Looking forward, looking back

Across the eras, school celebrates legacy, considers the journey ahead


Watch highlights from the grand reopening

Watch video highlights from the grand reopening

Published October 6, 2016

There could be no better setting than the bright, day-lit spaces of the new Hayes Hall - its walls covered with the latest work of our faculty and students - for graduates across five decades, friends in the community and professions, and current faculty, staff and students to come together in celebration of the work we do. 

A series of events lined the program in honor of the legacy of the 'School of Architecture and Environmental Design,' formed our of the tumult of the late 1960s to approach design through systems thinking and in relationship to broad societal dynamics.

Throughout the two-day event, as much as we mingled and reminisced, we projected on questions of persistent relevance to education and practice in architecture and planning. With the diverse gathering of our school community a telling indicator of this potential, we considered what's possible if we work together - across academia and practice and with new energy and focus - to bring our professions to bear on the pressing problems of our time, from climate change and social justice to the problems of our prevailing metropolitan structure.

Importantly, this was only the start of a conversation. Over the next three years, we will mark a series of three 50th anniversaries: the founding of our school by the State University of New York (1967), the hiring of the school's first dean and faculty (1968), and the convening of its first class of students (1969). Such milestones in the history of our school are certainly causes for celebration and recollection.

More than anything, however, we'll be looking forward with you, our colleagues, former students, partners in the community and professions, to mobilize a new agenda for the School of Architecture and Planning. What are the problems we face as a region, nation and planet in which architecture, planning and allied professions have an important role to play? How can new alignments across the school and its public audiences - from alumni and practitioners to community stakeholders - drive change around these issues? What questions - and which constituents and partners - are missing from this conversation?

In the meantime, listen in on the conversations that took place at last month's event. 

Video Coverage of 50th Anniversary Kickoff Events

'Looking Forward, Looking Back: A Symposium' Open Colloquy

The University at Buffalo’s ‘School of Architecture and Environmental Design’ will soon be 50 years old. What has made this enterprise distinctive? What has been its mark on our students, the communities we serve, and the professions we practice? 

Robert G. Shibley - Professor and Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, moderator
Roland Baer - (BA ‘73) Principal, Urban Architecture RB
Cheryl Parker - (BAED ‘87) CEO, The Urban Explorer
Laura Quebral - (MUP ‘06) Research Associate Professor; Director, UB Regional Institute
Molly Ranahan - (MUP ‘13, BAED ‘10) PhD candidate, Urban and Regional Planning
Michael Tunkey - (BPS ‘00) Principal, CannonDesign

'Looking Forward, Looking Back: A Symposium' First Breakout Sessions

The Role of Research in Education and Practice - Video coming soon

Critics in the 1960s argued that the practice of architecture and planning needed badly to incorporate rigorous research to inform our production of the built environment. In many ways, the school has addressed this need, in both academic and practice settings. What is the future need?

Bradshaw Hovey - (MUP  ‘91), Associate Research Professor, moderator
Peter Hourihan - (MArch  ‘71), Principal, CannonDesign (retired)
Omar Khan - Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture
Samina Raja - Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning; Director, Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab
Edward Steinfeld - SUNY Distinguished Professor of Architecture; Director, IDeA Center

A Critic Writes

From the outset, the school has been a part of the reconsideration of modernist practices, with critics like Reyner Banham teaching and drawing on the legacy of the immediate built environment, as well as the teachings of Buckminster Fuller and John McHale. The heritage of this groundbreaking research has been updated in the way that scholars and practitioners at the school have investigated the role of technology in creating environments. How have we engaged history, criticism, discursive practices and experimentation to that end?

