Shannon Criss, M.Arch

School of Architecture & Design - Architecture
Professor
Primary office:
785.864.3861
Marvin Hall, 102
University of Kansas
1465 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045
Second office:
785.766.0069



Summary

SHANNON CRISS is a licensed architect and an Associate Professor in the Architecture Department at the University of Kansas. Through her work at KU she is able to bring focus to community engagement processes and service learning opportunities to create an architecture that serves the greater good. The endeavor requires that we think beyond the singular architectural object and develop deep, long-term, loose-fitting principles to guide the work we do as architects; developing strategies that make the architectural object the right fit, for many people, for a long time. In order to be effective, this premise requires collaborative thought and work, where students identify and examine ideas driven by their empathy for others' needs and their own natural curiosity to explore and offer new insight to a given problem, with the premise that good design is enduring design. Through externally funded research projects that incorporate design courses, she is able to engage urban communities of need in Wyandotte County. Shannon believes that by meeting people where they are, "these real-world experiences enhance the student perspective on what can be achieved when working with community insight as a guide to plausible, well-designed solutions." Shannon is a strong advocate to help students see their role as agents to connecting communities with design that promote environmental sustainability, social equity and community resilience.

Her work has been awarded an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Collaborative Practice Award in 2017 and 2002, the Kansas Alliance for Wellness 'Health Innovator Award' among other awards and she has received the University of Kansas Steeples Service to Kansas Award. Her work has been published in Routledge 'Designbuild Education in North America', The Plan Journal, PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America, in 'Good Deeds, Good Design, Community Service Through Architecture' published by Princeton Architectural Press among other publications. She is a graduate of Kansas State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has taught at the Boston Architectural Center, The Harvard Graduate School of Design, Mississippi State University and the University of Kansas.

Teaching Interests

  • Public Interest Design, Participatory Design, Resilient Design, Community-Based Participatory Research, Impact Design, Sustainable Design, Visualization, Design Process, Human-Centered Design, Building Design

Research

Global flows of goods, services and capital have wrought tremendous changes in our culture. Amidst these sweeping transformations, which seem destined to continue, we tend to lose interest in local or regional marketplaces, and lapse in our commitment to locally shared values and our own sense of place. Community life suffers; we neglect the public realm. The architectural profession is likewise affected by these changes, as it seeks to secure its future in this changed landscape. If architecture can't serve the greater good, what value does it have? Can we really be satisfied by serving the 2% of the market that can afford "design"?

My research works to catalyze means and resources in order to create an architecture that serves the greater good. To do so, my research investigates how we make buildings and communities, and develops processes and strategies to enable an entity—whether an individual or institutional client, a neighborhood, or a community—to build for itself what it could not do on its own. Architecture can promote the larger public welfare at a variety of scales: from the scale of the materials we choose to build with, to the ways in which we consider new (and re-used) individual buildings, to the means by which we form the larger public realm.

In each of these scales of development, establishing an enduring design is essential. The endeavor requires that we think beyond the singular architectural object and develop deep, long-term, loose-fitting principles to guide the work we do as architects; developing strategies that make the architectural object the right fit, for many people, for a long time. Good design is enduring design.

This premise requires collaborative thought and work. Unfortunately, in academia we give priority to single-minded approaches and design solutions. We praise the novel, individual genius at the expense of collaborative, holistic, diverse design solutions. In practice, we mostly build for single clients, (individual or institutional committees), concerned for the architectural object within defined, property-line boundaries. This insulated thinking and action (perhaps unconscious for many) limits the potential of architecture to act in useful and productive ways in society. In almost every research project, I attempt to include others, be interdisciplinary, and be public. The research is strengthened by dialogue, diversity of view, and by the less-tangible elements that test the physical object (whether efficiency, durability, healthy human relationships, or possession). Along with working in collaborative ways, I have felt it critical to make my work, our work, as architects, public.

Since beginning this inquiry in graduate school, my research has continually evolved, starting with understanding the public realm—at the larger community scale. Much of this work has been an attempt to understand how the public realm, with individual buildings placed within this realm (places of commerce, housing, daycare) can best support an inspired and enduring community life and making those efforts public. Directly working with the citizens in a community and building actual constructions has tested design methodologies by working directly with materials, on actual sites and with real people. Through these sorts of public-realm projects in fringe communities, I have found a great need for infill housing, affordable housing and childcare as part of the larger community-life matrix. My research attempts to fill this need. So much housing, particularly the nominally "affordable," is plunked into neighborhood without considering non-traditional family life, work/living arrangements, affordability as defined by durability maintainability, limiting energy consumption, lasting and healthy materials, connection to public transportation, and the like. Current research and proposals indicate a strong future in this area. And finally, this research challenges my teaching methodologies and has contributed to a national discourse on the value of teaching community design and service learned.

