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Woodbury University

August 26, 2011

Coinciding with the Drylands Design Competition sponsored by the California Architectural Foundation, Woodbury University SoA proclaims Fall Semester 2011 officially the “Semester of Water” for anyone willing to accept the challenge. Please see for details. At this nexus of water and energy shortages and climate change, the competition is based upon the premise that designers of the built environment have an opportunity to present ideas that might bridge between science and policy. All faculty are encouraged to consider traditions, technologies, mythologies, the arts, and daily rituals in the broad context of water in the built environment from the scale of the hand to the scale of the oceans, as possibly interpreted and applied through all levels of the curriculum.

The School of Architecture at Woodbury University has embarked upon a faculty search and welcomes Dr. Anthony Fontenot as Associate Professor in Architecture; Mark Erikson, who will be returning to start his first year of his full time appointment as Assistant Professor in Architecture; Chandler Ahrens as Visiting Assistant Professor in Architecture; and Mimi Zeiger as the first Director of Communications for the School of Architecture.

Barbara Bestor has completed her appointment as Graduate Chair and will stay in the school of architecture as the Julius Shulman Professor of Practice in a two-year visiting appointment. Professor Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter has step down as B.Arch Chair in Los Angeles in order to become the new Graduate Chair of the M.Arch program. Professor Jeanine Centuori has now become the Los Angeles B.Arch Chair. Professor Vic Liptak has finished her four-year appointment as Dean of Faculty and will now double as the School of Architecture Associate Dean and active collaborator of the Office of Academic Affairs. Adjunct Faculty Louis Molina has become the B.Arch LA Assistant Chair. Jennifer Bonner has completed her one-year Visiting appointment and will become a Professor of Practice in Architecture. John Southern has completed his appointment as B.Arch LA Assistant Chair and has become a Professor of Practice in Architecture. Adjunct Faculty Kristin King has become a Visiting Professor in Interior Architecture.

After the successful completion of the initial spring semester hosted by the Pantheon Institute, Woodbury’s Rome Center for Architecture and Culture  (RCAC), under Professor Paulette Singley’s directorship, is finalizing plans to have Iowa State as the host institution. Starting next Spring, the center intends to have a year-round program (Spring and Fall) open to graduate and undergraduate Architecture and Interior Architecture students from LA and San Diego.

Professor of Architecture and Chair of the M.Arch Program, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter (together with Doris Sung, USC, and Matthew Melnyk, NOUS Engineering) received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The grant is for their Sunny-Side-Up project, a prototype for a building membrane using thermobimetal, a heat-sensitive smart material responsive to temperature variation. The project is scheduled to be installed this fall at the M&A exhibition space ( Also, Ingalill has been invited to moderate a session at the fall 2011 ACADIA conference: Integration Through Computation.

Two Woodbury SoA faculty, Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, Professor and M.Arch Chair, and Barbara Bestor, Julius Shulman Professor of Practice, are both included in the book, Architecture:  A Woman's Profession, edited by Tanja Kullack, which includes well-known female architects such as Caroline Bos, Sheila Kennedy, Farshid Moussavi, Monica Ponce de Leon, Dagmar Richter, and Denise Scott-Brown among others.

After completing a successful fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, Associate Professor Joshua Stein is being granted an additional opportunity to take a one-year joint appointment between the Architecture and Ceramics departments at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Adjunct Faculty Rene Peralta has been named Director of the new Graduate Program: MDes L+U, Masters of Design in Landscape and Urbanism at Woodbury University, San Diego. In addition, Rene (and his work at Generica) was part of the Emergent Mexican Architecture in the MARQ museum of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was an invited speaker in the Latin American Architecture Congress in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and in Anyang, Korea as part of the Anyang Public Art Project (APAP) Open University week organized by Kyong Park. Rene’s essay “Drive by Tijuana” was published in the book GeoHumanities: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place: M. Dear, J. Ketchum, S. Luria, D. Richardson (Routledge, 2011)

Adjunct Faculty Jonathan Linton received the 2010 Orchid Award for Architecture for UCSD Housing Dining Hospitality Building, San Diego Architecture Foundation as a project architect for Studio E Architects. Jonathan was also shortlisted (with Foundation For Form) for the F.W. Woolworth Company Redevelopment project, Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego.

Annie Chu, Associate Professor in Interior Architecture, delivered keynote presentation at the Women in Design Symposium in Dublin in June 24th. Annie was named by The Los Angeles Times on July 12th as one of top 25 to follow on Twitter (and one of four in the category of architecture) Currently Annie is working on exhibition design for Now Dig This! : Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 to open in October at the Hammer Museum, and LA Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983 to open in September at LACE. Both shows are part of the Getty Center sponsored Pacific Standard Time initiative, an unprecedented program that brings together over 60 cultural organizations to explore the birth of the Los Angeles arts scene.

Assistant Professor Maxi Spina taught an Advanced Digital Design Workshop entitled “The Mathematics of the Pliant Species” in the School of Architecture in Lund University, Sweden, during February 2010 as part of the “Architectural Mutations” Workshop series, which included distinguished critics such as Abelardo Gonzalez and Peter Cook, among others ( In addition, Maxi has lectured about his work at MSA at Lund University, Sweden, in February 23rd, and at the University of Florida at Gainesville, FL in March 23rd

Linda Taalman, Assistant Professor, is exhibited in Rethink LA at the A+D Museum, an exhibition that challenges designers, artists, planners and policy makers throughout LA to imagine a city-in-transition, fifty years in the future.

Professor of Practice, John Southern, was recently quoted as a primary source in the Guardian U.K. in regards to the topic of “urban acupuncture”.  Southern’s firm, Urban Operations, is researching and developing design ideas for how urban pocket parks can incrementally change the cityscape, one neighborhood at a time, by using derelict medians and abandoned streets as potential sites and catalysts for environmental transformation.

Rinehart Herbst (Catherine Herbst, Undergraduate Chair of Woodbury SoA San Diego) wins a 2011 AIA California Council Award for San Dieguito River Park.

Three Woodbury SoA faculty win 2011 AIA LA Restaurant Design Awards: Pitfire Pizza in Los Angeles by Bestor Architecture (Barbara Bestor) | Earl’s Gourmet Grub in Los Angeles by FreelandBuck (David Freeland) | City Center’s Aria Pool Deck in Las Vegas by GRAFT (Christoph Korner).

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