Pennsylvania College of Technology Architecture and Stevens Institute of Technology Construction Management are collaborating during Spring 2022. We are modelling interactions that have predominated since the onset of COVID-19, with architects and their consultants working remotely, without so much as an in-person kick off meeting to build a foundation of familiarity and trust. Counterintuitively, such collaborations have been unexpectedly successful, even on large scale projects. Interuniversity interaction will provide students perspective regarding mediated collaboration; one university can provide dynamically changing, fluidly developing plans to evaluate and the other will provide feedback on these designs from an outside perspective. Given this, architecture studios at PCT, “the architects,” will collaborate with a Sustainable Design course at Stevens, “the consultants.” The architects will propose designs to meet the parti established by the studio instructor between Thursday and the following Tuesday. Their designs will be sent to the consultants following the Tuesday studio. The consultants will evaluate the submissions on Wednesday (during class) and provide feedback electronically prior to the following studio session on Thursday. Consultant feedback will supplement instructor feedback during studio but will not be a form of assessment. The architects can then address the issues raised by the consultants in consultation with their studio mates and the instructor during Thursday and Tuesday pin ups. Iteratively, the feedback loop between architects and sustainability consultants will drive the development of design proposals while providing students experience with remote collaboration that predominates today’s practice. Two questionnaires — one after completing the first project and a second at the end of the semester — will evaluate baseline and post intervention data for analysis and presentation. This process will inform the entire undertaking, including the validity of the model, as well as the outcomes that resulted.
Hugh Lester has taught at Stevens Institute of Technology for six years in Construction Engineering and Management. He currently works for Urbahn Architects, PLLC in midtown Manhattan where he is a specialist in Justice Architecture. Prior to Urbahn he worked for Dewberry, AECOM, and multiple firms in the Kansas City area.
Dorothy Gerring is a registered architect who has taught at PCT for thirty-one years, focusing on studio education and sustainable building systems, including sponsoring student groups for national competitions. Her architectural firm is Dorothy Gerring Architecture LLC. She has LEED AP BD+C and CPHC certifications. She has also taught classes at Penn State and worked in several architecture firms.
Rob Wozniak has taught at PCT for sixteen years, with an emphasis on preparing his students for entry into the profession with the knowledge and skill to allow them to tackle the steep learning curve in industry. Prior to PCT, he taught at Vicennes University and Mesa Community College and worked in multiple architecture firms.