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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois School of Architecture Spring 2023 Lecture Series: Climate Fictions: Speaker Profiles

The Illinois School of Architecture Spring 2023 Lecture Series theme is "Climate Fictions".

Rania Ghosn

Rania Ghosn - Associate Professor, MIT - "Geostories"

Rania Ghosn is Associate Professor at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and founding partner with El Hadi Jazairy of the studio DESIGN EARTH. Their practice engages the speculative project as a medium to make public the climate crisis and the technological systems that underpin it. The work of DESIGN EARTH is in the New York Museum of Modern Art permanent collection and has been wid­ely exhibited, including recently at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. They are authors of Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment (3rd ed. 2022; 2018), The Planet After Geoengineering (2021), Geographies of Trash (2015), and the forthcoming Climate Inheritance (2023). Ghosn holds a Doctor of Design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2010), where she was founding member of the journal New Geographies and editor-in-chief of its issue Landscapes of Energy (2010). She is recipient of the United States Artist Fellowship (2022), the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers (2016), and ACSA Faculty Design Awards (2014, 2017) for outstanding work in environmental design fields as a critical endeavor. (From Event Page Website)

Frances Yang

Frances Yang - Associate, ARUP

After starting with Arup 19 years ago, Frances created and has led the Sustainable Materials Practice in the Americas region for the past 12 years.  Drawing from her expertise in structural engineering, construction materials and advanced used of life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools, Frances has helped numerous projects embrace more circular design and drive down embodied carbon within our built environment.  Frances is a constant mobilizer and collaborator, having served on the Carbon Leadership Forum Board, vice-chaired the USGBC Materials and Resources Advisory Group, co-founding the All for Reuse initiative, and currently vice-chair of SE 2050. She has also contributed to the chapter on mass timber construction within the New Carbon Architecture book, the Bay Area Low Carbon Concrete Code, and the ASCE technical guidance document “Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment: Reference Building Structure and Strategies,” which is referenced by LEEDv4, ILFI’s Zero Carbon Certification, and other respected standards. Through her career, Frances has shown how structural engineers can influence projects and policies towards a climate-positive future. (From Event Page Website)

Chris T. Cornelius


Chris T. Cornelius - Associate Professor, University of New Mexico

Chris Cornelius is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of New Mexico. He is the founding principal of studio:indigenous.

Chris is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Including the inaugural Miller Prize from Exhibit Columbus, a 2018 and 2022 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award, and an Artist residency from the National Museum of the American Indian. Chris has been exhibited widely including the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Cornelius was the Spring 2021, Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University.
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Studio Indigenous


Richard Bresnahan

Richard Bresnahan was born on July 4, 1953, in Fargo, North Dakota, the eldest of six children. He grew up in Casselton, North Dakota, working at his father’s grain elevators and on the farms of his relatives, also holding a newspaper routine, drumming in a band, mowing lawns, and selling fireworks. At age 14, he and his father drove to Saint John’s in Collegeville, Minnesota, where Richard would attend high school and later college. Ten minutes from campus, the car crested a rise and suddenly before them rose the hills of Avon Township. Richard was stunned by the beauty of the landscape: eastern hardwood forests running over rolling hills to meet the prairie. Years later, this is where Richard and his wife, Colette, would build their home and raise their family.

Richard Bresnahan studied with art historian Johanna Becker, OSB, at Saint John’s University and completed a nearly four-year apprenticeship in ceramics with a Living National Treasure family in Karatsu, Japan, earning the designation Master Potter. In 1979, he returned to the United States to establish the Saint John’s Pottery in Collegeville, Minnesota where he is the director of the Saint John’s Pottery and artist-in-residence of Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict. In 1993, he designed and oversaw construction of the Johanna Kiln, the largest wood-burning kiln in North America, on the Saint John’s campus. His handmade, functional work can be found in collections such as the Jon Hassler Sculpture Garden at Saint John’s University, the Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minnesota, and the Idemitsu Museum of Arts in Tokyo, Japan. (From Event Page Website)

Joyce Hwang

Joyce Hwang - Associate Professor, University at Buffalo - "Design for the Collective"

Joyce Hwang is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and Founder of Ants of the Prairie, an office of architectural practice and research that focuses on confronting contemporary ecological conditions through creative means. For over a decade, Hwang has been developing a series of projects that incorporate wildlife habitats into constructed environments. She is a recipient of the Exhibit Columbus University Research Design Fellowship (2020-21), the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2014), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship (2013), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Independent Project Grant (2013, 2008), and the MacDowell Fellowship (2016, 2011). Her work has been featured by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and exhibited at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Matadero Madrid, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale, among other venues. Hwang’s projects and writing have been featured in publications including Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, Architectural Review, AV Proyectos, Azure Magazine, Biophilic Cities Journal, Bracket, Curbed, Elle Décor, Forbes, Good, Log, Metropolis Magazine, Next NaturePraxis, Volume Magazine, and World Architects. She is a co-organizer of the Hive City Habitat Design Competition and a co-editor of Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice, published by Actar. Hwang is on the Steering Committee for US Architects Declare, serves as a Core Organizer for Dark Matter University, and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE). (From Event Page Website)