Taubman College

Faculty Directory

Teaching Areas:

  • Design Competitions
  • Cultural Memorials
  • Inner-Urban Master Planning

Before joining the University of Michigan faculty in 1973, Dr. Chaffers was recipient of the nation's first, Professional Doctorate of Architecture degree. His continuing interest in bridging theory and practice, led to Post-doctoral studies at the Terman Engineering Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

An international practitioner and Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the UM Ann Arbor Campus, Dr. Chaffers' is the recipient of three, "Distinguished Faculty" and three, "Outstanding Teacher" Awards. Dr. Chaffers has also been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Finalist for The Whitehouse Fellowship. In addition, Dr. Chaffers has been honored as "Educator of the Year" of Michigan Colleges and Universities. In further recognition of his distinguished teaching and professional practice, Dr. Chaffers was recently honored and elevated to the "College of Fellows," within The American Institute of Architects, FAIA,. (Elevation to 'Fellow' status is among the highest honors that the American Architectural Profession can bestow upon one of its individual members.)

In his academic/professional roles, Dr. Chaffers has served as Director of the University of Michigan Ph.D. Program in Architecture, Director of the Villa Corsi-Salviati Design Studio (Florence, Italy) and 10-year Director of the Taubman College West African Studio (Kumasi, Ghana). Dr. Chaffers is the founder of two, Inner City Design Centers, a 'First Prize' winner in the Student/Professor category of several international design competitions and the author of Spacespirit, a forth coming text for Third Millennium design practice.

With the focus of his professional and academic work being the reflective exploration of design links between spatial quality and human spirituality, Dr. Chaffers was asked, in April, 1998, to serve as Senior Design Juror for the design of a "living memorial" in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Guided by competition criteria co-developed by Dr. Chaffers, the winning entry for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial emerged from over 900 competitive briefs submitted by the international design community. With construction completed and accompanied by an Official Presidential Unveiling Ceremony in October/2011, this current cornerstone of Dr. Chaffers' work, now stands in the U.S. Capital, on the U.S. National Mall, in Washington, DC.

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