CUDC Researchers Find Agricultural Potential in Car Park Retrofit


A student-faculty research project, executed during an independent study between graduate student Claire Markwardt and Dr. Reid Coffman, found it feasible to retrofit existing car parks for urban agricultural production if they implement innovative design strategies. Markwardt determined simply retrofitting a car park roof deck with an agricultural roof system that was growing conventional produce did not generate enough capital to offset the loss of parking revenue.  However, when the same building was modeled with specialized crop production, such as herbs, and implemented living walls, the retrofit became three to six times more profitable than similar agriculture rooftops. With assistance from CUDC faculty, Dr. Reid Coffman, Dr. Adil Sharag-Eldin and Professor Charles Graves, Markwardt concludes that economic feasibility relies on a combination of niche market vegetable and food product production and design innovation to deliver these products. Her findings were presented last month at CitiesAlive: 10th Annual International Green Roof and Wall Conference in San Francisco, California, in a paper entitled ‘Parking Produce: Assessment of Agricultural Applications on Car Parks’.

Ms. Markwardt is a graduate researcher and studio teaching assistant in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University.



Screening of Archiculture at KSU & CUDC

Co-Director/Producer of Archiculture, Ian Harris, will screen his film at Kent State University’s Schwartz Center Auditorium Thursday, November 21, 2013. Following the film there will be a panel discussion on film-making process, studio culture, and the new CAED building. The event will be held from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.

Ian Harris will also participate in a screening of Archiculture as part out the CUDC’s Lunch Lecture Series on Friday, November 22, 2013 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. Both events are free and open to the public.

Archiculture Official Trailer from arbuckle industries on Vimeo.

Archiculture takes a thoughtful, yet critical look at the architectural studio. The film offers a unique glimpse into the world of studio-based, design education through the eyes of a group of students finishing their final design projects. Interviews with leading professionals, historians and educators help create crucial dialog around the key issues faced by this unique teaching methodology.

About Ian Harris – Co-Director/Producer

Ian graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a focus in Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati. After graduating, Ian moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue his architectural career. His first job out of school, is where the film’s two creators met. He completed film classes through Empty Kingdom Media and has spent the past seven years devoted to developing his cinematic eye. He currently balances time between being the head Technology Coordinator for the Center for Architecture, teaching Design Education residencies to public school students, and producing films on the built environment through his co-founded production company, Arbuckle Industries.



NYRP’s Executive Director, Amy Freitag | Akron Roundtable | Nov. 21


The Akron Roundtable was established in 1976 as a community forum to encourage and bring bold, creative and new ideas to the region.  To date, more than 400 major corporate executives, writers, government officials, artists, and civic leaders from around the country have shared their thoughts on subjects of global, national and regional importance with Akron Roundtable audiences.

Held at noon on the third Thursday of every month, Akron Roundtable is a non-partisan forum (the Roundtable does not take positions on issues), and all speakers are asked to respond to written questions from the audience.  Each event, held at the Quaker Station located adjacent to the Quaker Square Inn on the campus of The University of Akron, begins at 12:00 noon with the speaker’s address immediately followed by a question and answer session. Doors open for the event at 11:45 a.m.  The event concludes at approximately 1:15 p.m.

November’s topic: Building a Resilient City, featuring speaker Amy Freitag, Executive Director of the New York Restoration Project (NYRP).

As Executive Director, Freitag leads the NYRP, founded in 1995 by famed entertainer Bette Midler, with the mission to transform open space in under served communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City.  Freitag came to the NYRP in 2010 with a professional background that includes serving in the Bloomberg Administration as Deputy Commissioner for Capital Projects in the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation for six years and Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.

For more information and tickets.

Akron Roundtable
November 21, 2013
11:45 AM – 1:15 PM
Quaker Station


GIS Workshop with Lisl Kotheimer | Nov. 15

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Urban Design: An Introductory Workshop

GIS enables designers to use and create spatial information for understanding and designing places and their context. By viewing and overlaying thematic layers of geographic information, we can better integrate the built and natural environments and design places that are more beautiful, equitable, ecologically healthy, and economically robust. GIS maps are both a design tool and a design outcome. This workshop will acquaint you with the basic principles and mechanics of GIS and inspire you to produce maps and diagrams that are clear, informative, and visually compelling.

The GIS workshop will be held at the CUDC on November 15, from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM. It is free and open to the public, but non KSU students must bring their own GIS equipped laptops. Space is limited so please RSVP to cudc @ kent.edu if you would like to attend.


About the Instructor
Lisl Kotheimer is a Columbus, Ohio-based design professional. Her professional interests center around design representation, communication, design research, critical inquiry, and strategy. Her expertise include graphic design, 3-D modeling and rendering, digital design, and fabrication. Lisl has worked with several award-winning design practices in Boston and Columbus on a wide variety of projects from concept to implementation. To see more of her work please visit lislkotheimer.com.


Dennis Crompton founder of Archigram | Nov. 13-14


Dennis Crompton—a founding member of the avant-garde British architecture collective, Archigram—will present his work at Kent State University on November 13-14.

Based in London from 1961 to 1975, the six members of Archigram collaborated on a series of groundbreaking drawings, models, exhibitions, project proposals, and an eponymous magazine that challenged contemporary conceptions of architectural production.  Their provocative futurist imagery, which celebrated mobility, technology, infrastructure, and popular culture, continues to influence the work of many of today’s leading experimental architecture practices.


As an architect, curator, inventor, book designer, and founder of the Archigram Archives, Dennis Crompton is conspicuously in charge of all the technical matters that form part of Archigram’s output.  He is an enthusiast of gadgets, machines, techniques, and systems who relishes every opportunity to make a bigger and better and more “bang-in-the-night” apparatus.  Crompton was responsible, with Ron Herron, for the assembly and design of the major exhibition, “Archigram: Experimental Architecture 1961-74,” which opened in Vienna in 1994 and continues to travel the world.  He has lectured widely and taught architecture and urban design at leading international schools including the Architectural Association, The Bartlett (UCL), Cooper Union, and Washington University in St. Louis. The Royal Institute of British Architects awarded Archigram the Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 2002.


Dennis Crompton will present a public lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7:00 PM in the Schwartz Center Auditorium at the Kent State University College of Architecture & Environmental Design.  Crompton will also host a subsequent evening of video screenings from the Archigram Archives on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. The screening is 6:00 PM with a refreshments and happy hour preceding at 5:00 PM. The CUDC event is co-sponsored by the AIA Cleveland Associates Committee.

Admission to both events is free and open to the public.  All are invited to attend.