The Richard N. Campen Lecture in Architecture and Sculpture

The Richard N. Campen Lecture in Architecture and Sculpture was established in 1997.  Campen was an architectural historian and author who wrote extensively on architecture and outdoor sculpture in Ohio. He worked in the chemical industry, but his passion for art and architecture inspired a second career. An avid photographer, during the 1960s he converted his hobby into a business by establishing Educational Art Transparencies, which marketed slides collected while traveling to colleges and universities. He took classes in art history and devoted the last 30 years of his life to teaching and publishing books about fine architecture, public design, and travel. He was best known for his many books about local architecture and outdoor sculpture. Among over a dozen books that he authored, designed, and illustrated with his own photography were Architecture of the Western Reserve, 1800-1900 (1971),Outdoor Sculpture in Ohio (1980), Ohio—An Architectural Portrait (1973), and Distinguished Homes of Shaker Heights (1992).  He was a founding member of the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, and member of the Decorative Arts Society. He actively supported efforts to preserve architectural heritage, and in 1971 earned the Western Reserve Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting scholarly research in architectural history.

Past Campen Lectures


Designing Victory

Robert Madison

Award-winning architect Robert Madison was the first African-American to graduate from Case Western's School of Architecture, as well as the first to gain a degree in architecture in Ohio.  His firm, Robert P. Madison International, has been both the lead and associate architects for the design of major projects including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and Cleveland Museum of Art.  His memoir, Designing Victory, co-written with journalist and author Carlo Wolff, tells the story of his hard-fought struggle to overcome racism and excel in his chosen field.


Material Performance and Ecological Priorities

Rashida Ng

Rashida Ng, department chair and associate professor at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, will present research and design work that expands the concept of material performance to include aspirations of environmental remediation to reverse the destructive consequences of previous (and current) practices.

As society contends with rising concerns over the viability of our ecosystems, the convergence of human and ecological priorities is increasingly evident. Architecture bears a long history of prioritizing the needs and desires of human experience, including the provision of shelter, creation of community and design of conditions for physical comfort and human health. Over the past several decades, architecture has responded to challenges of sustainability, seeking to minimize the overall environmental impact of buildings and establish new metrics of energy performance. These measures increasingly acknowledge the impact of buildings on the biosphere. However, these standards and principles do not yet fully embrace the fundamental alignment of human and natural contexts.


Now I Sit Me Down

Witold Rybczynski

Have you ever wondered where the rocking chair came from, or why cheap plastic chairs are everywhere? The way we choose to sit and what we choose to sit on speak volumes about our values, our tastes and the things we hold dear.  Architect and writer Witold Rybczynski chronicled the history of the chair from ancient Egypt to the present-day.  He showed how design, construction, social mores and aesthetics come together in this ordinary, everyday object.


Across Art and Architecture

Monica Ponce de Leon

Using examples from her own creative practice, Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, discussed  the ever-shifting relationship between artistic production and the architectural project. At the center of the lecture she tackled pre-conceived notions about design, creativity, and the power of imagination.

Monica Ponce de Leon, AIA, was appointed Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning of University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in September, 2008. In 1991, she co-founded Office dA and in 2011 launched her own design practice; Monica Ponce de Leon Studio. Dean Ponce de Leon received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1989 from the University of Miami and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. She joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design faculty in 1996, where she was a Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Digital Lab. She has also held teaching appointments at Northeastern University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology among others. She has received honors from the Architectural League of New York (Young Architects Award, 1997, and Emerging Voices, 2003) the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Award in Architecture, 2002), the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum (National Design Award in Architecture, 2007), and the United States Artists (Target Fellows in Architecture and Design, 2007). Her practice has received over 60 design awards including the AIA’s Institute Honor Award for Architecture (Macallen Building, 2010), Honor Award for Design Excellence, AIA New York Chapter (200 West Street Project Team (including Office dA), 2010), Wallpaper Design Awards Best New Restaurant (Banq, 2009), the AIA/LA Design Award (Helios House, 2007), the AIA/ALA Library Building Award (Fleet Library at RISD, 2007), the AIA/Committee on the Environment’s Top Ten Green Projects (Macallen Building, 2008), five I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review Awards and eight Progressive Architecture Awards.


American Glamour: Modern Architecture, Marketing, and Popular Culture in the 1950s

Alice T. Friedman

Friedman–the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art at Wellesley College–examined key examples of Mid-century Modern architecture in the United States, focusing on the ways in which buildings and interiors came to reflect the forms, narrative structures, and emotional appeal of mass-market media such as advertising, fashion photography, film and television. Driven by the tastes and habits of middle-class clients, and by the efforts of young architects to accommodate and interpret new ideas about modern life, these changes had far-reaching consequences both for architecture and design in the 20th century and for the critical categories by which they are evaluated. 


Architecture in a Tumultuous Age

Blair Kamin

In this illustrated lecture, Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, surveyed the period bracketed by the September 11 terrorist attacks and the opening of the world’s tallest building in Dubai on January 4, 2010. Assessing ordinary commercial structures as well as head-turning designs by some of the world’s most celebrated architects, from Frank Gehry to Daniel Libeskind, Kamin separated the era’s masterpieces from its mediocrities and address the broader issue of architectural celebrity. He discussed the new Chicago skyscraper developed by another celebrity, Donald Trump. As Kamin’s talk revealed, the nearly decade-long period that began with the 9/11 attacks was a “Dickensian construction zone,” an era of extreme oscillation between artistic triumph and urban disaster, frugal energy-saving architecture and giddy design excess. It was a time of terror and wonder, and buildings were central to its narrative.


Ok, So You’ve Always Wanted to be an Architect?

Peter van Dijk

Peter van Dijk discussed design, preservation, tradition, and globalism in light of Baker-Nord Center’s annual theme of “Globalism and Its Origins.” 

Former principal architect from the Cleveland firm of van Dijk Westlake Reed Leskosky, van Dijk focused some of his architectural projects on historical preservation and recently contributed to the restoration of the Cleveland Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Cleveland’s Public Square.  He designed outdoor music venue Blossom Music Center in 1968 and has been mindful of mixing old and new with traditional and global elements to reflect Cleveland as a meeting place of cultures and diverse traditions. His architectural legacy includes Cleveland State University’s Music and Physical Education buildings and state-of-the-art Natatorium; Ursuline College; Cain Park Amphitheater; University School’s Upper School; John Carroll University’s Chapel and Recreation Center; Westlake performing arts and recreation centers; major medical facilities in Ohio and West Virginia; and the Temple Hoyne Buell Theater in Denver, Colo. Van Dijk is a fellow of the Ohio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and was honored by the organization in 2000 with its highest honor, a gold medal. In 2007, he received the Cleveland Arts Prize.


Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature

Douglas Farr


Made to Measure

Jane Weinzapfel