News & Events

CRP Prof. William Riggs featured in CityLab Walkability article


Image from Walkability ArticleCity & Regional Planning Professor Dr. William Riggs researches the importance of walkable cities and neighborhoods in Richard Florida's CityLab article, "Walking is Good for You"

More on "Walking is Good for You" ›

Hearst Lecture Series Winter 2015: New Urbanism, City Landscapes, Sustainability and Timeless Architecture Featured in Four Talks this Winter at Cal Poly


SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design will host four presentations as part of the Hearst Lecture Series Winter schedule. The lectures bring progressive thinkers and leaders to campus to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary topics on Fridays at 5 p.m. in the Business Building Rotunda (Building 3, Room 213).

For more information about the series, contact the Architecture Department in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, by email or phone 805.756.1316.

The 2014-15 lecture series is co-coordinated by Professor Robert Arens, Professor Vicente del Rio and Assistant Professor Cesar Torres-Bustamente, and funded by a generous endowment from the Hearst Foundation.


Chris Reed | Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Friday, January 23 | 5:00 pm
Business Rotunda (03-213)

Chris Reed is Principal of Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Associate Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 

Mr. Reed’s work at Stoss has included major re-visioning strategies for downtown Dallas and its riverfront; for derelict refinery and port sites along the lakefront in Mississauga, Canada; for the city of Detroit; for major new waterfront developments in Shanghai and Green Bay; and for a vibrant new plaza at the heart of Harvard University’s campus. His work with Stoss has been recognized with the 2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture; the 2010 Topos International Landscape Award; and various other practice- and project-based awards from Progressive Architecture, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Architectural League of New York, the Waterfront Center, EDRA / Places, and the Boston Society of Architects.

Mr. Reed's research interests include the impact of ecological sciences on design thinking, and city-making strategies informed by landscape systems and dynamics; he is co-editor of a recently published volume of research and drawing titled Projective Ecologies. Reed received a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and an AB in Urban Studies from Harvard College.

For more info visit


Keil Moe| Harvard Graduate School of Design

Friday, January 30 | 5:00 pm
Business Rotunda (03-213)

Kiel Moe is a registered practicing architect and Associate Professor of Architecture & Energy in the Department of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. At the GSD, Moe teaches and coordinates core design studios, seminars on Forms of Energy, and lectures on architecture and energy.

His research and pedagogy focuses on an agenda for design and energy that is at once more ecologically and architecturally ambitious. As such, he focuses on both buildings as manifestations of large scale energy systems as well as overlooked and discrete thermal parameters in buildings that yet have great impact on the power and thermodynamic depth of architecture. This research is the basis for his design research and his design practice.

In recognition of his design and research, he was the 2009-10 Gorham P. Stevens Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture as well as the 2012 Barbara and Andrew Senchak Fellow MacDowell Colony. In 2015, he will be a member of the Arctic Circle expedition residency in Svalbard. He received the 2013 Boston Design Biennial award, the 2011 Architecture League of New York Prize, the 2011 AIA National Young Architect award, and numerous design awards for individual projects from the AIA, North American Wood Design Awards, and Boston Society of Architects, amongst others. He is recipient of Junior Faculty research grants at the GSD, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the AIA Upjohn grant program, the Boston Society of Architects Architectural Research program, the AIA RFP grant program, the Northeastern University Provost Faculty Development program. In recognition of his pedagogy and teaching, Moe was awarded the 2010 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award.

He is author of multiple books. He recently published a fifth book entitled Insulating Modernism: Isolated and Non-Isolated Thermodynamics in Architecture, Birkhauser, 2014. He is completing a sixth book, a technical manual on The Hierarchy of Energy in Architecture: Emergy Analysis with Ravi S. Srinivasan (2015) and, a seventh, PLOT: The Matter of Urbanization | Central Park and the Empire State Building, with Jane Hutton (2015). He is also author of Convergence: An Architectural Agenda for Energy(2013), Thermally Active Surfaces in Architecture (2010) andIntegrated Design in Contemporary Architecture (2008). He was co-editor of Building Systems: Design Technology & Society (2012).

