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 Phillip Rollfing  

Global symposium

Texas A&M College of Architecture
faculty research to be showcased
Oct. 30 at 8th annual global symposium



The Texas A&M College of Architecture’s eighth annual faculty research symposium, “Research on the Built and Virtual Environments: Global Symposia Presentations 2006,” begins 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30 at the Langford Architecture Center on the Texas A&M campus.

The daylong research showcase features a series of faculty presentations previously delivered at scholarly venues around the world. This year's symposium includes invited or refereed presentations and papers from the 2005-06 academic year.

“The individual sessions comprising the symposium reflect all aspects of the designed environment,” said Lou Tassinary, associate dean for research at the College of Architecture. “The categories were not predetermined, but rather reflect themes that have emerged in the work of faculty over the past year.”

The symposium features more than 50 presentations divided into 11 diverse categories and delivered in four concurrent sessions. The presentations examine ongoing research in studio pedagogy, architectural theory and design, art, healthcare architecture and planning, disaster planning and mitigation, 3-D modeling and animation, sustainable urbanism and design, historic preservation, construction science, the architecture of place, visualization, energy conservation, housing, land development and facility management.

“A core value of the Texas A&M College of Architecture is the influence of research on teaching and practice,” said J. Thomas Regan, dean of the college. “This annual symposium serves as a catalyst for research-informed teaching in our three undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs. The presentations reflect the range and depth of research and scholarly work currently under way in our college, and many of the presentations are part of funded research projects, which totaled $4,847,805 during the past year, ranking us with national leaders in research grants and contracts.”

The event's registration fee will be waived for current Texas A&M students, faculty and staff, but registration is required and a $10 fee will be charged for lunch.

A $100 registration fee will be assessed to non-university participants to cover session admission, the keynote presentation, a continental breakfast, refreshments, lunch, parking (if requested) and AIA Continuing Education Credit processing. For registration forms, schedules and additional information contact Kathy Waskom at or stop by the College of Architecture’s dean’s office in Langford A 202.

Highlighting the 2006 symposium will be a keynote address on biophilic design by by Texas A&M architecture professor Dr. Roger Ulrich, the most internationally cited and quoted researcher in evidence-based healthcare design.

Biophilic design, Ulrich said, is a sub-area of the larger field of evidence-based design influenced conceptually by Harvard naturalist Edward O. Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis — the notion that evolution has left modern humans with a partly genetic affinity for nature. Ulrich’s presentation will summarize biophilia theory and scientific research pertinent to designing healthcare settings that promote better medical outcomes.

To facilitate the symposium and encourage student participation, the College of Architecture will suspend 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 to 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 our latest 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.”

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