Rensselaer | Architecture Rensselaer | Architecture 2016-10-24T16:03:03Z Editor EK <![CDATA[Fall 2016 Lecture Series]]> 2016-10-22T13:52:14Z 2016-10-21T16:17:02Z LECTURE SERIES (FALL 2016).

Admission is FREE. All lectures unless otherwise noted start 6:00pm at EMPAC / The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media + Performing Arts Center . 110 8th Street, Troy NY 12180. Contemporary Design Conference is from 2-7:00pm on Tuesday, November 8th.



Editor EK <![CDATA[Spring 2017 Electives]]> 2016-10-20T21:34:24Z 2016-10-20T21:33:25Z Elective courses available:

ARCH4020/CIVIL4020 Bedford Seminar: Advanced Building Structures (Civil)

This interdisciplinary seminar consists of students from both the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering department. Presentation of a variety of structural typologies bears direct relation to practical experience and the necessity for constructive interdisciplinary discourse. Specific structural typologies are examined through historic and contemporary project examples that are critically deconstructed and critically analyzed with respect to their basic engineering principles and architectural concepts. Students will be exposed to the collaborative methods inherent within the architect/engineer relationship. The course consists of lectures concerning each topic, case studies and presentations of relevant projects, an interdisciplinary design project and discussion of the projects and presentations with respect to interdisciplinary discourse. Content and delivery may vary by instructor. W 12-1:50. Cr. 3. Taught with CIVL4020. Prerequisite: Arch2230 Structures 1.

ARCH4840.01 Architectural Acoustics 2

In the spring semester, students will have the opportunity to design their own performance hall. This process will include continued studies of acoustics measurements, simulated sound fields, community noise issues, and professional practice in acoustics consulting. The course will also have detailed lectures on concert hall acoustics, sound quality, and synthesized sound fields. Students will be introduced to a variety of simulation software and measurement equipment in the Acoustics Research Laboratory. After both Architectural Acoustics 1 and 2, the student should be prepared for a basic entry-level position in either acoustics in architecture or in acoustical consulting. Prerequisite: ARCH4840 or instructor approval. Todd Brooks. F 10–1:50 pm. Cr 4.

ARCH4170.80 Environmental Parametrics

The work of this course sets out to describe the meaning, values, and methods of using parametric techniques as both an analytical tool and a generative device in comprehensive performance-based building design. The students learn techniques to set-up feedback between analysis and tactical response in performance-based design while also situating these techniques within the broader discourse and methodology of fostering design ecologies and creating ecologies of design as they relate to the construction of the built environment and contemporary issues of sustainability. Demetrios Comodromos. Cr 2. CASE in NYC.

ARCH4340 Structural Morphology

This course explores design and development of structural feasible complex, static and dynamic free forms in an interdisciplinary fashion. Efficiency of various topologies is of the special interest. Theform finding  investigation and the evaluation include, building physical models, use of laser scanner to generate computer models, use of computer simulation to refine models based on results of load-deformation tests and photo elastic observation. Various optimization techniques are explored to conceptually determine fragility of the form. This course is a based on new or continuous research projects and is open for explorations of specific studentsʼ interests and is structured on team or individual work. The course at times involves field trips, international collaborators, and guest lecturers. Alongside Architecture the course is open for students from other disciplines especially CEE, CS, MSE, BE, HASS, GAMING or others with permission of the instructor. Ivan Markov. T 4 – 5:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4730 Sustainable Building Design Strategies

An in depth analysis of conceptual planning strategies as well as building system strategies that produce environmentally responsible buildings. Building physics and environmental phenomena including solar, wind and geothermal; passive and active systems and addressing those defensive (e.g. insolation) vs. offensive strategies (e.g. energy harvesting) will be covered. Case studies will be utilized to demonstrate the integration of sustainable strategies into the design process. Oliver Holmes. T 8-9:50 pm. Cr. 2

ARCH4850 Architectural Acoustics 2

In the spring semester, students will have the opportunity to design their own performance hall. This process will include continued studies of acoustics measurements, simulated sound fields, community noise issues, and professional practice in acoustics consulting. The course will also have detailed lectures on concert hall acoustics, sound quality, and synthesized sound fields. Students will be introduced to a variety of simulation software and measurement equipment in the Acoustics Research Laboratory. After both Architectural Acoustics 1 and 2, the student should be prepared for a basic entry-level position in either acoustics in architecture or in acoustical consulting. Prerequisite: ARCH4840 or instructor approval. Todd Brooks. F 10–1:50 pm. Cr 4.

