Design as Research - The Spring 2022 Lecture Series
The Spring 2022 Lecture Series brings nationally and internationally recognized architects, academics, and allied professionals to NJIT to discuss their current work and developments in the professions of architecture and design. Lectures are held on Mondays at 5:00 p.m. in Weston Alumni Hall and are free and open to the public.
The Meta Perspective on How and Why Designers Do What They Do
‘Design as research’ was first widely known as a description of an approach to design at the College of London’s 1962 Conference on Systematic and Intuitive Methods in Engineering, Industrial Design, Architecture and Communications. The Design Research Society (DRS), was founded in the UK in 1966. Design Studies, the international journal for design research, was launched in 1979. In the foreword to their call for submissions Design Studies describes itself as a, “[l]eading international academic journal focused on developing understanding of design processes. It studies design activity across all domains of application, including engineering and product design, architectural and urban design, computer artefacts and systems design. It therefore provides an interdisciplinary forum for the analysis, development and discussion of fundamental aspects of design activity, from cognition and methodology to values and philosophy.
To understand how designers consider their own thinking, a deep dive in to the history of this approach to design is recommended for practitioners who want identify and define the meta-view of how they work. For the rest of us, we can join the spring lecture series at Hillier College starting on February 7 to hear it straight from the source.
This Spring the lecture series, currently organized by Kelly Hutzell and John Cays, focuses once again on ‘Design as Research’, with speakers who’s work will provide a lens on what is really meant by the words innovation and transformation, who present practices that integrate art, science and engineering, human perception, cognition, and experience, who design at the intersection of the digital and physical in architecture, who incorporate the rigorous measurement of environmental impacts into design, and whose insights on the practice as a whole will provide signposts on the design solutions we choose to follow.
2/7 Nina Cooke John
Nina Cooke John’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Dwell, NBC’s Open House and the Center for Architecture’s 2018 exhibition, Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture.
Born in Jamaica, Nina has always been inspired by the creativity she witnessed in her homeland: the art of people transforming everyday hardships and limitations into innovative solutions through multiple spheres of life. She imbues the spirit of transformation and innovation into every design project, from the structure of a home’s interior to the streetscape of a city block.
Nina began her professional career designing houses in Connecticut, Arizona and Virginia with the architecture firm Voorsanger and Associates. She went on to work on large cultural institutional projects like the New York Botanical Gardens master plan, the Clinton Library and the Biltmore Theater at Polshek Partnership (now Ennead).
Nina collaborated with Reddymade Design on retail design, corporate offices and custom residential construction and interior design for seven years before forming Frame Design Lab in 2012. Studio Cooke John is the evolution of that collaboration.
For two decades Nina has been a sought-after educator, having taught architecture and design strategy at Syracuse University and currently at Parsons the New School for Design. Nina has been a registered architect since 2000 holding licenses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University.
2/21 Mathew Schwartz
Mathew Schwartz is a Researcher and Designer with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Architecture with a concentration in Digital Technology from the University of Michigan. His work has spanned art, science, and engineering. The core theme in all of his work is the interdisciplinary aspect in which the knowledge or interest in one field influences the other. Always interested in human motion through his own experience in Taekwondo and dance, he created Sculptural Motion, a project integrating motion capture, programming, and traditional bronze sculpture techniques.
Moving from the Fine Arts to Architecture, Mathew found the use of robotic arms in manufacturing a perfect opportunity for combining the traditional mold making techniques in sculpture with that of a robot. At the same time, his interest in human motion led to work in simulating the human for design. Surprised by the limited resources available to architects on how humans move in the 3d modeling programs commonly used, he developed baseline algorithms and workflows for how future technologies and fields such as BIM could incorporate the human.
The fusion of his human factor and robotics work led to his position at the Digital Human Research Center at the Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology (a joint institute between the South Korean government and Seoul National University), working between robotics, biomechanics, and architecture. Since 2017 he has been an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design. Mathews research is about incorporating the latest knowledge and technology of robotics and biomechanics to the fields of Art, Design, and Architecture. He tries to move beyond the current trends, looking forward to what could be possible in robotics, design, and architecture not just with the current ability of the industrial robot arm, and similarly with the role of biomechanics in the ergonomics of the built environment.
2/28 Dina El-Zanfaly
Dina El-Zanfaly is a computational design and interaction researcher and an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She currently directs a research lab that she recently founded, hyperSENSE: Embodied Computations Lab. The lab's research focuses on new roles of computational design and physicality in embodied sense-making, including human perception, cognition, and experience.
