Our Work

Explore the scholarly, curricular and creative work of our faculty and students as we mobilize our disciplines on today's most pressing societal challenges. Through studios, sponsored and independent research, faculty and students across our programs engage with real-world projects that reimagine our built environment, innovate modes of practice and transform communities both locally and globally.

  • Why being unable to hang out in cafes and bars drains our creativity
    While the pandemic has caused thousands of small businesses to temporarily close or shutter for good, the disappearance of the corner coffee shop means more than lost wages.
  • Good Neighbors Studio
    The fifth edition of the studio will emphasize critical thinking on basic architectural issues through the design proposal of a group of three houses for three very different families that will be sharing a single undivided lot in the east side of the city of Buffalo, New York – the City of Good Neighbors.
  • Featured work from Fall 2020 senior architecture studio
    In the culminating studio of the BS in Architecture program, Urban Life - Self + Society focuses on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society, between local and global, and between nature and culture.
  • Upstate Road Train
    The Upstate Road Train (URT) proposed for New York State is a state-of-the-art concept for intercity transportation. The overarching idea for this report was provided by Tim Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture. This report analyzes existing infrastructure to recommend how this URT system can be integrated into its fabric.
  • Efflorescence
    The Fall 2020 semester for junior architecture studio focused on the Tectonics of Buoyancy and the Buffalo Niagara Region’s relationship and response to water’s edge. This design studio encourages students to re-examine the prevailing Western tendency to fortify ourselves against the elements for fear of catastrophic ecological, social, and cultural impacts. Throughout the semester, students explored the relationship between human settlement and water and how architects can offer new tectonic responses to these issues. 
  • Urban Life: Self + Society
    In the Fall of 2020, students in the Senior class designed multiple-unit housing within the Bedford Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn, New York. The semester focused on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society, between local and global, and between nature and culture. This project aimed to develop connections in the student’s mind about context and developing systems of housing that would relate to a greater social, technical, cultural, political, and economic understanding of urban space.
  • Good Neighbors
    The fifth edition of this studio, the introductory studio experience to the 3.-5-year Master of Architecture program, emphasizes critical thinking on basic architectural issues through design proposals for a group of three houses for three different families sharing a single undivided lot.
  • Methods in Preservation
    This course introduces students to the basic guidelines, standards, research methods, and documentation techniques used in historic preservation to identify and record historic structures and sites. These kinds of research techniques explored by students included the development of site descriptions, creating historical narratives, reviewing existing scholarly and/or professional literature, collecting primary and secondary data, developing skills in architectural photography, and understanding the basics of documenting and analyzing historic material fabric. The course makes use of lectures, discussions, and fieldwork to introduce the various ways in which preservationists document historic sites and resources.
  • Villusion
    This short film was created using the zoom interface by two students studying on different continents. Miguel Ortiz-Teed, working in Buffalo, and Yogesh Ravichandar, working in India, wanted to examine and express the specific difficulties of personal interaction in the video-conference environment.
  • Neighborhood Walk
    This project invited urban planning students to plan and carry out a walk through a neighborhood of their choice. Their walking route needed to be safely navigable as a pedestrian and between .5 and 1 mile in length (around a half hour walk).
  • People & Place
    Willert Park Courts (WPC), known today as A.D. Price Homes, is currently a vacant residential housing complex made up of ten buildings located in the Ellicott District of the east side of Buffalo, New York.
  • Transformable Shells
    In 2018, the School of Architecture and Planning hosted a competition to address a design problem: students sitting on the HVAC units in the newly renovated Hayes Hall. The competition embraced the issue by inviting students to offer a design solution that would allow students to use the systems in a safe manner.
  • Near-Term Strategies for the Northland Campus
    For decades, the area around Northland Avenue suffered from divestment and abandonment, especially as many of its former manufacturing anchors succumbed to outside economic forces. Due to the adjacent Belt Line railroad, the corridor had become a strategic industrial hub able to move both people and products en masse. Once home to manufacturers such as Houdaille Industries, Otis Elevator Company, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Northland Rubber Company, and Niagara Machine & Tool Works (later Clearing Niagara), the products that left the loading docks went on to forge modern America. A blue-collar workforce, building aircraft engines, plunger elevators, and automobile parts, established residency near their employers starting around the turn of the 20th Century. Over time, this pattern of settlement formed the Delavan Grider neighborhood we know today.
  • UB’s Daniel B. Hess contributes to viewpoint series on urban planning's response to the pandemic
    Daniel B. Hess, UB professor and chair of urban planning, is co-editor of a viewpoint series on the planning discipline’s response to a changed world, published this month by Town Planning Review (Liverpool University Press).
  • Adaptations in studio during COVID-19 include return to drawing
    Professor Brian Carter recently reflected in "Drawing Matter" on how the coronavirus pandemic changed methods of teaching and making in studio at the School of Architecture and Planning.
  • Urban Renewal and School Reform in Baltimore

