Calibrations

Calibrations is the School of Architecture and Urban Planning’s publication of student design and research. Produced both as a means of presenting student work and a means of gauging the progress SARUP has made in the past few years, Calibrations is the most comprehensive representation of the school’s design work and pedagogical identity.

Following is an excerpt from this year’s editors:

Nearly a decade has passed since the inception of Calibrations, a journal which introduces architectural design and research produced by students in the Department of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning (SARUP). Following the format of the previous Calibrations, the most recent issue presents a cross section of studio life, including core studios, elective studios, second studio/seminars, Master’s theses, and Ph.D. research. Accepting the limitations of this broad overview, Calibrations 3 presents the academic design sequence of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum through an array of projects which share a symbiosis between the act of making and place. The theme for this third edition, positions, thus emerged for its triple meanings: first, the conscious act of placing or arranging; second, the laying down of a thesis or a point of view; and third, a relative place, situation, or location. These nuanced interpretations offer a lens through which to view the program’s many facets.

In terms of the literal act of arranging, Calibrations 3 positions the design work of the undergraduate and graduate core curriculum sequentially, followed by special emphasis on twenty-eight elective studios. The editorial team felt it important to present the studio core foundation at the beginning—as much for chronological clarity as for our ability to provoke internal critique. In this way, the journal remains true to its original intentions: to serve its dual purpose as mode of dissemination, and method by which our faculty calibrates its efforts over time.

Calibrations 3 reflects broadened course offerings, the appointment of new faculty, the creation of cross-disciplinary and externally-funded studios, special topics studios associated with two international design awards, as well as several new and continuing abroad programs with global emphases. Within the context of this tremendous growth and ensuing heterogeneity of work, the second and third meanings of positions—the laying down of a thesis, and a relative place, situation, location—are most interesting to contemplate. We observed several pedagogical themes which actively leverage the school’s geographic position. It suggests that this edition’s thesis is intimately intertwined with a renewed consciousness about our school’s relative place in the Midwest, on the Great Lakes. This perception was evident in past Calibrations, and is perhaps ever more pronounced today as SARUP, and the discipline of architecture on the whole, operates with greater global awareness.

-Grace La and Mo Zell