For more info visit


Kevin Conger | CMG Landscape Architecture

Friday, February 6 | 5:00 pm
Business Rotunda (03-213)

Kevin Conger is a California licensed Landscape Architect with experience on domestic and international projects of all scales. Mr. Conger is a founding partner of CMG, and serves as President and CEO, directing many of the firm's projects and developing a role in the Bay Area design community.

Mr. Conger's passion and commitment for vibrant civic public space and sustainable environmental design has benefited projects such as Better Market Street, the YerbaBuena Street Life Plan, Crissy Field and redevelopment plans for Treasure Island, Hunters Point, and Concord Naval Weapons Station. Mr. Conger has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, UC Berkeley, and the Boston Architectural College.

For more information visit


David ross scheer | Architecture in the age of simulation

Friday, February 27 | 5:00 pm
Business Rotunda (03-213)

David Ross Scheer is an architect with 30 years' experience who has completed hundreds of projects of many kinds: residential, mixed-use and public buildings as well as urban design and planning. He authored many articles and the book "The Death of Drawing: Architecture in the Age of Simulation", published by Routledge in 2014 .

Drawing on his experience in practice and expertise in the uses of computer technology in architecture, he advocates combining a variety of innovative and traditional tools to preserve the architect's ability to creatively address cultural and social issues while participating in technology-enabled project delivery processes. He explores these ideas in design projects, writing and lectures.

Mr. Scheer holds an M.S. in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M. Arch. from Yale University. He has taught architectural design, history and theory at the University of Cincinnati, Arizona State University, Miami University (Ohio) and the University of Utah.

For more information about "The Death of Drawing" visit

For more information visit


Andrea Cochran, FASLA | Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

Friday, March 6 | 5:00 pm
Business Rotunda (03-213)

Andrea Cochran has been practicing landscape architecture in the San Francisco Bay area for over twenty-five years. She graduated from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and worked on the East Coast and in Europe before moving to California. After working in collaborative partnerships for over ten years, she established Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture in 1998, now a twelve person firm. 

Andrea Cochran’s early professional experience in the office of Jose Luis Sert was pivotal in informing her approach to landscape design. Across a diverse range of project types and scales, Cochran’s work is distinguished by its careful response to site, climate and the existing environment. Her designs use a controlled palette of materials to heighten the experience of texture, light, movement and space.  She instills an intimacy and attention to detail in all of her work, from small-scale residential gardens to large-scale institutional projects.

In 2007, Ms. Cochran was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She has been a finalist in Landscape Architecture for the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards in 2006, 2009 and 2010 before winning the award in 2014. Her work has earned numerous awards, most recently an ASLA Honor Award in General Design for the Nueva School. A monograph of her work was published by Princeton Architectural Press in May of 2009.

For more information visit

Elevated Foundation: An Exhibit to Imagine Cal Poly's Academic Commons


President Armstrong and Professor Omar FaruqueCal Poly Landscape Architecture students enrolled in summer courses LA 402 and LA 436, were given the task to imagine and design the future of an academic commons at Cal Poly (to be located in the area directly outside the Kennedy Library). Taught by Professor Omar Faruque, these talented students designed spaces that supported the goals and needs of an academic commons. The resulting designs are on display at Kennedy Library through exhibition Elevated Foundation.

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Cal Poly Participating in Solar Decathlon 2015


Solar Decathlon 2015Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015! The Solar Decathlon is an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, in which 18 teams of faculty and students design, build, and operate a solar powered residence, culminating in a showcase at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA in September 2015.


Solar Cal Poly has an exceptional, dynamic interdisciplinary team — architecture; architectural, electrical, and mechanical engineering; construction management; landscape architecture; graphic communication; marketing; and business. This combined expertise is needed to compete in the Decathlon, which includes ten contests that range from design and performance to communication and affordability.

The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered homes that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Having competed in the Solar Decathlon in 2005 with an award-winning project, we know that this is a transformative experience for students — truly a defining moment in their academic careers. We anticipate a similar life-changing undertaking for those participating in the 2015 project.

