KSA Hosts Possible Mediums Conference


The Possible Mediums conference, which took place at The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture, February 7- 10, 2013, brought together 18 designers, and 120 students from the event’s four co-host schools: The Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Architecture, University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, and University of Kentucky’s College of Design. The conference also brought to Knowlton Hall special guests John McMorrough and Jeffrey Kipnis, who participated in design workshops and formal discussions surrounding the question of mediums in contemporary architecture. Challenging the boundaries of architectural convention, the invited workshop leaders led students in exploratory processes rooted in mediums external to the discipline (such as film or comics) or developed from atypical applications of more conventional mediums (such as drawings or models). The conference results, both in design and discourse, demonstrate the profound potential of an expansion and diversification of architectural mediums as format, as material, and as a means of projection.

KSA Assistant Professor Kristy Balliet, Possible Mediums Co-Chair, curated the Excessive Volume group. Her research connected designers who orchestrated depth and calibrated spatial intervals with sharp expertise. The group’s approach surpassed an internal discourse of generative computing in favor of a broader focus on the tectonic, optical and atmospheric effects generated by volumetric modeling.

This year’s KSA Howard E. LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow Justin Diles participated in Excessive Volumes group as the leader of the workshop entitled Buckled Primitives. The designers within this group emphasized volumetric precision, relationships of solid to void, and large scale effects through the experimentation across multiple scales. They transformed and developed techniques for utilizing surface distortions and employed vectorial tactics. Their work focused on the dynamic sequencing of volumes, choreographed junctures, and the orchestration of a spectacle. KSA Associate Professor Stephen Turk acted as a respondent on the Figural Projections panel moderated by Assistant Professor Kelly Bair of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Conference Chairs:

Kristy Balliet from The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, Kelly Bair from University of Illinois at Chicago / School of Architecture, Adam Fure from University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, and Kyle Miller from University of Kentucky College of Design.

Guest Speakers:

Jeffrey Kipnis and John McMorrough

Workshop Leaders:

Ellie Abrons, Andrew Atwood, Angela Co, Brennan Buck, Justin Diles, David Freeland, Andrew Holder, Mariana Ibañez, Jason Kelly Johnson, Thomas Kelley, Simon Kim, Jimenez Lai, Michael Loverich, and Michael Young


For videos and details visit the Possible Mediums conference website.

Using #possiblemediums, attendees posted real-time comments and images of the conference to Instagram and Twitter. The KSA's Digital Resources Curator Meghan Frazer assembled them using Storify

Possible Mediums received coverage by external publications, such as suckerPUNCH and Domus Magazine.