Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design Presents Fall 2023 Lecture Series Lineup

Yvonne Farrell, left, and Shelley McNamara are co-founders of Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland, and are lead designers for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation. Farrell will present a lecture on Oct. 18 as part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design's fall 2023 lecture series.

Photo courtesy of Alice Clancy

Yvonne Farrell, left, and Shelley McNamara are co-founders of Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland, and are lead designers for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation. Farrell will present a lecture on Oct. 18 as part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design’s fall 2023 lecture series.

The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design announces its fall 2023 lecture series. Through these carefully selected presenters, the school continues to engage with the broad scope of issues, opportunities and challenges that society and the design disciplines confront today, and to include a diverse array of local, national and international voices.

Brian Holland, assistant professor of architecture, is coordinator of the school’s lecture series.

“This collection of world-class speakers — all acknowledged leaders in their disciplines — reinforces the Fay Jones School’s ongoing engagements with the accelerating adoption of mass timber in Arkansas and the U.S., the promotion of affordable and attainable housing options in the state, and the promotion of accessibility and equity in the built environment,” Holland said. “These talks provide students, faculty and many others on campus the chance to see how architecture and design can make a difference in public life by addressing collective challenges through the power of design.”

The lecture series will take place over six Mondays and two Wednesdays in September, October and November and will be available through an online playlist following the completion of the series.

One lecturer, David Gissen, also will lead a Together in Diversity and Design workshop in the school the day after his lecture, working with Gabriel Díaz Montemayor, assistant dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and associate professor of landscape architecture. Gissen is the author of the book The Architecture of Disability, published in 2023 by the University of Minnesota Press. In this study, Gissen explores the built environment beyond questions focused only on the need and responsibility to provide universal access — focused on use and utility — to all people. Gissen enhances this conversation by proposing “more expansive spatial politics of impairment” as a described central argument to the book. His book will be the main focus of his lecture, and he will expand on the central reflection put forward in it for the workshop.

Another lecturer, Stephen Burks, also will work throughout the semester with Jake Tucci, assistant professor of interior architecture and design, in a furniture-focused design studio. Through support from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund grant, the Fay Jones School has committed to designing, prototyping and building 125 studio desks for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation through a series of progressive faculty-led courses (including this studio course) and a partnership with Burks. As guest design consultant, Burks will provide his expertise and experience through several in-person campus visits, and students will travel to Brooklyn, New York, to visit Burks’ design studio, Stephen Burks Man Made.

Working together, students will research and design a “studio desk” for the new Anthony Timberlands Center that supports the numerous activities of the studio environment. They will sketch, draft, build scale models, digitally iterate and experiment with Weyerhaeuser’s wood products, while carefully considering the limitations and opportunities created by the materials and manufacturing process. Students also will define the ideal studio culture and investigate how students use the space to develop a scenario-based understanding of the studio environment. They also will propose space layouts of the studio environment that express their ideal studio culture and that support the various use scenarios.

All lectures begin at 4:30 p.m. (CST) in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall in Vol Walker Hall on the U of A campus.

The full slate of lecturers are:

Sept. 11 — Angela Brooks, FAIA, and Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA

Brooks is managing principal and Scarpa is a founder at Brooks + Scarpa Architects in Los Angeles. They are both 2022 AIA Gold Medal recipients. The firm is a multi-disciplinary practice that includes architecture, landscape architecture, planning, environmental design, materials research, graphic, furniture and interior design services that produces innovative, sustainable iconic buildings and urban environments. The firm has designed a number of notable affordable housing developments in Los Angeles. Their lecture is the Ernie Jacks Lecture, sponsored by Marlon Blackwell Architects.

Sept. 25 — Signe Kongebro

Kongebro is the Global Design Director of Urbanism and partner at Henning Larsen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kongebro founded the firm’s sustainability department and pioneers new methods for reducing carbon on an urban scale. She is lead designer on the Stockholm Wood City project, slated to be the largest wood-constructed development in Europe. Her lecture is the Dean’s Lecture in Nordic Architecture and the Miller Boskus Lack Architects Endowed Lecture in Wood Design and Construction.

Oct. 2 — Lindsey Wikstrom

Wikstrom is principal at Mattaforma in New York and author of Designing the Forest and Other Mass Timber Futures, published by Routledge in 2023. She has published research on renewable and reclaimed materials and is the organizer and moderator of Material Worlds, a speaker series hosted by MoMA’s Emilio Ambasz Institute. Her lecture is the Miller Boskus Lack Architects Endowed Lecture in Wood Design and Construction.

Oct. 9 — Primo Orpilla, ASID, IIDA

Orpilla is principal and co-founder of Studio O+A in San Francisco. His firm made its name rethinking the impact the workplace has on work. They focus on the idea that every client has a story, and the work environment is a vehicle for telling it. His lecture is the Evo Business Environments Endowed Lecture in Interior Architecture and Design. He will also present a second lecture Oct. 10 at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock as part of the Architecture and Design Network’s June Freeman Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by the Fay Jones School.

Oct. 18 — Yvonne Farrell, FRIAI, Hon. FRIBA

Farrell is co-founder of Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland. She was a co-recipient of the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize and received a Royal Gold Medal in 2020. The firm has completed many significant and prestigious buildings in Ireland and internationally, with projects spanning from Milford to Milan, and from Lima to London. Grafton Architects is the design firm for the Fay Jones School’s Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation, working with Modus Studio. Her lecture is the Warren Segraves Memorial Lecture, sponsored by Modus Studio.

Oct. 23 — David Gissen

Gissen is a professor of architecture and urban history at Parsons School of Design in New York and author of The Architecture of Disability, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2023. He lectures and teaches internationally in the areas of architecture, interior, urban and landscape history, theory and design. He is the Together in Diversity and Design Presenter. While at the Fay Jones School, he also will lead a workshop on disability and the design of the built environment.

Oct. 30 — Nicole Warns, PLA, ASLA, ULI

Warns is design director and principal at TBG Partners, a large multi-office landscape architecture firm based in Austin, Texas. She works to initiate project development, generating big-picture ideas with her diverse design perspective gained from working throughout the United States and abroad. Her focus on agile analog drawing and diagramming methods and techniques is instrumental to a practice where design thinking, reflection and process are drawn and discussed collectively to get to and develop the best ideas. Warns is the 2023 Verna C. Garvan Distinguished Visitor in Landscape Architecture.

Nov. 8 — Stephen Burks

Burks is the principal of Stephen Burks Man Made in Brooklyn, New York. The studio focuses on hands-on collaborative design that is deeply invested in the transformative power of craft techniques that challenge the limits of new technologies within industrial production. Their projects include furniture, lighting, interiors, exhibitions and product design. His lecture is the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund Lecture in Wood Innovation. He also will serve as a guest design consultant in a studio this semester, working with Jake Tucci, assistant professor of interior architecture and design.

More information about each of the speakers in this lecture series and details on how to access the lectures online can be found on the Fay Jones School website.

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