Our series of profiled judges for the “Your World, Reimagined” global design competition continues as we introduce Katherine Bambrick Ambroziak, Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Ambroziak hopes participants will submit much more than just a few striking graphics if they’re planning on impressing the judges. To her, this competition is a challenge to reimagine our world by investing time in questions about revitalization, reclamation, adaptive reuse, and redesign. In order to qualify as a winning entry to this judge, it will require using “creative problem solving” mixed with a clear and concise explanation that tells the story behind the revitalization proposal.
“I don’t believe it is enough to create an interesting, graphic, evocative design,” says Ambroziak. “A successful solution needs to address a motivating base question and present an innovative way of thinking.”
Ambroziak received her master’s of architecture degree from Princeton University and her bachelor’s of science degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. Her research addresses holistic systems of environmental perception and geographic experience as influences on corporeal activity and memory. Since 2009, Ambroziak has served as the primary designer and coordinator of the Odd Fellows Cemetery and Potters Field Rehabilitation Project, a conservation and rehabilitation outreach initiative focusing on the stabilization and memorialization of two historic cemeteries in East Knoxville. The project is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, the City of Knoxville, and the Knoxville Re-Animation Coalition.
Ambroziak holds the belief that critical design relates to time and culture, responding to contexts beyond the physical and visual when designing. Her aim is to address social, political, and cultural contexts to find the experiential, empirical, and somatic potentials of a design. She also relies on analytical notations, diagrams, and narratives to help reinforce motives and discover fresh options.
With past experience in revitalization, two of Ambroziak’s favorite projects include Michelangelo’s Basilica of Santa Maria delgi Angeli e dei Martitri (St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs), a 16th century Roman church that was built into the ruins of the frigidarium of the Baths of Diocletian and the Jardines de Turia, a large-scale greenway that marches through the center of the historic city of Valencia in Spain.
“As architects and designers, we recognize the historic and cultural context in which we work,” said Ambroziak. “History gives us stories that we can share through our designs. Culture gives us values we identify and uphold. Revitalization projects require that we respect the present material culture, but they do not ask us to imitate. Through these projects we examine and interpret, create relevancy, and infuse contemporary vision on our evolving world.”
To learn more about the “Your World, Reimagined” competition sponsored by Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. in collaboration with MAXON Computer, DOSCH DESIGN, Arroway Textures® and AMD FireProTM graphics, visit our website.