Hadas Steiner - Associate Professor, Architecture, moderator
Charles Davis II - (MArch ‘02; BPS ‘99) Assistant Professor, Architecture, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Curt Gambetta - 2011-12 UB Peter Reyner Banham Fellow; PhD candidate in Architecture, Princeton University
Adam Levin - Director of Project Management, Litelab Corporation; Design Associate, Creo Design Collaborative
David C. Perry - Senior Fellow, Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois, Chicago
Mark Shepard - Associate Professor, Architecture and Media Study

International Experiences in Design Education - Video coming soon

Cross-cultural engagements can expand student horizons and illuminate issues in practice in ways that nothing else can. What has been the result of experiences in Costa Rica, Barcelona, Denmark, India, China, and elsewhere for students in the school?

Martha Bohm - Assistant Professor, Architecture, moderator
Stephen C. Dunnett - UB Vice Provost for International Education
Camden Miller - PhD candidate, Urban Design and Planning
Kenneth MacKay - Clinical Associate Professor, Architecture
Bonnie Ott - Associate Professor Emerita, Architecture 

Ecological Commitments - Video coming soon

The built environment is constructed on and in the natural environment. Faculty and students have worked to understand and shape the relationships between the two, to heal landscapes and waterfronts, to minimize how buildings use resources, and to promote health for humans and the environment.

Li Yin - Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, moderator
Zoe Hamstead - Assistant Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
Wendy Kellogg - Professor, Chair, Urban Planning and Environmental Studies, Cleveland State University
G. William Page - Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
Lynda Schneekloth - Professor Emerita, Architecture


'Looking Forward, Looking Back: A Symposium' Second Breakout Sessions

Expanded Practices - Video coming soon

The school was founded on the idea that the purview of architecture extended beyond the design of buildings, whereby “environmental design” was understood broadly as a form of world-making and problem-solving. Today architecture has expanded into fields of practice not traditionally associated with the profession. How are we continuing to redefine what it means to practice architecture in a rapidly evolving field?

Mark Shepard - Associate Professor, Architecture and Media Study, moderator
Albert Chao - (MArch/MFA ‘11) Designer at Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
Joyce Hwang - Associate Professor, Director of Professional Studies, Department of Architecture
Omar Khan - Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture
Cheryl Parker - (BAED ‘87), CEO, The Urban Explorer

Designing and Planning for Equity

As the school was emerging as a center for urban thought in the region, planning educators across the country were calling for a stronger emphasis on advocacy and equity planning. How have these imperatives influenced our school? How will they shape and nourish our future?

Robert Silverman - Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, moderator
Molly Ranahan - PhD candidate, Urban and Regional Planning
Samina Raja - Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning; Director, Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab
Henry L. Taylor, Jr. - Professor, Urban and Regional Planning; Director, Center for Urban Studies
Jonathan White - Architectural Research and Design Associate, IDeA Center

A Culture of Making - Video coming soon

For many years the school has nurtured a culture of hands-on work.  We are invested in making things and experimenting directly on and with materials, blending traditional methods of building with contemporary methods of digitally-driven production. This has led to an academic environment where acquiring a “deep knowledge” of tools and materials is more the norm than exception. One can identify a number of historical resonances – from the medieval guilds, to the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Bauhaus curriculum, to name a few. And perhaps resulting from this “design/build” ethos, our school has seen a vast number of students and faculty dig deep into the meaning and use of materials – moving past traditional cues from precedent toward contemporary innovations in material behavior and performance.  What is the next set of issues that will guide material innovation?

Christopher Romano - Research Assistant Professor, Architecture, moderator
James Brucz - (MArch ‘08, BSArch  ‘06) Senior Architect, Workshop for Architecture 
Gabriella D’Angelo - (MArch ‘08, BSArch ‘06) Assistant Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Tadd Heidgerken - Assistant Professor, University of Detroit Mercy; Principal, Et Al. Collaborative
Jared Oakley - (MArch ‘04) Project Architect, Architectural Resources

Project Work in Education and Service - Video coming soon

The bread and butter of both architecture and planning pedagogy has been the studio project. At UB this has often meant engaging community partners in projects where a consequential outcome is expected (and often paid for). What has been the impact of projects across nearly five decades? How should it change moving forward?