ARCH4961.01 Programmable Matter and Information Space

The Seminar looks at the concept of the SPIME (Bruce Sterling, 2004) as generative unit for the Internet of Things, its implication for the design of architecture space, thought and culture. Evaluates material sciences (nano and meta-materials), robotics, bio-informatics, biotechnology, genetics, information and communication technologies to discuss precedents and extrapolations for future design scenarios. Carla Leitao. F 12 – 1:50 pm.

ARCH4962.01 The Influence of Islamic Architecture in Occidental Culture

The Alhambra of Granada, one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture and the most splendid of its kind in the Mediterranean World has held for centuries a legendary fascination for travelers, artists and writers through centuries: Victor Hugo, Lord Byron, Washington Irving, M.C. Escher…are just few from the list. Departing from the analysis of this palace and its medieval acropolis, we will walk through other architectural examples in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, in which these reminiscences are present. Elena Perez Guembe. R 10 – 11:50 am. Cr. 2.

ARCH4963.01 Projective Glitch

Architectural software reduces projective geometry to an inert spatial simulation, thus eliminating its impact in the design process. However, innovation in architecture often arises by combining the design of objects with original ways of representing them. Using digital techniques, we will disrupt default projective environments and explore their architectural potential. Stefano Passeri. R 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4965.01 Projective Veils

The seminar “Oblique Veils,” will focus on projective geometry. It will include readings and historic precedents that will relate to the contemporary discipline and discourse. Using oblique projections of image/graphic in conjunction with wrapping/draping, this seminar will explore the ability to visually augment objects to produce visual misconceptions. Compositing projection with draping, our intention will be to redefine corners, seams and other geometric transition creating both unity and/or schisms. We will study in depth the fold, extrusion, projection, wrapping and draping to composite the 2d image with the 3d object. Brian De Luna, F 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4966.01 The Man Next Door: A.Hitchcock + the Arch of Fear

This seminar will explore the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock via the urban condition. The narrative structures of Hitchcock’s films often move the characters from pastoral settings to urban contexts, and vice versa. These allegories track naive or innocent characters as they move into self awareness, a transition always reflected in the costumes, music, lighting, editing and direction. Famously averse to shooting on location, Hitchcock invented and refined techniques for controlling shifts in scale, perspective and space – all part of his reliance on the studio for a kind of ‘world building’. For example, as a way to save on location costs, Hitchcock developed back-lit film transparencies at the scale of architecture. His techniques of sonic and visual abstraction, defamiliarization, continuous takes, color saturation and disorienting perspectives all have analogs in the operations of the modern city. His themes of voyeurism, doubling, mistaken identity and paranoia are hallmarks of the modern human condition. He made the first film to address psychoanalysis as a subject (Spellbound, 1945), shot an entire film on one set (Lifeboat, 1944), and his dark comedy Frenzy (1972) looked at the urban phenomenon of serial murder. From the 39 Steps to Rear Window to Psycho, Hitchcock torqued the city grid as a symbol for both freedom (anonymity) and oppression (chaos).The Master of Suspense has also been seen as a misogynist, sadist, humorist and cultural critic. We will critically engage his works via screenings, writing and our own attempts at storyboarding and set design. Michael Oatman. W 10 – 11:50 am. Cr 2.

ARCH4967.01 Emerging Material Systems in Architecture

This research seminar looks at the impact of emerging materials, fabrication systems and methods that are upending traditional notions about design, construction, economy and materiality in architecture. Materials such as Cross Laminated Timber, recycled cardboard tubes, plastic composites and composite concrete are just a few of the emerging materials that are already redefining the discipline of architecture and the construction industry in unanticipated ways.