Selected Publications

Criss, Shannon, and Nils Gore. 2019. “Taking ‘Engagement’ Seriously:  Mobilizing Community for Better Parks and Public Health.  .” Book Chapters. In All-Inclusive Engagement in Architecture, edited by Farhana Ferdous and Bryan Bell.
Criss, Shannon. 2018. Shaping New Forms of Citizenry. through Community Co-Creation and Participatory Design Processes. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from the 106th Annual National Conference:  The Ethical Imperative.
Criss, Shannon, Paola Sanguinettie, Nils Gore, Jerry Schultz, Tony Lupino, Praveen Rao, Deendayal Dinakarpandian, and Ann Marie Marciarille. 2017. Connecting Communities and Promoting Health with Smart Participatory Parks. Conference Proceedings. 2017 Smart Cities Connect Conference.
Criss, Shannon, and Matt Kleinmann. 2017. “Dotte Agency:  A Participatory Design Model for Community Health.” Journal Articles. The Plan Journal 1 (2): 213–37. https://doi.org/10.15274/tpj.2016.01.02.09.
Criss, Shannon, and Nils Gore. 2017. “Embracing Uncertainty:  Community Designbuild.” Book Chapters. In Designbuild Education in North America, edited by Chad Kraus. New York: Routledge.
Criss, Shannon. 2016. Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Walkability: Insights through Inter-Professional. Conference Proceedings. Curricula. Proceedings for Building for Health and Well-Being Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Criss, Shannon, and Nils Gore. 2016. Mobilizing for Better Health through Prototyping Park Infrastructure. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings for Building for Health and Well-Being Conference (Honolulu, Hawaii).
Criss, Shannon. 2015. Diagramming, Scaffolding and Transforming the Architecture Curriculum. Conference Proceedings. Center for Teaching Excellence.
Criss, Shannon R, and Nils N Gore. 2014. “Architecture as Acupuncture.” Journal Articles. Public 2 (2). http://public.imaginingamerica.org/blog/article/architecture-as-acupunct....
Criss, Shannon, and Larry Bowne. 2014. Drawn Through: The Sectional Perspective as a Tool of Engagement. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from 102nd Annual Meeting:  Globalizing Architecture, Flows and Disruptions.
Criss, Shannon, Bryan Bell, and Dasha Ortenberg. 2014. Value Proposition to Universities. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings for 102nd ACSA National Conference:  Globalizing Architecture/Flows and Disruptions.
Criss, Shannon, and Larry Bowne. 2012. Perspections. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings at the 2012 Biannual National Conference: Design Communication Association at Stillwell, OK, 21-24 October.
Criss, Shannon. 2012. “Recycling the Margins.” Book Chapters. In Vitruvius on the Plain: Architectural Thought at Kansas, edited by Steve Grabow.
Criss, Shannon. 2011. Embedding Sustainable Design Thinking into the Design Curriculum. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings at the 2011 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student at Lincoln, Nebraska.
Criss, Shannon. 2011. Working with Contradiction. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings at the 2011 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student at Lincoln, Nebraska.
Criss, Shannon. 2009. Finding Discipline Through Authentic Experience. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings at the 2009 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student at Baton Rouge, LA.
Criss, Shannon. 2008. Working Against and With Translation. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings of the Annual Beginning Design Conference.
Criss, Shannon. 2006. “Recycling the Margins.” Journal Articles. Edited by Nicole Ellis, Jason Fedak, and Gabe McKee. Oz Journal, 20–23.
Criss, Shannon. 2005. “Public Space Making in Okolona, Mississippi.” Book Chapters. In Good Deeds, Good Design, Community Service Through Architecture, edited by Bryan Bell. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Criss, Shannon. 2003. Public Space Making in the Argentine Neighborhood, Kansas City, Kansas. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings of the International Eco Design Conference, Berkeley, CA, 2003.
Criss, Shannon. 2003. Ten Criteria for Selecting Recycled-Content Products. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings of the International Eco Design Conference, Berkeley, CA, 2003.
Criss, Shannon, and Shelley Mastran. 2002. “Case Study: Highway 61 Through the Mississippi Delta.” Other. Edited by Shelley S. Mastran. Your Town: Mississippi Delta. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.
Criss, Shannon, and Shelley Mastran. 2002. “Case Study: Mound Bayou, Mississippi.” Other. Edited by Shelley S. Mastran. Your Town: Mississippi Delta. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.
Criss, Shannon, and Nils Gore. 2002. Okolona Downtown Park: A Collaborative Design-Build Project by Third-Year Architecture Students. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from the 90th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
Criss, Shannon. 2000. Working with Chance: Community Outreach in the Small Town. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from the 88th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
Criss, Shannon, and David Perkes. 1998. Working Space: Notes on Design Studio Work in the Public Realm. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from the 86th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
Criss, Shannon, and Nils Gore. 1995. A Home for the Motorhome. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from the 83rd ACSA Annual Meeting and Technology Conference.
Criss, Shannon. 1995. “Little Friends Farm Childcare Center.” Book Chapters. In Creating Environments for Young Children, edited by Henry Sanoff, 75–76. Mansfield, OH: BookMasters, Inc.
Criss, Shannon, Rachel McCann, and Jenifer Watson. 1994. Colloquy. Conference Proceedings. Proceedings from the ACSA Southwest Regional Conference.
Criss, Shannon, and Nils Gore. Submitted/In Review. “Not For, but With:  Community-Based Research and Service Learning as Transformative Agents.” Journal Articles. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.