Dina and her students study the agency of computational creative modes of production and the emerging social, cultural, and technological behaviors resulting from introducing them. She mainly investigates computational methods to augment our sensory experiences. She investigates designing interactions with intelligent systems from a critical human-centered lens. These interactions include hybrid environments, artifacts, computational methods, and co-creation and designing tools. We investigate the questions of: how can intelligent machines and systems learn from us and how can we learn from them? How can we work together to create and improvise?
Her research focuses on creating interactions, through a blend of computation and embodiment lenses, to enable others to create on their own. These interactions seek creating new ways for us to understand our sensory experience. In other words, her research empowers both designers and non-designers to shape experiences of products, social environments, and interconnected technologies on their own.
She is also a co-founder and co-director of Fab Lab Egypt (FLE), the first community maker space in northern Africa and the Arab world. She co-established the Computational Making Group at MIT, an interdisciplinary research group that examines the relationship between the theories, mathematical models and formalisms of abstract computation and active making of spaces, structures, and human experiences. She has recently chaired Fab15 in Egypt, the fifteenth annual global Fab Labs conference. In summer 2019, approximately six hundred people from Fab Labs from around the world convened in Egypt to share their experiences, research and projects. She has been recently invited to join the program committee of the eleventh edition of the DeSForM conference, Design and Semantics of Form and Movement. The conference explores the implications of recent and emerging technological transformations in the practice of design.
3/7 Greg Lynn
For the last 30 years Greg Lynn has been at the intersection of the digital and physical in architecture. He is the founder of Greg Lynn FORM where in addition to award winning buildings he has designed industrial objects in production with companies like Swarovski, Alessi and Vitra. As the Design Advisor of the Palo Alto retailer Curbside he is responsible for the company's physical identity.
He was awarded the Golden Lion at the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture and returns to the American Pavilion for a second time in 2016 where he will represent the United States again. He has received the American Academy of Arts & Letters Architecture Award and is a Fellow of United States Artists.
Time Magazine named him one of 100 of the most innovative people in the world for the 21st century. Forbes Magazine named him one of the world's ten most influential architects.
He is a Studio Professor at UCLA, o. Univ. Professor at Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien and Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University. He is the author of eight books.
3/29-31 eLCAd symposium
Speaker and Agenda for this year’s eLCAd symposium are posted here. Students may register at a greatly reduced rate.
4/7 Andrew Whalley - Guest Speaker at the Design Showcase
In 2001 Andrew Whalley established the Grimshaw Architects office in New York and in the same year won the international design competition for the Experimental, Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), New York. In 2003, they won a second competition for the new Fulton Center. During his ten years as Partner-in-Charge of the New York Office, Whalley established Grimshaw as one of the eight architectural practices selected for major public projects in New York under Mayor Bloomberg’s design excellence program with the New York City Department of Design and Construction. Grimshaw was awarded the New York AIA Medal of Honor in 2014 for their commitment and contribution to the City Of New York.
Whalley was instrumental in Grimshaw's work on the Expo 2020 Sustainability Pavilion. For this project, Grimshaw assembled both a design team, underpinned by the engineering expertise of BuroHappold Engineering, as well as an Advisory Group Committee derived from some of the world’s leading research institutions including NASA, California Academy of Sciences and Eden Project.
As well as building architecture, Whalley has also designed interiors and furniture.
He is a registered member of the AIA and RIBA and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006. In April 2019 he was elected to the board of the British Architectural Library Trust.
He was elected to the AIA College of Fellows for Design in 2019 and awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from his alma mater, Glasgow School of Art.
A strong advocate for building and carbon neutrality by 2030, with Grimshaw a signatory to the World Green Building Council pledge for the same, Whalley brings perspective to where carbon emissions and wealth are most highly concentrated, to the scale of time within the industrial revolution has damaged the biosphere, and to the scale of building going on now into 2050 as populations move to urban centers. You can view one of many talks by Whalley here, at The World Architecture Festival 2019.
Among previous guests are Thom Mayne, FAIA; Stephen Kieran, FAIA; Yeohlee Teng, Hilary Sample, William Mitchell, Bernard Tschumi, FAIA, Preston Scott Cohen, and Stan Allen, AIA. Since 2007, an endowment established with the American Institute of Architects New Jersey Chapter (AIANJ) has increased the breadth of the lecture series by allowing for the establishment of the AIANJ Endowed Lecture each April and a symposium each fall.
The Hillier College Evening Lecture Series is registered with the AIA Continuing Education System (AIA/CES) and offers learning units which may be self-reported. The New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA) is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and is in compliance with all criteria standards.