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PRACTICE: Outside In | Inside Out

Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium
48 Quincy St., Cambridge
Fri., Oct. 12, 2018, 2 – 6 p.m.

PRACTICE: Outside In | Inside Out

This symposium considers discourse on contemporary issues of design practice in two parts: the external pressures of economic, environmental, and political systems, and internal forces of tools, techniques, and strategies for design. Addressing the multifaceted nature of the profession, we will explore themes for the design of practice, such as work and labor, tools and technology, and ethics and agency. The symposium highlights potential avenues for the growth and constitution of practice, as well as the issues currently at stake within the profession. The following discussions confront pressing questions regarding the shifting responsibilities of design practice, and the future of practice itself.

This symposium is generously sponsored by the Carl M. Sapers Ethics in Practice Fund, and co-hosted by the GSD Practice Platform and the Department of Architecture.

2:00 p.m.


Mack Scogin

Kajima Professor in Practice of Architecture Harvard Graduate School of Design
Principal, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

2:15-3:45 p.m.

Building Practice: Ethics, Agency, and Labor

This panel addresses the current systems of value in contemporary design practice for the management and creation of labor, the evaluation of risk, and the mediation of underlying economic and social dynamics in the design of the built environment. Focusing on the duties of the designer in our current culture of production, the panelists will hold a critical discussion on the external forces affecting practice and the growing crisis of the marginalization of the design disciplines. The evolution of practice will be examined through historical, ethnographic, and other qualitative lenses, revealing complex systems of relations between key players in the creation of the built environment.

In outlining the organizational distinctions between formal and informal design methodologies, corporate conglomerations and grassroots design teams, the discussion will emphasize the sociopolitical role of design, questions of professional identity, and the opportunities to increase the agency of design in the face of uncertain futures.

Moderated by Mark Lee, Chair of the Department of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Principal, Johnston Marklee

Aaron Cayer— Assistant Professor, School of Architecture + Planning, University of New Mexico; Architecture Lobby (Los Angeles and New Mexico)

Neena Verma – Adjunct Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Principal, Neena Verma Architecture

Jesse Keenan – Lecturer in Architecture, MDes Real Estate and Built Environment, MDes Risk and Resilience, Harvard GSD; Adjunct Research Economist, RAND Corporation; Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Alison Brooks—Principal and Creative Director, Alison Brooks Architects; John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Architecture, Harvard GSD

3:45 p.m. Break

4-5:30 p.m.

The Architect’s Arsenal: Tools and Strategies

This panel focuses on both the tangible and intangible resources available to the designer in practice, with an emphasis on the ways in which the incorporation of new technologies and strategies affect design. With numerous digital platforms, BIM and machine learning programs already normalized within design workflows, new opportunities arise with the development of digital simulation, geospatial representation, and fabrication technologies for the built environment. The panelists will discuss emerging technologies, from early-stage research and development to commercial and professional usage, critically examining the gap between potential possibilities and actual feasibility in the use of new tools of design.

Focusing also on data-driven analysis and design collaboration, the panelists will address the growing multidisciplinary nature of design in the face of new technologies, as well as the risks and opportunities associated with the increasing automation of practice. In examining the ways in which various technological tools and strategies affect the design of practice, the panel will explore new modes of interaction and responsibility within the design professions.

Moderated by Grace La, Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Principal, LA DALLMAN

Eduard Sancho Pou – Principal at Eduard Sancho Pou architecture/strategic consultant studio

Sawako Kaijima—Assistant Professor of Architecture, Harvard GSD; Shutzer Assistant Professor, Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Randy Deutsch—Associate Director for Graduate Studies, Clinical Associate Professor in School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Robert Pietrusko—Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Area Co-Head of Technology in the MDes Program, Harvard GSD

5:30-5:45 p.m. Closing

Gazette Classification: Art/Design, Conferences
Organization/Sponsor: Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Speaker(s): Mack Scogin; Mark Lee; Aaron Cayer; Neena Verma; Jesse Keenan; Alison Brooks; Grace La; Eduard Sancho Pou; Sawako Kaijima; Randy Deutsch; Robert Pietrusko
Contact Info: Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].

Friday, October 12, 2018 - 14:00