Selected Work

Dotte Agency: Work in Progress. Engaged: Campus and Community Scholars Exhibit, KU Haricombe Gallery. Lawrence. KS. 2017
Our Hippie Modernism. KU Chalmers Hall Gallery. Lawrence. KS. USA. 2016
Collecting Stories with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg through the Mobile Collaboratory. Hall Center Grant: Levee Festival. Kansas City. KS. 2015
Walkability in the Barker Neighborhood. Barker Neighborhood Walkability Workshop: Mobile Collaboratory. Lawrence. KS. 2014
Emerging Economies: Makers and Collaborators in Action in Kansas City. Design Week: Mobile Collaboratory. Kansas City. MO. 2014
Heartland Green Sheets, A Work-in-Progress. Mid-America Regional Council. Kansas City. MO. 2005
Small Town Center. AIA Honor Awards. Jackson. MS. 1999 - Present

Selected Presentations

Criss, S., & Gore, N. (6/14/2018 - 6/15/2018). Dotte Agency: An Approach to Healthy Communities by Design. A2ru Workshop: Healthy Communities by Design. Cincinnati, Ohio
Criss, S. (3/31/2018). Shaping New Forms of Citizenry through Community Co-Creation and Participatory Design Processes. 106th Annual National ACSA Conference: The Ethical Imperative. Denver, Colorado
Criss, S. (12/31/2017). Get Out of the Job and into the Work: Transportation and the Built Environment. HealthCare Foundation of Greater Kansas City at the Kauffman Conference Center. Kansas City, MO
Criss, S., & Kleinmann, M. (8/31/2017). Proposals for Public Life: Active Living Trails. Gehl Institute Dialogue. Philadelphia, PA
Criss, S., Berkebile, B., Mullins, B., Luppino, A., Brain, D., Irazabal-Zurita, C., ...Kramer, M. (8/31/2017). The Right to the City: A Neighborhood View of Ecosystem Design. The Midwest Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Conference Center. Kansas City, MO
Criss, S., Friedman, D., Schopf, A., & Rubin, V. (4/30/2017). Health Beyond Healthcare: Integrating Research, Data and Engagement into Practice. AIA International Conference on Architecture. Orlando, FL
Criss, S., Bair, K., Findley, L., Neveu, M., & Wingert-Playdon, K. (3/31/2017). ACSA Tenure & Promotion White Paper. 105th ACSA National Annual Meeting. Detroit, MI
Criss, S., Gore, N., & Kleinmann, M. (3/31/2017). Collaborative Practices Awards. 105th ACSA Annual National Meeting. Detroit, MI
Criss, S. (3/31/2017). Design for Social Impact - The Plan Journal, Special Focus Session. 105th ACSA National Annual Meeting. Detroit, MI
Criss, S., Spreckelmeyer, K., & Kleinmann, M. (3/31/2017). Expanding Practice from Project Based to Impact Design. AIA/ACSA Health + Design Consortium Meeting Special Focus Session. Detroit, MI
Criss, S., & Kleinmann, M. (3/31/2017). Health Beyond Healthcare. 105th ACSA National Annual Meeting: AIA Health + Design National Research Consortium Meeting. Detroit, MI
Criss, S. (3/31/2017). How to Apply the T&P White Paper to a Scholarly Agenda Careers in Between: Chartering the "Third Space" Special Focus Session. 105th ACSA National Annual Meeting. Detroit, MI
Criss, S. (3/31/2017). Interdisciplinary Scholarship Special Focus. 105th ACSA National Annual Meeting. Detroit, MI
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (2/23/2017). A Crooked Path: Evolving a Design/Research Agenda at Dotte Agency. Excellence & Impact SADP Design Research Symposium 2017. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S., Gore, N., & Kleinmann, M. (2/11/2017). Who's at the Table?: Using the Design Process to Build a Healthy Community and Civic Pride. 5th Annual Community Development Workshop. Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, MO
Criss, S., Gore, N., & Kleinmann, M. (4/30/2017). Using the Design Process to Build a Healthy Community and Civic Pride Together. 5th Annual Community Development Workshop. Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, Kansas City, MO
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (10/31/2016). Dotte Agency: A Community Outreach Center that Connects and Tackles Problems through Design. University of Kansas Campus to Community Workshop. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (10/31/2016). Taking "Engagement" Seriously: Mobilizing Community for Better Parks and Public Health. Scholarship of Social Engagement Symposium. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S. (10/31/2016). What is HCF's Healthy Communities Leadership Academy?. Healthy Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City Online Video. https://hcfgkc.org/grantees-and-applicants/what-we-fund/foundation-defin...
Criss, S. (9/24/2016). Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Walkability: Insights through Inter-Professional Curricula. Building for Health and Well-Being, ACSA Annual Meeting. Honolulu, Hawaii
