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Engagement & Learning – Space Planning & Website Redesign

As you know, one of the strategic priorities for the college this year involves the space planning analysis work we are partnering on with KieranTimberlake (KT). We are also redesigning our website in partnership with Phinney Bishoff (PB) to ensure our physical and digital spaces reflect our values.

The input from you — students, staff and faculty — will be essential to the success of this work, and we are so fortunate to have such a well informed and knowledgeable community with which to engage!

Engagement Opportunities

WEDNESDAY OCT 26

Workshop 1 (Faculty/Staff)
8:30-10:00 Gould Court

Workshop 2 (Faculty/Staff)
2:00-5:00 Gould Court

Workshop 1 (Students)
10:30-11:30 Gould 110
Workshop 2 (Students)
11:30-1:20 Gould 110 (+Pizza)

THURSDAY OCT 27

Workshop 1 (Faculty/Staff)
8:00-9:30 Gould Court
Workshop 2 (Faculty/Staff)
12:00-3:00 Gould Court

Workshop 1 (Students)
10:00-11:30 Gould 114
Workshop 2 (Students)
5:00-8:00 Gould 110 (+Pizza)

FACULTY/STAFF SIGN UP

STUDENT SIGN UP

Surveys will be sent out soon as another way to engage.

 

The CBE community is asking:

How can space support or generate opportunities for more collaboration among faculty, staff and students of diverse disciplines and backgrounds?
Is there a different way of organizing operations (program administration, advising, research) for more interdisciplinary work?
How can spaces communicate welcome to a diverse range of current and prospective students, faculty and staff?
Can we increase the diversity of instructional space types such as outdoor and semi-conditioned space?
With additional use of hybrid remote and in-person learning and interaction, do our space needs change?
How can our values hands-on fabrication and testing for teaching and scholarship be supported or reflected in our spaces?

Q&A: New book sheds light on Architecture and democracy through Unitarian churches

The history of American Unitarian church architecture is one that’s lesser-known. With this in mind, Ann Marie Borys, associate professor of architecture, wanted to provide context for two extremely highly regarded Unitarian projects of the 20th century that had only been written about independently. Her new book explores how they fit into the broader scope of Unitarian churches.

American Unitarian Churches: Architecture of a Democratic Religion” explores Unitarian church design and the progressive ideals shown through them — ideals that were central to the founding of the United States. By situating Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple and Louis Kahn’s First Unitarian Church of Rochester in their full context, Borys writes about the interconnectedness of American democracy and American architecture.

We asked Borys about the book.

Why did you want to write this book?

I initiated the research in an effort to provide context for two extremely highly regarded architectural projects of the 20th century. Each one had been written about independently with regard to its place in the architect’s creative oeuvre and its “moment” in American architecture. And they had sometimes been discussed in relation to each other (though separated by 50 years) because they were both Unitarian churches. But there was very little written about how they fit into the broader scope of Unitarian churches.

I soon discovered that there were quite a lot of Unitarian churches from both the 19th and 20th centuries that were also architecturally significant. So the book that emerged became a narrative of Unitarian church design as a central factor in the development of American architecture itself.

Why has this contribution not been evident in narratives of American architectural history previously? Why is it important to bring this to light?

A simplistic explanation is that architectural history was first developed as a chronology of styles, and then a narrative of architect-heros. It was in the later part of the 20th century that larger social and cultural patterns began to be studied. By then, Unitarianism represented a very small portion of the population, and it was not widely understood to have historical roots connected with those of the country itself.

It is important partly because there are some misconceptions about the two buildings that prompted my research—Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, and Louis Kahn’s First Unitarian Church of Rochester. But more broadly speaking, it is important because it adds a significant body of work to an issue of theoretical importance: What is an ‘architecture of democracy’?

What’s the connection between faith and architecture?

This is a trick question with respect to Unitarian churches. Most faiths build churches that support specific rituals spatially, that express beliefs symbolically, and that aspire to place the church-goers in some relation to the divine. Unitarianism is unusual because it has never had rituals, and in the 20th century, the question of religious belief was transferred from clergy to the individuals. So there can be a wide variety of beliefs in any congregation. This makes the design of a memorable architectural space more difficult.

What elements of Unitarian spirituality are expressed through the architecture of its churches?

I found three things to be in the foreground of Unitarian churches: awareness of nature and with that, the interconnectedness of all things; respect for the individual coupled with responsibility for others; and the necessity for individuals to share knowledge and ideas in a community.

How are the ideals/values of Unitarianism shown through the design of their buildings/spaces?

The awareness of nature and natural processes is evident either directly through generous views promoting connection between the sanctuary and surrounding gardens or natural features or it is present through daylight and through the use of natural materials. Respect for the individual and for individual choice is evident in the way that doors into the sanctuary are located as one choice among others, and in the non-hierarchical arrangement of space in the sanctuary. The necessity to share ideas for the enrichment of all is present in the provision of ample social spaces in addition to a space for worship.

