Department of Architecture
The Institute proudly claims a tradition of non-traditional architectural thinking. This past fall, the Institute hosted a series of events and projects, for the most part organized by chairperson Melissa Frost, which can be explored in the links below.

They can also be found of Melissa's architecture blog: Architecture With/Out Architects .

To inaugurate the Department of Architecture, and by way of Melissa Frost, we welcome William Tate, the founder of the UMBAU School of Architecture.


algorithmic architecture
October 23, 2008

"Melissa Frost will be delivering a short introduction philosophically questioning computer as creator followed by Kristen Smith (of PennDesign) presenting her well informed take on algorithmic design:

“More commonly associated with problem solving strategies in mathematics and computing, algorithms have now taken on a central role in contemporary design theory and material fabrication. This new strategy for design follows in the tradition of process and rule based artisans like Jackson Pollack and Sol Lewitt that engage in a system whereby the executor follows the instructions while the outcome is not foreseen. By rejecting traditional canons and compositional methods, algorithms along with advanced computation allow for a rigorous method of achieving complexity, intricacy and formal variation. This talk will focus on the transformational role that algorithms play on the historical, philosophical and aesthetic implications to the discipline of architecture.“

November 8, 2008

"Thomas Storck will discuss the lexical and common modern uses of nature and natural, exploring how the philosophy and forms of architecture, primarily landscape architecture, places humans and human products within or beyond these. Stephanie Chiorean, Philadelphia Watershed Planner and Philadelphia Orchards Project board-member, will further explore the subject beginning with: Does “nature” still exist? Are humans “natural” and therefore, is all we create nature? Open discussion will follow…. How does architecture address this issue? Technology? Emulation? Instinctively?"

"Skateboarding, Action, and Architecture."
October 23rd, 8PM

Brandon Joyce of PIFAS shares his inexpert opinions on how it is action that anoints architecture with meaning. Calling on street-skating as a high model, he’ll speak about how use, misuse, and transformation can override— or even negate— intent and expression in architectural design.

PDF of Lecture Notes here

Hypertext mock-up of the lecture found here

Matthew Lippincott lectures and begins the Institute's Air and Space Program.

Go to the Air and Space Program page for both lectures and video.

Air and Space Program page

Institute department of architecture written up by Jacob Hillman in Philly Art Blog.


Department Faculty