Charles Linn
School of Architecture & Design

Architecture Department hosting Food, Energy + Water Symposium

Wed, 01/13/2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Department of Architecture is hosting INFEWS: Innovations at the Nexus of Food + Energy + Water Symposium. The event will join distinguished researchers and design professionals from across the U.S. with faculty and students from KU departments to study issues related to the health of interrelated food, energy and water systems and the built environment. These have been subjected to increasing pressure from climate change, population growth and resource depletion.

The event will start Jan. 21 and ends at noon Jan. 23. The third annual Water Charrette for students is part of the symposium, as is a three-hour workshop on green roofs sponsored by Tremco. It is the third year in a row the department has put on an event related to these topics. 

INFEWS, underwritten by a grant from the National Science Foundation, will help galvanize research collaboration among faculty across multiple disciplines and facilitate applied research with design professionals. This interdisciplinary network of scholars and designers will interact in panel discussions and small group breakout sessions.

Associate Professor of Architecture Steve Padget, an INFEWS organizer, said the symposium will support integrated experimental research toward what he calls a "food-energy-water socio-technical systems model" that fosters safer and more efficient management of these resources.

"Besides awareness, one outcome we hope for is that we can create an integrated approach to building up the next generation of professionals who can work with INFEWS-related issues," he said.

Panel discussions taking place in Spooner Hall include distinguished invited speakers from around the globe. KU alumnus Steve McDowell, principal of the firm BNIM Architecture, Kansas City, Missouri, is a featured speaker for Friday’s first panel, which begins at 8 a.m., also in Spooner.     ​  

Students attending the event will also have an opportunity to participate in the Water Charrette. This 24-hour design exercise will give them the opportunity to seek solutions to an assigned design problem related to food, water and energy. Students begin to design at 9:30 a.m. Friday and will begin presentations of their final designs at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

On Friday, Tremco, a roofing manufacturer, is offering a seminar for design professionals that focuses on the importance of controlling stormwater runoff and proactively addressing water conservation. Green roofs will be reviewed in depth as a viable means to address these concerns. This seminar is eligible for AIA Continuing Education credits.

To find out more about the INFEWS, the Water Charrette, and Tremco seminar, see a schedule, speaker bios and registration information please visit the INFEWS pages. 

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