You can help build it! Engaging in this competition represents a challenge in more ways than simply design and construction. In order to realize the project, we need to raise $650,000. We need cash and in-kind donations, as well as sponsorships to achieve the goal of creating an award-winning contemporary example of solar architecture that only a21st century polytechnic can produce. This is the essence of Solar Cal Poly.

For more information on how YOU can support this program, click here (or here for corporate sponsorship levels) or visit the Cal Poly Giving Page to donate. 


More on Solar Decathlon 2015 ›


Cal Poly Hosts ASLA Reception in Denver, CO


DENVER, COLORADO - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture & Enviornmental Design and the Department of Landscape Architecture hosted an alumni reception to honor two members of the CAED community this November at the annual Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conference in Denver. 

Former CAED Associate Dean K. Richard (Dick) Zweifel, FASLA, has been appointed as the new president of the ASLA. Dick is a professor and associate dean in the CAED and is one of the two founding faculty of the landscape department. He has been a member of the ASLA since 1975, and was inducted into the Counil of Fellows in 2000. He has most recently served as chair of the Council of Fellows Jury and the Licensure Committee, and as a member of the Policy Committee. Dick Zweifel earned his BSLA and MSLA degrees in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin, and has worked in public and private practices both in Wisconsin and in California. 

Alumnus Kevin Conger has been inducted as a Fellow of the ASLA. Kevin graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor in Science in Landscape Architecture in 1988. He then went on to receive a masters in Landscape Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. He has taught at the Boston Architectural Center, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of California, Berkeley. Kevin is also one of three founding partners of CMG Landscape Architecture - a San Francisco based studio where he currently serves as President and CEO. 

More on Landscape Architecture ›


Construction Managment Job Fair Success


CM student On Novemeber 7, 2014 the Construction Management Department held a Job Fair for all Cal Poly students interested in a design and/or construction career. The event was attended by 34 companies, all eager to add new interns and graduating students to their teams. Over 100 students attended the job fair, half of whom were Construction Management students, and half of whom were a mix of other CAED majors, as well as students from Civil Engineering. Lunch was served in the courtyard of the Construction Management building, and after the event, companies went on to conduct interviews with students the very same day. The success of this event demonstrated industry interest in Cal Poly students, and the impact Cal Poly has in the Construction Management world. 

More on Construction Management ›


Linda Dalton Receives National Honor


Photo of Linda DaltonThe Association of College Schools of Planning has chosen Linda Dalton, FAICP,  as recipient of the  Margarita McCoy Advancement of Women in Planning Award 2014. Linda Dalton was selected as this year’s McCoy Award recipient due to the exceptional leadership qualities she has demonstrated during her distinguished career and, in particularly, the outstanding mentorship role she has played for many women in higher education in planning. In addition to her own distinguished career in planning, she has worked tirelessly to improve faculty diversity in planning programs and serves as a role model for women in higher education. ~ Hilary Nixon, Chair, FWIG Award Committee, 2014.  

Linda Dalton serves as Cal Poly’s Interim Planning Officer leading the campus academic and master plan effort for the Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong . Dr. Dalton served as Department head of City and Regional Planning in the mid-1990s, before being asked to direct an earlier master plan effort under then President Warren Baker. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and a member of the California Planning Roundtable.

Saliklis, Students Present Paper


From Sept 14 to Sept 19 2014, Prof. Ed Saliklis and two Cal Poly students, Jared Parker and Evan Gerbo presented two papers on their research at the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures World Conference in Brasilia, Brazil.  Jared Parker showed his research on the Maney-Goldberg Method and Evan Gerbo discussed his research on optimization of a frame geometry using genetic algorithms.

In the photos from left, Evan and Jared are talking with Prof. Ashley Thrall of University of Notre Dame (where Evan is currently pursuing his Ph.D.) and with the world's preeminent structural engineer Bill Baker of SOM's Chicago office. In the photo on the right, Jared presents his work. 

More on ARCE here.

Image of Ed Saliklis with Students

Cal Poly Architecture Alumnus Doug Lowe Receives First-Ever Sklarek Award


Photo of Doug LoweCal Poly alumnus Douglas Lowe, FAIA, is the first-time recipient of the Norma Sklarek Award from the American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC). His award was “given in the spirit of social responsibility to honor and recognize those who contribute freely and greatly to humanity.”

