Designing While Distancing: Teaching Architecture Remotely

Sep 8, 2020 3:30-5:00pm EDT

Watch the Webinar


This past semester saw a swift transition to remote arts instruction for many teachers. Amidst feelings of isolation and anxiety about the future, teachers and students had to adjust to a new way of learning and teaching. As humans so often do in times of crisis, our communities rose to the challenge. Teachers and students worked together to learn new technology; resources for remote teaching were shared throughout the art community; and genuine efforts were made to maintain a sense of community despite the imposed social distance. As we look towards the fall, and continued remote instruction for many schools, arts instructors still need a space to hear others’ experiences, share, and gather resources on navigating online arts instruction. With this new webinar series, a2ru hopes to provide that space.

This architecture panel will cover practical strategies for teaching “hands-on” design studio courses in both hybrid and completely remote settings as well as different modalities, software, and hardware for facilitating design education. Panelists will discuss how to foster and maintain a collaborative work environment for students while following social distancing guidelines and how to remotely maintain a sense of studio culture and a sense of community as a school. Panelists will also explore questions of equity, such as: How can we take into account the diverse economic and cultural backgrounds of students when determining approaches to reopening campuses? How can art and design colleges / departments facilitate the process of democratic, sustainable, and equitable development practices? How do we negotiate the tensions between professional practice and democratic design / planning? What is the role of social practice art and place-based planning and design in a post-COVID and George-Floyd era in the United States?


Julia McMorrough is an associate professor of practice in architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where she teaches architectural design and representations courses. She has more than 15 years of experience in professional practice in architecture firms in Kansas City, New York, Boston, and Columbus, Ohio, where she was lead designer on a wide range of project types throughout the country, including libraries, academic buildings, and housing. She is the co-founder of studioAPT (with John McMorrough), a research and design collaborative that seeks to join the expeditious with the unexpected, through such projects as “Platform for Architecture,” “Makin’ It” (a situation comedy about architecture), “Habitat Shift,” and the “400:1 House.”

With a research agenda that focuses on design and communication of ameliorative architectural ideas to expanded audiences, McMorrough was primary investigator on the Research on the City projects, “Re:Tool-Kit for Detroit” and “The Second City: Chicago’s Funny Urbanism.” She is the author of Materials, Structures, and Standards: All the Details Architects Need to Know But Can Never Find (Rockport Publishers, 2006), with a second edition titled Architecture: Reference and Specification (Rockport Publishers, 2013). More recently, she authored Drawing for Architects (Quarto Publishing, 2015).

McMorrough holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science in advanced architectural design from Columbia University. She studied for one year at Technical University Dortmund in Germany, and received the Rotch Traveling Scholarship from the Society of Architects.


Mallika Bose is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Associate Dean of Research, Creative Activity and Graduate Studies at the College of Arts and Architecture at The Pennsylvania State University. Trained as an architect specializing in Environment-Behavior Studies, she is interested in how the built environment impacts human behavior especially for disadvantaged groups. She has been active in research in the following areas: Built Environment and Active Living/Healthy Eating; Public Scholarship and Community Engaged Design and Planning; Gender and Development; and Design/Planning Pedagogy. Her scholarship has been published in Landscape Journal, Habitat International, International Development and Planning Research, Journal of Urban Design among others. She recently co-edited a book on community-engaged teaching/scholarship titled – Community Matters: Service-learning in Engaged Design and Planning – which received the 2015 Great Places Book Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). She served as the Chair of the EDRA Board of Directors in 2012-13 and joined the National Advisory Board of Imagining America – Artists and Scholars in Public Life in 2016. She co-directs the Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers (CoPED), an initiative of Imagining America.

Nils Gore is a Professor at the University of Kansas, a licensed architect, and a founding principal of Dotte Agency. His work consists of directing a number of student design / build projects in Mississippi, Kansas, and New Orleans. The work has won design awards from the AIA, AIAS, and the ACSA, and has been published in numerous scholarly journals and books. Nils is a graduate of Kansas State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has taught at the Boston Architectural College, Mississippi State University, and the University of Kansas.


Eddy Man is a practitioner, researcher, educator, and technologist in architectural, web, media, brand, and experience design. Eddy Man is currently the Director of Computing Strategy, Co-Director of the Computational Design Lab, and an Assistant Teaching Professor at Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture. A technologist and futurist at heart, Eddy Man is interested in interdisciplinary efforts to mutually augment design and technology—especially as they relate to the ethical and cultural implications of applied artificial intelligence in architectural design.

Eddy Man was awarded the George N. Pauly, Jr. Fellowship to join Carnegie Mellon University in 2014 and prior to that co-founded openUU, a design research agency based in Hong Kong. As the Technical Director, Eddy Man marketed for, managed, and delivered openUU projects that won four Best-of-Year Awards by Interior Design magazine and the 40-under-40 Award by Perspective Global magazine. While managing his practice in Hong Kong, Eddy Man taught at The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Interior Design Association.

Eddy Man received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and obtained his Master in Design Studies at Harvard University, with a concentration in Design Technology. Upon completion of his Master’s thesis, “Sandbox3D: Web App for Real-time Design Collaboration,” he was awarded the Digital Design Prize for “the most creative use of digital media in relation to the design professions.” Eddy Man has worked in the offices of POSCO A&C of Seoul, South Korea; Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York City; EPIPHYTE Lab of Ithaca, New York.