Global Cultures + the Constructed Environment
Even as the UVa School of Architecture is deeply invested in understanding and engaging the place where we are located, our students and faculty take equally seriously the task and responsibility of global citizenship. We recognize that the built landscape is a product of cultural encounter and exchange, shaped by global networks of connection and by movements of people, goods, and design ideas across shifting geographic, ethnic, religious, and cultural boundaries. Our faculty’s research endeavors seek to chart these dynamics across varied terrains, from India, China, and South Africa, to the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions, to the South Asian diaspora in the United States. Whether focused on the historical conditions shaping cities and buildings, or keyed to understanding current conditions in order to imagine design solutions for the future, these projects share a commitment to charting how local particularities have been shaped by broader interactions and cross-cultural encounters.
The intellectual life of the School over the past several years has been significantly shaped by these abiding concerns, which formed the focus of three major symposia, each bringing an international and interdisciplinary group of designers, planners, educators, and scholars into conversation with our faculty and students. In November 2010, “Sea Crossings: Rethinking Mediterranean Architecture and History,” focused on a region where the School has deep roots, through its long-standing programs in Venice and the Veneto, while expanding our lens to chart networks of connection and contestation facilitated historically by the sea. The following spring, we turned our attention to the pressing concerns facing today’s rapidly developing megacities with the “Turning Urban Symposium.” Participants considered how accelerated urban change could encourage the innovative re-invention of urban and social infrastructures. In September 2012, we hosted the first annual School in the World symposium, “The Emergent Megacity and the Enduring Village: Water as Spatial Generator.” Examining the design research created during the first India Summer Studio, the symposium served as a catalyst for broader multidisciplinary dialogue about myriad lessons that might be learned from India.
Selected Research Projects
- Phoebe Crisman — Istanbul: City at the Threshold
- Phoebe Crisman + Peter Waldman — India Initiative
- Sheila Crane — Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture
- Louis Nelson — Falmouth Field School
- John Quale — The European Housing Industry: Searching for Synergies in Sustainability, Affordability and Prefabrication
- John Quale — The Japanese Housing Industry: Searching for Synergies in Sustainability, Affordability and Prefabrication
- Peter Waldman — Lessons of the Lawn
- Sea Crossings: Rethinking Mediterranean Architecture and History
- India Initiative: the Emerging Megacity and the Enduring Villiage