Department of Architecture, University at Buffalo

ACSA News – November 2019.

Professor Korydon Smith, Chair of Architecture, received a 2019 Great Places Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) for the top book. Interpreting Kigali, Rwanda: Architectural Enquires and Prospects for a Developing African City (University of Arkansas Press), was co-authored with Toma Berlanda. The book explores complex challenges of planning, design, and construction in informal settlements. With one billion people living in organic cities worldwide and the city of Kigali projected to triple in size within a generation, the book offers place-based research and strategies to scholars and practitioners across disciplines throughout the Global South.

Professor Mark Shepard was awarded a 2019 McDowell Fellowship. One of five architects to be selected from 676 applicants Professor Shepard is using the Fellowship to advance his research in digital design and simulation.

The IDEA Center (Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access) recently launched innovative solutions for Universal Design (isUD tm). The advanced on-line tool provides organizations with a path for building inclusive environments. isUD contains guidelines to address design for usability, wellness and social relations and can be used for design guidance, self-assessment or audited certification. Adapters include Procter & Gamble, Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Uniland Development and Temple Beth Tzedek. To learn more, visit

The IDEA Center partnered with Touch Graphics Inc. to install and evaluate a Touch Responsive Model in the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC. The model – a 3D representation of buildings and plans of the National Mall – provides information about resources on the Mall, the Smithsonian buildings and directions to all facilities in multiple sensory modes. A kiosk version, that provides specific building information, was also installed at the National American History Museum.

Professor Brian Carter gave a keynote address entitled ‘Books + Buildings’ at the 2019 WNY Conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America.

Assistant Professor Charles Davis delivered a lecture at Penn Design. The talk discussed his creative work, entitled ‘Building Black Utopias”, which uses architectural drawings and models to translate the modernist principles of African American literature of the 1960’s and 70’s. His lecture was followed by a panel discussion on the writings of June Jordan, an African American poet who collaborated with Buckminster Fuller in 1965 to design the project “High-rise for Harlem”.

Emily Kutil was appointed 2019/20 Banham Fellow. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati she received an M. Arch and a Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan. Prior to her appointment Emily worked in practice in California and with M1DTW in Detroit. A founding member of ‘We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective’ she also taught design and visualization at the University of Detroit Mercy. Her research at UB is focused on the history and future of water, land and power in the Great Lakes Watershed.