November 1, 2014 Fall 2014 Governor’s Chair Seminar Series Recap

The Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism is a special partnership between the University of Tennessee, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.

More than a single individual, the Governor’s Chair is a dynamic team of experts forming a research partnership among many designers at SOM who specialize in sustainable urbanism and high-performance buildings. The College of Architecture and Design welcomed several of these experts as part of its inaugural Governor’s Chair Seminar Series.

The following lectures transpired throughout the initial months of this exciting effort, the Fall 2014 semester:


August 21, 2014 | Philip Enquist, partner in charge of urban design and planning and leader of the City Design Practice at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, has been named the sixteenth UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair. SOM is one of the world’s leading urban planning, architecture and engineering firms.

Enquist and a select research team will serve as Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments and will be affiliated with and administer projects through the UT College of Architecture and Design. At this presentation, Enquist presented “What Can We Do Together? An Introduction to the Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism”



September 18, 2014 | Keith Boswell, Technical Director of SOM, presented about about research and design process. Boswell, an alumnus (B.Arch ’81), is presently co-teaching the Governor’s Chair Studio with James Rose. In his presentation, “High Performance Design: Concept through Execution,” Boswell discussed how research plays into executing design. Boswell is responsible for producing some of the most advanced and innovative facade systems in contemporary practice, including pioneering glazing systems across the world.

October 23, 2014 | Douglas Voigt, SOM Director of Urban Design and Planning, provided the lecture, “The Human Footprint.”  Voigt is focused on a variety of urban design and transportation issues and has worked on a number of complex, downtown mixed-use projects, new city designs and large-scale architectural efforts. His work embodies a holistic approach to energy and urbanism and is inspired by the belief that dramatic economic and environmental benefits will come through the necessary transition from carbon-based power generation to renewable sources.
Voigt will present case studies from SOM’s global City Design Practice on sustainable models for high-performance infrastructure and livable communities.