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Montana State University

December 2, 2011

Professor John C Brittingham’s seven years of work with Yellowstone National Park and JLF and Associates from Bozeman, Montana was chronicled in an article titled “A Yellowstone Charrette” in the Fall\Winter issue of Western Arts and Architecture.  The article documents the history of three charrettes that Professor Brittingham has coordinated with the help of his graduate students for the park through the School of Architecture.  This partnership has generated some $1.8 million in pro bono work with some of the best architects and architectural illustrators in the country.  This work has recently been acknowledged at the highest levels of the Park Service in Washington DC and may well become new model and paradigm for design thinking in  National Parks. Professor Brittingham is currently working with 12 graduate students in Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim. 

Assistant Professor David Fortin’s book titled Architecture and Science-Fiction Film was recently published by Ashgate. His book contemplates the home as one of our most enduring human paradoxes and is brought to light tellingly in science-fiction (SF) writing and film. However, while similarities and crossovers between architecture and SF have proliferated throughout the past century, the home is often overshadowed by the spectacle of 'otherness'. The study of the familiar (home) within the alien (SF) creates a unique cultural lens through which to reflect on our current architectural condition. SF has always been linked with alienation; however, the conditions of such alienation, and hence notions of home, have evidently changed. There is often a perceived comprehension of the familiar that atrohpies the inquisitive and interpretive processes commonly activated when confronting the unfamiliar. Thus, by utilizing the estranging qualities of SF to look at a concept inherently linked to its perceived opposite - the home - a unique critical analysis with particular relevance for contemporary architecture is made possible.

Assistant Professor Fortin has also recently contributed one of thirteen original essays titled “Philip K. Dick’s Disturbanism: Towards Psychospatial Readings of Science Fiction” to Writing the Modern City: Literature, Architecture, and Modernity published by Routledge. The book breaks new ground in its exclusive focus on modern narrative and urban space. The essays examine texts and spaces that have both unsettled traditional definitions of literature and architecture and reflected and shaped modern identities: sexual, domestic, professional and national. It is essential reading for students and researchers of literature, cultural studies, cultural geography, art history and architectural history.

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