The Sklarek Award was created in honor of Norma Sklarek, who was the first African American woman to be a member of the AIA in 1959. She studied architecture at Columbia University and initially worked in New York before relocating to Los Angeles and Gruen Associates where she was eventually named the firm's director in 1966. In that position, and later as vice president of the Welton Becket firm, she left her mark on several important projects including the American Embassy in Tokyo, Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center, the LAX Airport Terminal One, and the Fox Plaza in San Francisco. In 1980 Sklarek became the first African American woman to receive a fellowship from the American Institute of Architects.  She teamed up with two fellow architects in 1985 to form one of the largest female-owned architectural firms in the country and became the first African-American woman to establish and manage an architectural firm.

After receiving his award Lowe shared that he performs humanitarian work in the US, abroad in Africa, the Middle East and in Haiti as part of that country’s earthquake recovery efforts.  Reflecting on his efforts Lowe said, “There’s no shortage of opportunities to help people.”


He is an architecture graduate of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). Lowe’s involvement includes membership on the CAED Dean’s Leadership Council as the former chairperson, and is a board member of the college’s Resilient Communities Research Institute. The RCRI is an applied research unit devoted to advancing the application of knowledge and practice that improves the quality and safety of the built environment, and is a catalyst for creating effective and productive applied research partnerships, that in coordination with the civil society, yield community benefits, and foster the next generation of student leaders to become involved in research and solutions based design.


“As a colleague I am aware of Doug’s many years of behind-the-scenes global humanitarian work,” said CAED Dean Christine Theodoropoulos. “We are very proud to hear that his transformative efforts helping communities in need and inspiring architects to embrace social responsibility are being recognized with the great honor of being named the first-time recipient of the Norma Sklarek Award.”  


Lowe is a founding principal and vice president with the Cuningham Group Architecture in Culver City. In 2009 Lowe was elevated to Fellow in the AIA for service to society. He is licensed to practice architecture in several states and a licensed general contractor in California. 


Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design will host four presentations as part of the Hearst Lecture Series fall schedule. The lectures bring progressive thinkers and leaders to campus to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary topics on Fridays at 4 p.m. in the Business Building Rotunda (Building 3, Room 213).

The lectures feature:

— Oct. 17: Simon Pastucha, head of the Los Angeles Department of Planning's Urban Design Studio, will discuss his more than 20-year career in landscape architecture with an emphasis on ecosystematic design and sustainability — work that has been fundamental in the revitalization of the city and in implementing context-sensitive design and people-oriented streets and places. For more information, visit

— Oct. 24: Andrés Duany, architect, urban planner, and partner at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in Miami, will talk about the new urbanism movement that seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment and re-establish the human aspects of city making. DPZ has completed designs and building codes for more than 300 new communities, regional plans, and inner-city revitalization projects in the U.S. and several countries. For more information, visit This lecture is sponsored in part by the HomeFed Corp.

— Nov. 7: Lorcan O’Herlihy, founder and principal of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) and a Cal Poly architecture alumnus, will explore opportunities to engage the changing complexities of the city landscape and embrace the role of architecture as a catalyst of change. He spent his formative years working in New York and Paris on the Grand Louvre Museum as a designer with IM Pei Partners. For more information, visit This lecture is sponsored in part by the annual Vellum Furniture Competition.

— Nov. 21: Wonne Ickx, an architect at Productora, a Mexico City-based architectural studio led by four architects of different nationalities, will share work distinguished by an interest in precise geometries, the production of clearly legible projects with limited gestures and the search for timeless buildings in their material and programmatic resolutions. In 2011 the studio co-founded LIGA, Space for Architecture Mexico City, a platform that promotes emerging Latin-American architecture. The studio is collaborating on international projects with artists from around the world. For more information, visit

The Hearst Lecture Series is free and open to the public. It is hosted by Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design through a grant from the Hearst Foundation.

For more information, visit, or contact the Architecture Department at or 805-756-1316; or Robert Arens at or at 805-756-1444.

