Students and faculty members from Peking University and the University of Illinois collaborated on the design of Etho, an entry in Solar Decathlon China 2013, and construction has begun in Beijing. The house includes traditional Chinese design elements, sustainable materials, smart technology, and energy-efficient systems to appeal to young Chinese families and establish a model for mass-produced, affordable, environmentally responsible housing. Required to be fully solar powered, Etho features solar thermal water heating, an interface to select shower water temperatures, an energy recovery ventilator to capture heat and recirculate it, and a friendly interface for monitoring and adjusting energy use. After construction is completed, Etho will move from Beijing to Datong, where it will be exhibited and judged in ten categories in August. Students and faculty members from the School of Architecture and the School of Art and Design played key roles in the design and construction of this year’s entry.
June 18, 2013
Established in 2012 by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, the Edgar Fellows Program brings together emerging leaders from across Illinois to build relationships and address the state’s challenges. Dean Ed Feser was selected for this honor from among more than 160 nominees. The fellows will meet with Jim Edgar, governor of Illinois from January 1991 to January 1999, for executive training sessions to build leadership skills on August 4-7 and then will continue to network and regroup for additional education and strategic planning.
June 7, 2013
One State Together in the Arts, a biennial multidisciplinary conference organized by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council, features just ten presenters who offer innovative and inspirational insights into the arts. Held June 24-25 in the Quad Cities, the meeting focuses this time on the intersection of arts and the community. Jennifer Monson, a professor with Dance at Illinois, will explore her creative process for BIRD BRAIN, iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir, and the Mahomet Aquifer Project, three extensive collaborations that joined dance with scientific investigations and community involvement. Monson will discuss how taking dance out into the natural world and inviting the public to engage has encouraged experimentation, urban environmental research, and a greater understanding of the role of humans on our planet. These projects ultimately led to the formation of iLAND, a laboratory for innovation in dance, science, and collaboration.
Updated June 21, 2013
The atmosphere at your workplace really may disrupt your sleep. Mohamed Boubekri, an associate professor in the School of Architecture, served as a principal investigator on a study of exposure to daylight during the workday and sleep quality. A total of seventy-one campus office workers—forty-nine who had windowless spaces and twenty-two who could see daylight—completed questionnaires on sleep quality and quality of life. A smaller group also received testing for light exposure, physical activity, and sleep-wake patterns. Along with researchers at Northwestern University, the Hwa-Hsia Institute of Technology in Taiwan, and Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, Boubekri found that workers in offices with windows slept 47 more minutes per night, were more active, and had better sleep overall when they were compared with their window-free counterparts. The researchers hypothesize that office designs emphasizing windows and with improvements in lighting could positively affect office workers’ mental and physical states. Results of the study were presented at SLEEP 2013, a conference for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine focused on both research and clinical practices.
June 6, 2013
The Alma Mater may be offsite for this year’s graduates, but that doesn’t mean they have to skip the classic photo op. Students from the School of Art and Design constructed some Alma stand-ins who will be glad to pose for candid shots. Associate Professor Melissa Pokorny led the group of five graduate students—Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, Ben Hatcher, Alex Schutz, Scott Vanidestine, and Xinran Yuan—and five undergraduate students—Ben Barber, Dylan Gifford, Katie Maubach, Ali Sunseri, and Sean Tierny—in creating the six-foot plaster versions. Look for these surrogate Alma Mater statues on the Quad, at Assembly Hall for the university-wide ceremony, on the north side of campus, at the School of Art and Design, and at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.
May 11, 2013