Center for Architecture and Urban Planning Research

mission current research bio sketches visiting scholars 
research incentive publication series books fellowships

    current research    
aging and environment

geographic information systems

metro milwaukee initiative

historic preservation institute

frank lloyd wright initiative

optimum housing technology

environmental quality

community service

design research


collaborative programs

4urban initiatives

4cammunity design solutions

4urban transportation


ph.d. program

Design Research and Application

Reconciliation of Built Form and Context
Grace La

La's early work explored the reconciliation of built form and context at the neighborhood and building scale. She is now narrowing her analysis to the aperture. Her current project proposes that through the intense, focused study of a single element, such as an aperture, one can both contribute to the understanding of its experiential value and to an understanding of built form in general by revealing ways in which architecture works symbiotically with its surroundings. In an effort to maximize the study of the aperture's impact on the environment, after careful study, she will create an aperture within a pavilion or observation platform at the Schlitz Audubon Center and then do an assessment of the work based on public engagement and experience.

Models of Collaboration in Design and Construction
Brian Schermer

Abstract of recent article, "Lost in the Translation: Project Partnering as a Model of Collaborative Design and Construction"

"Large architectural clients in the U.S. have looked to the Japanese design and construction industry for strategies to better manage their building projects. Project partnering is one approach that has been developed to emulate the collaboration and flexibility associated with Japanese construction. Based on findings from an ethnographic study of a project team that adopted partnering, this paper suggests that while the approach offered several benefits, including enhanced capacity for managing the technical complexity of the project and closer input from future occupants during construction, the challenges included overcoming entrained institutional distrust among client representatives, designers, and contractors, and a failure to enlist the commitment of construction workers. Project partnering as currently translated from Japanese practices is consequential in its attempt to manage relationships among the various actors in a building construction project, yet does little to alter the fundamental confrontational dynamics underlying conventional design and construction.

Office environments for Non-Profit organizations: Schermer received a two year $25,000 seed grant from Community Design Solutions in 2006 to work with Milwaukee non-profits toward the broader goal of developing guidelines and deign processes that would be of general assistance to groups with limited resources and community based goals.

The David Bader 3D Visualization Computer Lab
Kevin Forseth

The lab provides facilities for the research, testing and developing of 3D-visualization software. as well as offering students opportunities for applied studies in 3D solid modeling, rendering and animation 

Jewish Architecture: The Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe
Thomas Hubka

Over the last decade, Thomas Hubka has developed methods of interpreting a destroyed material culture through case studies of Polish and Ukrainian towns and study of Jewish and eastern European religious and cultural history. Using existing, limited documentation and other historical sources, he is investigating the relationship between these synagogues' architectural form and the Jewish culture that produced them. Extensive study has been done in Israel as well as extensive fieldwork in Eastern Europe. Hubka is now completing a book and an exhibit on the results of his research. In spring 1998, Hubka's students used these studies and the expertise of the major scholars in this area to work on designs for a planned museum and visitor's center in Lviv, Poland. 

Hubka  completed a book based on this research: Resplendent Synagogue: Architecture and Worship in an Eighteenth Century Polish Community,  University Press of New England  and Brandeis University Press, 2003, which has received a number of awards for its scholarship and comprehensive study of this subject.

Abstract: PDF 

The Milwaukee Polish Flat: A Unique Form of Housing in the Polish Community
Thomas Hubka; Judith Kinney, Ph.D., Department of Geography

Hubka and Kinney studied the present houses and neighborhood on the southside of Milwaukee settled by Polish immigrants as well as investigating the environmental history of these neighborhoods and houses and the social and cultural history of their immigrant owners. Having written several articles on the subject, they are now planning to create an urban field guide for studying Milwaukee's neighbor hoods. Hubka is also involved in construction of the Milwaukee Polish Community Center, which will replicate many of the design elements of 18th century Polish wooden architecture.  

The Transition of American Housing and Domesticity Between Working Class to Middle Class

Hubka is working  on a book on this subject. His study looks at dwellings such as bungalows, workers' cottages, duplexes and multi-flats, 1900-1930.

Multi-media Instructional Materials
Mark R. and Linda N. Keane

The Keanes have completed a series of CD-ROM textbooks. Architecture: An Interactive Introduction, McGraw Hill, 1998, CD-ROM with book This interactive, multi-media "textbook" offers teachers and others a tool to introduce the world of architecture to people of all ages. It explores a wide range of architectural topics history, structural principles, materials, technologies, scale and proportion, composition and form, design, profession, historic preservation, urban planning, and landscape architecture. Other texts include Paris, and Wrightscape: the Geometry of Wright published through the Center for Architecture & Urban Planning Research

An interactive web-based program NEXT , which combines architecture and math principles for middle and highschool students and includes curriculum assistance for teachers is being piloted in the Milwaukee Public Schools as an after-school enrichment program. For more information about NEXT, contact the authors.

Hope Homes
Investigator: Harvey Rabinowitz

The American Cancer Society to undertake POE's of some of its existing Hope Lodge facilities (housing for adult cancer patients being treated in nearby hospitals) and develop a definitive guide for designing such facilities in the future. The architectural program developed from the POEs will to be used to build the first Wisconsin Hope Lodge, which will, in turn, be evaluated to improve and refine subsequent models in the Midwest and in other ACS regions.



University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

last updated on May 03, 2007