Kent State to Co-Lead New Center of Living Architecture

Sourced from Kent State University

At the 16th Annual CitiesAlive Conference recently held in New York City, a consortium of Ohio universities was selected as one of the first four North American regional centers of living architecture by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation.

Faculty from Kent State University will join colleagues from the University of Cincinnati and Heidelberg University to lead the Greater Ohio Living Architecture Center (GOLA), which will be dedicated to the study of integrating vegetation within and upon buildings as novel ecosystems. The center will engage vegetated roof and wall industries in research and training activities for the Great Lakes and Ohio region through meetings, academic symposia and professional training across the three university campuses over the next three years.

“The GOLA Center lays the foundation for cutting edge research, innovation and creative thought for Ohio faculty, students and industry professionals who are in the pursuit of developing environmentally responsible and ecologically productive cities,” said Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D., Kent State’s vice president for research and sponsored programs. “The efforts here will impact North America and the world.”

The Greater Ohio Living Architecture Center will be led by the new executive director, Reid Coffman, Ph.D., associate professor of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State.

“This is a great opportunity for Kent State, its faculty and its students to collaborate with academic colleagues and the growing number of professionals and businesses involved in the field of living architecture,” Dr. Coffman said.

Faculty from both Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the College of Arts and Sciences will participate to provide a multidisciplinary setting of investigation and communication around the growing discipline.

“Understanding buildings as living operational systems nested within and leveraging natural phenomena is key to next generation sustainable approaches to how we build and live,” said Mark Mistur, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State. “Applying biological approaches to the design, construction, inhabitation and operation of buildings will transform our buildings and cities, as well as the way our students and faculty approach designing them.”

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