Texas students to use Columbus as ‘living laboratory’ for small-scale urbanism projects

Architectural students from the University of Texas Arlington will travel to Columbus, Ind., in February to study at the IU Center for Art and Design as well as use the architecturally rich city as a “living lab” to investigate the potential of small-scale urbanism.

The students are studying under award-winning architect and UT Arlington assistant professor Albert Marichal and will base a studio project on their work in Indiana. They’ll hear lectures from IUCA+D faculty members T. Kelly Wilson and Kevin Lair about urbanism, architecture and design thinking, and will also collaborate with IU Bloomington professor Deb Christiansen and her students to explore the intersection of architecture and fashion.

Fashion and architecture

IU and Texas students will study the points where fashion and architecture intersect.

Members of the community will have two chances to hear Marichal speak while he’s in town. He’ll speak at 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at IUCA+D, 310 Jackson St. in Columbus, on the topic of “microcosmic urbanism,” which examines the idea of miniature representations as a strategy for conceptualizing and developing architecture and urbanism at various scales simultaneously. Then, at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 12 in the State Room West of the Indiana Memorial Union on the Bloomington campus, he’ll speak about the potential interactions between the worlds of architecture and fashion design.

“These students from UT Arlington will be here to observe Columbus to find both compelling opportunities between urban conditions and architecture and to make their own small-scale proposals with a critical eye,” Lair said. “By shifting our view to consider different scales, we can seek to find connections, patterns and points of influence that help us design specifically to a given context or environment. Small scale, informal and often seemingly marginal urban spaces can reveal underlying, interconnected and surprising ways people inhabit public space.”

IUCA+D Columbus opened its doors in 2011 in downtown Columbus. Its mission is to support evolving directions, methods and opportunities in art and design education. Wilson, an associate professor in the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design on the Bloomington campus, is also director of IUCA+D; while Lair is an assistant professor in the apparel merchandising and interior design department, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Marichal joined UT Arlington’s architectural faculty in 2009 and formerly taught at Syracuse University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Boston Architectural Center. He has spoken at several universities, including: Cornell University, Columbia University, New York Institute of Technology, Parsons, Harvard Career Discovery and Le Centre d’Etude d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme in Saintes, France.

He founded the design firm Albert Marichal Studio in 1999. The firm’s work has been included in numerous publications and exhibitions including “Architectural Record” and the Museum of Modern Art, and recognized through two design awards in architecture from the American Institute of Architects.

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