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The Architecture of Persistence

  • COST

    $20 ($10, BSA members)

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



All are welcome to attend this keynote talk, hosted in conjunction with the AIA New England annual gathering. If you are attending the AIA New England Design Awards celebration, this program is included in your admission; no need to register separately.

Awarded biennially by the AIA College of Fellows, The Latrobe Prize supports a two-year program of research leading to significant advances in the profession of architecture. Responding to the 2017–2019 theme of "Adaptive Reuse and Regenerative Buildings," the winning team—Michelle Laboy, David Fannon AIA, and Peter Wiederspahn AIA—proposed "Future-Use Architecture: Design for Persistent Change" to identify attributes of long-lasting buildings that avoid programmatic determinism. As faculty at Northeastern University, the team have long employed the notion of “Future-Use” Architecture as a theoretical provocation for the Comprehensive Design Studio. The Latrobe Prize enabled the team to rigorously study this topic in the context of practice, and to disseminate their findings to the broader professional and educational communities. Using a grounded theory approach, the team has been conducting structured interviews with designers and users of long-lasting buildings, preparing analytical drawings of case-studies, and gathering other data as part of this empirical method.

In this talk, the team provides a preview of their unpublished findings, focusing on the theme of persistence: one example of the many themes emerging from their research. A brief overview of the discourse surrounding buildings that endure in changing conditions over time will contextualize an in-depth examination of the ways ideas of persistence inform leading architects’ thinking and are manifested in built work.

David Fannon AIA
assistant professor, Northeastern University School of Architecture

Michelle Laboy
assistant professor, Northeastern University School of Architecture

Peter Wiederspahn AIA
associate professor, Northeastern University School of Architecture

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