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About Rob Whitehead

My work explores ways of critically integrating structural design considerations of process, production, and performance into technically engaging and experientially rich architecture. The research has manifest itself as three inter-connected aspects of structural design, architecture, and education: Thinking, Making, and Breaking.
Thinking: Structural Design Pedagogy. This scholarship of teaching and learning looks at ways to develop & integrate alternative pedagogical methods for teaching building technology integration and analysis including haptic learning techniques and design-centric lab work.
Making: Structures in Service & Design/Build Experiments. This service-learning oriented design and construction work focuses on applying structural and material design principles towards vexing problems (e.g., Designing for Disaster Relief and Resiliency) and the creation of gathering shelters and community spaces for non-profit groups.
Breaking: History of Formative Failures & Innovation. This research explores the role of productive failures in design, particularly in the design ideation, integration and performance of innovative structural systems (most frequently mid-20th century, pre-computational long span structures--Saarinen, Otto, etc).


Present Assistant Professor, Iowa State University Department of Architecture

Curriculum Vitae


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Contact Information

499 Design
715 Bissell Rd
Ames, IA 50011


Conference Proceedings (16)

Invited Publications (1)

Professional Practice Communications (2)