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K-State Today

February 7, 2022

APDesign opens spring 2022 Ekdahl Lecture Series with urban planner James Rojas

Submitted by Thom Jackson

The College of Architecture, Planning & Design will open its spring 2022 Ekdahl Lecture Series with urban planner, community activist, and artist, James Rojas at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in the Regnier Forum, Regnier Hall. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Rojas will present "Place IT! An Art & Sensory-Based Approach to Inclusive Community Engagement." Place IT! is an art-based approach to community engagement and planning communities that will help participants with skills in critical thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration and understanding their relationship to the built environment. Part of a healing process that recognizes daily struggles and allows a deeper level of thinking, the session will tap into our emotions through personal memories. Storytelling allows us to convey emotion and talk about our environments in a language that maps, and charts can't communicate. Objects allow us to think beyond words and explore infinite possibilities. Art-making lets us envision, investigate, construct and reflect. And play helps us to relax in a public setting, conduct inquiries, experiment and have fun.

The series continues with:

• Michael Prince — March 9
"Designing inside the Bubble"
Over the past 30-plus years, Prince has been deeply involved in the product development industry. After earning a bachelor's degree in industrial and product design at Syracuse University, he started his career as an industrial designer and gained valuable knowledge through his experiences in all aspects of product development. Before opening his company, Beyond Design in 1994, he worked in product planning for Sony Corp. and in product design at Thomson Consumer Electronics.

• Alyssa Coletti — March 23
"A Path and Mindset for Independence"
A specialist in furniture design, Coletti will draw from her career and experiences to discuss the working life of a designer and her path to opening her own studio. Coletti began her career as an in-house designer for various manufacturers and now works with manufacturers as an independent designer. She will discuss the steps needed both before and after concept development to bring a new product to life. Coletti will also discuss the revision, review and rework processes that occur during development to refine and optimize a product for its release. Finally, she will discuss groundwork that persuades manufacturers to choose and embrace a designer's work and to continue the relationship.

• Alexa Bush — March 30
"Co-creating the City"
City building at its best is a collective enterprise, combining the experience and aspirations of residents with the professional knowledge of planners, designers and civil servants. For too long, the development of our cities has been a top-down process, often exacerbating racial and economic inequities, and ignoring the needs of the communities it impacts. On the other hand, many processes to enable community input can be derailed by NIMBYism and the loudest voices in the room at the expense of the common good. This lecture explores a number of projects in Detroit that seek a middle ground between grassroots and top-down approaches to create more equitable and beautiful outcomes in the city's post-bankruptcy development, focusing on the role of public space in strengthening and revitalizing the city.

• Vincent Snyder — April 18
"Convergent Resemblance"
Snyder's academic research and teaching activities are primarily concerned with how specific cultural, contextual and constructional demands influence architectural design. Additionally, much of his current work reflects adaptive responses that investigate the role and appropriateness of various techniques of precision as either generative or refining modes of application. His firm, Vincent Snyder Architects, was established in Austin, Texas in 1995. His professional work ranges in scale from residential to institutional and is internationally published, exhibited and recognized. Selected awards include those from Progressive Architecture, ACSA National Design Award, Cradle2Cradle, Boston Society of Architects, Texas Society of Architects and Austin American Institute of Architects. He is a registered architect in Texas and has additional licensures through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, or NCARB. Snyder is a professor of architecture at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, a Rome Prize in Architecture recipient and a fellow at the American Academy in Rome.

• David Hacin — April 25
"[re]Defining Context"
Circumstances, surroundings, milieu, backdrop, ambience, frame of reference. The word "context" has many meanings and has grown exponentially in use over the past 50 years. So then, what is "contextual design" and how can we think about how its evolution informs the practice of architecture today? Mostly within the "context" of New England, Hacin will describe how H+A has explored this strategy over many years through a wide array of project types, defining and redefining design problems with the goal of supporting the region and the community in impactful ways that are both authentic and particular.

View a full listing of the 2021-2022 Ekdahl Lectures and the previously recorded lectures.

The Oscar S. Ekdahl Distinguished Lecture Series in Architecture and Design brings the finest professionals in the design and planning disciplines to APDesign and the K-State community. These individuals are selected to avail faculty, staff, students and regional professionals of the potency of design and planning in addressing the issues we face as a global society. The series honors Ekdahl, who received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University in 1933 and was a founding partner in Ekdahl, Davis, Depew, Persson Architects PA in Topeka.

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