By examining a range of new and emerging materials and their impact on architecture, the seminar seeks to catalog the possibilities of construction systems, potential and actual impact, sustainability, and cultural implications of an array of new or reinvigorated materials and material techniques in architecture. The seminar will be organized into a series of research groups with a focus a narrow range of materials. A case-study methodology will be used for documentation and organization of findings and creative speculations collected and disseminated in book form. Lonn Combs. M 10 – 11:50 am. Cr 2.

ARCH4968.01 What an Amazing Time

At the beginning of the twentieth century, mankind has discovered digital language. In the forties appeared computers, instruments that enable us to communicate in that language. These devices have changed our lives, ways of communication between us, ways we organize our daily stuff and how we produce things.

Almost at the same time in the fifties discoveries in biology, especially genetics, have revealed that all living world speaks the same language, the digital language. “Life is just bytes and bytes and bytes of digital information” (Richard Dawkins)

We are walking already “in the digital age of biology in which the once distinct domains of computer codes and those that program life are beginning to merge, where new synergies are emerging that will drive evolution in radical directions.” (Craig Venter)

These discoveries are made before our eyes.
You and I are their witnesses.
What an amazing time.

The Seminar will focus on the consequences of these events. We will study new dependencies between nature, culture and technology. Zbigniew Oksiuta. R 12 – 1:50 pm. Cr. 2.

ARCH4969.01 The Arch of the Screen: Relationships Between Film and Architecture

While architecture is one of the oldest forms of cultural expression, film, by comparison is one of the youngest. Although seemingly at odds with one another, due to the physicality of architecture, and the image based condition of film, architecture has learned a great deal from the expressive capacities of film. In this seminar we will study the manner in which certain filmmakers have captured the physical environment in dynamic and provocative ways. Anthony Titus. R 10 – 11:50 am. Cr. 2.


Editor EK <![CDATA[Kallipoliti and Theodoridis at Istanbul Biennal]]> 2016-10-17T22:28:19Z 2016-10-17T21:34:38Z Oct 22 – Nov 20, Istanbul, Turkey:

Lydia Kallipoliti & Andreas Theodoridis Exhibit at 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial.


Assistant Professor Lydia Kallipoliti and PhD Candidate Andreas Theodoridis are participating at the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Arts and Culture (IKSV) in Turkey. Their project “Guinea Pigs: A Minor History of Engineered Man” is exhibited at the Galata Greek School in the framework of this year’s biennial titled “Are we Human?” curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley.

A team of undergraduate and graduate students from the Rensselaer School of Architecture have assisted in the production of the project, including Emily Klein (animations coordinator), Royd Zhang (construction drawings coordinator), Chendru Starkloff, Ellen Wong, Ivan Leon, and Mary Tieu LaFave.

For more information on the Biennial, please visit the following links:


Editor EK <![CDATA[Nancy Diniz at 2016 ACADIA Conference]]> 2016-10-10T19:40:33Z 2016-10-07T17:05:22Z Oct. 27-29, Ann Arbor, Michigan:

Nancy Diniz Presents Two Projects at ACADIA Conference.

Assistant Professor Nancy Diniz will present two projects at the 2016 ACADIA conference “Posthuman Frontiers: Data, Designers and Cognitive Machines” taking place October 27th-29th in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The conference seeks to explore recent work within the current trend in computational design to develop and apply quasi-cognitive machines; the integration of software, information, fabrication and sensing to generate mechanisms for interfacing with the physical realm.

Nancy Diniz’s projects are cited as follows:

Diniz, N., Melendez (2016) ‘Embryonic Spaces – Living and Synthetic Matter for Wearable Devices’ in Project proceedings for ACADIA 2016, 27-29 Oct 2016, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Melendez, F., Diniz, N., Ribiakova, V. (2016) ‘Liquid Actuated Elastomers – Soft Architectural Systems’ in Project proceedings for ACADIA 2016, 27-29 Oct 2016, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

For more information on the conference, please visit


Editor ML <![CDATA[F16 Positions Series : What is Architectural Research?]]> 2016-10-07T19:15:52Z 2016-10-07T19:12:05Z Thursday, October 13th, 6:20pm

“What is Architectural Research?”

