• ACAW 2020



Surface & Screen

2020 was our fifth workshop event.

The workshop focused on design research into enclosure systems for architectural surfaces and structures. Terra cotta’s formal, ornamental, and material properties were explored to develop complex geometries, dynamic parts that seem to freeze in motion, and highly articulated surface effects. This workshop coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and was held virtually.

2020 TEAMS


Keynote Speaker

James von Klemperer

President, Design Principal, KPF Associates

James von Klemperer is President and Design Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates where he began as a young architect in 1983. His work ranges in scale from a house to a city, and he contributes closely to these efforts from conception to completion. In addition to focusing on his own projects, he leads the community of designers within the firm in exploring shared architectural agendas and goals. As President of the firm, he is responsible for leading the staff of 650 people in 9 offices around the world.

A major focus of Jamie’s work has been to heighten the role that large buildings play in making urban space. He has explored this theme in major projects in Asia including the China Resources Tower in Shenzhen, Plaza 66 and the Jing An Kerry Centre in Shanghai, China Central Place in Beijing, and the 123-story Lotte World Tower in Seoul. In New York, his design for One Vanderbilt will link Midtown’s tallest tower directly to Grand Central Terminal. Each of these projects creates strong symbiotic relationships between program space and the public realm. At the larger scale, his design for New Songdo City extends this challenge to the scope of urban planning.

Omar Khan
Head, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
Co-organizer of the Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop (ACAW)

Omar Khan is Professor and Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and co-organizer of the Architectural Ceramics Assemblies Workshop (ACAW). Khan was previously an Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and co-director of the Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART) Community of Excellence where he spearheaded academia and industry research partnerships. ACAW is a product of that initiative, a research collaboration supported by Boston Valley Terra Cotta to explore material and design innovations in architectural ceramics. Khan, with his partner Laura Garofalo, also edits the annual books chronicling the research and prototypes developed through ACAW.

William M. Carty, Ph.D.
John F. McMahon Professor, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

William Carty just retired after 27 years as a professor of ceramic engineering at Alfred University but maintains an active consulting practice.  He has worked closely with industry during his tenure at AU and has generated over $21 million in research funding, mostly with industrial projects or by leveraging industrial funds with New York State funding sources.  He is widely recognized for the quality of his teaching, receiving numerous teaching awards.  He taught ceramic engineering courses during the school year and “Ceramic Science for the Artist” in the summers (in Alfred and other locations) along with industrial short courses.  This is his fifth year participating in ACAW, having given previous lectures on glaze defects, color, outdoor ceramic bodies (to resist freeze-thaw cycles), and energy in terra cotta (and other building materials).  His research interests are still ceramic processing and microstructural evolution (in both traditional and advanced ceramic materials); the development of a unified approach to explain and control ceramic forming processes; ceramics for architectural applications; tailoring microstructures and porosity for specific applications; the correlation of strength and processing; glass batch reactions and melting; and the development of sustainable ceramic manufacturing processes (i.e., energy-efficient and environmentally-sound).  He has advised 86 graduate student theses (8 Ph.D. and 78 M.S., plus six current students) and 202 undergraduate theses (4 current); authored or co-authored over 160 publications, and holds seventeen patents (plus nine patents pending).  In addition to teaching and research, he is a world-recognized expert and consultant in porcelains and glazes, ceramic processing, and ceramic manufacturing.

Erik Verboon
Director of Enclosure Engineering, Walter P Moore

Erik Verboon is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Walter P Moore’s New York office. Trained in both architecture and engineering, Erik brings a deep global experience with a focus on the design of complex and high-performance building envelopes for a wide range of building types. Erik also has experience working with a wide variety of façade applications including high-performance, double-skin façades, geometrically complex composite façades, and custom unitized enclosures for both new buildings and existing building retrofits and additions.

His experience in digital design, geometric rationalization, and environmental analysis allows him to bring the highest level of value to his clients while also helping designers deliver projects to the highest level of design sophistication while maximizing performance and minimizing cost. Erik’s portfolio expresses both national and international work with extensive experience in the New York market, bringing expertise in buildings old and new, across academic, commercial, and cultural sectors. In addition to Erik’s professional accolades, he teaches enclosure design at a number of leading universities.

Roberto Bicchiarelli
Business Development Manager and Lead Concept Designer USA, Permasteelisa North America

Roberto graduated from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with a degree in Architecture. During his studies, he worked for one of Permasteelisa Group’s Italian companies, ultimately in 1991 becoming a Director and a Partner in that business. In 1998, Roberto was asked to join the US operations to contribute as a liaison between the Permasteelisa Group companies and the new American based office overseeing the Sales and Estimating Division with respect to cladding and curtain-wall for monumental buildings.

