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Pennsylvania State University

May 15, 2019

Poerschke named Stuckeman Professor of Advanced Design Studies

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Ute Poerschke, professor and interim head of the Department of Architecture, has been awarded the Stuckeman Endowed Professorship for Advanced Design Studies (ADS), which is a two-year appointment within the Stuckeman School. She will assume the new title of Stuckeman Professor of Advanced Design Studies in July.

The intent of the endowment is to enable a faculty member to embark on or complete a project that will benefit from having focused time.

Poerschke intends to spend the first year of her appointment researching the teachings and pedagogy of the Bauhaus, the famous German art school that combined elements of both the fine arts and design education. The school, which was in operation from 1919 to 1933, had one core objective, which was considered radical for its time: to reimagine the material world as a unity of the arts, crafts and industries. Poerschke has been involved in festivities surrounding the Bauhaus Centennial this year and will collaborate with Daniel Purdy, professor of German studies at Penn State, in co-editing a special journal issue and hosting a symposium that focuses on the relevance of Bauhaus ideas, theories, concepts, practices and techniques around the world from the second half of the 20th century through today. The journal issue will be published by the German-English online journal Wolkenkucksheim I Cloud-Cuckoo-Land in August, followed by the symposium at Penn State in September.

During the second year of the professorship, Poerschke plans to focus her efforts on studying solar orientation and daylighting in building designs of the 1920s and 1930s, which were then ubiquitously applied to mass housing by a number of architects and urban planners at the time. The topic ties Poerschke’s interest in history and theory to her expertise in technical systems integration, which is a field she teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Penn State. She also intends to spend time studying and documenting façade performance by visiting specific housing developments that were built in the 1920s and 1930s. Poerschke plans to publish her findings of the modernist solar orientation and daylight studies, as well as façade performance, in a future book.

A German native, Poerschke joined the Department of Architecture at Penn State in 2006 and has received considerable funding for her research projects. She is also a principal of the firm Friedrich-Poerschke-Zwink Architekten | Stadtplaner in Munich, Germany, where she is licensed architect and licensed urban planner. Poerschke is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects, and a LEED-accredited professional.
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