Professor Christopher Yip to Advise National Park System


Photo of Christopher YipArchitecture Professor Christopher Yip was appointed to the National Park System Advisory Board, serving as the Asian American/Pacific Islander Scholars Expert. Yip will assist with the identification of potential National Historic Landmarks.

View the Cal Poly news release.

Professor Emeritus, Gary Dwyer, Exhibits at SLO Museum of Art


Photo of Gary DwyerFrom July 5 - August 31, landscape architecture professor emeritus, Gary Dwyer, will display examples of his international photography from 1989 to the present.

View the Faculty Spotlight for more details and examples of Gary's work.

Professor Phillips Launches "L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s-1990s"


 Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s-1990sProfessor Stephen Phillips, AIA, PhD, recently commemorated the international publishing of “L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s–1990s” at a book launch in Los Angeles. The book is a glimpse of accomplishments over the past three years of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s L.A. Metro Program faculty and students, and features interviews of ten renowned Los Angeles architects and their work alongside analytical drawings by Cal Poly students.

Catapulted to fame by the international media in and around the 1980s, a loosely affiliated cadre of architects, the so-called "L.A. Ten," emerged to define the future of Los Angeles architecture. In this book, architects Neil Denari, Frederick Fisher, Ming Fung, Craig Hodgetts, Coy Howard, Wes Jones, Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, Michael Rotondi, and former associates of the late Franklin Israel offer a casual, witty and approachable retrospective on the characters, environment and cultural history of L.A. architecture as they remember it. Architect, historian and educator Stephen Phillips and the students of the Cal Poly L.A. Metro Program in Architecture and Urban Design, along with Wim de Wit and Christopher Alexander of the Getty Research Institute, conduct the engaging series of oral history interviews.

A book launch, presentation and discussion took place at the A+D Museum in early February where Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, critic and curator of architecture, and Sylvia Lavin, director of critical studies in the Department of Architecture at UCLA, expressed their opinions and ideas about the book, which can be reviewed on the Archinect News and Architect Magazine websites.  Additional upcoming book launch events are scheduled at Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore in Hollywood, February 27, and at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City, April 8.

“L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s–1990s” was produced in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute, the UCLA Oral History Program, the Cal Poly LA Metro Program, and Stephen Phillips Architects. It is published by Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland.

Go to the Cal Poly Architecture website and Stephen Phillips Architects for more information about Stephen Phillips, AIA, PhD.

ARCH Students Win Steel Design Competition


Architecture students Trevor Larsen and Ben Pennell won the top prize in the 13th annual ACSA Steel Design Student Competition for Category II, Open.

For more details go to the CAED Steel Design Student Competition page.

ARCE 316 Course Teaches Learn by Doing with K'Nex


The ARCE 316 course introduces architecture students to the interdisciplinary and team work nature of large scale building projects. The course, as taught by Dr. Craig Baltimore, has a significant Learn by Doing component whereby students must build a large scale project approximately 30' x 20' x 8' out of K'NEX plastic construction pieces measuring one to six inches. A typical project constists of about 10,000 to 15,000 K'NEX pieces.

The students are divided into teams and must work together to complete the project on time. Typical teams include design, facilities and permitting, documentation, and construction management. The summer session class project was to build a structure near the Performing Arts Center (PAC) that provides isolated views of interesting sights such as the Poly "P" and the peak of Bishop's Peak.

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design thanks K'NEX Brands for its support of engineering education.

CRP Students Update San Juan Bautista Plan

The Cal Poly graduate students who are implementing Cal Poly's contract to update the City's General Plan came to San Juan Bautista early this year with their "Plan Vans."

There were three "Plan Van" teams, which collected information at the Mission, in front of Union Bank on Third Street and in front of the Windmill Market. The "Plan Van" is an outreach strategy to reach those who were unable to attend the first community meeting for input into the General Plan Update. Read more about the plan.

LA 402 Students Design Public Park at Cannery Row


Fourteen 3rd and 4th year students presented on August 16 to community residents and Monterey City officials at the Hilltop Recreation Center in Monterey. The various concepts featured structures such as a visitor center for diving gear rentals, amphitheatres, sculptures, and an underwater aquarium.

Click here to read more and view student projects.

