Populate your spring calendar with these virtual lecture series and talks

Who's Zoomin' Who?

Populate your spring calendar with these virtual lecture series and talks

The lecture hall seats may remain empty this semester but the Zoom webinar rooms will be full. (Dynamic Wang/Unsplash)

With the spring 2021 semester now officially underway, architecture schools—many of them still adjusting to and experimenting with the strange new socially distanced academic landscape—are beginning to release their virtual public programming lineups for the weeks ahead.

Below is a sampling of talks, panel discussions, and digital symposiums presented by a range of schools as part of their respective lecture series. Check them out and mark your calendars accordingly, and AN will continue to add to this list as other lineups are finalized and cross our radar. All of the events listed below are being hosted virtually and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted with most requiring advance registration. Specific dates and times and other information, including full lineups and speaker bios, can be confirmed on the events pages of each respective school/program.

Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture 

Catalyzing Our Culture, the Spring 2021 Lecture Series at the Carnegie Mellon SoA kicks off February 17 with “I Was Asked to Stand” from architect and activist Pascale Sablan of Beyond the Built Environment. Other featured lecturers throughout the semester include Michael Stone Richards, author and professor of Critical Theory and Visual Studies at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies in Detroit; Paul Lewis of LTL Architects; Steve Kieran of KieranTimberlake; and Sarah Lewis, associate professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. All lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. ET via Zoom.

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Columbia GSAPP’s Spring 2021 Lecture Series—free, open to the public, and hosted on Zoom Webinar—commenced on January 22 with a virtual event featuring Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of architecture 2030 in conversation with Amale Andraos, dean of Columbia GSAPP and Alex Halliday, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Upcoming lecturers include Matthew Gonzales, director of the Integration and Innovation Initiative (i3) at the NYU Metro Center (February 3); Nader Tehrani, founding principal of NADAAA and dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union (March 15); Gabrielle Bullock, principal and director of Global Diversity for Perkins&Will (March 17), and others.

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas

The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design’s Zoom-based 2021 Spring Lecture series kicks off on January 25 with a talk from Nathalie Frankowski and Cruz Garcia of WAI Architecture Think Tank and continues throughout the academic semester with featured lecturers that include Tatiana Bilbao of the Mexico City-based Tatiana Bilbao Estudio (February 15); designer and creative technologist Behnaz Farahi (March 1); Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman of San Diego’s Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman (March 8); Mía Lehrer of Los Angeles-based Studio-MLA (March 29); and AIA 2021 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award-winning architect Pascale Sablan (April 5).

Harvard Graduate School of Design

Harvard GSD’s spring 2021 lecture offerings include a number of eclectic, illuminating talks including “Lesbian Arcadia: Desire and Design in the Fin-de-Siècle Garden” (Kate Thomas), “The Miasmist: George E. Waring, Jr. and Landscapes of Public Health”(Catherine Seavitt Nordenson), and “White Man’s Got a God Complex.” (Rebecca Choi). Other featured speakers include Cecilia Puga, Walter Hood, and Heinrich and Ilze Wolff, among others. All virtual lectures are held via Zoom and also live-streamed to the GSD YouTube page.

Rice University School of Architecture

New Proximities, Rice Architecture’s busy Spring 2021 Lecture Series, includes faculty talks, virtual panels, and more. The series kicks off February 10 with the Llewelyn-Davies Sahni Innovative Practice Lecture: “I Heard You Build Benches,” featuring Elizabeth Timme and Chaz Kern of LA Más and concludes on April 14 with the Rice Design Alliance Spotlight Award + Lecture featuring AD-WO founding principals Jen Wood and Emanuel Admassu. Further information on the yearly Rice Design Alliance Civic Forums, to be held on April 21, is forthcoming. All scheduled events are held on Zoom Webinar.

Southern California Institute of Architecture

Free and open to the public, SCI-Arc’s spring 2021 programming schedule features lectures from a range of academics and practitioners including architect and sustainable designer Tatiana Bilbao (February 17), artist Yinka Ilori (February 24), architect, scholar, and educator Mabel O. Wilson (March 3), architect and researcher Raúl Cárdenas Osuna (March 24), and others. From February 1 through 5, SCI-Arc is also hosting Black Lives Matter Week of Action, a national, student-run event with featured speakers including Charles L. Davis II, Pascale Sablan, Elegance Bratton, Kordae Jatafa Henry, Ashten “Whoopi” Winger, Mira Henry, and Aminatou Fall.

University of Southern California School of Architecture 

Aiming to “spotlight a range of contemporary issues while providing a platform for renowned speakers from around the world,” USC Architecture’s Spring 2021 Virtual Lecture Series begins on January 27 with the inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Lecture, presented by Washington, DC-based architect Melvin Mitchell. Other events include a panel discussion with USC School of Architecture and the Getty Research Institute titled “The Paul Revere Williams Archive: Building a Legacy” and lectures featuring Doreen Heng Liu of NODE Architecture & Urbanism and Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss among others. On April 21, the school will host a lecture and conversation with the Black Reconstructive Collective held in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at The Museum of Modern Art. Held on Zoom and beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT unless otherwise noted, all virtual events are free and open to the public.

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture

UT School of Architecture’s Spring 2021 Lecture Series is officially underway, beginning January 25 with a talk from Nathalie de Vries of Rotterdam-based MVRDV. Lecturers scheduled throughout the semester include an internationally diverse number of architects, designers, thinkers, and educators including Patricia Urquiola, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects, Débora Mesa, Alberto Kalach, Flemming Rafn, Paola Antonelli, Kibwe Tavares, Jose Sanchez, and Piergianna Mazzocca.  All Zoom-based lectures are free and open to the public and will also be live-streamed on the Texas Architecture YouTube channel starting at 12:30 p.m. Central Time on each respective date.

The University of Virginia School of Architecture

Touching a range of topic areas including historic preservation and climate change, the UVA School of Architecture has put together an edifying and enlightening spring 2021 lecture lineup with feature speakers set to include: Elisa Iturbe (February 8), Saskia Sassen (February 15), Brent Leggs (March 1), Richard Hassell (March 8), Jennifer Gabrys (March 11), and Patrik Schumacher (March 19). On April 2, the school will also host a multi-speaker panel discussion featuring leaders in the field of seed-saving and advocacy. All lectures are held on Zoom.

Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania

Among the many names—architects, landscape architects, artists, scholars, and policy makers among them—appearing on the roster for the Weitzman School of Design’s Spring 2021 Lecture Series are: Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner at Studio Gang (January 27);
Lucinda Sanders, CEO of OLIN and adjunct professor of Landscape Architecture at the Weitzman School of Design (March 25),; Julian Agyeman, professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University (February 16); and American Artist (March 4). All lectures and panel discussions are free and open to the public with advance registration.

Yale School of Architecture

On tap for the Yale School of Architecture’s Zoom-based Spring 2021 Lecture Series are Marlon Blackwell (February 1), Jing Liu (February 11), Chris T. Cornelius (February 18), Alberto Veiga (February 25), Justin Garrett Moore (April 12), and Sarah Lewis (April 22).