On Thursday, October 13th, 2016 the student-coordinated discussions series at Rensselaer, Positions Series, will host “What is Architectural Research?,” with guest speakers Parker Bunce (B. Arch ’14), Shane Gavitt (B. Arch ’15), and Chendru Starkloff (M. Arch ’16) The presentations will be followed by a round-table discussion.

“What is Architectural Research?” poses the following:

What is architectural/design research? Recent years has witnessed the rise of research studios and seminars within many schools of architecture. This seemingly newfound interest presents significant sifts and positions in architectural pedagogy and the production of knowledge: an unmistakable break away from independent as well as traditional thesis studios in favor of a gravitation towards research as a viable mode of investigation. What is FP? invites recent Final Project participants Parker Bunce (B. Arch ‘14), Shane Gavitt (B. Arch ‘15), and Chendru Starkloff (M. Arch ‘16) to share their projects as well as reflect on research in this initial discussion on the prospects of research in architecture and design.

Please email any questions about this event to *protected email*

Editor EK <![CDATA[Spring 2017 CASE Info Session]]> 2016-10-04T14:36:42Z 2016-10-04T14:36:42Z Wed Oct 5th, 6pm @ GR120

CASE Information Session with Demetrios Comodromos


Professor of Practice Demetrios Comodromos will be hosting an information session on the Spring 2017 CASE semester in New York City. The info session will cover applications, accomodations, opportunities while at CASE, and any questions students may have. Students eligible to apply are 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students of architecture, although all interested in the semester at CASE are welcome to attend. Pizza and drinks will be provided.


Editor EK <![CDATA[Lydia Kallipoliti & Rhett Russo at “Aesthetic Activism” [YSoA]]]> 2016-10-10T21:54:24Z 2016-09-27T15:55:41Z Oct 13-15, Yale School of Architecture

Professors Lydia Kallipoliti & Rhett Russo at Yale “Aesthetic Activism” Symposium


Assistant Professors Lydia Kallipoliti and Rhett Russo will be participating as panelist at The J. Irwin Miller Symposium “Aesthetic Activism” this October 15th, 2016 at Yale School of Architecture.

“Aesthetic Activism” explores emerging positions that cast aesthetics as the primary discourse for social, ecological, and political engagement. In contrast to commonly held opinions that these issues are antithetical to the aesthetic, recent work in aesthetic theory across multiple disciplines suggests that such political and ontological problems may be best addressed as aspects of aesthetic experience. An interdisciplinary group of philosophers, scholars, media theorists, artists, curators, and architects will speculate on how a reignited discourse on aesthetics is prompting new insights into our relationships with not only objects, spaces, environments, and ecologies, but also with each other and political structures in which we are all enmeshed. Philosophical viewpoints foregrounding aesthetics, including Accelerationism, Afro-Futurism, Dark Ecology, Extro-Science Fiction, Immaterialism, Object-Oriented Ontology, and Xenofeminism, will be explored and discussed through a series of lectures, presentations of work, and interdisciplinary roundtable discussions.

Fellow speakers are Elaine Scarry, Jacques Rancière, Mark Foster Gage, Jonathan Massey, Keller Easterling, Catherine Ingraham, Timothy Morton, Ferda Kolatan, Graham Harman, Ariane Lourie Harrison, David Ruy, Tom Wiscombe, Peggy Deamer, Nettrice Gaskins, Diann Bauer, Michael Speaks, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Jason Payne, Albena Yaneva, Michael Young, Gregory Crewdson, Caroline Picard, Charles Ray, and Roger Rothman.

For more information, please visit the “Aesthetic Activism” webpage.


