Taubman College

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Velikov and Thün awarded AIA Upjohn Research Award

A jury for the American Institute of Architects Upjohn Research Initiative has awarded Kathy Velikov, assistant professor of architecture, and Geoffrey Thün, associate professor of architecture, an Upjohn Research award for their project titled, "Responsive Pneumatics: Prototypes for Biologically Inspired Air-Based Envelope Systems". This research builds on current seed funding to support responsive envelope research that Velikov and Thün have been awarded through the University of Michigan's Office of the Vice President for Research and the Taubman College Research Through Making Program.

The project is one of only five selected to receive grants from the Upjohn Research Initiative, a joint program of the College of Fellows and the Board Knowledge Committee to support knowledge sharing between practitioners and academicians.

An abstract of the project reads as follows:
Building skins are designed to help a building adapt to its climate either by thermally insulating the structure’s interior or letting it breath. This research team has been investigating the responsiveness of tension-active foil membranes to that effect and says it will use the grant money to develop full-scale prototype-based installations that can self-regulate and work with building systems.

The Upjohn Research Award, now in its seventh year, is a grant to provide base funds for applied research projects that advance professional knowledge and practice. The 18-month long project grant qualifies recipients to have their findings and outcomes published both electronically and in a nationally distributed publication. The total award of $150,000 will be spread across the selected proposals. The jury felt the process and deliberations were fully consistent with the blind-peer review intent of the program. This blind-peer review helps add an element of rigor to the process whereby proposals are debated on their own merits.

Read the complete article on Architect Magazine's website.

Nov 14, 2013


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