Fay Jones School to Host 'Place of Practice, Practice of Place' Symposium

The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design will host a symposium on Sept. 23-24 titled "The Place of Practice. The Practice of Place." All events will occur in Vol Walker Hall on the U of A campus.
Courtesy of Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design

The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design will host a symposium on Sept. 23-24 titled "The Place of Practice. The Practice of Place." All events will occur in Vol Walker Hall on the U of A campus.

The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design will host a symposium on Sept. 23-24 titled “The Place of Practice. The Practice of Place.” All events will occur in Vol Walker Hall on the U of A campus. Presentations are also accessible via Zoom.

The symposium is an extension of the exhibition “A South Forty: Contemporary Architecture and Design in the American South,” which was originally displayed at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, and is now on display in Vol Walker Hall from Sept. 23 to Dec. 16.

The symposium will survey the nature and importance of “place-centered practice” in the contemporary American South through evocations and observations provided by selected participants from the “South Forty” exhibition and other invited guests.

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, the 2020 AIA Gold Medalist and a Distinguished Professor and the E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture, is the chair of the symposium. 

“The Place symposium and the South Forty exhibition will bring together some of the South’s most distinguished architects, designers, historians and authors to discuss and debate architecture’s prime role in place-making,” Blackwell said. “Through a lens of timely topics that include nature, culture, rural, urban and our histories — past, present and future — the symposium will attempt to address how architecture and design, by constructing new identities for places, can create new context that offers social, environmental and spatial possibilities that enrich our communities and civic life.”

Symposium events begin at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, with a welcome and introductions by Peter MacKeith, dean and professor of architecture in the Fay Jones School.

Danielle A. Jackson, editor of Oxford American, will be on hand to discuss the magazine’s Place issues. Two U of A history professors will also present talks: Jeannie Whayne, Ph.D., University Professor, with “From Tenant Shack to Tractor Barns: The Emergence of a Modern South,” and Calvin White, Ph.D., associate professor, with “Reflections of a Black Southerner.”

After the presentations, MacKeith and Jonathan Boelkins, teaching assistant professor and exhibition designer for “A South Forty,” will discuss the exhibition at 4:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception. 

On Saturday, Blackwell will give an introduction and opening remarks at 9 a.m., followed by Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, Ph.D., Fay Jones School associate dean and professor of architecture, who will present “Mid-Century, Modern, and Southern: A Prologue to Contemporary Place and Praxis,” and Jori Erdman, professor of architecture at James Madison University, who will present “Towards a New New South Architecture.”

A series of panels discussions will follow: 

  • 10:30-11:45 a.m. — Session 1: Nature/Culture
    • Frank Harmon (Frank Harmon Architect / NC), Lori Santa-Rita (Jennings + Santa-Rita Architects / AR), Brandon Pace (Sanders Pace Architecture / TN) and Barry Yoakum/Todd Walker (Archimania / TN). Jeannie Whayne will moderate.
  • 1-2:15 p.m. — Session 2: Rural/Urban
    • Ray Huff (Huff + Gooden / SC), Katherine Hogan (Katherine Hogan Architects / NC), Eric Hoffman (Patterhn Ives, LLC / MO) and Steve Dumez (EskewDumezRipple / LA). Jori Erdman will moderate.
  • 2:30-3:45 p.m. — Session 3: Past/Present/Future
    • Roy Decker (Duvall Decker / MS), Edwin Harris (Evoke Studio / NC), Whitney Powers (Studio A Architecture / SC) and Roberto de Leon (de Leon + Primmer Architecture Workshop / KY). Ethel Goodstein-Murphree will moderate. 

Anne Marie Duvall of Duvall Decker will wrap up the presentations at 3:45 p.m. A closing reception is planned from 4:15-5:30 p.m.

For more information and ongoing updates, visit the A South Forty website.

About the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design: The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas houses undergraduate professional design programs of architecture, landscape architecture and interior architecture and design together with a liberal studies program. The school also offers a Master of Design Studies, with concentrations in health and wellness design, resiliency design, integrated wood design, and retail and hospitality design. The DesignIntelligence 2019 School Rankings Survey listed the school among the most hired from architecture, landscape architecture and interior design schools, ranking 10th, 14th and eighth, respectively, as well as 28th among most admired architecture schools. 

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.


Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu


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