Department of Architecture Skype Lecture: “Architects in Alternative Roles and mentoring creative design”
Date: 30/05/2019 Thursday
Time, Place: 16:30, FFZ-21
Lecturer: Kristian Wren Frederickson
Architectural Education is a wonderful academic platform that allows graduates to work in array of related fields. Many times, graduates have interests and creative predispositions that do not necessarily align with traditional practice. Exploration of these alternative futures may include film, VFX, gaming design, 3D modeling, themed environments, show set design, lighting, rendering and the telling of stories (the narration of visual experience). With this in mind, it could be suggested that design curricula and teaching methodologies might be augmented to embrace these adjacent creative fields of endeavor. Studio environments and teaching methodology may benefit from a better understanding of learning theory, creative/divergent thinking, interpersonal communication, a well-researched overview of job opportunities in these allied fields of interest, and comprehensive digital fluencies that benefit an array of subsequent creative activity.
A decision to pursue an academic opportunity in design education is exciting and brings pressure to bear on the development of more in-depth knowledge of these topics as well as how to effectively communicate these complex mental activities to others. It can be difficult for students when specific design styles and processes are imposed without a firm understanding of student learning styles and their future ambitions. Everyone is different. Everyone has learning style predispositions. As educators we need to identify individual learning styles, and find what aspects inspire individual students. Then the challenge is to work collaboratively with them to overcome and execute their expressionistic vision and the wide variety of needs of the project in question. What makes the student curious and inspires him/her enough to continue learning? It can be suggested that the primary job of a mentor is to embrace the student’s topics of interest and induce appropriate sources of inspiration, and from there prescribe alternative processes, skills and tools to successfully execute the design. We need to understand that as creative designers/artists, the enemy is ego. Creating a studio environment where one is encouraged to explore and not be afraid of taking risks is essential. One is always learning, and if you aren’t, you risk falling behind. It is exciting to learn from the students as well as assist them to realize their aspirations. This is what motivates many effective design educators to create and to educate.
Kristian Wren Frederickson was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, but has traveled a great deal internationally. He received his B. ARCH from the University of Arizona, completing two years of aerospace engineering before deciding to transfer to Architecture. Wren is quite interested in VFX and digital design, so he continued his education with Gnomon school of visual effects in Hollywood. He has experience in major architectural offices such as SHoP Architects, New York City, where he worked as a digital fabricator, on projects such as the Barclays Center and the 111 West 57th street tower. He has also worked in smaller scale architectural offices. Wren currently works as a Freelancer working on residential architectural projects and short film projects. Wren has been working with various digital modeling, rendering and compositing tools to create projects ranging from architectural to automotive concept design, digital art and the telling of stories through a collaborative directorial effort. He is fluent in programs such as, (Rhino, Maya, Nuke X, Nuke Studio, Arnold Render, Substance Designer, Keyshot, Octane Render, 3ds Max, Autocad, Revit, PS, AI, etc.). Wren specializes in architectural, Industrial and automotive concept design and 3d modeling for both real world applications and entertainment purposes.