2011-2012 Faculty News Archives

Robert Arens presented the paper “Optimizing a Disaster Relief Shelter Using Prototypes” at the Annual Symposium of the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures held in Seoul, Korea from 21-24 May 2012. The presentation addressed applied research on emergency structures conducted with Ed Saliklis, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering.

Four faculty members presented posters at the 3rd Annual North American Materials Symposium held at Cal Poly from 29-30 March 2012. Robert Arens presented “Formative Material Studies in Foundation Design Studios”. Clare Olsen, with her co-author Errol Willett, presented “Digital Craft: Fabricating Ceramic Surfaces, An Interdisciplinary Design Collaboration”. Jeff Ponitz presented “Digital Origami: A Material Education” and “Tools, Materials, Processes: Constraints as Design Driver”. Carmen Trudell presented “Natural Solutions to a Ubiquitous Problem: Materials, Toxins, and Indoor Air Quality”. In addition, Jim Doerfler moderated a session on Architecture and Design.

Four faculty members presented papers at the 100th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture entitled “Digital Aptitudes” held in Boston from 1-4 March 2012. Robert Arens presented “Laid Bare: Debating an Expanded Role for Infrastructure at the World Trade Center”. Mark Cabrinha presented “Risky Business: From Digital Fabrication to the Abstract Workshop”. Doug Jackson presented “Uneasy Green: The Value of a Semi-Autonomous, Productively Critical Green Architecture”. Clare Olsen, with her co-author Sinead MacNamara, presented “In Support of Pre-Professional Relations: Guidelines for Effective Educational Collaborations between Architecture and Engineering”. In addition, Jim Doerfler and Kevin Dong (Professor of Architectural Engineering) moderated a session entitled “Integration, Not Segregation: Interdisciplinary Design Pedagogy for the Second 100 Years”.

Mark Cabrinha was chosen as the 2011-12 Architecture Faculty Merit Award winner. The honor was announced at the End of Year Celebration and Picnic. Mark was presented with a Vern Swansen painting and will have his name added to the Faculty Merit Award plaque in the Architecture office.

Mark Cabrinha was notified on June 1, 1012 by Provost Enz Finken that he has received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in the Architecture Department.

Jeff Ponitz' 2012 Seed Grant Proposal, "Fabricating Environmental Comfort", has been fully funded by the PDCI Executive Committee. Professor Ponitz's research will focus on performative ceiling systems as a means for positively impacting environmental comfort in working and learning spaces. While environmental comfort is critical to productivity in these spaces, they are often expansive, undifferentiated spaces where users have little or no control over their personal space. Digital and physical processes of design, analysis, and fabrication will be integrated in the development of prototypes for ceiling systems that control airflow, sound, and light to create zones of comfort—defined not only in terms of thermal, acoustic, and photometric performance, but also in aesthetic and psychological terms.

Carmen Trudell's 2012 Seed Grant Proposal has been fully funded by the PDCI Executive Committee. Her research will focuses on passive air filtration systems. Passive architectural ventilation principles combined with air cleaning principles used in industrial hygiene can foster a new type of performative wall system.  Several modules for filtration of relatively large airborne particulates (i.e. sand, dust, soot, ash, and pollen) were conceptually designed while previously studying at the Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE).  A multidisciplinary team of Cal Poly students in architecture, environmental engineering, and aeronautical engineering will carry-forward this research by refining the design, iteratively fabricating and wind tunnel testing, optimizing, and documenting these modules.  The modules are made from low-tech non-toxic materials such as ceramic or pressed-earth making applications in underdeveloped regions feasible, and making this a sustainable long-term solution. 

Stephen Phillips received Special Mention in the 2011 Bruno Zevi Prize International Competition for his Grey Room article on Kiesler - Toward Research Practice: Fredrick Kiesler's Design-Connection Laboratory.

Stephen Phillips' article "Architecture Industry: The LA Ten" was commissioned and is being published by the Getty Research Institute in their exhibition catalogue LA Architecture1940 to 1990, edited by Wim de Wit and Christopher Alexander, forthcoming in early 2013.

At the Boston 2012 ACSA Annual Meeting (March 1-3, 2012), Thomas Fowler was elected the Secretary to the College of Distinguished Professors. This is a total four year commitment that starts with secretary for one term (in July 2012) and succeeds to one terms for vice chancellor, the chancellor and the past chancellor.