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (9/23/2016). Mobilizing for Better Health through Prototyping Park Infrastructure. Building for Health and Well-Being, ACSA Annual Meeting. Honolulu, Hawaii
Criss, S., Ramaswamy, M., & Kleinmann, M. (6/30/2016). Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Walkability: insights through Inter-Professional Curricula. ASPPH Presents Webinar: Public Health and Architecture Interdisciplinary Collaboration. http://www.aspph.org/event/aspph-presents-webinar-public-health-and-arch...
Criss, S. (6/30/2016). What is HCF's Healthy Communities Leadership Academy?. Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City Online Video. https://hcfgkc.org/grantees-and-applicants/what-we-fund/foun-dation-defi...
Criss, S., & Kleinmann, M. (8/31/2016). Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Walkability From Research to Application: Building the Bridge to Practice. AIA Design + Health Research Consortium. Alexandria, VA
Criss, S. (4/30/2016). "How Are You Building Value in Your Community?". AIA Design + Health Research Consortium: Building the Bridge to Practice. Alexandria, VA
Criss, S., & Zell, M. (3/1/2016 - 3/31/2016). "Partnerships with Community Colleges". Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Seattle, Washington
Criss, S., & Kleinmann, M. (2/28/2016). Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Walkability: Insights through Inter-Professional Curriculu. SADP Research Symposium. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (2/28/2016). Connecting Through Mobility. School of Architecture, Design & Planning Research Symposium. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S., Gore, N., & Kleinmann, M. (2/28/2016). Transforming Scholarship through Community-Based Research and Service Learning. School of Architecture, Design & Planning Research Symposium. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S. (12/31/2015). Getting Students to Practice What You Teach: Best Practices in Experiential Learning. Center for Teaching Excellence KU Summit. Budig Hall, Lawrence, KS
Criss, S. (8/31/2015). How to Educate Students about Public Interest Design and Resilience: Connecting the Dottes. Structures for Inclusion 15. Detroit, MI
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (10/31/2014). Going Mobile. Imagining America National Conference. Atlanta, GA
Criss, S. (10/31/2014). Trends in Architecture Practice. American Institute of Architecture Annual Meeting. Wichita, KS
Criss, S. (12/31/2014). Teaching Students to Visually Represent Basic Principles for Deeper Understanding and Practical Application. Center for Teaching Excellence Portfolio Series. Lawrence, KS
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (6/30/2014). Public Interest Design at University of Kansas. Design Futures Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum. New Orleans, LA
Criss, S. (3/31/2014). Studies in Urban Acupuncture. SADP Research Topics Series. Marvin Hall
Criss, S. (2/28/2014). Practices of Experiential Learning. KU Experiential Learning Symposium. Kansas Union
Criss, S. (2/28/2014). Urban Acupuncture. University of Kansas Red Hot Research. The Commons, Lawrence, KS
Criss, S., Bell, B., & Ortenberg, D. (4/30/2014). Value Proposition to Universities. 102nd ACSA National Annual Conference. Washington, DC
Criss, S., MacNamara, S., Luce, B., Bowne, L., & Gore, N. (10/31/2013). Performative Infastructures. Workshop presentation, 2013 National Imagining America: Artists, Scholars and Designers in Public Life Conference
Criss, S., Taylor, E., & Gore, N. (5/31/2013). PID in Your Own Community. Design Futures: Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum. New Orleans, LA
Criss, S. (4/30/2011). Embedding Sustainable Design Thinking into the Design Curriculum. National Beginning Design Conference. Lincoln, NE
Criss, S. (7/31/2010). Community Activism Through the Design Studio. Urban Habitat Chicago. Chicago, IL
Criss, S. (2/28/2010). Beyond Translation. Analog and Digital: A Dialogue about Representation in the Design Studio Symposium
Criss, S. (6/30/2009). Constructing Ideas. National Annual Environmental Design Research Association Conference. Kansas City, MO
Criss, S. (3/31/2009). Finding Discipline Through Authentic Experience. National Annual Conference on the Beginning Design Student. Baton Rouge, LA
Criss, S. (6/30/2008). Thinking Globally/Building Locally: A Close Encounter with the Architecture of Sean Godsell. Annual International Association for Philosophy and Literature Conference. Melbourne, Australia
