Mic Patterson



Master of Building Science, University of Southern California Ph.D. Architecture, University of Southern California

Mic Patterson is a designer, researcher, educator, futurist, author, photographer, and entrepreneur. He has concentrated his professional and academic career on advanced façade technology and sustainable building practices. He pioneered the introduction of structural glass façade technology in the US in the 1990s, implementing diverse and novel applications including cable trusses, cable nets and grid shells. Mic is currently the Ambassador of Innovation & Collaboration and board member of the Facade Tectonics Institute, an organization which he founded and acted as inaugural president. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. He was formerly the Director of Strategic Development for Schuco-USA, playing a founding role in the launch of the Virtual Construction Lab. He was among the founding group of the Advanced Technology Studio of Enclos where he worked as the Vice President of Strategic Development. He also co-founded the Facades+ conference series with Architect's Newspaper. He is on the technical research committee for GlassCon Global and a former member of the Advisor Group for the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. He has multiple times been named among the industry’s most influential by US Glass magazine. Patterson earned a Master of Building Science and PhD in Archiåtecture at the University of Southern California, with a research focus on structural glass facades, and sustainable curtainwall practices in tall building applications. He has taught, written extensively, and lectured internationally on diverse aspects of advanced façade technology. He is the author of Structural Glass Facades and Enclosures (Wiley).

Currently Teaching
  • 572
    Advanced Building Skins: Designing High Performance Façades
    Advanced Building Skins: Designing High Performance Façades

    This course will concentrate on providing students with a fundamental technical skillset applicable to the design and delivery of high-performance façade systems. The predominant focus will be the design of contemporary glazed curtainwalls and rainscreen systems in their many forms.  

    The building façade system uniquely combines elements of performance and architectural expression like nothing else in architecture. It is a highly complex system that requires a detailed and comprehensive exploration of myriad, often competing, variables that converge at the building skin. Increasingly, architectural practice demands expert knowledge of the complexities of the façade system to realize building performance and budget goals. The façade system plays a defining role in a building’s appearance, a pivotal role in resilience and sustainability outcomes, and is critical to the health, wellness and productivity of building occupants. In addition, it typically represents 15-25% of a project’s construction budget. Façade system skills are vital for the successful practice of architecture in producing healthy, cost-effective, resilient and sustainable buildings and urban habitat.

    This course intends to provide the student this basic skillset, including the fundamental building physics and performance criteria that each façade system design must accommodate involving the performative behaviors of thermal mechanics, water vapor and air transport in various materials, moisture and condensation management, and airflow and rainwater control. The course content will familiarize the student with the basic building physics, tools and techniques required to successfully design and deliver a responsive high-performance façade system. Upon completion of this class, students will be able to develop façade system performance parameters for a given project, explore materials that meet the prescribed parameters, and develop a basic façade system design and details of construction to realize the design aspirations and technical requirements of the project.