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Symposium to feature six acclaimed architects

Monday, March 23, 2015

LAWRENCE — The School of Architecture, Design & Planning is presenting the [Re] Engaged Architecture symposium Saturday, March 28. It is part of the celebration of Studio 804’s 20th anniversary.

The event will feature a day of lectures by six celebrated architects whose buildings are well-known for their displays of handcraft, use of traditional details, regionally sourced materials, and attention to local climate and geology. Speakers include:

Brian MacKay-Lyons, of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Halifax, Nova Scotia. His firm is known for its design of beautifully crafted houses on the coast of Nova Scotia that use Atlantic Canadian vernacular materials and construction techniques. For 13 years MacKay-Lyons held the Ghost Architectural Laboratory summer school. It was taught in the master builder tradition, emphasizing landscape, material culture and community. 

Frank Harmon of Frank Harmon Architects, Raleigh, North Carolina. His firm’s award-winning buildings are characterized by deep investigations of each site, its sunlight, hydrology, airflow and learning about the ways in which local vernacular architecture once responded to them. In his biweekly e-diary, "Native Places," Frank’s sketches and writing exquisitely describe the things that make traditional places and objects enchant us.

Ted Flato, Lake | Flato, San Antonio. He believes architecture should be rooted to its place, respond to the natural environment and merge with the landscape. With a palette of regional materials, the firm creates tactile and modern, environmentally responsible, authentic and artfully crafted buildings. Sustainability strategies are applied to their many building types and scales, to conserve energy and natural resources. 

Brigitte Shim of Shim•Sutcliffe, Toronto. She and her partner, Howard Sutcliffe, have created a firm and a life around their shared passion for architecture, landscape and furniture. Their interest in the construction and fabrication of buildings, sites and their intersections has forced them to question designers’ commonly held notions about objects and the ground, buildings and landscapes, and man and nature.

Marlon Blackwell and his firm, Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville, Arkansas, believe that good architecture is possible for all clients and projects, regardless of location, program or budget. Good architecture grows from careful listening, bold responses and refined craft. Its effects enhance the unique qualities of a site and promote broader civic dignity.

Andrew Freear has been the director of the Rural Studio in Newbern, Alabama, since 2002. The studio is a hands-on architectural pedagogy that enables students to design and build charity homes and community projects to ultimately improve lives in west Alabama. In the program, students present projects on sites such as urban and rural parks, community centers, churches, fire stations and even houses.

Susan Szenasy, the editor of Metropolis magazine, New York City, and Studio 804's director, Professor Dan Rockhill, will also contribute remarks and commentary throughout the day.  

The event will take place at the East Hills Construction Innovation Center, 3813 Greenway Drive, Lawrence. Registration for the event closes March 23. The cost is $199 for the public and $25 for KU students. See the KU Center for Professional Education website for details. 

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