Looking Forward, Looking Back: A Symposium on the School of Architecture and Planning

50th Anniversary Kickoff: Friday, September 23 | 12 pm - 5 pm

Hayes Hall - Still building, making, doing.

The reopening of Hayes Hall, home to the School of Architecture and Planning since 1977, offers an opportunity not only to reflect on the life of the building but to consider the trajectory of the school as an intellectual, scholarly, and professional enterprise. Join us as we kick off our 50th anniversary with a symposium that looks back on the school's formation during a time of turmoil in design education and reflects on its impact over the decades as a hub for experimental, community-engaged learning:

"Looking forward, looking back: A Symposium"

12 pm - 5 pm, 403 Hayes Hall


Lunch: 12:00-12:30

Opening colloquy: 12:30-1:30
403 Hayes Hall

The UB 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? We’ll share reflections on the past and projections for the future with alumni from across the nearly half-century lifespan of the school.

  • Robert G. Shibley, Dean, UB School of Architecture and Planning, moderator.

Discussion groups: 1:45-3:15

The Role of Research in Education and Practice: 309 Hayes Hall

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 1991), Associate Research Professor, moderator
  • Peter Hourihan, (M.Arch 1971), principal, CannonDesign, (retired)
  • Edward Steinfeld, SUNY Distinguished Professor, director IDeA Center
  • Samina Raja, Associate Professor, director of (food lab)
  • Omar Khan, Associate Professor, Chair, Department of Architecture.

A Critic Writes: 403 Hayes Hall

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 ground-breaking 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, moderator, Associate Professor, Architecture.
  • Charles Davis, (UB M.Arch, 2002; BPS 1999) Assistant Professor, Architecture, University of North Carolina, Charlotte,
  • Adam Levin, Director - 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.
  • Curt Gambetta, 2011-12 Banham Fellow, Ph.D. candidate, architecture, Princeton University.

International Experiences in Design Education: 402 Hayes Hall

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?

  • Shannon Bassett, moderator, Assistant Professor, Architecture
  • Stephen C. Dunnett, Vice Provost for International Education
  • Bonnie Ott, former Professor of Architecture
  • Camden Miller, doctoral student, Urban Design and Planning
  • Kenneth MacKay, Clinical Associate Professor, Architecture

Ecological Commitments: 401 Hayes Hall

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, moderator, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional
  • 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 Design and Planning
  • Lynda Schneekloth, Professor Emerita, Architecture

Discussion groups: 3:30-5:00

Expanded Practices: 309 Hayes Hall

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, Departments of Architecture and Media Study (moderator)
  • Albert Chao, (MArch + MFA 2011) Designer at Platt Byard Dovell White Architects
  • Joyce Hwang, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture
  • Omar Khan, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture
  • Cheryl Parker, (BAED 1987, M.Arch. Berkeley 1994), CEO, The Urban Explorer.

Designing and Planning for Equity: 403 Hayes Hall

As the School of Architecture and Planning 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 the development of our school? How will they shape and nourish our future?

  • Robert Silverman, moderator, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning;
  • Henry L. Taylor, Jr., Professor, Director, Center for Urban Studies;
  • Molly Ranahan, UB Ph.D. Student, Urban and Regional Planning;
  • Samina Raja, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning;
  • Jonathan White, Architectural Research and Design Associate, the IDeA Center.

A Culture of Making: 401 Hayes Hall

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 and 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 are the next set of issues that will guide material innovation?

  • Christopher Romano, moderator, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture 
  • Gabriella D'Angelo, (M.Arch, 2008; BPS 2006) Assistant Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • James Brucz, (M.Arch, 2008; BPS 2006) Senior Architect, Workshop for Architecture
  • Tadd Heidgerken, Assistant Professor, University of Detroit Mercy; Principal, Et Al. Collaborative
  • Jared Oakley (M.Arch, 2004) Project Architect, Architectural Resources

Project Work in Education and Service: 402 Hayes Hall

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 has our approach changed? How should it change moving forward?

  • Bradshaw Hovey, moderator, Research Associate Professor
  • Hiroaki Hata, Associate Professor, Urban Design
  • Robert G. Shibley, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning
  • Gary Jastzrab, Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Celebrate a beloved building