Design
Kelly Bair is principal of Central Standard Office of Design and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work is driven by both the conceptualization of ideas and the making of objects and spaces that act as accomplice to those ideas. Rooted in this mode of production is the mating of friendly robots (digital fabrication methods) with our own two hands in an effort to achieve a symbiotic relationship between technical precision and the novelty of craft.

Phil Bernstein

Vice President – Strategic Industry Relations, Autodesk; Lecturer, Yale University
Phillip G. Bernstein is a Vice President at Autodesk, a leading provider of software for the architecture, engineering and construction industry. An architect with twenty-five years of experience, he leads Industry Strategy and Relations for the AEC Division where he is responsible for setting the company’s future vision and strategy for technology serving the building industry. Phil was formerly with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects where he managed many of the firm’s most complex commissions. Phil teaches Professional Practice at the Yale School of Architecture where he received his both his B.A. and his M.Arch. He is co-editor of Building (In) The Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture published in 2010 and BIM In Academia published in 2011. He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and former Chair of the AIA National Contract Documents Committee.

Mark Cabrinha, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University
Mark Cabrinha is a registered architect and assistant professor of architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Mark takes a “materials first” approach to his research on digital fabrication and parametric design through which material constraints become operative design criteria.  His dissertation, (In)Forming: the affordances of digital fabrication in architectural education, focuses on the image of practice projected from within design education through a disciplinary shift in architectural practice afforded through digital fabrication.

Renée Cheng

Professor & Head, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota College of Design
Renée Cheng is a graduate of Harvard’s GSD and Harvard College. A registered architect, her professional experience includes work for Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners and Richard Meier and Partners before founding Cheng-Olson Design. She taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota where she is currently Head. She has been recognized for teaching excellence with numerous teaching awards and appears on national lists of influential educators.

Jefferson Ellinger

Partner, E/YE Design; Assistant Professor of Architecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / CASE
Jefferson Ellinger is an assistant professor of architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE). He received his Masters of Architecture from Columbia University after completing his B.S. in Architecture with a background in Material Science from Ohio State University. He is a founding partner of E/Ye Design and has built several projects throughout North America and won several international awards and competitions.

Thomas Fisher

Professor of Architecture & Dean, University of Minnesota College of Design
Thomas Fisher is Professor of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design. Educated at Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he previously served as the Regional Preservation Officer at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, the Historical Architect of the Connecticut State Historical Commission, and the Editorial Director of Progressive Architecture magazine. He has lectured or juried at over 40 schools and 60 professional societies, and has published 35 book chapters or introductions and over 250 articles. He has written six books – In the Scheme of Things, Alternative Thinking on the Practice of Architecture; Salmela Architect; Lake/Flato Buildings and Landscapes; Architectural Design and Ethics: Tools for Survival; Ethics for Architects; and The Invisible Element of Place, The Architecture of David Salmela.

Omar Khan

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture, University at Buffalo
Omar Khan completed his post-professional studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his professional studies at Cornell University. His research and practice address responsiveness and performativity in architecture. In 1995 in collaboration with Laura Garofalo he established Liminal Projects, a practice that has developed performance spaces for artists, interactive and responsive installations, domestic interiors and award winning competitions. Their work has been exhibited at The Kitchen, NYC; The Whitney Annex, NYC; The Urban Center, NYC; The Storefront for Art and Architecture, NYC and The National Building Museum, Washington DC among others. They were winners in the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architects Forum 1999. Prof. Khan has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts and the Department of Education and is  a 2008 fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Association for Computing Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), and the Information and Computing Technologies Strategic Strengths Committee at UB. Prof. Khan is a past editor for the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) and currently a co-editor of the Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series published by the Architectural League of New York. At UB he co-directs the Center for Architecture and Situated Technologies where his research includes transitive materials, responsive architecture and situated technologies.

Jason Kelly Johnson

Design Principal, Future Cities Lab; Assistant Professor, CCA San Francisco
Jason Kelly Johnson is a founding design partner of Future Cities Lab, an experimental design and research office based in San Francisco, California and Athens, Greece. Working in collaboration with his partner Nataly Gattegno, Jason has produced a range of award-winning projects exploring the intersections of design with advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, responsive building systems and public space.

Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny

Founding Partner, Situ Studio
Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny is a founding partner at Situ Studio; he was born in Kiev, Ukraine and moved to Brooklyn at age ten. Influenced by a family of architects, military pilots, and fashion designers, he naturally gravitated towards design, materials, and technology. He earned his B.Arch from Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York City. He has served as a guest critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and New York Institute of Technology, and lecturer on Building Technologies at the Cooper Union and Parsons School of Design.

Scott Marble

Partner, Marble Fairbanks; Director of Integrated Design, Columbia University GSAPP
Scott Marble is a founding partner of Marble Fairbanks and a faculty member at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP). He is the Director of Integrated Design at the GSAPP and is currently Director of the Integrated Design Studios for The Columbia Building Intelligence Project (CBIP), a three-year research project exploring new collaborative processes in design. He has taught around the country, most recently at the University of Houston where the work produced won first prize in the AA|Fab Award sponsored by the Architectural Association in London. The work of Marble Fairbanks is widely published internationally, has received numerous design awards and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. In 2008, the MoMA commissioned their project, Flatform for the exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. Scott is currently working on a new book to be published by Birkhäuser, Digital Workflows in Architecture: Design – Assembly – Industry.

