Norwich University School of Architecture + Art Hosts Symposium on Economic Diversity and the Built Environment

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art will host a symposium on economic diversity and the built environment with a multidisciplinary group of panelists and distinguished scholars and practitioners at 3 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Chaplin Hall Gallery.

Co-sponsored by the Norwich University Center for Global Resilience and Security and The Design Build Collaborative, this event is free and open to the public.

Panelists will discuss how current housing conditions can be adapted to meet the needs of the under-served. They have expertise in a range of areas including homelessness, migrant housing, low incoming housing, zero-energy housing, building code, and mixed-use housing. The symposium is a unique opportunity to bring these robust voices together to further understand how to make high-performance housing available to households of every income.

Panelists include:

  • Barbara Brown Wilson, an assistant professor of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture where she is also the Director of Inclusion and Equity. She authored “Resilience for All: Striving for Equity through Community-Driven Design” (Island Press; 2 edition, 2018) as well as “Questioning Architectural Judgement: The Problem of Codes in the U.S.” (Routledge, 2013). Her research focuses on the history, theory, ethics, and practice of sustainable community development, and on the role of urban social movements in the built world.
  • Sarah Lopez, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is a built environment historian and migration scholar. She is the author of “The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA” (University of Chicago Press, 2015). In 2017 she received the Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. She is currently researching two projects: the architectural history of migrant detention facilities in Texas and the relationship between 30 years of continuous migration between Mexico and the United States and the development of an informal binational construction industry on both sides of the border.
  • Gina Merritt is principal of Northern Real Estate Urban Venture and has more than 23 years of real estate development and investment experience, underwriting over $3.5 billion in real estate transactions and managing over 6,000 units of housing in various stages of development. Her recent industry recognitions include Built by Women, Two site Award Winner for North Capitol Commons and The Nannie Helen at 4800, Developer of the Year - 2017 by DC NOMA and 2018 Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award Honoree.
  • Alex Schafran, Ph.D., is Lecturer in urban geography at the University of Leeds. His award-winning writing about planning, segregation and regions has appeared in numerous professional and scholarly journals, and he authored the recent book “The Road to Resegregation: Northern California and the Failure of Politics” (UC Press, 2019). Born and raised in California, he spent a decade as an immigrant rights and housing activist in California and New York before becoming an academic.
  • David Scheer is an architect, builder, developer and energy modeling expert who recently built his own zero-energy home in San Francisco. He started the nonprofit Minimum Viable Life, Inc, to support his homeless neighbors in the local community and hopes to support other communities with minimum necessities of living like food, shelter, laundry, showers, and simple neighborliness. David is now chief technology officer of PlanIT Impact, has worked as Special Projects Manager with the Autodesk Building Performance Analysis group and in land planning and GIS research, and as a contractor, fisherman, and float plane pilot in California and Alaska.  


Registration is now open for Architecture + Art Summer Design Academy for High School Students


About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). 

Norwich will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Daphne E. Larkin M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office: 1 (802) 485-2886
Mobile: 1 (802) 595-3613
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Upcoming Featured Events

Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Fall Arrival Information

Norwich University collects personal data about visitors to our website in order to improve the user experience and provide visitors with personalized information about our programs and services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you accept the information policies and practices outlined in our Privacy Policy.