Keynote Speakers



2014 Fall Conference | WORKING OUT: thinking while building 
October 16-18, 2014 | Halifax, NS
Host School: Dalhousie University
Co-chairs: Ted Cavanagh, Dalhousie University; Ursula Hartig, Technical University of Berlin & Sergio Palleroni, Portland State University


Thursday Keynote - October 16, 2014 @ 6:30pm in the Sexton Memorial Gymnasium


Nathalie de Vries. Prof. ir. FRIBA (1965, Appingedam, the Netherlands), is an architect and urbanist. She is director and co-founder of  globally operating architecture and urban planning firm MVRDV she set up together with Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs in 1993. She studied at Delft University of Technology from 1984 till 1990, and graduated as master of architecture (honours). Since 2013 she has been Professor for Architecture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. 

Nathalie de Vries is currently member of the Board of Trustees of Het Nieuwe Instituut for Architecture, Design and E-culture and has been for the Netherlands Architecture Fund, the NAI and Moti Museum of the Image. She is also board member of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and has been for architectural journal Oase. She has taught at several schools and institutions, amongst others at Harvard GSD, IIT Chicago, the Berlage Institute, TU Delft, Architecture Academy Arnhem and has been Professor of Architecture at TU Berlin (2002-2004) and Chief Railroad Architect of NS/ProRail from 2005-2008. 

She has been member of the Gestaltungsbeirat of Salzburg and presided the steering group BNA-Research of The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects.


Friday Keynote - October 17, 2014 @ 6:30pm in the Sexton Memorial Gymnasium


Coleman Coker is the Chair in the Art of Architecture at the U. of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and director of the Poetics of Building, a design+build program for advanced design students there. He is a registered architect and principal of buildingstudio. Coker has taught at numerous schools of architecture and is past director of the Memphis Center of Architecture, an urban design studio sponsored by the U. of Arkansas and U. of Tennessee, which focused on a deeper appreciation of the art of building. 
Coker holds a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and is a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard U. GSD. He has a Master of Fine Arts from the Memphis College of Art and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from there. The Architectural League of New York recognized him in their "Emerging Voices" series. Coker has lectured extensively at universities and professional forums and has participated in numerous design juries across the country.
With forty years of experience in design offices—over thirty years as principal of his own firms—Coker founded buildingstudio in 1999 after a thirteen-year partnership with Samuel Mockbee as Mockbee/Coker Architects. With the formation of buildingstudio Coker sought to blur the boundaries between architecture, art, craft and thinking—rather than separate disciplines, each being essential to the larger realm of building. His work has received numerous honors including National AIA Honor awards, Architectural Record, "Record House" awards and P/A Design Awards.