Criss, S. (3/31/2008). Working Against and With Translation. Annual Beginning Design Conference. Atlanta, GA
Criss, S. (12/31/2007). Working with Contradiction. Annual National Beginning Design Conference. Washington, DC
Criss, S. (8/31/2007). Sustainable Communities: Investigations from the Heartland Workshop. National Annual Environmental Design Research Association Conference. Kansas City, MO
Criss, S. (12/31/2005). Community Advocacy. Arkansas Summit: Re-Inhabitating New Orleans. Fayetteville, AR
Criss, S. (4/30/2005). Applied Research 1. 2005 ARCC Research Conference. Jackson, MS
Criss, S. (4/30/2005). Developing a Principle-Based Approach to Community Design. 2005 National Architectural Research Centers Consortium: The Reach of Research. Jackson, MS
Criss, S. (3/31/2005). Green Building Materials. Green Building and Sustainable Design Conference, Flint Hills Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute. Topeka, KS
Criss, S. (4/30/2005). Heartland Green Sheets: A Work-in-Progress. Mid-America Regional Council Review. Kansas City, MO
Criss, S. (4/30/2005). Project Living Proof. AIA Kansas City Missouri. Discovery Center, Kansas City, MO
Criss, S. (8/31/2003). Public Space Making in the Argentine Neighborhood, Kansas City, Kansas. International Eco-Design Conference. Sacramento, CA
Criss, S. (8/31/2003). Ten Criteria for Selecting Recycled-Content Products. International Eco-Design Conference. Sacramento, CA
Criss, S. (4/30/2003). The Form of Sustainable Cities. National Affordable Housing and Community Design Conference. Philadelphia, PA
Criss, S. (12/31/2002). Small Town Center Projects. Kansas City Design Center Affordable Housing Conference. Kansas City, MO
Criss, S. (12/31/2001). Small Town Center--A Work in Progress. North Dakota AIA Chapter Conference. North Dakota
Criss, S., Palermo, G., Bullene, R., & Reder, H. (12/31/2000). Exercising Ethics: With and For Whom Architects Work. AIA Ohio Grassroots Conference. Columbus, OH
Criss, S. (12/31/2000). Small Town Center--A Work in Progress. Structures for Inclusion- Princeton University School of Architecture. Princeton, NJ
Criss, S. (4/30/2000). Community Design. 88th Annual ACSA Conference. Los Angeles, CA
Criss, S. (12/31/2000). Small Town Center--Community Design Centers in Universities. Cornell University School of Architecture. Ithaca, New York
Criss, S. (4/30/2000). Working With Chance: Community Outreach in the Small Town Center. Lecture, University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, OH
Criss, S. (4/30/2000). Working with Chance: Community Outreach in the Small Town Center. Oral presentation, Rural Design Studio at Auburn University. Newbern, AL
Criss, S. (12/31/1999). Small Town Center. University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Oxford, MS
Criss, S. (8/31/1999). Small Town Center. AIA Practice Education Conference University of Virginia. Charlottesville VA
Criss, S. (8/31/1999). Small Town Center as a Model of Community Design Practice. University of Colorado School of Architecture. Denver, CO
Criss, S. (3/31/1998). Small Town Center. AIA Practice Education Summit. Cleveland, OH
Criss, S. (4/30/1998). Discovering Artifacts in the Mississippi Landscape. Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Blacksburg, VA
Criss, S. (11/30/1997). Architectural Education. AIA Practice Education Summit. Jackson, MS
Criss, S. (10/31/1997). Architectural Education Retrospective. AIA Practice Education Summit. Raleigh, NC
Criss, S. (8/31/1997). Public Role of Architecture. ACSA/AIA Teachers’ Seminar Cranbrook Academy. Detroit, MI
Criss, S. (8/31/1997). Redefining the Future. MS AIA Chapter Convention. San Destin, FL
Criss, S., & Perkes, D. (12/31/1997). Working Space. ACSA National Conference. Cleveland, OH
Criss, S., & Gore, N. (4/30/1995). A Home for the Motorhome. Design Presentation Award, ACSA National Conference. Seattle, WA
Criss, S. (4/30/1995). The First Year Experience. Beginning Design Student Special Focus Session, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) National Conference. Seattle, WA
Criss, S. (8/31/1994). Colloquy–A Second Look. ACSA Southwest Regional Conference. Lafayette, LA
Criss, S. (4/30/1994). Colloquy. National Conference on the Beginning Design Student. Fayetteville, AR
Criss, S. (12/31/1994). Design Research and Pedagogy. ACSA Southeast Regional Conference MSU School of Architecture. Jackson, MS
Criss, S. (4/30/1994). Little Friends Farm Childcare Center. AIA MS Awards Lecture MSU School of Architecture. Jackson, MS
Criss, S. Diagramming, Scaffolding and Transforming the Architecture Curriculum. Center for Teaching Excellence Annual Program. Lawrence, KS

