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Ekdahl Lecture Series
All lectures are presented with sustained support from the Ekdahl family.
Ekdahl Lectures Spring 2023
February 6 | 4:30pm | Regnier Forum | Rob Rogers, FAIA | ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers, Partner/Founder
Rob Rogers, FAIA | ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers, Partner/Founder
Title of Lecture: "All ideas have scale"
ROGERS PARTNERS Architects+Urban Designers was founded in August 2013 by Rob Rogers, FAIA. For over 30 years, Rob has explored the edges of architecture and the overlap of disciplines: the spaces where architecture, landscapes and the public realm converge.
Rob creates institutional and cultural buildings that are civic works. From reinventing the security bollard to redesigning a subtle icon on the National Mall, Rob continually elevates accepted conventions in his quest to develop intelligent, rich and timeless contributions to our physical environment. Believing that even a single building is a piece of urban design, his work assertively and elegantly combines urbanism, landscape and architecture.
February 15 | 4:30pm | Regnier Forum | Ryan Heiser | Landscape Forms | Director of Design
Landscape Forms | Director of Design
Ryan Heiser leads all of the company’s industrial design and graphic design functions, its studio engineering team, and its brand evolution initiatives. He is a talented industrial designer with more than a decade of design leadership experience, joining Landscape Forms from Newell Brands where he held senior positions in industrial design and design management for their housewares and writing instruments groups. Before Newell, he was a product designer for Chicago-based consultancy FreeForm. Ryan is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Industrial Design.
February 27 | 4:30pm | Regnier Forum | Dr. Andrea Roberts | Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia
Dr. Andrea Roberts | Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia
through Collective Memory"
Dr. Andrea Roberts is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University (TAMU). She will join the University of Virginia in Fall 2022 as an Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and is appointed Co-Director of the School’s Center for Cultural Landscapes.
She is a scholar-activist who brings 12 years of experience in community development, nonprofit administration, and advocacy to her engaged research and public scholarship, which raises awareness of the entrenched racial biases impeding documentation, recognition, and preservation of historic Black settlements’ cultural assets. She is also a 6th-generation Texan and freedom colony descendant.
In 2014, she founded The Texas Freedom Colonies Project, the vehicle through which she mentors and trains future planners, preservationists, scholars, and community-based researchers focused on addressing the biggest challenges facing settlements in Texas and around the country—invisibility, environmental injustice, land loss, heritage conservation, and endangered historic structures and cemeteries. She and her team richly map these settlements and is presented as the interactive The Texas Freedom Colonies Project™, Atlas and Study, which spatializes 557 sites and histories through participatory action and engaged research methods, including oral histories. Additionally, The African American Cemetery Assessment Tool and Registry allows the public to share knowledge of burial ground conditions.
Her “place preservation” framework—collecting and securing heritage, connecting descendants and resources, and then co-creating applied research solutions-- enables student researchers, partner sites, and Adopt-a-County volunteers to extend The Project’s reach from its beginnings in East Texas to the entire state. The Texas Department of Transportation and the Council of Texas Archeologists use The Atlas to identify African American historic resources at risk. The Journal of Planning History, Buildings and Landscapes, the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage, and Environmental Justice have published her peer-reviewed scholarship.
She has received awards for her engaged scholarship from The Vernacular Architecture Forum and the Urban Affairs Association. Roberts was a 2020-21 Whiting Public Engagement Fellow, an African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grant recipient, and a 2020 Visiting Scholar at Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, Abolition. She is the Project Director for the NEH Summer Institute for Higher Education Faculty—"Towards a People's History of Landscape, Part 1: Black & Indigenous Histories of the Nation's Capital.” Dr. Roberts is also the Consultant/Owner of Freedom Colonies Project, LLC, which provides research and DEIA services to preservation organizations. She served as a Texas State Board of Review member and a National Monument Audit Advisory Board member.
Dr. Roberts holds a Ph.D. in planning from The University of Texas at Austin (2016), an M.A. in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania (2006), and a B.A. in political science from Vassar College (1996). She is currently writing a book, Never Sell the Land, about her experiences identifying Black planning and historic preservation practices that sustain cultural resilience within settlements founded by formerly enslaved Africans for The University of Texas Press.
Ekdahl Lectures Fall 2022
September 26 | Ernest C. Wong, FASLA | Principal at site design group, ltd.
