September 25, 2009

Lectures focus on components of architecture

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A trio of upcoming presentations will give students in the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the community at large a chance to expand their thinking and broaden their exposure to what architecture really encompasses.

Fashion design and merchandising, interior design and architecture -- they all are part of the School of Architecture. Through three lectures this fall and more in the works for the spring 2010 semester, you’ll learn how and why.

The fall Fine Arts Lecture Series kicks off Monday, Sept. 28, with award-winning architect Jeff Kovel of Portland, Ore., discussing “Serious Play.” Kovel’s Skylab Architecture features innovative designs with an eye toward sustainability and “conceptual modernism,” according to Peter Smith, associate architecture professor at SIUC.

One of Kovel’s most recent designs is the “Weave Building,” an office building that indeed incorporates a basket weave look. For more about Kovel and his work, see

SIUC alumna Kelly Kealy-Mayton earned national acclaim last year as winner of the “Macy’s Design a Dance” costume contest on the popular television show “Dancing with the Stars.” You can hear her “Distinguished Alumni Lecture” Oct. 12. A Waterloo native now residing in Allen, Texas, she’s a graduate of the fashion design and merchandising program.

She also caught the eye of media around the globe with her Sony Ericsson Dress, created for an ad for the company’s z750 Purple cell phone. Tennis star Jelena Jankovic wore the dress, featuring cell phone parts, at the Sony Ericsson Open Kickoff Party. Find out more about Kealy-Mayton and her original competition ball gowns at

Lori Ryker, architect and educator, will present “Rethinking the Relationship Between Nature and Culture” Oct. 26. Ryker earned a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a doctorate from Texas A & M University, and she has written several works about “off the grid” architecture. Ryker also has taught at Montana State University, Texas A & M University, Auburn University and North Dakota State University.

She’s researching the relationship between communities and the larger environment relative to design and building practices. In particular, her Artemis Institute, a non-profit corporation, is educating the public about design with sustainability, ecology and sound principles in mind. See for more details.

The new gallery in Quigley Hall will feature temporary exhibits highlighting the work of each speaker for a week or so before and after the corresponding lecture.

“The goal of this lecture series is to expose our students and the community to a wide variety of architectural components, to expand their thinking and bring exposure to the many elements involved in the world of architecture,” Smith said.

All lectures take place in Brown Auditorium, Parkinson Room 124, beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the SIUC School of Architecture at 618/453-3734 or visit the Web site at The student fine arts fee funds the lectures.