April 30, 2014 Faculty Research Highlighted through Mic/Nite Hosted by Provost

Participants received a whirlwind education on a variety of topics at Mic/Nite, where eleven UT faculty members took turns making short presentations about their work. Held on March 13 at Relix Theater, Mark DeKay, an associate professor of architecture, presented “Reversing Climate Change by Design” to university faculty and staff. His Pecha-Kucha style presentation discussed how changes in buildings’ design can lower greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately reverse climate change.

Watch the full presentation here:

Design drives climate change; the form and space of buildings and cities have energy-use consequences leading to greenhouse gas emissions that affect the climate. Buildings use 70 percent of electricity and are responsible for about half of greenhouse gases. Architects and engineers nationally are committed to reversing climate change through better design. This presentation connects new research on knowledge structures for carbon-neutral design, an educational game for learning design strategies, and examples of student solutions. The combination of pre-industrial and high-tech design strategies are drawn from DeKay’s 800-page book, Sun, Wind & Light: Architectural Design Strategies (3rd edition), which includes scales from materials to neighborhoods. Yet, even these technical solutions are not enough to create change if people don’t care about nature. The presentation also includes five suggestions for connecting people to nature through design, drawn from his  other book, Integral Sustainable Design: Transformative Perspectives.

Mic/Nite is held each semester, and is in its sixth year as an effort of the university’s Top 25 initiative. It is described as a “Pecha Kucha–powered social gathering to enhance the intellectual, interdisciplinary, and cultural life of the faculty and staff at UT.”

Originating in Tokyo, Pecha-Kucha (pronounced peh-CHAKH-cha) is a simple lecture format where presenters show and discuss twenty images for twenty seconds each, for a total of only six minutes and forty seconds.

“UT is a large university, and it can be easy for faculty to narrowly focus on their specific discipline. Mic/Nite provides an opportunity to learn about important, innovative, and interesting research happening in the different colleges and departments,” said Beauvais Lyons, Mic/Nite coordinator and Chancellor’s Professor in the School of Art. All speakers are selected by the academic deans, and the presentations reflect the intellectual diversity of the campus. Learn more about the other 2014 presenters here.