The combination of these features creates an architecture of democracy.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

I hope that readers will understand that Unitarianism was a mainstream denomination in America throughout the 19th century, and that many of our country’s progressive social and cultural advancements were led by Unitarians. I hope that they will be able to appreciate how Unitarianism remains true to its original philosophies and values–values which were formed along with and were practically identical to the American democratic ideals articulated by the founding documents of this country. I hope they will understand that Unitarianism is a democratic religion, and that its architecture is an expression of authentically American ideals.

From the Dean: June 2022

Congratulations to this year’s graduates and also to those from 2020 and 2021! Even with all of the changes that the past two years have brought us, our community has continued to be resilient, creative, passionate, and kind. Here’s what we’re celebrating and looking forward to.

Congratulations, graduates and CBE award winners!

Dear CBE Community,

Congratulations on completing the 2022 academic year! Even with all of the changes that the past two years have brought us, our community has continued to be resilient, creative, passionate, and kind. These graduates are where they are today not only because of their hard work but because of the support that you have provided to them.

A few points of celebration for our community this year:
We had three students named to the 2020 Husky 100 awards and two students named to the 2021 and 2022 Husky 100 awards.
We completed a first-ever cohort hire, bringing on 6 new faculty – which is an important part of our strategic framework to grow our capacity for collaborative interdisciplinary work with the goal of advancing climate solutions.
And we continued to impact the broader community through work like the Nehemiah studio, work with the Duwamish Longhouse, and coastal communities facing rising sea levels.

CBE graduates are well prepared to continue the high caliber of work that genuinely connects their skills to meet community needs and develop innovative solutions to society’s grand challenges. We are proud to send you out to do good things as individuals and as a collective.

I also want to take a moment to recognize and congratulate all of the incredible faculty and staff at our college. Announced during our CBE graduation celebration, this year’s award recipients have distinguished themselves beyond all expectations. These are highly competitive awards with many worthy nominations.

After you read about our Faculty and Staff award winners, I invite you to click the link below to view the photos taken and watch our CBE graduation celebration with guest speaker, Dr. Anu Taranath.

Congratulations graduates!

Yours,

Renée Cheng
John and Rosalind Jacobi Family Endowed Dean
College of Built Environments

View Graduation Photos

Watch the Ceremony

 

Faculty and Staff Awards

 

Headshot of Kimo GriggsLionel Pries Award for Excellence in Teaching
Kimo Griggs

This award is nominated and decided by students in the College of Built Environments. The Lionel “Spike” Pries Award For Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding teaching by faculty within the College during the academic year.

Kimo is recognized for being an inspiring, knowledgeable, and respectful professor who encourages his students to strive for their best — seeing the potential each student has and pushing them to be better.

 

 

 

 

Headshot of Gundula ProkschOutstanding Faculty Award
Gundula Proksch

The Outstanding Faculty Award recognizes a full-time faculty member who has made most notable contributions in their field or the community in research and/or service, to their department or college, or to students through teaching and/or service during the past academic year.

Gundula is commended for her internationally recognized interdisciplinary research, mentoring and supervising students, advocating for interdisciplinary research in architecture and the built environment, cross-college collaborations, and her engagement in our college community.

 

Headshot of Steve WithycombeOutstanding Part-Time Teaching Award
Steven Withycombe

The Outstanding Part-Time Teaching Award goes to a part-time faculty member who has made the most notable contributions as a teacher during this academic year. The award recognizes the significant contributions made by part-time faculty members in teaching and acknowledges that the reputation of the college depends on the quality of the educational experience provided by them.

Steve is known for putting interest, care, and time into each student’s work and projects. He gives extra hours of his time all with a smile on his face to support students. He is an incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and enthusiastic member of CBE who is highly regarded among students and faculty.

 

Headshot of Jamilah WilliamsDistinguished Staff Award
Jamilah Williams

The Distinguished Staff Award is intended to recognize the recipient’s extraordinary contributions to the College in the past academic year. The nominee should contribute to a positive collegial environment for the benefit of faculty, staff, and students, with a focus on promoting unity and communication as well as demonstrating an extraordinary level of commitment, leadership, and cooperation.

Jamilah has been a steadfast leader and accountable team player since day one at the College of Built Environments. During her two years with the college, everyone who has had the privilege of working alongside Jamilah knows that she can be counted on as an exemplary collaborator who delivers excellent work to achieve shared goals.

College of Built Environments’ unique Inspire Fund aims to foster research momentum in underfunded pursuits college-wide. And it’s working.

In January 2021, the College of Built Environments launched its new Inspire Fund to “inspire” CBE research activities that are often underfunded, but for which a relatively small amount of support can be transformative. The fund aims to support research where arts and humanities disciplines are centered, and community partners are engaged in substantive ways.