An Impromptu Discussion with Ursula Emery McClure

march, 2021

23mar5:00 pm6:00 pmAn Impromptu Discussion with Ursula Emery McClure


Event Details

“done without being planned, organized, or rehearsed.”

In a new series of one on one talks, An Impromptu Discussion aims to re-instill the desire for spontaneous and critical discussion around architecture and design. An Impromptu Discussion will be held every two weeks, hosted by Michael Friebele in partnership with the Architecture and Design Exchange. In the spirit of being “impromptu,” there will be no prepared slides. Each session will cover a number of topics and interests with audience participation in shaping the discussion encouraged.

About our guest:

Ursula Emery McClure, FAAR, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a founding partner of emerymcclure architecture and also served as a Professor in the School of Architecture at Louisiana State University. The design research practice of emerymcclure architecture engages this mission through its design works (constructed and recognized locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally). The built work, writings, and design speculations of emerymcclure architecture have been published in a wide range of periodicals including professional, academic, and popular press. The firm has won numerous peer reviewed design awards, including recognition from the AIA and Architectural Record. The firm’s sustainable urbanism work has won design awards, been published in Places magazine, and is included in both books Interior Architecture Theory Reader (Routledge 2018) and Writing Urbanisms: A Design Reader (Routledge 2008), and was included as part of the 2006 and the 2010 Venice Biennale. This combined body of work and research was recognized by the American Academy in Rome through the awarding of the Gorham P. Stevens Rome Prize in Architecture 2008-09. Most recently the firm and its collaborators have been awarded Grand Prize in the 2013 Unbuilt Visions Competition, Finalists in the 2015 Field Constructs Competition, and had a design installation constructed and exhibited at two universities. In 2017 and 2019, the American Institute of Building Design awarded the BSL2 house and GATOR house American Residential Design Awards and in 2018, the firm won Boutique Residential Firm of the Year by London’s Corporate Live Wire. The firm’s mission to consistently search for, to question, and to define the assemblage in order to reveal and contribute to the elusive and yet constructed potentialities found within complex systems, enables them to practice design research wherever they are located. They lecture on their work at numerous conferences and universities and often find themselves between the global petro-chemical infrastructure and an alligator.

In 2019, Ursula Emery McClure retired from LSU and currently serves as the Ralph Hawkins Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has also served as the Southwest Director for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She studied liberal arts at Washington University in St. Louis MO with a major in architecture and a minor in history and received a master’s degree in architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, NYC. Before starting emerymcclure architecture with Michael A. McClure, Ursula worked in New York for both Wendy Evans Joseph and Mitchell Giurgola Architects and recently spent a year at Perkins and Will. In 2018, Ursula was selected as ArchDaily’s Most Innovative Practitioners.

emerymcclure architecture is a Lafayette-based architecture and design firm that participates in the unique built and social environment of this region.

In the contemporary global era where complex systems predominate and “nature turns out to be more like human nature — unpredictable, sensitive to the surrounding world, influenced by small fluctuations” — the firm agrees with John Urry that “this suggests enormous interdependencies, parallels, overlaps and convergences between analyses of physical and social worlds.” Their research practice speculates on the role of design in the confluence of multiple, seemingly contrary systems and aspires to develop tectonics that configure their futures. Their sites are never grounded, their conditions are never predictable, and their parameters are always in flux; they exist at the edges and transformational zones where infrastructure, geology, cultural habitation, and ecology cohabit at best as a composition of disparate parts, an assemblage. Their research practice essentially searches to define the assemblage in order to reveal the elusive potentialities found within complex systems. emerymcclure architecture practices to contribute to the rich and unique global traditions where sociocultural and physical contexts are entrenched in the way architecture is established and constructed.

Join us:

Talk will be hosted via Zoom (register here) and Facebook Live. An archive of each talk will follow the live event.


(Tuesday) 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm CST


Virtual - Zoom