Spring 2010

CED Update

Anniversaries prompt us to reflect on our past, but they also have a way of enticing us to think about our future. Arriving in time for CED’s 50th anniversary allowed me, as the new dean, to become quickly immersed in the college’s history and people, and begin to build on our legacy and traditions to sketch out future directions. Big plans are now underway, with respect to academic programs, research, and enhancements to Wurster Hall to better serve our evolving needs. Let me share them with you.

— Jennifer Wolch

Reconstruction of the bench that originally graced North Gate Hall (The Old Ark)
Using fragments left from the original bench as well as archival photographs and personal memory, Caitlin Lempres Brostrom (M.Arch 1990) and her father, Van Maren King (B.Arch 1964) developed measured drawings for the reconstruction of the bench that originally graced North Gate Hall (The Old Ark). The bench represents a piece of the folklore of the Department of Architecture. It also represents a symbol of the community that William Wurster forged when he brought four disciplines together and made the, then new, College of Environmental Design. Caitlin and her husband, Nathan Brostrom (Vice President, University of California) funded the project envisioning it as a symbol of community and continuity. The bench was made last summer entirely from reclaimed redwood timbers and was built by an undergraduate student, Chris Lesnett, with the mentorship of Paul Morrison in Wurster Hall’s shop.
From left to right: Harrison Fraker, Mario Schjetnan, Jennifer Wolch, Clare Cooper Marcus, Sir Peter Hall, Dell Upton, Carol Galante, Richard Bender, Michael Teitz, Ray Kappe, Russell Ellis. (Photo: Eric Gillet)

Programs

Sustainable Urbanism and Design. More and more of our students clamor for the intellectual understanding and technical tools needed to build new or transform existing cities and buildings to achieve critical sustainability goals. In response, the College is designing a new college-wide undergraduate major on Sustainable Urbanism and Design that we hope will serve students interested in building science, resource efficient landscape architecture and design, and sustainable city planning.

Summer [In]stitutes. CED has launched the Berkeley Summer [In]stitutes for post-baccalaureate students interested in environmental design careers. During three [In]stitutes — [In]Arch, [In]City, and [In]Land — over 200 students will convene at Wurster for 2 months of intensive study, emerging at the end of the experience with an understanding of the fields and a real live portfolio for graduate school.

Wurster Design & Innovation Studio. With colleagues from the Haas School of Business, and others across campus, CED has established a pilot studio on the 5th Floor of Wurster Hall, to jump-start a program in “Design Thinking” — the collaborative, interdisciplinary practice that many of us are familiar with, and that is increasingly vital to crafting new business concepts, innovative products, social ventures, communications strategies, and urban places in a rapidly changing world. Work started this Spring semester, with faculty and students creating a space for planning, sketching, project reviews, and coaching. We plan to offer short-courses, encourage start-up ventures and green product development, and make the Wurster Design & Innovation Studio accessible to collaborative projects.

Cool New Minors. In response to the fact that courses on geographic information systems, remote sensing, spatial statistics, and related technologies are scattered across campus, we have collaborated with several schools and colleges to develop a new undergraduate minor and graduate emphasis in Geospatial Data, Science and Technology. This will allow us to meet the burgeoning demand for GIS, and permit faculty to teach more advanced courses. And, in partnership with others on campus — in materials science, biotechnology, and elsewhere — we plan to establish a new undergraduate minor in Biomimetic Design, with guidance from the Biomimicry Institute, whose founder Janine Benyus was just named one of the world’s 27 most influential designers. This minor will introduce students to the way in which understanding natural process, materials, and architectures can be harnessed to revolutionize the way we construct buildings and the built environment.

Green Design and Finance. With the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the Haas School of Business, CED is creating executive education programs on financing green design for real estate finance, construction, engineering, and environmental design industry professionals. The emphasis will be on how real estate finance firms can make the business case for incorporating energy efficient designs, especially for retrofits.