Selected Grants

Mobilizing the Dottes for Better Health Through Design. The Health Care Foundation of Greater KC. $131000.00. Submitted 2/18/2017 (7/1/2017 - 6/30/2019). Foundation. Status: Funded
Fabrication of Mobile Market Phase II. Menorah Heritage Foundation. $18000.00. (1/15/2018 - 4/30/2019). Foundation. Status: Funded
State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease and Stroke Program Program Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1422 Grant. Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $35000.00. (10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018). Federal. Status: Funded
Pop-Up Business Program and Small Business Program: Epic Arts Pop Up Project. Local Initiatives Support Corporation Implementation Grant. $55000.00. Submitted 2/1/2017 (8/1/2017 - 8/31/2018). Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: In Preparation
Exploring the Jersey Creek Watershed through a Mobile, Interactive Toolkit. Mid-America Regional Council: Water Quality Education Grant. $2000.00. Submitted 12/1/2016 (6/1/2017 - 6/30/2018). Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded
Fabrication of Mobile Market Phase I. Menorah Heritage Foundation. $18000.00. Submitted 1/1/2017 (6/1/2017 - 6/30/2018). Foundation. Status: Funded
Impacts of Community Development Investments on Resident Health. Local Initiative Support Corporation and The Health Care Fdn of Greater KC. $31790.00. Submitted 5/26/2017 (5/1/2017 - 5/31/2018). Foundation. Status: Funded
Historic Northeast Midtown Association Walking Audits. Communities Creating Opportunity. $6800.00. (8/1/2017 - 12/31/2018). Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded
Active Living Trails Toolkit. The Gehl Institute. $5000.00. (1/15/2017 - 12/31/2017). Foundation. Status: Funded
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1422 Grant: State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease and Stroke Program. 1422. Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $35000.00. Submitted 10/1/2016 (1/1/2016 - 9/30/2017). Federal. Status: Funded
Connecting the Dottes: Finding and Building Intersections Between Access to Healthy Food & Walkable Neighborhoods. The Health Care Foundation of Greater KC. $89472.00. Submitted 2/18/2015 (7/10/2016 - 6/30/2017). Foundation. Status: Funded
Developing Bike Rack Prototypes for Wyandotte County. 1422 Grant sponsored by Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $1500.00. (7/1/2016 - 6/30/2017). Federal. Status: Funded
Comfort Zones. Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. $3000.00. (1/1/2016 - 8/31/2017). Foundation. Status: Funded
Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Walkability. Univ of KS Med Ctr Research Institute. $7000.00. Submitted 12/11/2015 (8/8/2015 - 1/7/2017). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded
Community Partnership Grant for KCK Park Improvements. AETNA Health Foundation's Healthiest Cities Challenge. $10000.00. (1/15/2016 - 4/30/2017). Foundation. Status: Funded
Developing Park Signage Prototypes to Promote Walkability in Wyandotte County. 1422 Grant sponsored by Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $7500.00. (6/1/2016 - 12/31/2017). Federal. Status: Funded
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1422 Grant: State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease and Stroke Program. 1422. Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $35000.00. (10/1/2015 - 9/29/2016). Federal. Status: Funded
Connecting the Dottes through Project-Based Prototyping. Wyandotte Health Foundation. $25000.00. Submitted 8/12/2015 (9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016). Foundation. Status: Funded
