Teaching

 

UF Associate Professor Bradley Walters discusses project work with students at the Architecture Building │ Photo by Andrew Stanfill, Independent Florida Alligator │ 2 October 2008

At the University of Florida, the normal semester teaching load for Mr. Walters includes two scheduled courses each semester, in addition to serving on Graduate Thesis and Dissertation committees. He serves as Honors Thesis Advisor for fourth-year undergraduate students, advises University Scholars, and serves on Capstone Project Review committees for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and the Built Environment (B.S.S.B.E.) degree program.

Design studios are the core of the School of Architecture’s pedagogical structure and are heavily weighted in both credit hours (4-6 per course) and in contact hours (8 hours per week in the first year and 9 hours per week starting in the second year of undergraduate studios). Most non-studio courses are 3- or 4-credit hours and involve 3- to 4- contact hours per course.

In addition to his 9-month per year appointment, he teaches the 6-credit Sustainable Planning and Design Studio that is a central component of the MSAS in Sustainable Design degree program. This course involves weekly studio sessions with students working remotely and field work in Singapore. Mr. Walters has taught or co-taught this course each year since 2011.

Building Bridges

As informational networks bind us ever more tightly together, they also introduce unseen gaps and fissures within fields of knowledge. While in some cases, these are the product of distraction or youthful naiveté, they are also symptomatic a field which is expanding both in breadth and depth through uneven specializations. The resulting disciplinary lacunae are extensive, with students asked to connect ever more remote points within unsettled and variable terrains. The impossibility of knowing and/or mapping these territories creates an ambiguous and amorphous field within which beginning design students are asked to find their way.

At a fundamental level, I believe that teaching is about building bridges with and for our students, bridges that operate between academic and professional worlds, between disciplines, between different modes of thinking and making, between scales (global/local and concept/detail), between hand and digital modes of working, and between and amongst a multiplicity of cultural/social/economic/sustainable motivators. To be an excellent, innovative, and effective teacher requires an understanding of how to make these bridges, and the ability to share that knowledge with others. It is equal parts knowledge and communication.

My work begins with our students, as complex, emergent people, each motivated in different ways and pursuing different trajectories, goals, and objectives. They are entering a design profession which is itself complex and at times contradictory, with no singular way of working within it or even describing it. The combination of these conditions establishes a variable field, within which there are many possible solutions to a given design problem.

Studio learning encourages dialogue, collaboration, risk-taking, innovation, learning-by-doing and the integration of knowledge. This model places a higher value on the search for constructive strategies of thought and action than on the direct transmission of knowledge and skills.

I believe it is important to teach our students an appreciation for open-ended, speculative thinking so that they are prepared for a lifetime of practice. And it is important for us to balance this with carefully-measured, analytic, problem-solving skills that will allow our students to appreciate the specificity required in their built work.

To the fullest extent possible, I teach by looking through my students’ eyes, seeking to always see their work both from the perspective of the site/context/discipline and from the perspective of the student/creator/thinker. I teach by asking questions, and I often draw while talking with and/or listening to my students. We swap pencils and pens, I navigate their digital projects on-screen, and together we work to clarify the project’s intent and the specifics of its realization. This bridging across scales within the work allows students to think about the detail and big idea simultaneously rather than compartmentalizing information.

In larger-format courses, I seek to understand concurrent curricular obligations and search for opportunities to cross-reference the subject matter between classes. I engage the students in the discussion with specific in-lecture examples, video shorts, and case-study images from my own built work and the work of others.

Courses Taught

Graduate

  • DCP 6301  Sustainable Planning and Design Studio (Singapore)
  • ARC 6241  Advanced Graduate Architectural Design One
  • ARC 6355  Advanced Graduate Architectural Design Two
  • ARC 6393  Advanced Architectural Connections
  • ARC 6911  Architectural Detailing
  • ARC 6913  Architectural Research 3 (MRP/Thesis Preparation)
  • ARC 6940  Supervised Teaching
  • ARC 6971  Masters Research Thesis
  • ARC 6979  Masters Research Project

Published Ph.D. Dissertations – Committee Member: (3)

Published Thesis / Project in-lieu-of Thesis (PILOT) – Committee Chair: (2008-2022; 61 total / 14 years = average 4.4 per year)

Published Master’s Thesis / Project in-lieu-of Thesis (PILOT) – Committee Member: (2008-2022; 29 total / 14 years = average 2.1 per year)

Published Master’s Thesis / Project in-lieu-of Thesis (PILOT) – Committee Co-Chair: (2008-2022; 16 total / 14 years = average 1.1 per year)

Chair, Co-Chair, + Member Totals (2008-2022):

  • Ph.D. = Doctor of Philosophy: 3
  • M.ARCH = Master of Architecture: 84
  • MSAS SD = MSAS in Sustainable Design: 21
  • MSAS PEDAGOGY = MSAS in Pedagogy: 1
  • THESIS = M.Arch or MSAS Thesis: 6

Faculty Thesis + PILOT Collaborations (2008-2022):

Undergraduate

  • ARC 1301  Architectural Design 1
  • ARC 1302  Architectural Design 2
  • ARC 2303  Architectural Design 3
  • ARC 2304  Architectural Design 4
  • ARC 2461  Materials and Methods of Construction 1
  • ARC 3291  Analytic Drawing and Sketching (Vicenza, Italy)
  • ARC 3320  Architectural Design 5
  • ARC 3321  Architectural Design 6
  • ARC 3463  Materials and Methods of Construction 2 (Vicenza, Italy)
  • ARC 4073  Graduate Core Studio 3
  • ARC 4074  Graduate Core Studio 4
  • DCP 4290  Capstone Project in Sustainability and the Built Environment
  • ARC 4322  Architectural Design 7
  • ARC 4323  Architectural Design 8 (Gainesville, Florida and Vicenza, Italy)
  • ARC 4323  Integrated Project Delivery Studio and Practicum
  • ARC 4941  Educational Teaching Issues

Published B.S.S.B.E. Capstone Project – Faculty Advisor: (2)

Published Undergraduate Honors Thesis – Faculty Advisor / Mentor: (29 total)

University Scholar Mentor + Faculty Advisor: (4)

  • Martucci, Clara. 2021. Designing Cities Through Sound: A Comparative Study of Urban Spaces and Soundscapes. Vol. 23 (2021): UF Journal of Undergraduate Research. https://journals.flvc.org/UFJUR/article/view/128400. Scholar Profile: https://cur.aa.ufl.edu/portfolio/clara_martucci/
  • Kyesmu, Panquat. 2016. The Preservation of Memory: Germplasm Repository in the Tropics.
  • Clarke, Mitchell. 2014. Link between Spatial Design and Social Responses in Student Housing.
  • Monroe, Marcy. 2010. The Economic and Political Influence on Natural Disaster Recovery: Rebuilding After the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China.

United World College Scholars Program + Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace – Faculty Advisor: (1)