Mining the Kentucky Context


        The following projects represent the tangible outcomes of three collaborative design studios between 2004 and 2012 under the direction of Professor Gregory A. Luhan, the Associate Dean for Research at the University of Kentucky College of Design. The range and varying scales of the projects move from installations to inhabitations and ultimately capture the creative and pluralist aspects of today's leading edge, site-malleable, and sustainable architecture. These projects are part of an extended architectural investigation led by Professor Luhan since 1998 where high-performance built environments merge hands-on design with building construction at both partial- and full-scale. The Luhan Studio is based upon an hybridized approach to practice and to teaching —a philosophy that aggregates theory, research, and design and infuses it with ideas and methods that question representationalnorms and ultimately, the practice of architecture today. It is within thiscontext that the Resonance House, s.ky blue solarhouse, and the Triangle House projects situate.

Solar Decathalon

        The speed of social and cultural change today creates a need for experimentation and discovery of relevant form and theory. The Luhan Studio believes that this can only take place through one's ability to think and to act critically. The studio's systems-thinking research continues to evolve and it is evident that projects rooted in digital innovation offer reason to be both enthusiastic and curious about their implications especially within an academic setting. The process of mining the Kentucky context has provided the Luhan Studio with a critical opportunity for advancing the architectural profession—widening the knowledge base of our built environment—while forging critical relationships with disciplines outside architecture, most notably engineering, education, communication, computer science, physics, and the fine arts. The uniqueness of the studio's multidisciplinary stance allows the students who participate in the Studio to simultaneously work at a very high degree of proficiency at a variety of levels, scales, media, and contexts while individually identifying future research trajectories and design opportunities.

Solar Decathalon

        As presented in the depth and breadth of the Resonance House, s.ky blue solarhouse, and the Triangle House projects, the students have received a thorough theoretical grounding while defining a critical approach to architecture, design, construction, fabrication, and urbanism. This collective experience has allowed the students to work on both theoretical projects and built projects from initial concept to construction administration, not solely as a means of project documentation, but more importantly as an operative condition, that has resulted in a new way of looking at space, form, image and meaning. The studio is therefore viewed a synergistic mechanism that challenges students to see the world in new ways by actively observing as means of enabling enhanced discovery that is simultaneously up-to-date and timeless.