Adam Marcus

Cass Gilbert Design Fellow, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota College of Design; Director, Variable Projects
Adam Marcus is a registered architect, educator, and the Cass Gilbert Design Fellow at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. He directs Variable Projects, an independent design practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, computation, and fabrication. From 2005 to 2011, he worked at Marble Fairbanks in New York City, where he served as project architect for a number of award-winning educational and public projects. From 2009 to 2011, he was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture at Barnard and Columbia Colleges, where he taught classes related to parametric design, digital fabrication, and research into the use of pattern in architecture. At UMN he is presently teaching undergraduate and graduate design studios focusing on the role of digital technology in design and education. Adam is a graduate of Brown University, where he studied art and architectural history, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Wes Mcgee

Lecturer in Architecture and Director, FABLab, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Partner, Matter Design Studio
Wes Mcgee is a Lecturer in Architecture and the Director of the FABLab at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is also a partner in Matter Design Studio, established in 2007 with Brandon Clifford. His current research is focused on the development of customized software and fabrication tools that seamlessly integrate process constraints with design intent.

Nathan Miller

Associate, NBBJ; The Proving Ground
Nathan Miller is an associate and lead computational designer at NBBJ, a global architecture firm. Nathan has been leading the practice in the development of computational design systems for enabling generative design, maximizing production efficiency, and increasing building performance.

Monica Ponce de Leon

Dean, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Principal, MPDL Office
Monica Ponce de Leon was appointed Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning of University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in September, 2008. In 1991, she co-founded Office dA and has recently launched her own design practice. Dean Ponce de Leon received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1989 from the University of Miami and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. She joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design faculty in 1996, where she was a Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Digital Lab. She has also held teaching appointments at Northeastern University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology among others. She has received honors from the Architectural League of New York (Young Architects Award, 1997, and Emerging Voices, 2003) the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Award in Architecture, 2002), the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum (National Design Award in Architecture, 2007), and the United States Artists (Target Fellows in Architecture and Design).

Dennis Shelden

CTO, Gehry Technologies; Associate Professor of the Practice in Design and Computation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dennis R. Shelden is Associate Professor of the Practice in Design and Computation, and a Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Gehry Technologies. Shelden studied architecture, engineering and computing at MIT, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design in 1988, a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1997, and a Ph.D. in Computation and Design in 2002. Prior to joining Gehry Partners he performed structural and mechanical engineering at firms including Ove Arup & Partners, professional building energy research with Consultants’ Computation Bureau, and laser scanning research and development with Cyra Systems. Shelden lectures and conducts research in building industry process advancement and in design computation and cognition, and has been a visiting faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Significant publications include papers in AD Magazine, Civil Engineering Magazine, the Journal of Building Information Modeling, Automation in Construction, Architectural Research Quarterly, and the Journal of Computer Aided Design.

Marc Swackhamer

Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Minnesota; Principal, HouMinn Practice
Marc Swackhamer is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He graduated with a B.Arch from the University of Cincinnati in 1995 and received a M.Arch from Rice University in 1997. In his ongoing research, Professor Swackhamer examines the relationship between performance and ornament as specifically developed through digital production and fabrication techniques.

Sarah Williams

Director, Spatial Information Design Lab, Columbia University GSAPP
Sarah Williams is currently Co-Director of Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL). The Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) which Williams directs uses innovative mapping and data visualization techniques to highlight urban issues. The Lab’s work has been widely exhibited and written about and is currently part of MoMA’s permanent collection. Before becoming Director of SIDL, Williams was at MIT where she started the Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory and then helped to establish MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory. Williams was a programmer for one of the first desktop GIS systems, IDRISI, and has over 16 years experience in the field. Williams is also faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) where she currently teaches courses Intro / Advanced GIS, Spatial Data Visualization, and topics on Technology and Planning. Williams was just named 2012 Game Changer by Metropolis Magazine.

Diane Willow

Artist and Associate Professor, Experimental and Media Arts, University of Minnesota
Multi-modal artist and creative catalyst Diane Willow works among disciplines and media. Seemingly divergent perspectives converge in her practice of art as a socially engaged mode of tuning our attention to ephemeral experiences in everyday places.
Her public installations, interactive environments and evocative objects involve
media as eclectic as bioluminescent plankton, embedded computers, and found
sound. By any medium necessary best describes her process. Focused on art as
experience, she invites people to engage in multi‐sensory explorations as
participants and choreographers. She has been artist in residence and researcher at
the MIT Media Lab, Osher Fellow at the Exploratorium, and Guest Professor of New
Media Art at the Beijing Film Academy.

Jenny Wu

Partner, Oyler Wu Collaborative; Design Studio Faculty, Southern California Institute of Architecture
Jenny Wu is a partner at the Los Angeles based design firm, Oyler Wu Collaborative, which she started in 2004 with Dwayne Oyler.  The office has been published globally and is recognized for its experimentation in design and fabrication.  Their work straddles between two scales, small scale installations which they design and fabricate and large scale urban projects in Asia and US.


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