Faculty & Students Shine at ACSA

Faculty & Students Shine at ACSA

By Kerry McCulloug...

April 11, 2019


The College of Architecture is pleased to announce an impressive representation at the 107th Annual ACSA Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by faculty and students.

Associate Professor Jason Griffiths was named as one of the ACSA 2019 Architectural Education Award Winners at this year’s conference. Griffiths earned the ACSA Design-Build Award for his studio project “The Baxa Scholars Cabin”.

Built from Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), the Baxa Cabin at the Cedar Point Biological Station near Ogallala, Nebraska, is a residence cabin for summer students involved in field research with the University of Nebraska's School of Biological Sciences. The cabin originated as a fall 2016 studio research project that received funding and was eventually built by College of Architecture students in 2018.

The college had two entries accepted to ACSA’s exhibition "Drawing for the Design Imaginary". The selection process was quite competitive with an acceptance rate of 15 percent, approximately 34 drawings were selected from a pool of 225 sub-missions.

Assistant Professor Zachary Tate Porter’s accepted drawing, entitled "Topographic Survey of Two Sidewalk Holes in Downtown Los Angeles" is a playful take on scalar ambiguity. The architectural production in the post-digital age is a scaleless affair. With a quick scroll of the mouse wheel or two fingers on the trackpad, the digital model shifts from an exterior view to an interior detail.

Alumnus Zebulun Lund’s thesis drawing “Agrarian Ruins” was also accepted for the ACSA exhibition. His submission is inspired by the dilapidated homestead buildings that dot the plains of the Midwest. Too broken for any use, they hang in limbo with only the fading memories of their builders to put up a dwindling defense.

Additionally, Lecturer Marc Maxey presented his paper entitled “Resistance and Control: The Paradox of Architectural Agency”.

Maxey’s paper examines avant-garde architectural practices of the past century as a framework for understanding methodologies present in many contemporary practices. The paradoxical slippage between cultural omniscience and participatory critique approximates a “black box” of agency for the avant-garde. The post-digital moment in architecture follows a similar trajectory through its techniques, strategies and paradoxes of mediating the current digital environment while attending to architecture’s disciplinary core.

Assistant Professor Zachary Tate Porter presented "Erasures, Transgressions, and Demarcations: Site Tactics for the Post-Internet City".

Porter’s paper explores the ways in which the contemporary city has become an increasingly homogenous environment shaped by the combined forces of investment, gentrification and displacement. While many speculated that the integration of digitally-networked technologies would make the city more equitable and trans-parent, such a promise has not been delivered. In this context, architecture must reevaluate its role in the future development of urban space. This paper frames these dynamics through a discussion of urban site tactics, examining the formal articulation of architecture’s relationship to the city. Drawing upon examples from architecture, technology and art, three specific tactics are introduced and evaluated: erasure, transgression and demarcation. Ultimately, the paper argues for strategies of demarcation, which emphasize–rather than obscure–the fundamental difference between public and private space.

Associate Professor and Director of the Architecture Program Sarah Deyong served as a panel session respondent for the “Sea Creatures Make an Underwater Face; or An Alternative Disciplinary Coherence” discussion organized by Clark Thenhaus from the California College of the Arts, at the ACSA conference.

“This strong representation and recognition of our faculty and students speaks to the excellence of our faculty and our program curriculum,” said College of Architecture Dean Katherine S. Ankerson. “Our faculty are committed to developing the future of the professions with the vision and passion necessary to educate emerging professionals who will be leaders and difference-makers in the world.”