Looking back, this was a special and difficult year, a year in which we taught half of the spring semester online due to COVID-19, and we were challenged to change the way we think, operate, and communicate. It was also a year in which we learned valuable lessons and often got closer to each other. We held final reviews, a commencement, and celebrated a graduation party all virtually. The Year End Show went online as well, and was featured for the first time with its own website.
Knowing that internships and employment were not easy to obtain this summer, the Department of Architecture and Surface Magazine launched a unique and free Summer School at Penn with a phenomenal, diverse list of speakers that included furniture designers, graphic designers, architects, and doctors. The theme for the competition was inspired by our Weitzman students’ recent involvement in the 3D-printing of nearly 1,000 face shields for Penn Medicine first responders, guided by Associate Professor Franca Trubiano, Director of Operations Karl Wellman, and Fabrication Lab Manager Dennis Pierattini. For the Summer School, the 75 participating students were charged with designing a mobile medical testing station.
This year, Pressing Matters 9 was completely reimagined. We focused on sharing; and changed the concept and layout to more clearly represent how in recent years we have integrated expertise and content from our Technology, History & Theory, Professional Practice, and Visual Studies courses into our Design Studios. This follows our concept of design-research, an integral approach of critical thinking, rigorous research, and a deep understanding of the complex layers of architecture, to better prepare our students for the challenges ahead.
Winka Dubbeldam, Assoc. AIA
Miller Professor and Chair
Department of Architecture
Designed by WSDIA
Published by ORO Editions
Editors: Winka Dubbeldam, Ivy Gray-Klein, Scott Loeffler