Leslie Weisman, Author of "The Sex of Architecture," and Australian Architect Sean Godsell to Speak at UB this Month

Both known for the promotion of human-oriented, socially responsible architecture

Release Date: September 17, 2004 This content is archived.


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Leslie Weisman

Sean Godsell

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Leslie Weisman, a star in the field of architectural theory and education and the author of several books on gender and design, and Australian Sean Godsell, architect of several award-winning houses, will present slide lectures at the University at Buffalo this month as part of the annual series sponsored by the School of Architecture and Planning.

Weisman is well-known for her articulate, provocative and superbly researched feminist critique of the man-made environment, which, she says, reflects and produces many of our social problems. She will appear in collaboration with UB's 2004 Gender Week Program at 5:30 p. m. Sept. 21 in 301 Crosby Hall on the UB South (Main Street) Campus.

Godsell is a Melbourne-based architect who has received many awards and is recognized in particular for his development of alternative housing solutions for displaced populations. In 2002, the influential British design magazine Wallpaper cited him as one of 10 people in the world "destined to change the way we live."

He will lecture on Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in 301 Crosby Hall.

Both events are free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception honoring the speakers.

Weisman is professor and former associate dean of the School of Architecture at New Jersey Institute of Technology, which she helped found, since 1975. She has dedicated her career to defining and solving the problems that plague society through socially responsible architectural education and community activism.

Her work offers insight into how educators, design professionals and concerned citizens can contribute to the making of a better, most-just society through reshaping the built and planned environment to foster relationships of human equity and environmental health and wholeness.

Weisman's work has been discussed widely in national and international newspapers, peer-reviewed journals and magazines. A widely sought-after speaker, she has received many awards for public service and teaching excellence, including the 1994 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture National Creative Achievement Award for her sustained body of work in multiculturalism and service learning.

She is the author of "Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-Made Environment," selected as "One of the Best Academic Books of 1993," as "An Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights in the United States" in 1994 and published in a Chinese-language edition in 1997. She is co-editor of "The Sex of Architecture," which received an American Institute of Architects International Book Publishing Award for Excellence in Design Theory in 1997, and she has published more than 40 other texts that include book chapters, scholarly papers, articles and book reviews.

Godsell sees one of the roles of first-world, democratic countries as humanitarian, and so designed the "Future Shack," a prototype for emergency and relief housing that utilizes recycled shipping containers.

It was housed on the grounds of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in May as part of its "SOLOS" exhibition series, which explored innovative and pragmatic shelter alternatives for populations displaced by war, natural disaster or political pressure.

Mass-produced, inexpensive and easy to ship and stockpile, the "Future Shacks" is approximately 8-feet-wide by 8-feet-high by 20-feet-long, and adequate size for temporary housing. Through its use of a prefabricated, universal unit and a roof capable of site-specific material manipulation, it embodies the contradictions of contemporary life.

In July 2003, Godsell received a citation from the president of the American Institute of Architects for his work for the homeless.

His built works include churches, towers and other buildings, most of which are residential structures. A popular speaker, he has lectured previously in the U.S., United Kingdom, China and New Zealand, as well as across Australia, and is the recipient of more than a score of international awards for his work.

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