AIA Baltimore & Baltimore Architecture Foundation Spring Lecture Series: Manifestation

Note: MDASLA is a major sponsor for this event. LACES credit will be available. Architecture is a manifestation of culture. On the occasion of AIA Baltimore’s 150th anniversary, the AIA Baltimore and Baltimore Architecture Foundation 2021 Lecture Series will explore how the built environment simultaneously reflects and influences culture, in Baltimore and beyond. Each lecture will expose how cultural values shape design. The three lectures are focused around themes with specific local resonance in Baltimore, a city in which the arts and culture are key to community identity, history, and future vitality: Architecture and Identity, Art and Architecture, Architecture and Social Justice. Visiting and local speakers will examine and highlight the built environment and its relationship with the arts, community initiatives, sustainability goals, preservation, equity, the vernacular, and more, as we reflect on how these have been shaped by design practice throughout AIA Baltimore’s 150 year history.


March 10 – 6:00 PM | Lecture One Architecture, Identity, & Place

The lecture will explore the overall theme and how architecture and the built environment are directly influenced by cultural values. It will examine this through the lens of community-based design initiatives nationally, and planning specific to Baltimore.


Speakers: Stephen Luoni, Assoc. AIA, University of Arkansas Community Design Center Stephen Luoni is director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC), an outreach program of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Luoni is the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies and a Distinguished Professor of architecture. Under his direction since 2003, UACDC’s design and research have received more than 100 awards, including three Progressive Architecture Awards, 11 American Institute of Architects Honors Awards for Regional and Urban Design, Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism, American Society of Landscape Architecture Awards, Environmental Design Research Association Awards, American Architecture Awards and a Holcim Award, all for urban design, research, and education.


Becky Slogeris, MICA Social Design Becky Slogeris is currently the Associate Director of the Center for Social Design at MICA, where she leads projects that bring students together with local non-profits, private institutions, and public agencies to advance equity and social justice through design. She designs with people in mindfrom high school students to teachers, city residents to government employees, physicians to caregivers of kids with asthmato make schools, clinics, neighborhoods, and cities better and more equitable places. Becky uses human-centered design to engage people in creating the places, products, and services that make them happy and healthy.

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March 31- 6:00 PM | Lecture two Art + Architecture

Lecturers will speak on the intersection of the arts and architecture, specifically in globally renowned cultural projects and museums, and also local art and culture in Baltimore. The arts are an expression of culture and how this is reflected in the built environment will be examined.


Speakers: Benjamin Gilmartin, AIA, Diller Scofidio + Renfro Benjamin Gilmartin joined Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in 2004 and became a partner in 2015. Ben led the redesign of Alice Tully Hall, multiple public spaces within the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts campus, and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley. Most recently, Ben completed the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, hailed as one of the most accessible museums in the country. He is currently leading multiple projects in London, including a 5 kilometer-long public space network at Greenwich Peninsula. In addition to completing DS+R’s first building in Australia at the University of Sydney, Ben is also currently co-leading the design of a facility for MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning in Cambridge and a major tech headquarters in the Pacific Northwest.


Cara Ober, BMoreArt Cara Ober writes about Baltimore’s unique cultural landscape from the perspective of an artist and feminist. She approaches all kinds of cultural production from a constructive and critical perspective informed by material and pop culture, history, social movements, and politics. Over the past decade, Ober’s critical reviews, essays, and interviews have explored the political and economic impact of the arts in Baltimore and the way artists maintain a professional practice and thrive in a city full of rich and diverse cultural traditions as well as serious social issues.

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April 21 – 6:00 PM | Lecture Three Architecture & Social Justice

Lecturers will speak about designing for social justice in urban and landscape projects. Social justice issues and a history of redlining in the planning of Baltimore will be examined and solutions for improving the equity of the built environment


Speakers: Dayton Schroeter, AIA, SmithGroup, Design Principal Dayton is a Design Principal who has championed design justice advocacy throughout his career at SmithGroup. As a leader of the firm’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, his charge is to lead design projects that address the systemic injustice that architecture and planning have perpetuated for historically disenfranchised communities of color. Leveraging his tenacious passion for design justice with authenticity and creativity, he is currently leading antiracism efforts in design projects including an installation called Society’s Cage that sheds national awareness of the intersectional effects of racism on our society’s collective health, safety and welfare, as well as Lumpkin’s Slave Jail, also known as the “Devil’s Half Acre,” an interpretive museum in Richmond, Virginia.


Maisie Hughes, ASLA, APA The Urban Studio Co-Founder + Treasurer, Urban Planner | Landscape Architect | Certified Arborist

Maisie brings decades of leadership and management to her practice. As a 2018-2019 Leadership and Innovation Fellow with the Landscape Architecture Foundation, she brings honest and unvarnished insights to provide a framework for people-centered design. Maisie won the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association 2016 Fredrick Gutheim Award for Distinguished Leadership by a Professional Planner and the 2014 Award of Merrit for the “Citizen Advocate Handbook”. Maisie is an ISA Certified Arborist, with an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Morgan State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Afro-American studies from Howard University.

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Lunchtime Lecture Dates:

March 17 – 12:00 PM: Phaan Howng, Artist Phaan Howng’s work centers around various narratives and landscapes that show the planet thriving in a utopian post-human future, or what she terms an “optimistic post-apocalypse.” Howng places the viewer in an idealized or satirical imagined future to encourage reflection on current environmental conditions fostered by extractive global capitalism. Explorations in current philosophy, anthropology, and history, ground these investigations that interrogate Western concepts of nature, the human, and time. Through painting, sculpture, installation, and performance, her work speaks to issues of environmental, political, and social exploitation.


April 7 – 12:00 PM: The Neighborhood Design Center

By providing the tools, expertise, and partnerships necessary to realize neighborhood visions, we support broad participation in the evolution of the built environment.

NDC projects are collaborations between residents, community stakeholders, design professionals, local government agencies, fellow nonprofits, and our staff. Together we lay the groundwork for improving blocks, renovating parks and school grounds, reclaiming abandoned structures for community use, and revitalizing commercial districts.


April 28 – 12:00 PM: Chris Ryer, Baltimore City Planning Dept

Chris Ryer began working in community development over 30 years ago as an intern at the Baltimore Planning Department. After ten years as a community planner with the Department, he moved to the non-profit sector where he worked for the Trust for Public Lands and a community-based organization in southwest Baltimore.

In 2002 he returned to the Baltimore Planning Department where he served as Chief of Comprehensive Planning and Deputy Director. After a short period at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, he served as the Director of the Southeast Community Development Corporation for over ten years before returning to the Planning Department as Director in 2019. Learn more about the upcoming series here.

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