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The Board of BTES and the Conference Organizers are very pleased to announce that the BTES 2017 Conference will be held in Des Moines, Iowa on June 8-10, 2017.  Below you will find the Call for Papers with a two-staged process and abstracts due on September 15, 2016. The 2017 Conference with its theme of Poetics + Pragmatism promises to be an exceptional conference and we encourage you to submit to this event. 

“Talk is cheap and easy; making dreams real takes hard, humble work. Dreams in the Midwest are acceptable, just keep them to yourself. Maybe tell your family, but don’t just talk—do something about it.”             Peter Jenkins, Looking for Alaska

Iowa opened to European-American settlers in 1834, and ever since it has been a place where Americans have held a tenuous grip on the land and against a climate that resists occupation.  Its soil produces grain for the entire continent; its legendary work ethic has fueled generations of farmers but also writers, poets, musicians, and astronomers.  It is a place that takes the real world seriously, but that has also raised the products of such engagement to poetic levels; the novels of Marilynne Robinson, the music of Greg Brown, and the paintings of Grant Wood all speak to this possibility among the sublime landscapes of our state.  But it is also a place of technological engagement and advancement: Iowa State can make a legitimate claim to be the birthplace of digital computing, a legacy reflected in its investment in fabrication and analysis initiatives today.

BTES’ first meeting in the Midwest offers an opportunity to ask how building can address both practical and poetic desires.  The ‘hard, humble work’ of constructing in an indifferent environment can balance our needs with what that environment has to offer while touching our deeper sensibilities.  Indeed, cognitive science has produced evidence suggesting that beauty, in the words of Denis Dutton, is “nature’s way of acting at a distance,” an instinctive preference for objects, landscapes, and sustenance that can leverage our relations with the world.

How do the pragmatics and the poetics of building coincide?  How do they resist, challenge, or provoke one another?  How do buildings and the ways in which we build bridge realms of material performance and aesthetics?  And how does a new generation of tools collide with, enhance, or critique these traditions?  We seek papers on a broad range of topics that address how and why we build, that examine technology and techne in the contexts of function, beauty, and poetics, and that reveal these links both in contemporary practice and throughout history.  Papers that address Midwestern traditions are particularly welcome, but we seek a broad mix of geographical, conceptual, and disciplinary approaches.

Submit abstracts of no more than 500 words via EasyChair. Papers will be reviewed in a two-stage process.

Deadline for abstracts: 15 September 2016 Notifications to Authors:  1 November 2016 Final Papers Due: 1 March 2017 Notification of Paper Acceptance:  15 April 2017


Shelby Doyle, AIA, LEED AP, Assistant Professor in Architecture and Daniel J. Huberty Faculty Fellow

Tom Leslie, AIA, Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture and Director of Graduate Education

Rob Whitehead, AIA, LEED AP, Assistant Professor in Architecture ​


Every other year, the Building Technology Educators Society presents the Emerging Faculty Award to an outstanding, rising educator in building technology education who has demonstrated particular excellence in teaching and innovation during the formative years of their architectural teaching career. 

This year, the Jury reviewed the submissions of twenty two outstanding, emerging building technology educators -- more than double the number of submissions in 2011.   After thorough and thoughtful deliberations, it is our great honor to bestow the 2013 Emerging Faculty Award upon Marci S. Uihlein,
P. E., and Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In addition to her notable credentials and enthusiastic letters of support from her colleagues, the jury was very impressed by Professor Uihlein’s thorough and innovative approaches to teaching building technology and the integration of building technology into the architectural design process.  The jury found her teaching methods and assignments to be particularly outstanding and creative, encouraging students to observe the world around them and to imagine new worlds through a deeper understanding of mechanics and materials.  Across the many courses that Professor Uihlein teaches, her core teaching principles are evident.  She demonstrates excellence in teaching across all “scales”, from the introduction of conceptual ideas to the design and analysis of complex structural systems.  Her teaching is marked by an exemplary devotion to the integration of technology and design, and her students’ design work demonstrates a high level of achievement in architectural technology.

We are inspired by Professor Uihlein’s teaching and evident contributions to the curriculum of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her students’ understanding of building technology.  The feedback of her students further reinforces our confidence in Professor Uihlein’s future as an outstanding – and influential – educator in building technology.

The Jury consisted of Christine Theodoropulos, Dean of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Jury chair; John Ochsendorf, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, MIT; and Aimee Buccellato, School of Architecture, Notre Dame University, representing BTES.

The EFA committee consisted of Michele Chiuini, BTES President-elect, and Aimee Buccellato, BTES Board member.

Our congratulations to the other applicants. The caliber of all of the submissions was very high.

BTES 2013 Group


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