Design Education for the Housing + Climate Crisis

When:  Mar 2, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (ET)

Design Education for the Housing + Climate Crisis, with ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award Winners

Course Description 

In the context of dual housing and climate crises, how can design education support student development while contributing to larger solutions? Join ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award Winners to learn about ambitious university initiatives tackling the future of public and energy-conserving housing, and for a conversation on how best to serve students and communities within academic constraints.

Award Winners Stephen D. Luoni and Shawna Mabie will present the University of Arkansas’s “Saving Downtown Public Housing: Towards a Blended-Income Community” design studio. Commissioned by a local foundation, the school’s design center studied an alternative to the Fayetteville Housing Authority’s plan to sell the 43-year-old Willow Heights public housing complex to a private developer, which would have resulted in the relocation of low-income residents. Using equity as a driver of decision making, the studio introduced scenario planning to organize reluctant stakeholders in considering transformations to the five-acre complex.

Award winner Mary C. Hardin of the University of Arizona will present “Energy Conserving Affordable Housing.” Learn how the school formed a 501c3 non-profit corporation to support the design and construction of affordable housing in an educational setting. The school’s Housing Design Education program utilizes design-build, affordable housing projects with research components that investigate the cost effectiveness of regional vernacular construction methods, paired with energy and water conservation strategies to control initial construction costs and long-term operational costs of single-family dwellings.

Moderated by ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award juror and University of Oregon Faculty Fellow in Design for Spatial Justice Karen Kubey.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn about ambitious models for teaching that integrate practice and navigate student learning as well as community needs.
  2. Examine opportunities for meaningful community engagement in housing design and within the academic setting.
  3. Discover the ways that design education can produce promising ideas on how to improve neighborhoods and advocate for mixed-use and affordable housing.
  4. Learn how design education can support student development while contributing to larger solutions, in the context of dual housing and climate crises.


Mary C. Hardin, AIA
UA Distinguished Professor in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona

Hardin served as Interim Dean for CAPLA from 2016-2017, and Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs for CAPLA, from 2011 to 2016. She has held a concomitant position as a Professor of Architecture, specializing in design-build studios and the provision of affordable housing. Hardin has received national awards for teaching, design-build project delivery, affordable housing policy initiatives and collaborative practice, as well as state AIA awards for her project designs.

Karen Kubey (moderator)
Faculty Fellow in Design for Spatial Justice, University of Oregon

She is the editor of Housing as Intervention: Architecture towards Social Equity (Architectural Design, 2018) and served as the first executive director of the Institute for Public Architecture. Holding degrees in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School for Architecture, Preservation and Planning (GSAPP), Kubey began her career as a designer of below-market housing.

Stephen Luoni
Director, University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC)

Under his direction since 2003, UACDC’s design and research have won more than 150 awards, all for urban design, research, and education. Luoni’s work at UACDC specializes in interdisciplinary public works projects combining landscape, urban, and architectural design. He was appointed a 2012 United States Artists Ford Fellow. Luoni has a BS in Architecture from Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.

Shawna Mabie, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Duda|Paine Architects

Shawna is a licensed architect with over ten years of experience. She is an Associate at Duda|Paine Architects based in Durham, North Carolina and she serves as the Architect Chair for the AIA Triangle Emerging Professionals and Young Architects Forum. Shawna previously taught affordable housing and community-based development studios alongside the Director, Stephen Luoni, at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center.


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