Possible Mediums Conference | Knowlton School
Possible Mediums Exhibition | Liberty Gallery
Possible Mediums Exhibition | Jimenez Lai Workshop

Possible Mediums Project Wins ACSA Creative Achievement Award

The Possible Mediums Project, which began with a regional workshop hosted at the Knowlton School in February 2013, has won an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Creative Achievement Award. ACSA Creative Achievement Awards recognizes “a specific creative achievement in teaching, design, scholarship, research, or service that advances architectural education.” Knowlton School Assistant Professor of Architecture Kristy Balliet is one of four co-chairs of the project, along with colleagues at partner institutions the University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Chicago and Syracuse University.

Each year, ACSA honors architectural educators for their work in areas such as building design, community collaborations, scholarship, and service. Award winners inspire and challenge students, contribute to the profession’s knowledge base, and extend their work beyond the borders of academy into practice and the public sector. Possible Mediums received one of two Creative Achievements Awards presented by the ACSA this year. In their submission, Balliet and her co-chairs stated:

“The Possible Mediums Project advances a new pedagogical model of short-term, intensive design research, intended to supplement conventional architectural curricula. The unique format remakes the architectural conference and exhibition into a hybrid of interactive panel discussions and workshops projecting new, innovative educational models. To date, it has hosted fourteen workshops, a regional conference, an exhibition, and a dinner. Over two hundred students from four schools have participated in these events and countless more engaged in coordinated online dissemination.

“At the heart of our efforts is a belief in the pedagogical value of design, delivered in short, intensive workshops, which supplement and invigorate the long-term, slow-growth educational experiences in architecture studios. Workshops impart to students both specific design techniques and general modes of design thinking demonstrated and discussed by the invited guests from around the country. The growth achieved in this setting translates into lasting improvements in student learning outcomes by offering students the rare opportunity to work closely with experts outside their home institution. It also allows the students to develop meaningful mentor relationships with junior faculty. The collaboration across the schools had had an impact beyond specific events, fostering skills, creative work and an environment invigorated for learning.”

After the inaugural event in 2013, which brought 120 students, 18 designers and invited guests to Knowlton, a Possible Mediums Exhibition opened at the University of Michigan in January 2014, and, in November 2014, Syracuse Architecture NYC, located at SU's Fisher Center in Manhattan, hosted a gallery reception and symposium to celebrate the project. Currently, project organizers are gathering content for a Possible Mediums book to be published in 2015.