September 26 | 4:30pm
Ernest Wong, FASLA
As the founding Principal and President of site, Ernest C. Wong has been instrumental in the evolution of the firm as a multi-cultural cutting edge design entity and fostering the landscape architecture profession in the City of Chicago. In managing the firm for over 31 years, site has established a reputation for creative design solutions, and developing thoughtful, community-oriented urban spaces.
Ernie serves on the board of numerous public service organizations and professional juries including the Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Chinese American Service League, Near South Planning Board, and as the Chair of the Chicago Landmarks Commission. In addition, Mr. Wong is a frequent speaker at universities as well as design, business, and diversity conferences. This year, served as the keynote speaker for the Florida ASLA Conference, the Oregon ASLA Design Symposium, and a juror for the inaugural AIA Roberta Feldman Socially Just Design Award. In 2013, Ernie was elevated to the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows for his exceptional leadership, extensive community service, and outreach work.
October 5 | Kay Sargent, FASID | Director of WorkPlace, HOK
October 5 | 4:30 pm
Kay Sargent, FASID | Director of WorkPlace, HOK
Title: Beyond Disruption: look beyond today and see what lies ahead
Description: COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work and interact. To meet the needs of the day we need to not only rethink the way we engage with the space but how we interact with each other. A new social dynamic is being created. At the same time we seeing exponential change being driven by advances in new technology. Hence, we are seeing the parallel rise of the machine age and the rise of the human factor. These two streams are converging and changing not only the tools we use, but when, where and how we work as well. Organizations face the prospect that if they don’t recognize the shifts that are occurring and seize the moment they could become irrelevant. From adopting new ways of work and understanding user expectations; from going beyond just being sustainable to thriving; from how technology is evolving and impacting workplace; from focusing solely on productivity to fostering innovation; from ownership to access. As Stephen Shapiro noted, “When the pace of change outside your organization is greater than the pace of change within, you will be eaten.” The challenge today is to look beyond today and see what lies ahead so we can adapt accordingly. Join us as we explore how to address the physical, social and technological challenges we are now faced with.
Bio: Sargent is a director of HOK’s global WorkPlace practice. With a passion for using design to transform how and where people work, she spends her days (and many nights) working with clients on workplace strategy and design.
Based in Washington, D.C., Sargent leads project teams that solve clients’ business and organizational challenges related to real estate business process, strategic planning, workplace strategy and change management. She collaborates with organizations ranging from tech startups to Fortune 500 companies to optimize their real estate portfolios and create the most innovative work experiences.
In 2021, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) announced the induction of Sargent into its prestigious College of Fellows. Admission to the College of Fellows is the highest honor given by the IIDA and recognizes those whose design work has significantly influenced the profession.
The American Society of Interior Designers honored Sargent with its “Designer of Distinction” award in the 2020 ASID National Awards. The award is bestowed on an ASID professional member who exemplifies a commitment to the profession as demonstrated by a significant body of work representing excellence in interior design.
Sargent is on the international board of directors for AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association. She is co-chair for the ASID Foundation research task force and on the leadership team of IFMA’s WE Workplace Evolutionaries and the advisory board of Work Design Magazine. She recently served on the board of directors for CoreNet Global and the International Federation of Interior Designers/Architects, and has served on the international boards of IIDA, ASID, NCQLP, IFI and NCIDQ. She is an active member of ASID, IIDA, CoreNet Global and IFMA.
Sargent has authored numerous reports and articles on the workplace and has spoken at CoreNet, IFMA and other industry events. CoreNet and Tradeline, Inc. both have honored her as a top-rated speaker. A mentor to many, she is a founding member of the D.C. chapter of UPWARD, which accelerates career advancement for executive women.
October 24 | Jules Dingle, FAIA | Principal, DIGSAU
October 24 | 4:30 pm
Jules Dingle, FAIA
A tireless and imaginative designer, Jules brings a unique combination of skill and passion to everything he does. He has particular interests in materials, construction methods, and structural exploration. He has taught design studios at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design, and has served as a guest critic and lecturer at numerous design schools. He is a Registered Architect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Vermont. Jules has served on the AIA Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Boards of Directors. He was recognized with the Philadelphia Young Architect Award in 2012 and AIA Fellowship in 2018. A founder of DIGSAU Softbau, Jules can still sometimes be found on the pitcher's mound.