Kiel Moe FAIA
Visiting Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2022 AIA College of Fellows inductee, AIA Vermont member
I left high school a semester early at age 17 to work for Denver architecture firm Anderson Mason Dale, and never looked back. They offered me an unusually generous and enthusiastic start in architecture.
How much room do I have for this response? My many mentors, colleagues, and clients: Ron Mason, Daniel Friedman, Jacob Mans, Salmaan Craig, Asher Woodworth, Stephen Greenblatt.
It is easier to identify over-appreciated single architects. I think we underappreciate the immense collective intelligence and talent that is required to build even the most modest of buildings.
Olmsted’s The Emerald Necklace.
I spend a lot of time right now reading about the earliest days of upright, hairless humanoids, trying to understand exactly how and why some of them start to build shelters.
The Washington Avenue sauna in Portland, Maine, and a project north of Chicago in which the disassembly of a 60’x180’ wood barn will become a five-car garage, a sauna, and a live/work studio. The barn remnants also frame a new croft garden. Our task is to creatively redistribute extant materials.
I am often impressed by how certain students exceed me, and teach me to think in new ways, through their development of new ecological practices.
The unequal economic and ecological exchanges that presuppose building and urbanization are architecture’s largest, and least studied, sources of inequity. The iniquity of how schools of architecture are structured, and what they emphasize, is the most immediate barrier to a more socially just, and ecologically sane, future for building and urbanization.
None of our goals should be net-zero anything. Architecture should maximize its positive impacts on the world, not aim to do less harm.
Forests and students.
Graeber, & Wengrow, D. (2021). The Dawn of Everything : A New History of Humanity (First American edition.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The Beaux-Arts, guild-based system of architectural education in North America. Nothing is more responsible for the systemic failures of architecture and urbanization than how schools of architecture continue to train architects.