Technology Conversation:
"The Education of a Technologist"

02/12/20, 6:00PM

  • Thursday, February 12, 2020
    Gin D. Wong, FAIA Conference Center, Harris 101

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Photo: Lumen by Jenny Sabin Studio for The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program 2017, on view at MoMA PS1 from June 29 to September 4, 2017. Images courtesy MoMA PS1 and Jenny Sabin Studio. Photo by Jesse Winter.

Co-moderator: Doris Sung, USC Architecture

Co-moderator: Joon-Ho Choi, Ph.D., USC Architecture

Felecia Davis, Ph.D., Penn State University

Ronald Rael, UC Berkeley

Jenny Sabin, Cornell University

Three tech leaders focus on educating the next generation. Is there a method to this madness that can define a new pedagogical model? Does the university model lay the groundwork for a new design/build atelier system? How does building science play a role in this new era of technology? A thought-provoking discussion will address these questions and more.


Doris Sung, USC Architecture

Doris Sung received her B.A. at Princeton University and M.Arch. at Columbia University. She developed her research focus while teaching at USC, SCI-Arc, University of Colorado and Catholic University of America. Her office, dO|Su Studio Architecture, has received many AIA and ASID awards for her work, including the prestigious accolades of AIA Young-Designer-of-the-Year, ACSA Faculty Design Award, R+D Honorable Mention from Architect Magazine and [next idea] award from ARS Electronica. Currently, she is working on developing smart thermobimetals and other shape-memory alloys, unfamiliar materials to architecture, as new materials for the "third" skin (the first is human flesh, the second clothing and the third architecture). Its ability to curl when heated allows the building skin to respond for purposes of sun-shading, self-ventilating, shape-changing and structure-prestressing. Her work has been funded by the national AIA Upjohn Initiative, Arnold W. Brunner Grant, Graham Foundation Grant, Architectural Guild Award and USC ASHSS and URAP Awards. 

Joon-Ho Choi, Ph.D., USC Architecture

Dr. Joon-Ho Choi is the associate dean for research & creative work and an associate professor of building science in the USC School of Architecture. He previously worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He earned his Ph.D. degree in building performance and diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Choi's primary research interests are in the areas of advanced controls for high-performance buildings, bio-sensing controls in the built environment, smart building enclosure, passive building strategies, human-centered building environmental control, building systems integration, environmental sustainability, comprehensive POE (post-occupancy evaluation), indoor environmental quality, human health, and work productivity. As an interdisciplinary researcher, he has participated in multiple research projects sponsored by governmental agencies, industry partners and research grant programs including General Services Administration (GSA), Boston Society of Architects/AIA, Green Building Alliance (GBA), ALCOA, SIEMENS, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and UNEP. 

Felecia Davis, Ph.D., Penn State University

Felecia Davis’ work in computational textiles questions how we live and she re-imagines how we might use textiles in our daily lives and in architecture. Davis’ work in architecture and textiles connects art, science, engineering and design and was recently featured by PBS in the Women in Science Profiles series. Davis is currently working on a book that examines the role of computational materials in our lives titled Softbuilt: Networked Architectural Textiles. Davis is interested in developing computational methods and design in relation to specific bodies in specific places engaging specific social, cultural and political constructions. Davis completed her PhD in MIT’s Design and Computation Group and is an Assistant Professor at the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Pennsylvania State University and is the director of SOFTLAB@PSU.

Ronald Rael, UC Berkeley

As the San Francisco Chronicle writes, "[Ronald Rael's] imagination is audacious. He speculates on the implications of a border wall, building with mud and using 3D printers to create buildings—as seen in his books Borderwall as Architecture, Earth Architecture and Printing Architecture, with his partner, architect and educator Virginia San Fratello. Rael is a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and is a founding partner of the Oakland based Make-Tank, Emerging Objects. You can see his drawings, models, and objects in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Jenny Sabin, Cornell University

(Photo by Jesse Winter)

Jenny E. Sabin is an architectural designer whose work is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st-century architectural practice—one that investigates the intersections of architecture and science and applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design of responsive material structures and adaptive architecture. Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Professor in Architecture and associate dean for design at Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, where she established a new advanced research degree in matter design computation. She is principal of Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental architectural design studio based in Ithaca, and director of the Sabin Lab at Cornell AAP. Sabin holds degrees in ceramics and interdisciplinary visual art from the University of Washington and a master of architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Her book LabStudio: Design Research Between Architecture and Biology, co-authored with Peter Lloyd Jones, was published in 2017. Sabin won MoMA & MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program with her submission, Lumen, in 2017, and the Architectural League Prize in 2014.

Made possible by the Nabih Youssef Endowed Lecture on Structural Design Innovation Fund