Jonathan Reich's "Studio Consilio - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Architecture Department" Hanging Bench received a 2012 Special Design Award in the American Wood Products Council's Woodworks For Non-Residential Construction design award program. Students: Cécile Bleux, Jessie Blote, Anna Bultema, Milena Charlemagne, Bryan Colosky, Kristen Fowler, Oscar Gutierrez, Julio Hernandez, Nhu Hoang, Avery Kant, Carlos Regis, Michael Shadle, Tyler Stark, Shanna Sullivan, Garrett Sweeden, Ian Tomitch, Megan Walker, Angelika Weissheim, and Alex Zimmerman

Robert Arens was an invited juror for the 2012 Design Awards Program of the San Joaquin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Robert presented the jury's comments and awards at the Fresno Art Museum on Friday, January 27, 2012.

Robert Arens' abstract, "Versioning: The Potential Role of Full-Scale Prototyping in Studio Courses," was accepted for presentation at the 28th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student. The conference is themed "End in/of the Beginning: Realizing the Sustainable Imagination," and is schedule to be held at penn State University on March 29-31, 2012

In a recent awards ceremony, US Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded Laura Joines, AIA, of DOMU Architects, and Besant Hill School, Ojai, CA, a Green Schools Sustainable Design Award for 2011.

In a recent awards ceremoney, US Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded Laura Joines, AIA, of DOMU Architectus, and Besant Hill School, Ojai, CA, a Green Schools Sustainable Design Award for 2011.

Laura Joines, AIA, received a stipend and Artist-in-Residency Award to work in the ceramic studio of the late Beatrice Wood at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, Ojai, CA. The December 2011 award provided a three-day residency, including all meals and lodging, in order to allow maximum time to be spent in the pottery studio.

Michael Lucas will present a paper 'Between the Marfa Lights and the Food Shark: Judd’s Ego-Centrism and Eco-Centrism, Marfa, 2011' at the American Popular Culture Association in Albuquerque, February 10, 2012. The paper discusses the impact of place on Donald Judd's work, his turn toward more site-specific installation as he transitioned from New York to remote West Texas, and the reciprocal changes to the town of Marfa itself as place in the last twenty years.

Michael Lucas will present a paper 'Representing Presence: Interrogating the Real in Beginning Design' at the 14th Annual International Society for Phenomenology and Media Conference in San Diego, February 16, 2012. The paper explores the challenges of re-embodiment of new designers and teaching architecture as a visceral art in an age of digital/visual immersion.

Eric Thomas Nulman (B.Arch 1999) has been awarded the 2011-12 ACSA New Faculty Teaching Award
Juror Comments: Eric’s work foregrounds the as yet unanswered question of what the aesthetic embodiment could be for the field’s growing interest in sustainability. He does this by offering studio courses that explore the affective potentials for design in a range of materials (from the artificial to the natural).

For additional information, go to ACSA/Awards 2011-12

The Material Innovations Lab (MIL) was recently awarded a Professional Learning Community grant from the Center for Teaching and Learning. The PLC supports the development of a team of teacher-scholars from Architecture and other disciplines focusing on the design and fabrication of ecological building system components at full scale. The multidisciplinary team with expertise in the areas of sustainability, materials, building technology and high-tech fabrication methods will further their collective research interests and develop courses for interdisciplinary teaching. The PLC is facilitated by professors Carmen Trudell and Clare Olsen, who are currently joined by the members of the Material Innovations Lab: Mark Cabrinha, Jim Doerfler, and Jeff Ponitz. Additional members are welcome and encouraged to join the PLC. If you are interested please email ctrudell@calpoly.edu or clolsen@calpoly.edu.
For further information on the Material Innovations Lab Learning Community click here

Robert Arens received a $53,378 grant from the California Central Coast Research Partnership for the project “Rapidly Assembled Emergency Shelters, Phase 2”. The project focuses on the development and testing of lightweight, reusable shelter prototypes for disaster and refugee relief situations. Co-investigator for the project is Associate Professor Ed Saliklis of Cal Poly’s Architectural Engineering Department.

