Steve Padget

School of Architecture, Design & Planning - Architecture
Associate Professor
Primary office:
785-864-3069
Marvin Hall
Room 402
University of Kansas
1465 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045


Steve Padget, AIA, LEED AP, has been a faculty member in Architecture at the University of Kansas since 1978. His research and teaching have included design studio, Western Civilization., sacred place, and the architect’s role in society. His design (with emphasis on sustainability), research, teaching and service have resulted in multiple grants, presentations, awards and publications. Professor Padget has degrees from the University of Kansas (Environmental Design) and the University of London (MSc, Architecture).

Teaching

A WORD ABOUT ‘ARCHITECTURE’

Architecture is a profession (and a young one). Those who practice architecture (architects) do so in the service of the public’s health, safety and welfare (HSW). Otherwise, there’s no need of licensure, internships, exams or for that matter - accredited degree programs.

‘Heath, Safety and Welfare’ can be seen as a large umbrella that includes everything from code compliance (necessary but not sufficient) to cultural sustenance. The most crucial HSW problem humankind faces now is global climate change (and all that entails). The 2010 Imperative is consistent with this. I can think of no greater challenge and professional responsibility for architecture. Helping to find the ways that humankind can occupy this planet in a sustainably healthy way can become our overall objective. It is in this that “sustainable design” finds its purpose.

A working definition of ‘Architecture’ for purposes of my teaching is the artful solving of human problems through the medium of building. “Sustainable Design” is the method by which this can be met.

If the ‘2010 Imperative’ and its close relative the ‘2030 Challenge’ (adopted by the AIA Board) are to be fulfilled, this will take the multidisciplinary efforts of the entire profession along with other design and construction professionals. Individual efforts will be important, but the challenge is too big to be met by a few heroic individuals (the old model of architect as ‘gentleman artiste’).

Unfortunately, much of architectural education continues to operate from this neo-romantic paradigm that over-values aesthetic ‘passion’, individual aesthetic expression, idiosyncrasy and phenomenal excitement.

The formal expression of ‘sustainable design’ must be sought, but this effort must not be at the expense of the physical performance of our designs. The stakes are too high. If James Lovelock (the scientist who first used the concept of ‘Gaia’ to explain the threats of climate change) is correct, the earth (Gaia) is not at dire risk, humankind is not at dire risk, but human culture is.

True sustainability occurs at the meeting ground of; environmental performance, cultural performance and economic performance. This ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) thinking provides us with a new paradigm from which to redefine architecture and the role a (truly) professional architect must fill in humankind’s attempt to redefine its relationship to nature.

Within the constraints of our time together, my students and I explore architecture using the working definition above- The artful solving of human problems through the medium of building.

Teaching Interests

  • Sustainable design, living building, LEED, integrated design, sacred place, sacred geometry

Research

A WORD ABOUT ‘ARCHITECTURE’

Architecture is a profession (and a young one). Those who practice architecture (architects) do so in the service of the public’s health, safety and welfare (HSW). Otherwise, there’s no need of licensure, internships, exams or for that matter - accredited degree programs.

‘Heath, Safety and Welfare’ can be seen as a large umbrella that includes everything from code compliance (necessary but not sufficient) to cultural sustenance. The most crucial HSW problem humankind faces now is global climate change (and all that entails). The 2010 Imperative is consistent with this. I can think of no greater challenge and professional responsibility for architecture. Helping to find the ways that humankind can occupy this planet in a sustainably healthy way can become our overall objective. It is in this that “sustainable design” finds its purpose.

A working definition of ‘Architecture’ for my research and professional activities is the artful solving of human problems through the medium of building. “Sustainable Design” is the method by which this can be met.

If the ‘2010 Imperative’ and its close relative the ‘2030 Challenge’ (adopted by the AIA Board) are to be fulfilled, this will take the multidisciplinary efforts of the entire profession along with other design and construction professionals. Individual efforts will be important, but the challenge is too big to be met by a few heroic individuals (the old model of architect as ‘gentleman artiste’).

Unfortunately, much of architectural education and practice continues to operate from this neo-romantic paradigm that over-values aesthetic ‘passion’, individual aesthetic expression, idiosyncrasy and phenomenal excitement.

The formal expression of ‘sustainable design’ must be sought, but this effort must not be at the expense of the physical performance of our designs. The stakes are too high. If James Lovelock (the scientist who first used the concept of ‘Gaia’ to explain the threats of climate change) is correct, the earth (Gaia) is not at dire risk, humankind is not at dire risk, but human culture is.

