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BAC Talks

Here. There. Anywhere.
Discussions Inspired by Boston Architectural College
Global Alumni Leadership Advisors

BAC Talks are deep level forward thinking discussions of great relevancy, rooted in our unique design perspectives and inspired by our global alumni leadership advisory network.

As the premier leader and pioneer of design education, it is our duty to propel the discussion toward the future and lead through design.

We invite you to join us as we Design for the Post-Pandemic Environment (Design PPE)


Thom Mayne

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Thom Mayne

Followed by a dialogue between Thom Mayne and President Mahesh Daas

Visionary architect, recipient of the 2005 Pritzker Prize, principal architect of LA based firm Morphosis, and winner of the 2013 AIA Gold Medal, we are thrilled to announce that Thom Mayne will be our keynote speaker! Mayne's most notable works include New York's Cooper Union building, Emerson College in Los Angeles, and the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters. Mayne also helped found the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).


Schedule of Events

9:00am EST
Opening Remarks and Greetings of the Day

Celebrate with us as we share where we have been, where we are going, and our vision for the future!
Featuring remarks from BAC President Daas and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.


9:30am EST
Crisis as Conversation: Curricula for a Post-Pandemic World

J. Keith Motley

Co-moderator: Dr. J. Keith Motley, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor College of Management, UMass Boston and Consultant President/CEO, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (ULEM)
Guest panelist: Dr. T.J. Tallie, Assistant Professor, History, University of San Diego

As we seek to come to terms with the 'new normal,' we're doing a great deal of both emotional and academic heavy-lifting in our daily lives. We'll ponder the implications of COVID-19 in an interdisciplinary fashion, and seek to craft meaningful curricula for students that will allow them to make meaning of this once-in-a-century event. We will reflect on this historic time for our institution, where we, along with the global community designed new realities as old realities passed into our collective rear view.


emma robbins

11:00am EST
Post-Colonial Communities in the Time of COVID-19

Co-moderator: Emma Robbins, Director, Navajo Water Project
Guest panelist: Katherine Williams, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Founder of Black Women in Architecture Network

Communities are often sidelined, and even more so in times of crisis. This discussion, led by BAC alumni, invites the audience to consider ways of engaging with and listening to build better infrastructure and resiliency.


12:30pm EST
Towards Resiliency: Learning from the Pandemic

Moderator: Michael Fiorillo, RA, RLA Faculty and Director of Sustainable Design

Eric freed

Guest panelists:

  • Eric Corey Freed, Senior Vice President, Sustainability at CannonDesign
  • Rania Qawasma-Dana, Architect, Director at Architects Without Borders
  • Sarah Seymour Howard, MPP, LEED AP, Co-Founder and Director at Earthos Institute
  • L. DeWayne Cecil, Ph.D., Founder and Director Destination SPACE, Inc.

Side effects of the current global economic contraction include slashed carbon emissions, slowed ecological disruption and other beneficial environmental outcomes; we will discuss the tactical and technical lessons for combating climate change that this moment offers. However, the pandemic, and our response to it, also prompt larger questions about the politicization of crisis, the essence of our relationship with natural systems, economic and environmental equity and a reappraisal of ‘what is possible?'. Join us for a discussion of the lessons and admonishments for a sustainable future that are arising from our experience with the pandemic.


2:00pm EST
Designing Spaces that Draw Us Together in a Post-Pandemic World

This discussion, led by BAC Faculty from Practice will focus on the reshaping of built environments at a range of scales, universally encompassing ideas that are mindful of post-pandemic realities, yet embodying all the qualities that we value in well-designed joyful, whimsical, humorous, serendipitous, and humane spaces.


3:30pm EST
Trauma Informed Design: A Look at Educational Environmental Design in a Post-Pandemic Environment

This discussion, led by BAC Faculty from Design Studies, Design for Human Health, and will explore the role of designers in providing safe and sustainable futures in educational environments - incluing an exploration of offering design solutions to social inequities specifically looking at K-12.


bill cummings

5:00pm EST
ReDesigning the Future, a Look at Being Opportunistic and 
Entrepreneurial in Troubled Times

A Discussion with Mr. Bill Cummings of Cummings Properties and Cummings Foundation Inc.

Economic slumps have continually proven to be breeding grounds for new products and innovation. By examining the external factors that create opportunity in uncertain times, we will explore how pioneer thinking leads the way.


6:30pm EST
Alumni Announcements, Networking & Faculty Awards

Special Announcements from Alumni, Student Networking, and Faculty Awards


7:00pm EST
Keynote Speaker: Thom Mayne

Followed by a dialog between Thom Mayne and President Mahesh Daas


8:30pm EST
The Inverted Work Place

prakash kota

Moderator: Prakash Kota, CIO, Autodesk

As the global workforce collectively shifts models of work, consideration must be given to an inverted live/work model. Not only has there been a reconfiguration of home to become a functional work-from-home, our interaction with technology has also shifted. Not so long ago, we may have traveled for work and enjoyed Netflix on an iPad for entertainment, now we are looking at travel as entertainment and looking to technology and the virtual world as the workplace. Join us as we imagine opposite rhythms and scales of work.


11:00pm EST
Designers to the Rescue: Design Thinking for Reframing and Problem Solving in the Post-Pandemic World

This event is truly a pandemic, affecting the entire world. A global group of design leaders joins us for this conversation describing realities, challenges, and opportunities in each of their local environments. Come hear inspiring stories from the many front lines of this crisis and discover how designers are responding across borders.