Galen Pardee

Undergraduate Discipline

Visual and Studio Arts

BA, Brandeis University. MArch, Columbia University Graduate School of Architure, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP). Pardee directs the design and research studio Drawing Agency, which explores dimensions of architectural advocacy, material economy, adaptive reuse, and expanded practice through writing, exhibitions, and design commissions in New York City, California, and Colorado. Research projects have been funded by The Ohio State University, Columbia University GSAPP, and the Graham Foundation and published in Avery Review, Faktur Journal, Urban Omnibus, and Thresholds, among others. Drawing Agency’s work has been included in solo exhibitions, group shows, and symposia in the United States and abroad, including the Chicago Architectural Biennial and Venice Architecture Biennale. Pardee has taught at Columbia University GSAPP, Barnard University, University of Tennessee, and The Ohio State University, where he was the LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow. SLC, 2022–

Undergraduate Courses 2021-2022

Visual and Studio Arts

100-Year Buildings—Architecture on the Material-Planetary Time Scale

Open, Seminar—Spring

Carl Elefante, 2018 AIA President, is perhaps best known for coining the phrase, “The greenest building is one that is already built.” Inherent in this ethos is an understanding of how much of the stuff of architecture—the steel, concrete, and gypsum detritus that populates global construction sites—lingers on after the final punch list. As architects face the remainder of the 21st century with the knowledge that buildings comprise 36 percept of global energy use and 39 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions annually, Elefante’s proposition takes on renewed urgency. What would it mean for architects to embrace a planetary scale of material and temporal relationships? Which material logics and construction systems might take precedence under these new circumstances? Are there new metrics that we can create which take into account embodied and lifetime costs of our built environment? How can we reshape our discipline to ensure responsible environmental stewardship for our buildings’ present and future clients, as well as for the public at large? The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) estimates that the building sector’s global floor area will double by 2060, representing not only the construction of new buildings but also the destruction of existing structures that may not have reached the end of their lives. For example, reinforced concrete can take up to a century to fully harden and cure; glass and steel can last decades before becoming compromised. Rather than a narrow relationship of client and program and site, this studio understands that each of these relationships are fleeting and changeable relative to the lifetimes of construction assemblies and climate change. Failing to account for life after a particular client’s lease is up or the changes wrought on the site by shifting ecological or political climates may resign a building to demolition and failure. How can architects better design with the material-planetary timescale in mind from the beginning? What scenarios about politics and regulation do we build into our design processes to guide programmatic and material assumptions? What is fixed, and what is flexible—in both our building systems and in our profession? What is the future of architectural practice in a world where wholesale demolition and new construction is climatically irresponsible?

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