“Schools of Thought” Conference Attracts Over 100 Educators to the University of Oklahoma from More than 50 Institutions to Explore Future of Design Teaching

More than 100 design educators from over 50 institutions around the United States and beyond gathered on the University of Oklahoma campus from March 5 – 7, 2020, to explore the future of design teaching during the “Schools of Thought” conference hosted by the Gibbs College of Architecture. Among the institutions represented were Harvard, University of Michigan, Pratt, The New School, Penn, Boston Architectural College, Auburn University, Arizona State University, and dozens more.

The conference, which opened with a land acknowledgement, offered by fifth year architecture student Alecia Buffington, as well as a song, offered by Mr. Indian OU, Asher Stephens, included a particular emphasis on decolonizing architectural education.

Over two days, attendees participated in an interactive workshop on diversity and inclusivity in the classroom and studio environment, toured the Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture exhibition, and had the opportunity to take in more than 60 presentations engaging questions about the future of design education, which addressed questions of community participation, design-build, social equity, and more.

In addition, keynote lectures were offered by Dr. Sharon Sutton, Visiting Professor of Architecture at The New School, Parsons School of Design, who lectured on “A Pedagogy for Working Collaboratively,” and Joan Ockman, Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, who lectured “Thinking About Schools: American Experiences and Experiments.” Their lectures were supported by the Bruce Goff Chair of Creative Architecture.

The conference closed with a panel discussion, moderated by Gibbs College dean Hans E. Butzer, with panelists Christian Dagg, head of the Auburn University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Elysse Newman, Director of the Clemson University’s Institute for Intelligent Materials, Systems and Environments; Carmina Sanchez-del-Valle, Professor of Architecture at Hampton University; Justin Ferguson, director of design at Meticulous Design + Architecture; and Sharon Sutton, FAIA, visiting professor at Parsons School of Design.

“Schools of Thought,” co-organized by Architecture faculty Angela Person and Anthony Cricchio, was made possible with support from dozens of faculty, staff and students at the University of Oklahoma, as well as financial support from Ben Graves, the Gunning Family, the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture and Bruce Goff Chair of Creative Architecture at University of Oklahoma, and the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

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To view video highlights from the conference, scroll on.

Above: Conference video playlist.

Video Highlights: Thursday, March 5, 2020

  • OPENING: Land acknowledgement and song, and presentation on The American School by Dean Hans E. Butzer (Link to video)
  • SESSION: Decolonizing Architectural Pedagogies, co-chaired by Harriet Harris [Pratt] and John Harris [OU] (Link to video)
  • SESSION: Do Not Try to Remember: Pedagogy in Transition, co-chaired by Elysse Newman [Clemson] and Lee Fithian [OU] [Thursday, March 5] (Link to video)
  • KEYNOTE LECTURE: Professor Joan Ockman [U. Penn] (Link to video)
  • CURATOR TALK: Renegades exhibition overview by curator Luca Guido [OU] (Link to video)
  • SESSION: Engaging Design-Build Pedagogy, co-chaired by Christian Dagg [Auburn] and Hans E. Butzer [OU] (Link to video)
  • SESSION: Participatory Design and Community Engagement, co-chaired by Justin Ferguson [Meticulous Design + Architecture] and Shane Hampton [OU] (Link to video)

Video Highlights: Friday, March 6, 2020

  • INTERACTIVE PANEL: Equity in Architectural Education Consortium Panel, with Joana Dos Santos [Michigan], Carmina Sanchez-del-Valle [Hampton University], Stephanie Pilat [OU], and Maryanne Akers [Morgan State] (Link to video)
  • KEYNOTE LECTURE: Sharon E. Sutton, FAIA (Link to video)
  • CLOSING PANEL: Moderated by Gibbs College dean Hans E. Butzer, with panelists Christian Dagg, Elysse Newman, Carmina Sanchez-del-Valle, Justin Ferguson, and Sharon Sutton (Link to video)

Featured image: The Equity in Architectural Education Consortium Panelists, from left: Joana Dos Santos, Carmina Sanchez, Stephanie Pilat and Maryanne Akers.