For over 20 years, Will and Nan Clarkson have generously supported the Clarkson Chair program, which invites distinguished scholars and professionals to campus for lectures and seminars that engage students, faculty, practitioners and members of the public in knowledge-sharing, scholarship and debate on critical issues in architecture, planning and design.
The Clarkson Visiting Chair is an endowed visiting position awarded semiannually to a distinguished scholar or professional in the disciplines of architecture, planning and design. This award is in recognition of excellence in the pursuit of scholarship and professional application within these disciplines.
Anchored in the preoccupations and the realities of our time, the work of Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal gently revolutionizes the architecture of proximity. Whether making a private residence, a university, a café, or a center for the arts, these architects envision each project first and foremost as a dwelling—which they create using the philosophy encapsulated by their watchwords: simplicity, space, conviviality, and user-friendliness. Lacaton and Vassal revel in posing themselves challenges, both conceptual and material, in their work; their creative process consists of confronting a preexisting reality with a tangible atmosphere, and then repurposing its elements to transform the space.
Fascinated by the tools of film-making, Lacaton and Vassal construct their projects like storyboards, in which each space corresponds to a scene from an overarching narrative. To their minds, an architectural form evolves from an infinity of micro spaces and micros situations and it is through the addition and recomposition of these discrete units that their projects take their shapes.
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning continues this annual tradition in hosting Edward J. Blakely as the 2012 Clarkson Chair in Planning.Blakely is Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, having previously served for two years as Executive Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administration, the "recovery czar" for New Orleans following the devastation of hurricane Katrina.Please join us for Blakely's public lecture, “Katrina’s Lessons: Of Failed Levees and Failed Institutions," on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 5:30 p.m., 301 Crosby Hall, UB's South Campus.
One of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, Blakely has been Dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University in New York City. He has also held professorial appointments at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Southern California and the University of Sydney. An international disaster recovery expert, Blakely played a lead role in recovery efforts for the September 11th attacks in New York City, and in Oakland, Calif., following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and a major wildfire there in 1991. He recently published a book on his experience in New Orleans, My Storm: Managing the Recovery of New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina.
Professor Blakely is author of four books and more than one hundred scholarly articles as well as scores of essays and opinion pieces. His publications include Fortress America, Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities, Planning Local Economic Development: Theory and Practice, and Rural Communities in Advanced Industrial Society. He also hosts his own weekly podcast at www.blakelycitytalk.com.
Blakely's extensive record of public service includes advising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, state and federal governments in Australia and the United States, as well as governments in Korea, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand and Vietnam.
A Fulbright Scholar, Professor Blakely earned his BA at the University of California Riverside, an MA in Latin American history at UC Berkeley, and a PhD in Education and Management at UCLA.
Previous Clarkson Chairs in Architecture
Previous Clarkson Chairs in Planning