CM and CE Students Visit Calaveras Dam Replacement Project


Construction students in CM314 and civil engineering students in CM422 toured 18 major projects and companies in the Bay Area over a period of two weeks in July including Granite Construction, Hathaway Dinwiddie, DPR, Pankow, Overaa Construction, and Skanska. Accompanied by their professor, Barry Jones, they are photographed above at the site of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, which is under contract with Dragados USA.

The Calaveras Dam Replacement site visit offered students an opportunity to learn about large heavy civil projects and the practical applications of project and field engineers such as operations, estimating, budgeting, scheduling, safety and quality control. Students were tasked with a presentation to Dragados project manager, Alberto Benlloch and constrution consultant, Ken Bunker, explaining how Dragados integrates projects across various departments and roles, describing the estimating process that won Dragados the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, and reviewing the entire project cycle of the dam replacement from the award of contract to weekly planning to project completion. The students spent approximately three hours at the dam replacement site for a project overview, site visit, and question and answer session.

The Calaveras Reservoir is located in Santa Clara County, operated by the City and County of San Francisco, and provides drinking water to the San Francisco Bay Area. Built in 1925, the dam is named after the Calaveras Fault near which it is located. The dam has been found seismically unsafe with the amount of water the reservoir had originally been built to contain. The replacement dam is under construction nearby. Though the water level has been reduced as a safety measure, the new dam, with an anticipated construction completion date of November 2017, will enable the reservoir to resume its 31 billion gallon water capacity. When completed, the dam will measure 220 feet high, 1,210 feet long, with a base of 1,180 feet and will withstand a maximum credible earthquake. The old dam will be submerged under water.

"Doing this course in the summer gives us one of the few opportunities to visit so many companies and projects," said Professor Jones. "If I had my way, I would offer this course every quarter with the live project visit component. Student learning goes vertical."

Read more about professor Barry Jones.
Read more about Calaveras Reservoir.
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Assistant Professor's Year-Long Project Displayed


Professor Olsen in front of ReflectionKennedy Library has a new wall fixture; a design by associate professor of architecture, Clare Olsen. Reflection, as it has been titled, is made of diamond-shaped aluminum modules and reflects light to help brighten the Kennedy Library stairwell. The piece will also display a variety of colors in congruence with the light outside.

Many of Professor Olsen's students helped assemble Reflection.

Read more about Reflection.
Read about Clare Olsen.

ARCH Students' Documentary Premiers at Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles


CAPACITY Poster“CAPACITY,” a short film and research study by students Haley Coughlin, Derek McFarland and Katherine Quach, examines the inter-relationships of downtown Los Angeles infrastructure, natural resource consumption, and urban planning. The research and film seek to answer the question: What limits future urban development?

The film premiered July 15 at the fifth annual Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles.

Katherin Quach provided insight to her experience working on the project at Gensler's SLO_Gen studio:

1. What was the most interesting piece of the project?

I found the presentation format the most interesting part -- it still amazes me to think of how our project can be seen worldwide simply because it's on the internet, and how animation enabled us to present our findings in a way that engaged people outside the discipline of architecture as well as those within it. 

2. What did you learn that had a lasting impact on you?

Creating that video became a project of its own -- although many aspects of the data remained to be investigated, at a certain point we simply had to agree to stop researching and focus on production. Many items were then cut in the process of tightening the narrative. It resulted in a stronger video, but the process was painful.

As for the data itself, I learned a great deal about scrutinizing sources and interpreting data. We found very little of our data in the benchmark (per person/per day) rates, and synthesizing those rates from multiple sources often required much discussion as to which figures and statistics meant what.

3. Did results of any data prompt further investigation?

I view the entire project as a prompt for further investigation -- we've barely scratched the surface! I'd like to see per person/per day rates for areas other than DTLA. Perhaps then we could have a more comprehensive comparison of different cities.

Read the full news release.

John Lawson Receives ASCE's ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award


Image of John LawsonJohn Lawson, Cal Poly alumnus and assistant professor in the Architectural Engineering program, recently earned national recognition from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for his teaching style. The Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award is given to individuals with up to five years of full-time teaching experience.

Read more about Lawson's award on the Faculty Spotlight page.
Read about John Lawson.

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