This is a blog documenting the work in architecture practice and education of Keelan Kaiser, AIA. The practice work is primarily a product of the Chicago office of Serena Sturm, where I have spent the past several years collaborating with principles Marty Serena and William Sturm. The education work is connected to my work mentoring students at Judson University in the Chicago area, with previous teaching at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Beginning in 2001, my educational and research interests evolved into design issues of “passivity.” My central involvement in the development of the new Harm Weber Academic Center architecture building at Judson University, designed by C. Alan Short, sharpened my attention to resource consumption in the act of making architecture. At the same time, my wife Melisa Kaiser’s research at IIT in architecture design and technology, particularly her work with Peter Land, stimulated my own research as we worked together on similar problems. My design interests in architecture have evolved from a deep respect for spatial experience, and the role of architecture to shape those experiences (having studied under late twentieth and early twenty first century thinkers like Peter Eisenman, Michael Sorkin, and Aaron Betsky), to a deepening respect for the role of the built environment in the health and welfare of building users (appreciating important current thinkers like William Bordass, Hal Levin, and Marc Schiler). I have found that the simple expression “passivity” best describes my current agenda for practice and teaching, with a specific consciousness about earth stewardship and a sustainable future. I have a strong respect for Stephen Kellert’s work at Yale in this regard (See: Stephen Kellert, Building for Life, Island Press). It seems to leave room for faith in the discussion of environmental justice and care and I find this refreshingly human.