Robert Arens’s abstract, “Versioning: Interdisciplinary Design of a Flat Pack Emergency Shelter” was accepted for presentation at the Second International Conference on the Constructed Environment. The conference will be held in Chicago from 29-30 October 2011.

Robert Arens was invited to participate in the exhibit “RE-Cycle: Strategies for Architecture, City and Planet” to be held November 2011 through April 2012 in Rome.  Robert will contribute “Skin Deep: Detroit’s Tradition of Reinvigorating Its Urban Surfaces,” a photodocumentary on the use of appropriation and found objects to breathe new life into spaces resulting from dramatically increased vacancy. Curated by Pippo Ciorra, the exhibit will be held at Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo. Known as MAXXI, the museum opened in 2010 and was designed by Zaha Hadid whose scheme was selected through an international design competition.

Jim Doerfler was chosen as President-elect of the Building Technology Educators Society (BTES). The BTES is an organization of architectural educators, passionate about teaching the technology of building design and construction. The mission of the BTES is to promote and publish the best pedagogic practices, relevant research, scholarship, and other creative activity to facilitate student learning, advance innovation, and enhance the status of our disciplines in the profession at large.

Thomas Fowler was included in this year's DesignIntelligence 25 Most Admired Educators of 2012. "Fowler's teaching responsibilities include third-year design and building technology courses. He also directs the computer laboratory he started in 1997 -the Collaborative Integrative Digital-Design Studio- which gives students access to the latest digital technology. Fowler has receiv3ed a number of awards in r4econgition of this teaching and research. His practice experience includes working for Davis Brody Architects in New York City and Harman Cox in Washington, D.C.

The Ojai Valley Green Home and Building Tour featured the work of Laura Joines, AIA of DOMU Architects on the campus of Besant hill School in Ojai, California. The Beato Atelier Art Classroom and the Prefabricated Music Practice Rooms were featured buildings on the tour, as well as the sustainable strategic planning for the school and its energy saving features.

Michael Lucas has been named an Editorial Board Member of MEGARON, the peer-reviewed journal of Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul. The journal includes original articles, research briefs, book reviews and viewpoints on planning, architecture, design and construction for publication.

Robert Arens will present at the AIA New Mexico State Conference (September 23-24, 2011) "Ground Zero Sum Game: The WTC Redevelopment Ten Years Later."

Assistant Professor Clare Olsen:
Clare Olsen

Clare holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University, Providence, RI, as well as a Masters of Architecture with distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught at Tulane University, Cornell University and was most recently Assistant Professor at Syracuse University.

Clare has conducted extensive research and published, exhibited, and presented lectures nationwide, as well as having practiced in a variety of nationally recognized architectural firms. Her design research bridges many scales and has a strong emphasis on systems thinking.

Clare will lend her talent at the undergraduate level in the second year design and practice sequence.

Assistant Professor Jeff Ponitz:
Jeff Ponitz

Jeff holds a B.S. in Architecture and an M.Arch with distinction from the University of Michigan, as well as a Post-Professional Master of Architecture with digital fabrication concentration from the University of Virginia. As a lecturer at the University of Virginia, Jeff coordinated the second year design studios from 2009-2010, and taught graduate seminars on digital design and fabrication. Prior to teaching at the University of Virginia, he practiced as a designer in Chicago, working on projects known for their innovative use of materials and technology to drive environmental performance.

Jeff's research focuses on the strategic integration of existing and emerging methodologies of design, representation, and fabrication. Jeff's work in design, research, and teaching has received awards at the state and national levels, and has been published in peer-reviewed venues. At Cal Poly, Jeff will teach in the second year design and practice sequence, as well as in his Advance Computer-Aided Fabricaiton seminar.

Assistant Professor Carmen Trudell.
Carmen Trudell

Carmen holds a B.Arch from the Architecture Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and an M.S. in Advanced Architectural Design from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University, NY. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy at the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. She has held a number of academic positions at her alma mater, Columbia University, and most recently taught at the New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY. Carmen comes as well with a wealth of professional experience that spans over fifteen years.

Carmen has conducted extensive research and has received numerous awards and grants. Her current teaching and professional work has been guided by three threads - research, technology, and sustainability. Registered both in California and New York, she is also a LEED Accredited Professional. Carmen will lend her talent at the undergraduate level in the first year design and in the Environmental Control Systems sequence.

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