Energy Accounts: Participant Biographies

Laura Baird joined OMA in 2007, and has since worked on a number of different building projects including Riga Port City, Latvia, Waterfront City, Dubai UAE, The Headquarters for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China, Qatar Education City Central Library and Qatar Foundation Headquarters Buildings, and RAK City in the Desert, UAE. More recently, Laura led OMA’s proposals for the Masterplan and buildings of the Skolkovo Center for Innovation outside Moscow in 2010-2011, and in 2012 was responsible for the delivery of the Draft Concept for the Moscow Agglomeration. Most recently, she was the Associate in Charge of OMA’s proposal for the Nobel Center in Stockholm. Laura has also been involved in much of the work of OMA’s research-based think tank, AMO. Building on her background in Public Policy, Laura led AMO’s work the fields of energy policy and renewable energy planning since 2009, first through the Zeekracht Masterplan, North Sea, and then responsible for delivering Roadmap 2050, proposing a decarbonized power grid for Europe, and “The Energy Report”: a project for the WWF proposing renewable energy and sustainable strategies on a global scale. Since 2010, Laura has been involved in The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, and continues to teach as part of its Post-graduate educational program. Laura was also the co-curator of “Public Works: Architecture by Civil Servants”, AMO’s contribution to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale in August 2012, also exhibited in Berlin in March 2013. Prior to joining OMA, Laura worked at Inside Outside in Amsterdam, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) in New York. Since 2002, Laura has lectured in The United States, Europe, Russia and China.

Billie Faircloth is the Research Director at KieranTimberlake, an internationally recognized architecture firm noted for its commitment to research, innovation and invention. She leads a trans-disciplinary research team which conspires to advance building design practices through material, system, process, and environment driven questions. She fosters collaboration between disciplines, trades and industries and their disparate bodies of knowledge. In her professional and academic research Billie pursues an answer to the question: “Why do we build the way that we do?” Prior to joining KieranTimberlake, she was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture where she instructed design research studios at the graduate and undergraduate level exploring applications for conventional and emerging material technologies, and conducted seminars on emerging construction and fabrication technologies. Billie received a Bachelor of Architecture from North Carolina State University and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University.

Erik Olsen is a climate engineer known for his passionate focus on high-comfort, low-impact environments. As Director of Transsolar Climate Engineering’s New York office he works collaboratively with clients, architects, and other engineers worldwide to develop and validate low-energy, architecturally integrated indoor climate and energy concepts. His work ranges from the completely passive Raising Malawi Academy for Girls to the ground-breaking Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore. In addition to his specialist work at Transsolar, he has worked as a consulting mechanical engineer on a wide variety of building types and launched and directed the City of Chicago’s Green Permit Program.

Christoph Reinhart is Associate Professor of Architectural Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, formerly at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. Before joining Harvard in 2008, he worked for over a decade as a staff scientist at the National Research Council of Canada and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. Christoph’s research expertise is in daylighting, passive climatization and the influence of occupant behavior on building energy use. He is the main developer of the DIVA-for-Rhino and Daysim sustainable design tools and holds a master degree in Physics from Freiburg and a doctorate in Architecture from Karlsruhe. Trained as a physicist, Reinhart is a building scientist and architectural educator working in the field of sustainable building design and environmental modeling. He has studied both architecture and physics and has particular expertise in daylighting, passive climatization and the influence of occupant behavior on building energy use at both the individual building and neighborhood scale.

Considered one of the most influential individuals in the green building movement today and the recipient of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize, Jason F. McLennan’s work has made a pivotal impact on the shape and direction of green building in the United States and Canada and he is a much sought after presenter and consultant on a wide variety of green building and sustainability topics around the world. McLennan serves as the CEO of the International Living Future Institute – a leading NGO that focuses on the transformation to a world that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. P An Ashoka Fellow, Jason is the founder and creator of the Living Building Challenge, widely considered the world’s most progressive and stringent green building program. McLennan works on cutting edge projects through a unique collaboration with the Integral Group – one of the globe’s most innovative engineering firms.

