2009 Administrators Conference

November 4-7, 2009 | St. Louis, Missouri
Chair: Peter MacKeith and Carmon Colangelo, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University


The first joint conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the National Council of Arts Administrators (NCAA). Economies allows for expansive and inclusive interpretation – promoting rich dialogue between both groups about current issues facing leaders in the fields of art, architecture and design education. This timely theme will serve as a catalyst in the discussion of broad areas such as strategic planning, entrepreneurship, faculty and career issues, finances, new structures and degrees, environment and sustainability, art and social practice, craft and technology.

The ACSA provides a forum for ideas on the leading edge of architectural thought. Issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future are being examined today in ACSA member schools. The association maintains a variety of activities that influence, communicate, and record important issues. Such endeavors include scholarly meetings, workshops, publications, awards and competition programs, support for architectural research, policy development, and liaison with allied organizations.

The NCAA is an organization of academic professionals dedicated to creating and maintaining a vital network of arts administrators. An affiliate of the College Art Association, it promotes communication among institutions and provides meaningful collaborative opportunities for arts administrators within academia as well as with leaders in related arts organizations.

This year’s conference will be relevant, engaging and enjoyable — promoting camaraderie and collaborations while showcasing the vibrant cultural richness of St. Louis to an influential group of art and architecture leaders including university presidents, deans, chairs and faculty from across the United States and Canada.

Keynote Lecturers

John Maeda, Rhode Island School of Design
Named in 2008 as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine, John Maeda is an award-winning artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and educator whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. Before assuming the presidency at RISD in June 2008, he taught media arts and sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 12 years and served as associate director of research at the MIT Media Lab. Throughout his career, he has worked to integrate technology, education and the arts into a 21st-century synthesis of creativity and innovation.

Skandalaris Award for Excellence in Art + Architecture
This award will honor an artist, architect or designer whose  individual or collaborative works, innovative projects and creative research have inspired new ideas and made a profound and lasting impact on society, culture, or the environment on a local, national or international level 

Rick Lowe, Founder, Project Row Houses
Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community located in a historically significant Northern Third Ward of Houston, TX, one of the city’s oldest African-American communities. PRH is founded on the principle that art- and the community it creates- can be the foundation for revitalizing depressed inner-city neighborhoods.  Mr. Lowe is also involved with the Watts House Project in Watts, CA, a large-scale artwork-as-urban development engaging art and architecture as a catalyst for expanding and enhancing community. In addition, Mr. Lowe is part of Transforma Projects, a collective of artists and creative professionals formed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The initiative explores how art making can intersect with other sectors such as education, health, environment and community development. 

Skandalaris Awards for Entrepreneurship in Design & Visual Arts
For individuals who have demonstrated entrepreneurship in the fields of Art + Design + Architecture on a local, national or international level by promoting or establishing innovative understandings of “economy,” particularly through community-based and/or sustainable practices.
Anna Rubbo, Founder, Global Studio
Rubbo is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney and is being recognized for her leadership of Global Studio, an innovative, interdisciplinary program, established in 2005, that engages design students in participatory action research, community development and design. The program develops skills of importance in meeting the challenges of global poverty and social exclusion in cities. A member of the UN Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, Dr. Rubbo went on to develop global Studio as a response to the need for new modes of education and practice for design and planning professions in relation to sustainable urbanization.
John Bielenberg, Founder, Studio M 
Bielenberg is a partner and co-founder of the San Francisco-based design firm C2, has built his practice around a creative exercise that challenges our brain’s synaptic connections. Called “Think Wrong,” the process encourages participants to cast off embedded assumptions and approach design with a fresh perspective. In 2003, Bielenberg, founded Project M, an intensive immersion program meant to inspire designers, writers, filmmakers and photographers to use their work for impacting communities. He seeks to bridge the gap between design for design’s sake and its ability to change lives. ProjectM-ers have left their marks in East Baltimore; Belfast, ME; New Orleans; Costa Rica; and Ghana. Together they have worked to transform urban parks, preserve rainforests, promote micro financing, and help Gulf Coast designers displaced by Hurricane Katrina.