Plenary Speakers

The International Conference on the Constructed Environment will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Kathryn H. Anthony Ryan E. Smith
Robert Bruegmann
Erik M. Hemingway
Aaron Levy

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations – unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Kathryn H. Anthony

Kathryn H. Anthony At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Architecture Kathryn H. Anthony is its longest serving female faculty member, its only female Full Professor, the first woman to have served as Chair of the Design Program Faculty and as Chair of the Building Research Council. She holds the lifetime title of Distinguished Professor from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). She received national awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the ACSA, and the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). She holds a Ph.D. in architecture and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. The author of Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession (2001, 2008), Design Juries on Trial: The Renaissance of the Design Studio (1991)and over 100 publications, Dr. Anthony has served as a spokesperson about gender issues in architecture on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, National Public Radio (NPR), The Chicago Tribune, The Economist, The Los Angeles Times, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. The New York Times (April 13, 2009) featured her words as the ‘Quotation of the Day’. Dr. Anthony testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Washington, DC on May 12, 2010 in support of H.R. 4869, The Bipartisan Restroom Gender Parity in Federal Buildings Act. Her testimony and publications on gender and family issues in public restrooms are entered into the US Congressional Record. A former Chair of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, she is currently Co-Chair of the Provost’s Gender Equity Council, spearheading a movement to incorporate gender equity issues into the design review process for new buildings and major renovations on campus. Her course on gender and race in contemporary architecture has been taught for almost 20 years.

Throughout her academic career, Dr. Anthony has served as a catalyst to challenge and change architectural education and practice, inspiring faculty to create more humane learning environments, architects to create more humane working environments, and students to empower themselves.Her teaching, research, writing, and service have educated hundreds of architecture students, faculty, and practitioners—and the public—about the critical importance of designing for diversity and designing spaces for people.


Robert Bruegmann

Robert BruegmannRobert Bruegmann is an historian and critic of the built environment. He received his PhD in art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and since 1979 has been at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is currently Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning. He has also taught at the Philadelphia College of Art, Columbia University and MIT. Among his books are the award-winning The Architects and the City: Holabird & Roche of Chicago 1880-1918 published in 1998, the controversial Sprawl: A Compact History, 2005 and The Architecture of Harry Weese, 2010. His main areas of research are in the history of architecture, urban planning, landscape and historic preservation.


Erik M. Hemingway

Erik M. HemingwayErik M Hemingway’s projects have been internationally recognized with awards over the last two decades in such publications as architecture, Architectural Record, Global Architecture and *surface in addition to recent inclusion to the 2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. Previous to establishing his critical practice, he worked in the offices of Arquitectonica and the Pritzker Laureate Zaha M. Hadid. hemingway+a/studio is now based in Chicago located in a Mies van der Rohe tower that serves as a space for his current design research. He also teaches design in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign where he was the 2006 Faculty Excellence Hire. In collaboration with public artist Allison Warren, he established M-USE (Modernism-Upgrade Spatial Experiments) in the summer 2011 located in Urbana as a 3 week intensive workshop, specializing in flat-pack rapid deployable pre-fabricated built outcomes liberating conventional mundane domestic prototypes.


Aaron Levy

Aaron LevyAaron Levy is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Slought Foundation, and lectures in the English and History of Art Departments at the University of Pennsylvania. He recently completed a PhD at the University of Leeds on the cultural politics of display at the Venice Architecture Biennale, where he co-curated the exhibition “Into the Open” for the US Pavilion (2008) and then co-edited “Architecture on Display: On the living history of the Venice Architecture Biennale”for the Architectural Association (2010). His current activities at Slought Foundation have developed reflexively in response to local and global conditions, and are situated at the intersection of art, social theory, and advocacy. He writes and publishes frequently; “Evasions of Power: On the Architecture of Adjustment” is forthcoming from Slought Foundation in 2011, and “Towards a Politics of Evasiveness” is available online in the May 2011 issue of Domus.


Ryan E. Smith

Ryan E. SmithRyan E. Smith is an Associate Professor and Director of an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to lean and sustainable design and construction inquiry called the Integrated Technology in Architecture Center (ITAC). He is a researcher, educator, author and speaker on the integration paradigm and building technology. He is author of Prefab Architecture: a guide to modular design and construction (Wiley, 2010) and co-editor of Building Systems: design technology & society (Routledge, 2012). He serves as the educational chair on the AIA Center for Integrated Practice Leadership Group, and is a member of the Lean Construction Institute. He is currently President of the Building Technology Educators’ Society (BTES), an academic group of building technology and building science educators. His plenary talk titled “Constructed Economies and Ecologies” will feature research on synthetically constructed environmental technology – society binary.