In 2008 Roberto became General Manager and Sr. Vice President to Permasteelisa North America’s Miami-based office. In addition to his General Manager duties, he continues to oversee Sales and Estimating concentrating on the Southern US and Central and South American Markets, while still maintaining a close relation with many of his former projects. From early 2017 Roberto covered the role of Lead Concept Designer and from June 2018 also the role of Business Development Manager of the East Coast. Currently he is working for Gartner USA, a division of Permasteelisa North America.

Susan Knack-Brown
Senior Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Ms. Knack-Brown is a Senior Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.  Her work includes a range of building enclosure investigations and designs involving both contemporary structures and landmarks.  Ms. Knack-Brown specializes in large-scale preservation and adaptive reuse projects where she applies technology to the restoration of landmark buildings and works with owners to extend the function and performance of existing buildings.  Some of Susan’s signature projects include the multi-phase, multi-year roof rehabilitation and skylight restoration on the New York State Capitol, the roof replacement on the Massachusetts State House, and on-going work at The First Church of Christ, Scientist.

John Krouse
CEO, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

John Krouse is a Ceramic Engineer and the CEO of Boston Valley Terra Cotta in Orchard Park, NY. Boston Valley specializes in the manufacturing of historic terra cotta replication, new construction and innovation in contemporary rain screen design and production. John is a graduate of Alfred University with a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering and a minor in Ceramic Sculpture and has over 30 years of experience in terra cotta manufacturing. Boston Valley has successfully completed well over 3,000 building projects with John leading the company. These projects range in size and scope from large government buildings to small private art galleries.

Andy Brayman
Matter Factory, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Glaze Research and Development Specialist

Andy Brayman holds a BA in sociology and a BFA in ceramics from the University of Kansas (1996) and an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University (1998). His work is a combination of traditional craft, industrial processes, physical computing and contemporary art strategies. At their best, his pieces demonstrate an object’s potential to be both beautiful and cerebral. In 2005, Andy founded The Matter Factory in Kansas City. It is part artist studio, part laboratory, and part factory. In addition to producing objects of his design, Brayman conducts research on glazes and forming methods for Boston Valley Terra Cotta in conjunction with firms that include: SHoP Architects, Pelli Clarke Pelli, Kieran Timberlake, HKS, KPF, Handel, Perkins and Will, LMN, Studio Gang and SOM.

Laura Garófalo-Khan
Associate Professor, SUNY Buffalo, School of Architecture

Laura Garófalo is associate professors at University at Buffalo, School of Architecture where she is a member of the Ecological Practices Graduate Research Group. Her current research addresses the performative and cultural role of ecologically and hydrologically centered buildings with a focus on façade systems and the role of ornament in contemporary architecture. Her design awards include the International Garden Festival Jardins de Métis, the Architecture for Humanity Charleston Transit Hub Competition, and the What if New York City Post Disaster Housing Competition. Her work has been published in Matter: Material Processes in Architectural Production, Vegetecture, and The Interior Architecture Theory Reader among others. She has been a fellow at the University of Tasmania and the European Ceramics Work Center (Sundaymorning@EKWC), and a UB SMART CoE Seed Grant recipient.

Johnathan Hopp
Assistant Professor, Alfred University, Ceramic Art

Johnathan Hopp is an Assistant Professor of Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He has degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, 2001, Industrial Design) and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (MDes, 2013, Industrial Design).  As a designer, Johnathan has worked on commissions and projects for clients such as Paul Smith (London), The Tel-Aviv municipality, the Kastiel furniture company (Tel-Aviv), and the Design Museum (Holon). As a studio artist, he has exhibited his work in venues such as the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), the Gardiner Museum (Toronto), the Museum of Art and Design (NYC) and the Yingge Museum (Taipei). His work resides in public and private collections such as the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), the Museum of Art and Design (NYC), the Kneset collection (Israeli parliament, Jerusalem) and the Jewish Museum (NYC).

Robert Shibley
Professor and Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, UB Campus Architect / Senior Fellow, UB Regional Institute

Bob Shibley is a Professor and Dean at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, where he also serves as Campus Architect and is a senior fellow of the UB Regional Institute. In June of 2014, the American Institute of Architects awarded Bob the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for a lifetime of achievements advancing planning and design excellence at UB, in the City of Buffalo and the Niagara Region, through public service to NY State and the federal government, as well as through his numerous publications. Bob is a member of the National College of Fellows in both the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners.

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