Industry and Innovation

Water, Wind, and Energy.

"Industry and Innovation": A still from the film, of Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building in Buffalo.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta, one of the leading ceramic façade manufacturers in the world, began operations in 1889 making bricks and clay pots. In 1981, the company shifted their focus to architectural ceramics. Their first project was the complete façade restoration of Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building, an exemplar in ornamental terra cotta. Beginning in 2011, the School of Architecture and Planning has partnered with the company to propel ceramics-based research and implement new technologies in digital fabrication. The work maintains the value of handcrafts at the industry's core, while transforming the potentialities of ceramic production and use.

Visions and Works


Now in its second year, the Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop convenes architects, engineers and ceramicists to develop environmentally-responsive terra cotta façade prototypes. 

Faculty mailboxes typically don’t generate much excitement. But when they’re in a building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and that’s home to an architecture school that has a reputation for “making,” only the best, designed in-house, will do.

The 2016 echo Art Fair in Buffalo, a fine arts exposition that has emerged as one of the region’s most notable art events, opens this weekend with its first-ever architecture exhibition, “Light Industry.”


Over the past two years, architecture faculty and students have been deeply entrenched with Boston Valley Terra Cotta and Rigidized Metals, testing options to digitally enhance terra cotta restoration, pushing the limits of design and performance for metals, and working side-by-side with sculptors and metal fabricators in a rich exchange of knowledge and innovation.


Architecture faculty members Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis, along with their students, will present work in the National Council on Education in Ceramic Arts’ 48 annual conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this spring.

Projecting forward from Buffalo’s legacy in material innovation, this group explores constructive sensibilities and investigate how our culture is deeply embedded in material artifacts. Pursue design, production, and potential materials through full-scale fabrication, assembly, and installation.