Intersight 23

B/a+p Intersight twenty three 2021.
Intersight 23.
Editor Charles Wingfelder on a ladder.


Published May 14, 2021

Charles Wingfelder, MArch,
Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellow (2020 - 2021), Editor

Intersight 23

This year's edition of our student journal is a slice of work and conversations taken during a moment of dramatic change in how and where we learn and collaborate. The separation required during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we had to mostly abandon our traditional methods and places of learning, and rapidly innovate the ways in which we collectively work.

The calendar year of 2020 was packed with historical significance, which made identifying the topic of Intersight 23 very difficult. We chose to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, as it was the force that most directly disrupted our patterns of life. However, we made this choice with the acknowledgment that other major movements of the year, including equity and racial justice, would be represented through the work and activism of our students and faculty.


Faculty Reflections

Robert G. Shibley.

"While we have all felt the distance of the past year – academically, socially, emotionally – Intersight reminds us that all along we have been in this together. The book is in itself a convening of our community – a heartening look at who we are and the values that bridge the divide."

Robert G. Shibley
Professor and Dean, School of Architecture and Planning

Dr. Daniel B. Hess.

"Our faculty members have demonstrated both resilience and flexibility during the pandemic in the continuation of their research and scholarship...Faculty members have applied for - and been awarded - more research grants. I consider this a significant accomplishment in our remote work environments."

Daniel B. Hess
Professor and Chair, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Korydon Smith.

Truly, at the start of 2020, it was unthinkable. More than a year into this grand experiment in architectural pedagogy, I find myself returning to several core principles in education: Learning is messy. Learning is social and informal. Learning is spatial and emotional."

Korydon Smith
Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture


Student Conversations

Home workspaces for some were formal offices, with high tect tools to communicate, for some they were set up in the garage.

Sculpting from home

"Working with a physical, malleable material, we could have all had our hands on these models, and I don't know if that would have produced something different."

- Haley Davis

Freshman students made renderings of their home work spaces.

Continuing Collaborative Research

"The global pandemic, if anything, reinforced the urgency for creative Affordable Housing options... So much so, that we brought up COVID-19 a number of times in the final presentation to reinforce the possibilities of Manufactured Housing implementation."

- David Kelly

Teaching assistant instructing freshman student in studio, both wearing face masks.

Beginning in the distance

"On the academic side and social side, somehow, even with COVID, college at UB has been everything I have wanted and looked forward to in high school, which is not what I was expecting, but I am very grateful for."

- Jo Ruth

Juniors gather on campus for socially distanced class outdoor with masks.

Navigating the return to campus

“I appreciated the ability to work in a group that wasn’t over a zoom call. There’s nothing wrong with a zoom call, its incredibly useful in these times. But I think it’s the personal interaction that really drives this major."

- James Herlihy

3.5 Year student test their home made social distancing devices outside on campus.

Hybrid remote bonding

“Honestly, doing a digital studio sounds ridiculous if you are coming out of a physical world, but I thought we did a pretty damn good job, getting work shared, getting feedback, even growing our inter-personal connections."

- John Mark Silbert

Students and faculty working collaboratively and having discussions.

Remote Racial Justice

“Our final presentation to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, Norstar Development, Dr. Price and other key stakeholders... went off without a hitch despite having presenters located as far away as India working through power outages and a completely different time zone. In fact, Rakshanda Nagaraj’s presentation while residing in India was one of the highlights of the event.”

- Jay Schwartzkopf

Digital white boards were an important tool for many studios.

The Flexibility of a Remote Finale

"I think if we were in person we would have focused on quality more, where professors have you dive in one direction. But digitally we were allow to produce much more with no cost limitation.”

- Andrew Callard