Bradshaw Hovey - Research Associate Professor, moderator
Hiroaki Hata - Associate Professor, Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning
Gary Jastzrab - (BA ‘76), Director, Philadelphia City Planning Commission
Robert G. Shibley - Professor and Dean, School of Architecture and Planning
Kerry Traynor - Clinical Assistant Professor, Urban and Regional Planning

Lecture: Rebuilding Ground Zero

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is a soaring tribute to the victims of Sept. 11. Its rail, subway and retail hub connects 11 different subway lines, representing the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections in New York City. The project has involved a celebrated new tower and Santiago Calatrava’s controversial Oculus. But the moving parts of the project involve the junction of multiple rail and subway lines that was the responsibility of UB alumnus Michael Garz to coordinate and manage. Here he tells the 12-year story and entertains questions.

Michael Garz, Senior Vice President, STV; Design Manager, World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Michael Garz, Senior Vice President, STV; Design Manager, World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

Michael Garz (BA ‘72), AIA, NCARB, is design manager for the WTC Transportation Hub and senior vice president of the architecture, engineering and construction management firm STV. As the regional director of STV’s Buildings & Facilities Division, he oversees the engineering and architectural design practice in New York, New England and Baltimore. His background encompasses management of design, engineering, architecture, and construction of commercial, education, government, industrial, military, transportation, and recreational facilities. Mr. Garz has delivered projects under both traditional design-bid-build and design-build approaches. He has more than 35 years of experience and has been with the firm since 1996. A registered architect in 13 states, Ontario and Alberta, Canada, Mr. Garz is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Pennsylvania Society of Architects and the Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, the oldest existing craft guild in North America. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design from the University at Buffalo and his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Buffalo PechaKucha - Special Edition

Short Stories of the school in the community

The School of Architecture and Planning and its partners in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and across the region have had a fruitful partnership these past 50 years. Indeed, engagement in the region – its communities, industry and practice environment – has been a cornerstone of the school’s pedagogy since its inception.

Experience this work through seven stories in the distinctive PechaKucha format. The short-format presentation, featuring 20 images, 20 seconds each, is designed to foster creative dialogue. Buffalo’s PechaKucha representatives, Nick Bruscia, clinical assistant professor of architecture, and PechaKucha Buffalo co-director Joanna Gillespie will emcee the event.

Seneca-Salamanca Leasehold Study – Bradshaw Hovey. One of the very first projects undertaken by the School of Architecture and Environmental Design through the Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation (BOSTI).

The Entertainment District Project – Frank Palen. An urban design studio, instigated by Dean Emeritus Harold L. Cohen, which changed the fate of downtown Buffalo, by a former project staffer.

Universal Design – Edward Steinfeld. Over three decades, the IDeA Center has led the way in understanding how the built environment affects access and designing ways to make it easier for people of all abilities.  

Architecture in Education – Beth Tauke and friends. Faculty and students from the Department of Architecture have been working with area practitioners in Buffalo Public School for years to introduce to students the idea of architecture, concepts in the practice, and career possibilities. 

Small Built Works – Cody Wilson. Over the past twenty years Brad Wales’ “Small Built Works Project” has produced a series of structures to add beauty, utility, and sustainability to landscape in Buffalo. 

Housing Buffalo’s New Americans – Erkin Özay. A recent studio explored the potential for temporary and long-term housing for newly arrived refugees and immigrants in Buffalo. 

Buffalo Niagara by Design – Robert Shibley. Across an arc of a quarter century, the Urban Design Project and the UB Regional Institute have been key players in the evolution of a broad regional planning framework. 

Community Conversation: The Next 50 Years

An intimate conversation among alumni, faculty, students and partners on what needs to be done over the next 50 years, and how we can work together to set a direction and agenda.