Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: May/June 2021

Building Buildings, Community, and Wellbeing

If you’ve been reading our newsletters for the past few months, you’ve likely noticed that editions have taken on monthly themes. One of the things that I like most about buildings is how multifaceted they are and the impact they can have on us and the world. We focus often on sustainability because, lets face it, where would we be without an inhabitable planet? In March’s issue, we focused on health and wellness and how design approaches may be impacted given the current pandemic. Last month, there was a heavy focus on research and development, demonstrating how much potential we still have with our built environment, particularly if we can master the integration of academics and industry. This month, our content is focused on how buildings impact people and their well-being. How does their shape, look, and design impact how we function? How are our daily lives, our culture, and our society influenced by the built environment around us?

Read the rest from Brienna >

Churchill headshot on stamp


House of Commons rebuilding - October 28, 1943. House of Commons, London

“We shape our buildings and afterward our buildings shape us.” - Winston Churchill. Revisit the past in a speech in the House of Commons by Winston Churchill where he argues to rebuild the House of Commons based on custom, how the building is used, and the benefit of past experience in lieu of strict logic.

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Huddled hands holding home.


Design for people: Buildings that blend nature and city

Jeanne Gang’s TED Talk presents a few case studies that demonstrate how building design, when based around the needs of the people it serves, can help foster community and build relationships, reducing the stress and polarization often experienced in urban environments.

Watch here.

NMAAHC facade screen


African American life, history, and culture explored in Washington D.C.

This article presents the motivations and symbolism behind various architectural components of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, showing that buildings themselves can be a representation of culture.

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Asian garden and cityscape


Culture, conservation, and design

This video is part of a course description from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and introduces concepts of critical conservation, presenting ways that identity, culture, and history are applicable to design and development.

Watch video.

Outdoor cafe in old European urban environment

Case Studies

Building psychology: The hidden ways architecture affects how you feel

The psychological impacts that the built environment has on our mood and well-being are explored in this article. Design considerations for reducing stress and anxiety in our cities are presented based on past research and case studies.

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Waterfront and cityscape


Neuro-archtiecture: How do buildings affect mental health

Where the previous article discusses learned lessons, this article presents ongoing research being done in Auckland, NZ using the city as a living lab to understand how different components impact the wellbeing of its citizens.

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Park with lawn, trees and benches


Why facades are critical for great public space

This blog entry presents anecdotal applications of the research presented in the previous two articles making the research more applicable to our daily lives and relatable to our lived experiences. Want to know why the design of zoos has transitioned? Here’s one answer.

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Narrow cobble residential street


How we can design timeless cities for our collective future

Vishaan Chakrabarti's TED Talk imagines a future that gets away from homogenous design and focuses on local cultures and needs. He presents the idea of leveraging various technologies to design cities that are not only physically and culturally varied, but also designed for the benefit of people.

Watch now.

Toronto Forum Imagery


Is more facade innovation what we need?

Technoform pays her but we claim her! FTI's own President, Helen Sanders, writes one of our favorite blogs, here discussing the barriers to adoption of innovative products and services in the building industry.

Read more and comment!

Vitruvian awards cover image


FTI Announces the Inaugural Vitruvian Honors & Awards Program

The Facade Tectonics Institute is pleased to announce our first biennial Vitruvian Honors & Awards Program and the inaugural awards ceremony, scheduled to take place virtually on Thursday, December 2, 2021. The premiere celebration seeks to recognize unprecedented innovation and achievements in the field of facade design and delivery.

Learn more and submit a project!

Industry Calendar

Jun-Aug 17-19

AIA Conference on Architecture 2021

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June 22-24

FGIA Virtual Summer Conference

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June 24-25

2021 ACSA/EAAE Teachers Conference

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August 25-27

8th International Buildings Physics Conference 2021

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September 27-29

Building Innovation Conference - Call for Speakers

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Previously Featured


Book Review of Research Methods for the Architectural Profession

The concept of research has been hashed and rehashed by the architectural profession for decades, but this dialogue has failed to provide a systemic platform for its implementation. Akšamija cuts through the confusion and controversy like a sharp blade through soft fruit in a book released last month.

Read the review.


Research Collaboration between Industry and Academia as a Driver for Facades Innovation

Technoform recently embarked on a research project with the University of Massachusetts Amherst and are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with academia. We believe that building strong partnerships and networks that lead to shared results progresses the industry.

Read the article.


New Challenges – New Facades!

Being part of the European Façade Network efn, an association of ten research and education entities throughout Europe, I would like to share my experiences of last year’s conferences and research activities with this brief contribution.

Check it out!


The Perkins&Will Research Journal: Contributions from Practice-Based Design Research

Creating new knowledge through research and development provides value to any organization that prioritizes innovation. But sharing the results from these critical inquiries creates value for our entire profession and industry-at-large.

Learn more.


Research and Life-Long Learning Opportunities for Practitioners: Perspectives of Professional PhD Students

This article provides perspectives of two professionals (architectural designer and a mechanical engineer) that embarked into advanced education and research training, aiming to demystify the transition process and encourage other professionals that are considering research careers and life-long learning opportunities.

Read the interview.

2022 World Congress: Submit an abstract NOW!

Our signature event is happening October 2022. The abstract submission deadline was extended to July 13. Learn more and submit an abstract!

Organizational Members of the Facade Tectonics Institute


Kuraray, Schüco USA


Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Permasteelisa Group, seele, TriPyramid Structures


Dow, Finishing Contractors Association, Lerch Bates, Technoform North America, Valmont Structures, Vitro Architectural Glass, WRNS Studio, W&W Glass


Antamex Industries, Heintges, Kreysler & Associates, MdeAS Architects, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Roschmann Steel & Glass Constructions, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, SOCOTEC, Inc., The Architect's Newspaper, The Miller Hull Partnership, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York

Academics / Nonprofits

Aarhus University, Denmark, IIBEC, National Fenestration Rating Council, Rainscreen Association in North America, Universidad de Concepción, University of Utah, Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association