Design lecture explores relationship between universities and cities

Sharon Haar, an architect and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will speak at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 in Penn State's Stuckeman Family Building jury space on the University Park campus. Her visit marks the fourth talk in the Penn State Department of Architecture "Who Owns Design?" Lecture Series.

Haar teaches studios and courses in urbanism, globalization, and housing, and is the author of the recently published "The City as Campus: Urbanism and Higher Education in Chicago."

The majority of Haar's talk will focus on "The City as Campus," an analysis of the relationship between higher education and urban environments.

"As we witness an explosion of universities and campuses nationwide, we are also seeing that urban universities are playing important new roles in shaping the cities outside their walls," Haar said in an interview with Rorotoko. "Through the development of buildings for themselves and for their neighborhoods, universities are acting as developers, planners, and urban designers. At the same time they are developing new thinking around ideas of urban form and social life."

Haar also will discuss the focus of her latest research, which investigates the role of entrepreneurship, design innovation, and global networking in the transformation of architectural practices devoted to social activism and humanitarian relief.

A response to the rising significance and value of design as a way of thinking, the "Who Owns Design?" Lecture Series underscores novel approaches to design from outside traditional design professions. It also addresses legal, business, and ethical issues related to design production, service, and professional ownership in the future.

The series was conceived by Assistant Professor of Architecture Rebecca Henn with input from the Penn State Department of Architecture Lecture Committee, which includes Assistant Professor of Architecture Marcus Shaffer and Assistant Professor of Architecture Lisa Iulo.

"Design seems to be a new buzzword, and one that people outside of the 'traditional' design fields (graphic, industrial, architecture) are taking on as their own," Henn said. "The source of this legitimacy is Herbert Simon’s book, 'The Sciences of the Artificial.'"

The book states: "Engineering, medicine, business, architecture and painting are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent -- not with how things are but with how they might be -- in short, with design."

Earlier speakers in the series included:

-- Yale School of Architecture Professor Peggy Deamer

-- Jonathan Cagan, George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Engineering Professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Mechanical Engineering

-- Richard Buchanan, professor of design, management, and information systems at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management

Penn State's H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture is a leader in professional design education comprised of an interdisciplinary confederation of strong design disciplines: Architecture, Design, and Landscape Architecture.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015