True sustainability occurs at the meeting ground of; environmental performance, cultural performance and economic performance. This ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) thinking provides us with a new paradigm from which to redefine architecture and the role a (truly) professional architect must fill in humankind’s attempt to redefine its relationship to nature.

I practice and engage in research in order to explore architecture using the working definition above- The artful solving of human problems through the medium of building.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable design, living building, LEED, integrated design, sacred place, sacred geometry

Selected Publications

Padget, S. (in press). "Sustainability". 2A: Architecture and Art Dubai, U.A.E.

Padget, S. (in press). "Sustainable Design". 2A-Architecture and Art Dubai, U.A.E: 2A MAGAZINE.

Padget, S. (2017). “Urban Order as Means to Paradisiacal Order; Eden, Jerusalem, and London”
. 2A: Architecture and Art,(37 & 38), 56 - 62. http://2amagazine.com/default.aspx?PageID=324

Padget, S. (2013). Visualizing a Living Building. In The Visability of Research, Proceedings of the ARCC Spring Research Conference. UNCC.

Padget, S. (2012). Christopher Wren, Christian Cabala and the Tree of Life. In S. Grabow (Ed.), Vitruvius on the Plains. University of Kansas.

Padget, S. (2012). Aabow Mo’Alin Nur Mosque. Faith and Form, Annual Awards Issue, XLV(4).

Padget, S. (2011). A Mosque in Somalia. Faith and Form.

Padget, S., & Nur, O. (2011). Designing Aabow Mo’Alin Nur Mosque. 2A – Architecture and Art(17) P.O.Box: 123037, Dubai, U.A.E.: 2A MAGAZINE.

Selected Presentations

Padget, S. (09/30/2014). “Urban Order as Means to Paradisiacal Order; Eden, Jerusalem, and London”. Urban Experience Symposium, Hall Center for the Humanities. The University of Kansas

Padget, S. (06/30/2013). Urban Order as Means to Paradisiacal Order; Eden, Jerusalem and (in progress) London. Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Symposium, Harvard.

Steve, P. (04/30/2013). “Water/Energy/Carbon Nexus, Green Infrastructure and the
Triple Bottom Line”. International Conference on “Global Water: Drought, Conservation and Security in the 21st Century. University of Kansas

Padget, S. (10/31/2003). Degree Nomenclature and NAAB Conditions. NAAB Validation Conference. Santa Fe, NM

Selected Grants

Padget, Steve R, (Principal), Strategic Level II Research Grant: Design and Health Research"Food, Energy, and Water Systems Research Workshop", $4,500, Submitted 01/15/2015 (01/15/2015 . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Padget, Steven, (Principal), Rath, Eric, (Co-Investigator), Sanguinetti-Rivas, Paola, (Co-Investigator), Kindscher, Kelly, (Co-Investigator), McDonald, Rachel, (Co-Investigator), FEW Workshop Proposal: Defining the Opportunities and Challenges for Research and Design Strategies to support Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), CBET-1559379, National Science Foundation, $38,601, (11/15/2015 - 10/31/2016) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Principal), Living Building Design and Performance, University of Kansas, $6,184, Submitted 01/15/2014 (08/01/2014 - 05/31/2015) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Co-Author), Schussler, Jim, (Co-Author), U.S. Green Building Council Grant Proposal to study Green Infrastructure BMPs, $30,000, Submitted 05/15/2008 (01/01/2009 - 12/31/2012) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, “KU Solar House”, Grant Proposal to DOE/NREL, $450,000, - 12/31/2011) . Federal. Status: Not Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Consultant), “Design and Construction of Sustainable Engineering Testing Lab Facility”, KU submission to NIST, $16,000,000, - 12/31/2009) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Co-Author), “DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant” for “Master Plan for Thunder Valley”, Sioux Nation, South Dakota, $200,000, - 04/30/2009) . Federal. Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Principal), “The Tree of Life”, K.U. Hall Center for the Humanities, University Symposium, $1,000, - 12/31/2008) . University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Principal), K.T. Wiedemann Foundation grant to record ‘Beaumont Water Tower’, $12,000, (01/01/1999 - 12/31/2001) . Foundation. Status: Funded.

Padget, Steve, (Principal), UtiliCorp United grant to fund four-year measured drawings program for ‘NY Life Bldg’, Kansas City, MO, $100,000, (01/01/1998 - 12/31/2001) . For Profit (company/corporation). Status: Funded.

Academic Areas

  • Architecture

Courses Taught

  • ARCH 208: Architectural Design I
  • ARCH 600: LEED for Designers
  • ARCH 600: Practices in Sustainable Design
  • ARCH 609: Comprehensive Design

Education

  • M.S., Univ. College, London, 1975

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