|EDRAite of the Month - Julie Zook|
I am a Ph.D. candidate at the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech, where I use space syntax to investigate architecture and urban design, both in terms of how design supports organizational or group goals and in terms of aesthetic experiences of space. In my professional and consulting work, I conduct spatial analysis and make design recommendations on urban design, health care architecture, and offices for a variety of client organizations. In addition to teaching at Georgia Tech, I currently work as a researcher with BBH Design.
I recently attended EDRA 45 in New Orleans, and there were several things I especially enjoyed about the conference. First, EDRA tends to be open to good ideas, without regard for what quarter they come from, so sessions represent both well-established ideas and methods as well as emerging ones. EDRA has also been remarkably successful in retaining long-standing scholars in their fields while welcoming those at early or middle career phases, which makes for an interesting mix socially and intellectually. Third, the diversity in conference material and attendance is unified by an overriding commitment to the embetterment of society through design. Conversations tend toward ideas, not products or markets, while maintaining grounding in applicability. These things make the EDRA conference valuable for research and design professionals interested in society and space.