Architecture Assistant Professor Jennifer Akerman has been named the 2019-2021 James Johnson Dudley Faculty Scholar.
Akerman’s research and creative work proposal, Living Architecture: Hybrid Ecologies in the Built Environment, challenges the “virtue of the architect’s certainty of an outcome and sense of control for the result her effort might have in the built environment. Given increasing instability and uncertainty in many aspects of life—political frameworks, climate change, global economics—the illusion of control implied within the stability of architecture is ripe for re-evaluation. By focusing on architecture’s role within an active ecosystem of people, living organisms, atmospheres and environmental phenomena, alternative design sensitivities can emerge. These agents animate the work in ways that are unpredictable, surprising and elusive, and they are often fully overlooked.”
The James Johnson Dudley Faculty Scholar Award Endowment came about in 2011 through the Chancellor’s Faculty Salary Support Challenge. Given by Elizabeth Wall in honor of her son, Jimmy Dudley, a 1986 graduate of the School of Architecture, the award honors professors who believed in Dudley and those “who are honing the dreams of students day after day,” said Wall in a 2011 interview. “Teachers give flight to the what-ifs and maybes,” she said.
The honor is bestowed biannually to a tenured or tenure-track member of the faculty in the College of Architecture and Design. Nominations are reviewed by college administrators, including the dean, school directors and associate deans, as well as two qualified jurors from outside of the college. This year, the two external reviewers were Tim Hulsey, Assoc. Provost of UT’s Honors and Scholars Program, and John Zomchick, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.
Funding from the Dudley award augments research and publication initiatives. At the end of her two-year appointment, Akerman will deliver a lecture or produce an exhibit describing the work made possible through the award.
Past James Johnson Dudley Faculty Scholars include Interior Architecture Asst. Professor Liz Teston (2017-2019), Architecture and Landscape Architecture Assoc. Professor Dr. Avigail Sachs (2015-2017), Architecture Assoc. Professor Brian Ambroziak (2013-2015) and Architecture Professor Ted Shelton (2011-2013).