MAPP Welcomes the 2020 Kea Professors

By Maggie Haslam / Aug 21, 2020

Kea professors: Zena Howard, Cory Henry, Carl Elefante and Marques G. King
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Kea professors from left to right: Marques G. King, AIA, NCARB, CNU, Zena Howard, FAIA, LEED AP, Carl Elefante, FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP and Cory Henry.

The University of Maryland’s Architecture Program welcomes four accomplished designers as Kea Distinguished Professors for the 2020-21 academic year. Zena Howard, FAIA, LEED AP, Cory Henry, and UMD alumni Carl Elefante, FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP and Marques G. King, AIA, NCARB, CNU will collaborate alongside architecture faculty to bring diverse perspectives, experience and context to a roster of studio courses and seminars.

“Zena, Carl, Cory and Marques have made significant, lasting impacts through transformative approaches to contemporary urban challenges,” said Interim Dean Donald Linebaugh. “It is an honor to have these innovative practitioners join our students and faculty this year.”

This year’s Kea appointments mark a continued, concerted effort to bring more diverse voices and experiences to the classroom. Their work and expertise span sustainable and net-zero design, preservation and urban redevelopment, placemaking and community-centered neighborhood design. As African American practitioners, Howard, Henry and King also bring an important perspective that historically has been underrepresented in both practice and pedagogy.

“The Kea Distinguished Professorship is one of the crown jewels of the Architecture Program,” said Brian Kelly, AIA, Director of the Architecture Program. “This year’s contingent of Kea Distinguished Professors underscore’s the program’s commitment to engaging the big problems of our time such as climate change, social justice and how we dwell together in urban contexts.”

Created in 1967 by Paul Kea, one of the first licensed architects in Maryland, the Kea Distinguished Professorship serves as an opportunity for the Architecture Program to benefit from the expertise of eminent practitioners and scholars from around the world. Kea Professors serve as critics and lecturers for one semester, but the extended nature of the position is akin to a master class, offering students one-to-one interactions and valuable perspectives during studio time. There have been over 55 Kea Professorships since the program’s inception. Kea’s inaugural 50,000 gift has enabled the school to continue this valuable program for over 50 years, connecting some of the most respected and talented practitioners in the world with our students.

Meet this year’s Kea Professors:

Zena Howard, FAIA, LEED AP, returns to Maryland for a second semester as Kea Distinguished Professor, again working with students in the ARCH600 Integrative Design Studio and ARCH611 Advanced Technology Seminar. As principal and managing director at Perkins + Will / North Carolina, Howard practices thoughtful, innovative and universally accessible design that re-envisions spaces—primarily in African American communities—with an emphasis on community engagement. Howard’s work spans the urban environment from museums and buildings to cultural landscapes and gathering places, and includes the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., where she was the senior project manager.

UMD alumnus Carl Elefante (B.ARCH ’80), FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP will lend his vast expertise in sustainable practice to the virtual classroom to teach an online seminar course ARCH4/678E, Creating the Cities We Want. An award-winning designer and early adopter of concepts like adaptive reuse, Elefante was at the forefront of the LEED movement, pioneering concepts that combine design, preservation and environmental policy. He was the 94th president of The American Institute of Architects and is principal emeritus at Quinn Evans, a firm that is nationally recognized for its preservation practice and sensitive adaptive reuse.

Award-winning architect and urban designer Cory Henry will share his expertise and passion for socially conscious design with students in ARCH600 Integrative Design Studio and ARCH611 Advanced Technology Seminar this fall. Henry is the founder and director of Atelier Cory Henry, an interdisciplinary design practice based in Los Angeles, California, that blends placemaking, the arts, urbanism and architecture to create impactful urban spaces. Henry has over 15 years of professional practice in residential, commercial, institutional and urban planning projects that span three continents. He has held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, Penn State University and has a reoccurring position with the University of Southern California. Henry will also return to MAPP to teach an online seminar in the spring 2021 semester.

UMD alumnus Marques G. King (M.ARCH ’14), AIA, NCARB, CNU returns to campus this fall to teach ARCH4/678, The Black Experience & The American Built Environment. An award-winning architect and urban designer, King returned to his Detroit, Michigan, roots to launch Fabric[K] Design, a design/consulting shop specializing in creating vibrant, sustainable, human-centered neighborhoods. King previously served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, where he worked with students on a variety of studios and courses; in 2018, he co-led “Rebirth,” a graduate-level project that mapped the relationship between the built environment, urban policy and social change over time in Washington’s U St. Corridor. It was exhibited at AIA|DC to mark the anniversary of the1968 riots.

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