FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design will host a symposium on September 23-24 titled “The Place of Practice. The Practice of Place.”

According to a press release, all events will occur in Vol Walker Hall on the University of Arkansas campus. Presentations are also accessible via Zoom.

The symposium is an extension of the exhibition “A South Forty: Contemporary Architecture and Design in the American South,” which was originally displayed at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, and is now on display in Vol Walker Hall from September 23 to December 16.

The symposium will survey the nature and importance of “place-centered practice” in the contemporary American South through evocations and observations provided by selected participants from the “South Forty” exhibition and other invited guests. Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, the 2020 AIA Gold Medalist and a Distinguished Professor and the E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture, is the chair of the symposium. 

The Place symposium and the South Forty exhibition will bring together some of the South’s most distinguished architects, designers, historians and authors to discuss and debate architecture’s prime role in place-making. Through a lens of timely topics that include nature, culture, rural, urban and our histories — past, present and future — the symposium will attempt to address how architecture and design, by constructing new identities for places, can create new context that offers social, environmental and spatial possibilities that enrich our communities and civic life.

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, 2020 AIA Gold Medalist, Distinguished Professor & E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture

Symposium events begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, September 23, with a welcome and introductions by Peter MacKeith, dean and professor of architecture in the Fay Jones School. Danielle A. Jackson, editor of Oxford American, will be on hand to discuss the magazine’s Place issues. 

Two UA history professors will also present talks: Jeannie Whayne, Ph.D., University Professor, with “From Tenant Shack to Tractor Barns: The Emergence of a Modern South,” and Calvin White, Ph.D., associate professor, with “Reflections of a Black Southerner.” After the presentations, MacKeith and Jonathan Boelkins, teaching assistant professor and exhibition designer for “A South Forty,” will discuss the exhibition at 4:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception. 

On Saturday, Blackwell will give an introduction and opening remarks at 9 a.m., followed by Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, Ph.D., Fay Jones School associate dean and professor of architecture, who will present “Mid-Century, Modern, and Southern: A Prologue to Contemporary Place and Praxis,” and Jori Erdman, professor of architecture at James Madison University, who will present “Towards a New New South Architecture.”

A series of panel discussions will follow. For more information and ongoing updates, visit the A South Forty website.