The College of Architecture at Texas A&M University held
its seventh annual faculty research symposium, "Research
on the Built and Virtual Environments: Global Symposia Presentations
2005," November 14 at the Langford Architecture Center.
The day-long research showcase featured a series of faculty presentations
previously delivered at scholarly venues around the world. This
year's symposium included invited or refereed presentations and
papers from the 2004-05 academic year.
The symposium covered a diverse range of topics concerning the
built and virtual environments. More than 50 presentations were
delivered during four concurrent sessions arranged under topics
including diachronic studies, disaster planning and management,
visual explorations, sustainable urbanism, health by design,
new tools and experimental pedagogy.
"The individual sessions comprising the symposium reflect
all aspects of the designed environment," said Lou Tassinary,
the college's associate dean for research. "The categories
were not predetermined, but rather reflect themes that have emerged
in the work of faculty over the past year."
The diverse line-up included presentations on architectural theory
and design, art, urban planning, hazards mitigation, historic
preservation, construction science, landscape architecture, 3-D
modeling and animation, energy and conservation, and studio education.
"One organizing principle of the College of Architecture
is the influence of research on teaching," said Dean J. Thomas
Regan. "This annual symposium is a catalyst for the research-informed
teaching that distinguishes all 12 of our degree programs."
"The College of Architecture's annual symposium provides
a unique opportunity to learn about our faculty's diverse research
Regan. "This year's event features 53 presentations selected
from more than 400 papers presented last year at home and abroad.
In the seven years since we began the symposium, our faculty
have traveled the globe, presenting their work at academic events
in more than 50 nations and in almost every state in the United
Highlighting the 2005 symposium was a keynote address by Philip
R. Berke, an expert on environmental and land-use planning, sustainable
development and natural hazards mitigation. Berke, a former Texas
A&M professor and faculty fellow at the Hazard Reduction
and Recovery Center, is professor and director of graduate studies
in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His lecture, "Planning
for Sustainable Cities: The Challenge for the 21st Century," focused
on the dominant patterns for the building of American cities
and metropolises. He discussed alternative visions emerging and
taking hold throughout the country.
Prior to the keynote address, the 2005 global symposium hosted
a "new friends" guest presentation featuring Mel Lees,
professor of quantity surveying and education at the University
of Salford's School of Construction and Property Management (SCPM)
in Manchester, England. Lees talked about SCPM and its ongoing
research initiatives with special emphasis on the United Kingdom's
Research Assessment Exercise. He discussed SCPM's strengths in
information technology, management systems and sustainability
in construction and property management. His presentation also
highlighted current SCPM research projects, including the SCRI
center, nD-modelling, the "Thinking Lab," "Intellcities
and the Construction Knowledge Exchange."
To facilitate the symposium and encourage student participation,
the College of Architecture suspended all scheduled classes and
studios on the day of the event.
"It is unusual for a college such as ours to take 'time
out' from our usual schedule of classes, design studios and meetings
hear our colleagues report on their current research," Regan
said. "Too often, faculty colleagues and graduate students
are left at home when one of us travels to a distant symposium
to deliver the latest in our thinking on a timely topic. It is
fitting in our role as the largest college of our kind in the
nation to establish new traditions, such as this one, that couple
scholarly research solidly with professional education."
2006 sympsium logo