    Urban Renewal and School Reform in Baltimore examines the role of the contemporary public school as an instrument of urban design. Bridging facets of urban design, development, and education policy, this book contributes to an expanded agenda for understanding the spatial implications of school-led redevelopment and school reform.

  • The Fifth Ugliest College Campus in America
    The campus story of the University at Buffalo is an alliterative tale of excessive optimism and investment, followed by passive indifference and resignation. The result: three campuses—each a stunted fragment of a vision left unfulfilled—the whole less than the sum of its parts. This seminar explored the trials and tribulations of university growth and campus planning at UB—acknowledging the university's checkered past as a means to project a more effective campus future.
  • Botanical Garden Master Plan
    The North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens is an 11-acre site located on 1825 Sweeney Street in North Tonawanda, NY, bordering the Niagara River. The site is overseen by the North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens Organization (NTBGO), a nonprofit working towards restoring the garden to a scenic destination for community education and activity. Three members of the NTBGO, David Conti, Robbyn Drake and Laura Pecoraro, gave students the opportunity to design a proposal for the renovation and re-imagination of the North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens.
  • Off the Grid
    During the Summer 2020 semester, Off the Grid, led by Professor Jon Spielman, was one of three remote programs being offered. This studio investigated new ways of exploring systems requiring energy established by the man-made grid system. 
  • Henry Taylor weighs in on Breonna Taylor's death, racist police violence and gentrification
    Henry Louis Taylor Jr., professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and director of UB’s Center for Urban Studies, wrote an opinion article for NBC News titled “Breonna Taylor’s death and racist police violence highlight danger of gentrification.” In the article, Taylor wrote: “Breonna Taylor is just one of many Black women and men who have been killed by police recently. But her death highlights a distinct genre of racially motivated police aggression, harassment and violence that has emerged over the past two decades. White in-migration to cities has created places where dangerous encounters frequently occur between Blacks and the police.” The article also appeared in DNYUZ.
  • Just how inclusive is inclusive design
    An article in Dwell on accessible design quotes Jordana L. Maisel, senior research support specialist at the IDEA Center at UB. Maisel says “the current ADA standards don’t meet the needs of the majority of the population that has disabilities,” according to the article. “She points to turning radii in bathrooms, reach dimensions for coat hooks, and knee clearances under sinks and tables as specific requirements that don’t actually serve most wheelchair users, for example.”
  • The digital life of the #migrantcaravan: Contextualizing Twitter as a spatialtechnology
    Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, assistant professor of urban and regional planning, examines the relationship of spatial mapping and social media for migrant caravans in South America. 
  • Should architecturally significant low-income housing be preserved?

    The recent demolition of the Paul Rudolph-designed Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, NY, highlights one of the key tensions of preserving modern architecture: how to balance the needs of occupants with historically significant designs.

  • Black Spaces Matter

    As the nation roils over its glaring inequities in racial justice, UB assistant professor of architecture Charles Davis II explores the historic connections of race and place in this contribution to the architectural history journal Aggregate.