Tool Day Participants
Austin, TX 2003
"I had not indicated that I would desire
to borrow any tools for the spring 05 semester. This was mainly
due to my inexperience with the case study process. However,
after participating in the workshop, I have some great ideas for
case studies with my ECS course in the spring. Is there any chance
I could apply for 2 toolkits for this?"
-Bob Crowell, University of
September 22, 2004
"I was a volunteer at the AOC held
at ASU, and it was an awesome learning experience."
Narayan, Arizona State University
July 26, 2004
One event will change a person; it takes
a generation to change an institution.
-Peter Marks, Kent State University
81 students, 20 groups, four buildings studied,
the first class & four presentations today all by second year
architecture, interior design & forest products majors. Ably
assisted by a fine group of TAs. I will, of course, be sending
more info, but wanted to pass along thanks to you and your AoC
team on behalf of my TA's & myself.
-Diane Armpriest, University of Idaho
am just getting ready to use the AoC material in my classes in
the spring quarter starting March 22. I have the box and will
play with all the gadgets during spring break! Obviously, I don't
have experiences to report yet. But I do have some news-- SCAD
president, Paula Wallace invited me, four architeture students,
and the Dean to a business luncheon. One of the students, Paul
McKeever, participated in AoC last summer at Oberlin. We got to
brag about the workshop and the toolkit to the President and the
Dean. Ee are now in the spot light!
-Emad M. Afifi, Savannah College of Art and Design
Agents of Change experience helped me conceptually integrate the
case study process and design process. The greater investment
is in the latter for the curriculum at the University of Virginia.
Therefore, taking a scientific type approach
over those three days in studying
the Phoenix Central Library informed my perspective of the efficacy
of built environments and of the potential of scientific-method
in both informing and learning from design.
-Phoebe Richbourg, University of Virginia
Agents of Change conference in Phoenix this January was an informative
and rewarding experience. It
allowed me to translate the impressions I had of the Phoenix Public
Library, based mostly on photographs, into an understanding of
its spatial qualities and the way energy flows through the building.
It helped substantiate my belief that on site, hands-on architectural
analysis should be an integral part of architectural education
and should compliment more the abstract analysis of plan, section
and diagram. . . , working with a team,
rooming with people from other institutions and group discussions
involving everyone at the conference allowed me to establish connections
with people who have interests similar to mine. Universities can
be insular places. The more we branch out and communicate with
one another, the more progress we will make in transforming the
environmental ethics of architecture.
-Ben Spencer, University of Virginia
An email from Lizette Fife, TA at
University of Idaho: "By the way, one
of my students said he loved the case studies compared to the
other labwork. I really think using the tools and case
study methodology is bringing this to life for many people."
a presentation about Clackamas High School to a class at the University
of Oregon, BOORA principal Heinz Rudolf says that closing the
loop is critical to design.
"We need more designers to come into practice and help us
to validate the successes and failures of design.
how the skills learned in the Phoenix workshop would improve their
teaching, participants said:
emphasizing concise methodologies for developing and carrying
through the process of testing and hypothesis, the clarity of
the program will reinforce my own abilities to support or debunk
the formerly assumed.
case study methodology and toolkit will improve my teaching by
allowing me to expose my students to passive design strategies
in concrete rather than abstract terms alone.
think the case study method for teaching will be useful in really
driving home a concept or idea in order for students to apply
the knowledge in their own work.
the creative process of developing methodologies and working through
unexpected results and occurrences, I feel that I will be able
to guide students through initial frustrations commonly associated
with research and studies. Working with a broad range of people
and universities allowed new insight as to directions to take
in the future.
process of developing a methodology to studying a case study was
very beneficial to experience. I expect that a better approach
to teaching this process will result from the workshop.
can see what kind of guidance is needed to make something like
this work (e.g., guidelines on hypothesis formulation). Resources
and examples provided will help to startup the process.
And as far
as Passing the Baton is concerned:
Seeing how a successful workshop was run
here will help me implement them on my own.
"Tool Day was one of the
most informative, not to mention fun, activities in which I participated
all week." Jessica Boehland, Associate Editor, Environmental
a third success story excerpted
from e-mail from David Crutchfield,
TA at the University of Texas
at Austin and Portland training alumnus:
"As a Teaching Assistant for Michael
Garrison's Environmental Controls class this
spring, Brad Pease [another Portland training
alumnus] and I trained a class of almost 80
architecture students on using the toolkit,
worked through the hypothesis process with
them, and reviewed all the resulting reports.
The students were most enthusiastic about
investigating the environments of 'real buildings.'
I believe many of them were mentally 'switched-on'
during the class due to the workshop.
success story excerpted
from e-mail from Marshall
Dunlap, North Carolina State University TA
and Portland training alumnus: "I have
really enjoyed having the toolkit and using
it in our case study project. Our case study
involved 16 students (about a third of the
class) and went very well. We plan to involve
the whole class next spring semester, but
this time we offered the case study project
as an option in lieu of a 'timeline/retrospective'
project that is currently a standard item
on the course syllabus.