David Nye is a Professor of American History at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the winner of the 2005 Leonardo da Vinci Medal of the Society for the History of Technology. Nye is the author of Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric, 1890-1930 (1985), Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940 (1990), American Technological Sublime (1994), Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies (1997), America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings (2003), and Technology Matters: Questions to Live With (2006) (for which he received the 2009 Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology[4]), all published by the MIT Press.

Reinhold Martin is an Associate Professor of Architecture in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, where he also directs the Ph.D. program in architectural history and theory. He has written widely on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture and has maintained a research practice with his partner, Kadambari Baxi. His publications include The Organizational Complex: Architecture. Media, and Corporate Space (MIT, 2003), Multi-National City: Architectural Itineraries (with Kadambari Baxi, Actar, 2007), and Utopia’s Ghost: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again (Minnesota, forthcoming 2010). He is also a founding co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Grey Room. Martin’s current work focuses on the architectural and cultural history of the American university since the eighteenth century.

Ursula Heise, Professor of English, a 2011-12 Guggenheim Fellow, and Immediate Past President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE). Her research and teaching focus on contemporary environmental culture, literature and art in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; theories of globalization; literature and science; and the digital humanities. Her books include Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur [After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture] (Suhrkamp in 2010 (English to follow). She is currently working on a book entitled Where the Wild Things Used To Be: Narrative, Database, and Biodiversity Loss.

Vijay Modi received a B. Tech. in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai, India) in 1978, and he received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984. He pursued postdoctoral research at MIT from 1984 to 1986. He has been a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia since 1986, and a member of the Earth Institute faculty since 2006. His expertise is in the fields of energy sources and conversion, heat/mass transfer, and fluid mechanics. Previously, he led the UN Millennium Project effort on the role of energy and energy services in reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Currently, he is focused on three projects: leading the infrastructure team for the Millennium Villages Project (10 countries, 14 sites across sub-Saharan Africa), developing planning and decision-support tools for infrastructure, and looking at the food-energy-water nexus in Indian agriculture. Modi also works on projects in water (with fellow Earth Institute faculty member Upmanu Lall), urban infrastructure (through the IGERT program led by fellow Earth Institute faculty member Patricia Culligan), and optics of concentrated solar and software systems for m-health with lab colleague Matt Berg. He has authored or co-authored numerous journal papers and served as the principal or co-principal of a number of research grants from government and industry.

Ryan Russell is currently an Associate Professor of graphic design at Penn State University. He received a BA in Graphic Design from Saint Norbert College in 2004. After working briefly in New York City, Ryan attended Penn State University and received his MFA in Graphic Design in 2006. Immediately after graduating, Ryan joined the graphic design faculty at Penn State. In addition to being an educator, Ryan has founded his own studio, specializing in brand identity design, information design, print design, and multimedia design.

Semiha Ergan is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where she earned her PhD in 2008. A recipient of education and teaching awards, Ergan conducts research in the application of information technology in the Architectural/Engineering/Construction and Facilities Management industry on multiple fronts. Her main research interests include facility information modeling and visualization, virtual construction and energy performance visualization for energy efficient retrofits.

Vivian Loftness is a University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator with over thirty years of focus on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future. She has served on ten National Academy of Science (NAS) panels, the NAS Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment and has given four Congressional testimonies on sustainability. Vivian is recipient of the National Educator Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture Students and the Sacred Tree Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). She received her BS and MS in Architecture from MIT and served on the National Boards of the USGBC, AIA Committee on the Environment, Green Building Alliance, Turner Sustainability, and the Global Assurance Group of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.She is a registered architect, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects as well as a LEED Fellow. Additionally, Vivian serves on the Board of Formas, Swedish Research Council.

David Gissen is a historian, theorist, critic and curator of architecture and urbanism. Recent work focuses on developing a novel concept of nature in architectural thought and developing experimental forms of architectural historical practice.

David Owen has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1991. Before joining The New Yorker, Owen was a contributing editor at The Atlantic Monthly. He has been a regular contributor to numerous magazines, including Harper’s, where he was a senior writer, and Esquire. He is also a contributing editor at Golf Digest.