Editor EK <![CDATA[Carla Leitao Chair at ACSA Meeting & Call for Papers]]> 2016-09-27T21:31:26Z 2016-09-27T16:50:39Z Call for papers deadline: October 5, 2016; Annual Meeting: March 23-25, 2017

Carla Leitao to Chair “Addressability” Topic at ACSA Annual Meeting & Call for Papers


Lecturer Carla Leitao of the Rensselaer School of Architecture will be joined by Ed Keller of Parsons The New School for Design in chairing the Addressability topic at the upcoming Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual Meeting. The ACSA invites paper submissions under 18 thematic session topics plus an additional open category. The deadline for papers has been extended to October 5, 2016. The deadline for for projects and posters is November 16, 2016.

To speak on the thematic topic Addressability:

“Through the lens of the concept of addressability, we propose to reflect on and discuss the ways in which different modes of information collection, data mining, and knowledge production define a plethora of architectural and urban alternative platforms for interconnecting individuals, populations and cultural forms.

While addressability is a term used in computer science and information technology, we propose it as a condition of belonging, transparency and history by which exchanges – cultural, informational, social, political – create new geologies for urban existence, and myriad possibilities for individual and collective agency.

By focusing on the procedural aspects of these processes, the objective is to reveal avenues for potential new definitions and/or characterizations of cities or urban existence; which are otherwise invisible or suppressed in existing models or materialities. We suggest that an anticipatory and predictive urban forensics, or ‘dissection’ of these new substantive forms of addressability might propitiate and host generative processes in the design of a more politically responsive ’smart city’.”

The annual meeting takes place in Detroit, Michigan in spring 2017 and is entitled “Brooklyn says “Move to Detroit.” Other chairpersons include Sherry Ahrentzen, Ronald Shorr, Benjamin Flowers, Alexis Gregory, John Poros, Alex Wall, Luis Pancorbo, Montserrat Bonvehi Rosich, Edward M. Orlowski, Evangelos Kotsioris, Molly Wright Steenson, Francesca Torello, Kai K. Gutschow, Brian Kelly, Erkin Ozay, Joseph Krupczynski, David J. Goodman, Miodrag Mitrasinovic, Grace Ong Yan, Rajiv Sharma, Vivian Loftness, Rahul Mehrotra, and Monica Ponce de Leon.

For more informaiton on the ACSA Annual Meeting and submission opportunities, please visit:


Editor ML <![CDATA[Jennifer Lema [Browns Fellowship]]]> 2016-09-21T01:39:02Z 2016-09-21T01:39:02Z SHOW: Sept 19-23, GR 201; TALK: Sept 21, 6pm @ Greene Gallery

On September 21st, Jennifer Lema (B.Arch) will present her Browns Fellowship titled Atma Effect: Sensitizing and Connecting the Creative Youth to the Millowner’s Building. Lema’s lecture will be followed by an opening reception to her exhibition in Greene 201.

Jennifer Lema (B.Arch): Atma Effect: : Sensitizing and Connecting the Creative Youth to the Millowner’s Building

“Now a vestige of the promises of modernity, Le Corbusier’s Ahmedabad Textile Mills Association (ATMA) recedes into a quiet oasis that sits in the heart of one of the most thriving cities in India. While the city flourishes around the site, developers knock on the door of one of the most sought-out sites in Ahmedabad. Intending to preserve the landmark, Mr. Abhinava Shukla, Secretary General of ATMA, and Jennifer collaborated on a plan that will intertwine the roots of the building with those of the creative youth. By revitalizing the building from inside out, it will not only survive the hunt for commercial real estate but will also become a junction for the people of Ahmedabad.”


Main Editor <![CDATA[Bill Bergman]]> 2015-11-15T13:54:38Z 2011-06-08T01:21:23Z Fabrication Lab Manager

Bill Bergman

Office: Greene Building, Room # 014
Email: *protected email*
Phone: 518-276-6870


William Bergman received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Alfred University in 1996 after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Studio Art/Sculpture from the College of Saint Rose. He has since been a sculpture technician at the College of Saint Rose and since 2007, has been the Fabrication Shop Supervisor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture. Bergman has received numerous awards around the Capital and Hudson region for his work, which has been exhibited at MassMOCA, The Tang Teaching Museum, Albany International Airport, The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, and Chesterwood in West Stockbridge, MA, among other galleries and institutions. For more information on Bergman’s work, please see his website linked below.

Website |