Dan Rolf
Architecture & Design

Fall 2020 Architectural Lecture Series focusing on design responses to COVID-19 crisis

Wed, 09/09/2020

LAWRENCE — For fall 2020, the School of Architecture & Design’s Architecture Lecture Series curators teamed with the school’s Institute for Health + Wellness Design to create a series of “Grand Rounds” lectures that will address health care design during and after the current COVID-19 health crisis. 

“Amid the pandemic, this timely lecture series brings academic and industry leaders currently navigating the technological, social and environmental factors that are forever changing architectural research and practice,”  said Keith Van de Riet, associate professor of architecture and one of the lecture series curators.

All events take place at noon the second Thursday of the month via Zoom. The lecture series is as follows:

Sept. 10 | COVID/Care/Community 

How can architecture support responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic and other crises caused by natural and manmade disasters? This panel discussion will address the public health characteristics of the current COVID-19 event, how the architecture community is responding to support communitywide initiatives, specific health care building strategies and post-event disaster recovery efforts.


  • Rachel Minnery, FAIA, senior director of Resilience, Adaptation & Disaster Assistance at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 
  • Molly Scanlon, Ph.D., FAIA, FACHA, director of Standards, Compliance & Research at Phigenics, AIA COVID-19 Task Force member  
  • David Vincent, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP, principal and director of health at HKS Architects 

Virtual reality (VR) software is emerging as an important tool in creative design and for communications with users and clients. This session will explore the current state of the technology and how it can fit into the overall design process. Research into the effectiveness of this tool compared to other methods for client input will be presented along with insights into the future of VR. 


  • Callum Vierthaler, AIA, EDAC, LEED, architect at Pulse Design Group 
  • Deborah Wingler, Ph.D., EDAC, health research lead, vice president at HKS Architects  

Current restrictions on travel, group meetings and office work environments have resulted in radical shifts in the practice of architecture. Are these permanent changes in the way we work, are they temporary “blips” in the design process, or will there be some blend in virtual and traditional practice? This panel will explore the short- and long-term implications from an industrywide perspective and from practitioners leading large- and medium-size firms.   


  • Phillip G Bernstein, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP, associate dean and professor adjunct at the Yale School of Architecture
  • Heather Chung, MDA, vice president and Healthcare Studio Leader at SmithGroup
  • Richard Embers, AIA, ACHA, principal at Pulse Design Group 

Each semester, the Architecture Lecture Series welcomes architecture and experiential design leaders from around the country to the School of Architecture & Design. Lecturers bring a wide range of expertise in areas such as sustainable building, digital environments, public interest design, historic preservation, health and wellness design, and more. 

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