Carmel Friesen and Jennifer Wolch at the CAA Charter Gala
Carmel “Candy” Friesen and Jennifer Wolch at the CAA Charter Gala on April 24, 2010 at the San Francisco Ferry Building.
CAA Excellence in Achievement Award is presented to Carol Galante; CAA Excellence in Service Award is presented to Carmel Friesen
Left: CAA Excellence in Achievement Award is presented to Carol Galante, M.C.P. ’78, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Right: CAA Excellence in Service Award is presented to Carmel “Candy” Friesen ’50, Founder of the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

Research

Two new research centers have been established over the past year. The Center for a Sustainable California, led by Professor Robert Cervero, is initially focusing on the implications of California’s landmark law SB 375. This legislation requires localities to create land-use and transportation plans that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Center seeks to understand how local governments are responding to this challenge. The Center for Resource Efficient Cities, led by Professor Louise Mozingo, is a partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and funded by the California Energy Commission. The Center conducts research on how to design urban communities to reduce automobile trips, cool the urban heat island, infiltrate urban runoff and recharge groundwater.

Room 101 renovation
Room 101 is renovated and fully equipped with a new AV system, new comfortable tablet-arm chairs as well as an architectural installation of construction materials. The wall of materials is an educational tool for inspiring young designers. Architect Anne Fougeron and her staff redesigned what was an utterly outmoded and depressing space, transforming it into a contemporary classroom space the students and faculty have enjoyed this semester and will enjoy for years to come. (Photos: Eric Gillet)
Room 101 renovation
Room 101 is renovated and fully equipped with a new AV system, new comfortable tablet-arm chairs as well as an architectural installation of construction materials. The wall of materials is an educational tool for inspiring young designers. Architect Anne Fougeron and her staff redesigned what was an utterly outmoded and depressing space, transforming it into a contemporary classroom space the students and faculty have enjoyed this semester and will enjoy for years to come. (Photos: Eric Gillet)

Wurster Hall Updates

Wurster Hall got an anniversary present: a renovated CED Auditorium. Building on Stanley Saitowitz’ original design, the Auditorium was newly carpeted and got a fresh coat of paint, advanced audiovisual equipment was installed along with new lights, and the room was furnished with comfortable new tablet arm chairs. Moreover, other classroom space got some great upgrades, especially Room 101, which was remodeled tip-to-toe, due to the generosity of a CED donor. Maintaining Wurster’s industrial feel, the classroom boasts a wall-mounted display of building materials, high-technology computer technology, bright new seating, and energy-efficient globe lighting. Our fabrication facility — designed by James Prestini many years ago — is also being redesigned with the help of EHDD Architecture and Anderson and Anderson Architecture, to integrate the CAD/CAM equipment that is now so critical to the ability of our students to learn digital design and advanced fabrication techniques. And lastly, we are creating the first permanent exhibit space for the college — a 2,200 square foot space on the first floor, where we can have major exhibits, installations, and ongoing student juries. Fougeron Architecture has done the preliminary design. So look out for an invitation to the opening of the CED Gallery!

Rendering of New Wurster Hall Gallery
Rendering of New Wurster Hall Gallery by Fougeron Architecture.
CED Dean Jennifer Wolch thanks Cynthia and Norm Dyer
During a visit to Wurster Hall, CED Dean Jennifer Wolch thanks Cynthia (’58) and Norm Dyer (M.Arch. ’59) for their planned gift towards an undergraduate scholarship in Architecture.

It is especially gratifying to me, in my first year as dean, to have met so many of our alumni and supporters. I commend you for your regular attendance at events, generous support of the college and quick response to our requests. Like you, I am amazed at the energy, purpose, and sheer brilliance of our students. I am also deeply impressed by the commitment of my faculty colleagues to their teaching and research and continually heartened by the expertise, creativity, and loyalty of the CED staff. We are all committed to the same purpose — the welfare of CED and its ideals, and to the greater good of public education in California.