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Persistent

Opening and reception Tuesday, October 12th, 2021 at 4:30-6:00pm

PERSISTENT introduces research on architectural design that simultaneously endures and evolves with natural and cultural changes over time. Crucial to persistent architecture is the design of buildings that last for generations while continuously adapting to shifting needs. This exhibition argues for robust, sustainable, and resilient architecture that remains useful and valued despite the ever-changing world.

PERSISTENT explains emerging concepts, from the physical to the symbolic, and from the timely to the timeless in persistent architecture. Case studies focus on contemporary buildings that successfully incorporate design strategies for persistence, illustrated through diagrams and videos. Audio excerpts from interviews are drawn from conversations with leading contemporary architects and building users about how their work embodies the strategies, tactics, and virtues of designing for persistence. Many of these case studies are analyzed in more detail in the curator’s recent book titled The Architecture of Persistence: Designing for Future Use; published in August 2021.

PERSISTENT uses multiple media generated by the 2017 Latrobe Prize team, funded by the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects, and Northeastern University, College of Arts, Media and Design. The exhibit, first installed at the A+D Museum in LA, is curated by Peter Wiederspahn, Michelle Laboy, and David Fannon.

Curator bios:

David Fannon is an architect and building scientist whose work integrates research, analysis, and design to provide occupant comfort and wellbeing in long-lasting, low-resource consuming buildings. He is jointly appointed associate professor in the School of Architecture and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University. David earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s from UC Berkeley, and is a registered architect in the State of New York. He is LEED Accredited Professional with B+DC specialty.

Michelle Laboy is an architect, engineer, and urban planner whose teaching, research and practice explore interdisciplinary strategies for resilient architecture and urban landscapes. Michelle is an assistant professor of Architecture at Northeastern University and co-founder of FieLDworkshop. Her scholarly work examines how ecological thinking influences architectural theory and practice. She is interested in the meaningful grounding of buildings, the tectonic strategies that heighten the connectivity and legibility of ecological systems in everyday life and enable integration and adaptation to dynamic environments. Michelle holds M.Arch. and M.U.P degrees from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and is registered as a Professional Engineer.

Peter Wiederspahn is an architect and associate professor at Northeastern University and principal of Wiederspahn Architecture, LLC. His research and pedagogical foci are on architectural design, production, performance, and systems. Research themes include wood construction and its cultural impact; component construction systems; emergency shelter systems; and furniture design. His architectural practice has received numerous design excellence awards for residential, multi-family, commercial and interior architecture projects. Professor Wiederspahn earned his B.Arch. from Syracuse University and his M.Arch. from the Harvard University.

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University of Massachusetts
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Amherst MA

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PERSISTENT