The Urban Collaboratory is working with Chicago stakeholders to explore how different forms of transit can improve access to food, healthcare, and education.
Following New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago, IL is the third largest city in the United States.
Home to 2.7 million people, Chicago is nestled along the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago is known for being the home of former President Barack Obama, as well as the home of 8 professional sports teams.
The Urban Collaboratory is working with stakeholders in Chicago to explore how different forms of transit can increase access to food, healthcare, and education for Chicago residents.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Associate Dean for Creative Practice
Geoffrey Thün is Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan where he teaches design studios, courses in urban systems, site operations and material systems. He is a founding partner in the research-based practice RVTR. He holds an M.UD from the University of Toronto, and a Professional BArch and BES from the University of Waterloo.
Thün’s work ranges in scale from that of the regional territory and the city, to high performance buildings, to full-scale prototype-based work exploring responsive and kinetic envelopes that mediate energy, atmosphere, and social space. These operational scales are tied together through a methodology that entails a complex systems approach; one that assembles around each project a multiplicity of agents, forces and contexts and leverages these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents towards integrated and synthetic design work. His academic research has attracted external funding from the U.S. Department of Energy / National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE/NREL), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Research Council of Canada (NRCan), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Ford Motor Company. Geoffrey is also a co-founder of the Urban Collaboratory.
Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice
Kathy Velikov is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is a licensed Architect and founding partner of the research-based practice rvtr (www.rvtr.com), and the Vice President of ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture). Her work investigates and experiments with the intertwinements across architecture, the environment, technology, and sociopolitics through design methods that mobilize systems-based approaches and computational design. Her work ranges from material prototypes that explore environment-aware behavioral building skin assemblies, to high-performance building design, to research on urbanism, infrastructure, and territorial practices explored through techniques of mapping and analysis, speculative design propositions, installations, and writing. Most recent work has focused on material ecologies and on social infrastructure and environmental justice in multiscalar urban design. Her academic research has been funded by U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Power Authority, the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative, Guardian Industries, and Ford Motor Company.
She is co-editor of Ambiguous Territory: Architecture, Landscape, and the Postnatural (Actar, 2021) and co-author of Infra Eco Logi Urbanism (Park Books, 2015). Both projects have been developed as traveling exhibitions co-curated and co-produced by Velikov and exhibited in galleries in New York City, Ithaca, Charlottesville, Toronto, Montreal, New Haven, Knoxville, and Ann arbor. Her work and writing has been published in numerous journals and book chapters. Honors include the ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award (2020), the Technology + Architecture Design (TAD) Journal Research Contribution Award (2020), two R&D Awards from Architecture Magazine (2010, 2016), a Journal of Architectural Education Best Design as Research Article (2013), the Architizer A+ Award Program’s Architecture + Sound Jury Award (2013), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Faculty Design Award (2012, 2014), a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in the Practice of Architecture (2011), the Canadian Professional Prix de Rome (2009), the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architect’s Forum Award (2008), and the Oberdick Fellowship at Taubman College (2006-07)
At Taubman College, Kathy teaches Architecture design studio, thesis, ecology and technology seminars, and in the Master of Science in Digital and Material Technologies.