"For the first part of the project, we
had a tool day/introduction at my house, and
then the students broke into four groups of
four people each and had several weeks to
organize and conduct a specific case study
of some aspect of my house's performance.
After reviewing this stage, we moved on to
do case studies of the three buildings that
make up our School of Design. Again, they
worked in four groups of four.
it went very well-it was as much a learning
experience for me as a case study project
leader as it was for them as students.
Anyway, it has been so awesome to have the
tool kit and it is painful to send it back.
Fatih [Rifki] and I intend to lobby the powers
that be to finance our own permanent kit,
but in the meantime I will be suffering from
a deep sense of emptiness.
I used the Hobos and the infrared thermometer
constantly, as much unrelated to Fatih's class
as connected with it. I used them for projects
for other classes and also day-to-day just
to better understand the intricacies of my
web site has proven to be a good student recruiting
from a prospective
student's email to University of Idaho faculty
(and AoC advisory committee member and trainer)
Bruce Haglund: "I looked
at the Prichard Gallery Vital Signs case study
on your web site. It
helped me understand the UI curriculum and
the case study procedure. I find the course
very interesting and look forward to working
in this stream of sustainable architecture.
I also saw the web site http://aoc.uoregon.edu
& I would feel privileged if I get the
opportunity to work under such an experienced
person like you."
training as effective tool for teachers.
E-mail excerpt from
a first-year teacher at
South Ural State University in Chelyabinsk
(and AoC alumna): "The
students are enjoying the class so far. I
even heard somebody saying that this is the
first class that is really interesting and
gives them useful info-and these are 5th-year
I have about 16 out of 20 showing
up every time (it's an elective with Pass/Fail
grading) and about half asking questions on
the topic. Given the still more lecture-like
nature of the class, I think it is good. I
can only imagine how much more fun it will
be in a couple of years when I will have all
the readers ready, the Vital Signs tools,
the software, the hardware...."
from e-mail from Dorothy Gerring, Portland
AoC training alumna and Penn College faculty:
"Thought you'd like to see this excerpt
from an e-mail from
Paul Zeigler, director of engineering and
technology for the Governor's Green Government
who attended the Green Building Fair
here at Penn College (http://www.pct.edu/green_building)
and was very happy with his experience.
the students participating in
your study [two of whom were trainees in Portland]
helped with the organization of the Fair and
had to display their case studies of the new
campus building and their research for their
'I was absolutely blown away by the presentation
boards that I saw
featuring green building
projects and studies and research projects
actually done by the students. These boards
were deeply into some very technical and complex
issues-things like daylighting design, acoustics
design, alternative materials, mold and mildew,
and indoor air quality. One of
the students who attended both of my trainings
came up to me afterwards and was so proud
of the fact that she and others had actually
demonstrated the use of some of the principles
that I presented in my training-this
was mind boggling that students were so sharp
and so on top of current state of the art
technology and building comfort and health
and air quality issues.
The NCRO, the Staff, and students
of the College are to be commended; not me.
It was a pleasure and an honor.'"
reached the profession as well.
As reported by
Bruce Haglund, AoC advisory
committee member and trainer:
Jarvis (Arup Bristol Tool Day host and trainee)
dropped by to pick up a Kestrel to use to
show a client (who wants to build a gallery
in Bristol) the thermal realities of the gallery
spaces at the Tate Modern. I'm waiting to
hear how it went ... but am nonetheless impressed
that he considers building feedback to be
an important part of the practice.
the Tool Day report is now fully linked to
the R&D page on the Arup Intranet, so
unwary Arups can stumble into the trap and
come away converted."
scope through the Arup Tool Days.
E-mail from Kevin
McCartney, Director of Architectural Research, School of Architecture,
University of Portsmouth (UK): "The Bristol Tool Day was
very worthwhile. I was happy to be reminded of the importance
of linking conclusions to a presentation with the initial hypothesis
and enthused by the demonstration of how much is possible in a
day. Walter (Kevin's grad student and fellow trainee), too, was
very enthusiastic. After weeks of talking about possible research
projects with me, he had moved from hypothesis to method, to test,
to presentation in a single day. And suddenly he was brimming
with ideas for his thesis."
In the mean time we finished the
course "Technology 1", based on the case study methodology
using the toolkit. It was great, the students had fun
and learned a lot about the relation between environment an building.
We are now buying a second toolkit, and some other tools. Can
you give me a hint for a good and affordable pyranometer?
Nice study. If you don't mind,
when we get our architects hired (in the next week or two) to
do the building project, I would like to refer them to your URL.
It will help me re-emphasize a very important need for this building.
Fortunately, our project is to be a very "green" project.
Thanks also for the acknowledgements. I appreciated that as well.
Hope both of you get a high mark on your study. You can tell your
professor that it will be noted by the design architects as an
issue to be dealt with in the new building design.
-Bob Petit, Administrator
University of Oregon Health Center