Connecting the Dottes: Finding and Building Intersections Between Access to Healthy Food & Walkable Neighborhoods. The Health Care Foundation of Greater KC. $51025.00. Submitted 2/18/2015 (7/10/2015 - 6/30/2016). Foundation. Status: Funded
Mobile Infrastructure for Participatory Design Ethnography. Hall Center for the Humanities (Scholars on Site). $9950.00. Submitted 5/1/2015 (5/1/2015 - 5/31/2016). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded
"Mapping the Grandview Boulevard Neighborhood". Local Initiatives Support Corporation. $10000.00. Submitted 1/1/2015 (1/1/2015 - 12/31/2016). Not-for-Profit (not Foundation). Status: Funded
Developing a Mobile Bike Kitchen Prototype for Cooking Demonstrations. 1422 Grant sponsored by Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $5000.00. (7/1/2016 - 12/31/2016). Federal. Status: Funded
Developing Bike Rack Prototypes to Promote Physical Activity in KCK. 1422 Grant sponsored by Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $2000.00. (9/1/2015 - 12/31/2016). Federal. Status: Funded
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1422 Grant: State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease and Stroke Program. 1422. Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. $35000.00. Submitted 1/1/2014 (1/1/2014 - 9/30/2015). Federal. Status: Funded
"Integrating Basic Principles, Visualization and Computational Skills in Architectural Education. University of Kansas. $5000.00. Submitted 2/1/2014 (5/1/2014 - 3/31/2015). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded
"Diagramming, Scaffolding and Transforming the Architecture Curriculum". Center for Teaching Excellence. $5000.00. Submitted 1/1/2014 (1/1/2014 - 12/31/2015). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded
KU Strategic Initiative Grant, Level II: Developing a Mobile Collaboratory for Civic Engagement. $31000.00. (8/15/2013 - 1/31/2015). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded. To build and utilize a mobile laboratory to foster one-on-one collaborative interactive planning and design. Co-Investigators with Nils Gore, Architecture and Andrea Witczak, Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.
KU Commons Mind Body Machine: Human Design Space. $775.00. (1/1/2010 - 12/31/2011). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded. For “An Experimental Provocation about the Screens We Use Everyday” to develop an installation in the Commons Space at Spooner Hall.

Research

Global flows of goods, services and capital have wrought tremendous changes in our culture. Amidst these sweeping transformations, which seem destined to continue, we tend to lose interest in local or regional marketplaces, and lapse in our commitment to locally shared values and our own sense of place. Community life suffers; we neglect the public realm. The architectural profession is likewise affected by these changes, as it seeks to secure its future in this changed landscape. If architecture can’t serve the greater good, what value does it have? Can we really be satisfied by serving the 2% of the market that can afford “design”?

My research works to catalyze means and resources in order to create an architecture that serves the greater good. To do so, my research investigates how we make buildings and communities, and develops processes and strategies to enable an entity—whether an individual or institutional client, a neighborhood, or a community—to build for itself what it could not do on its own. Architecture can promote the larger public welfare at a variety of scales: from the scale of the materials we choose to build with, to the ways in which we consider new (and re-used) individual buildings, to the means by which we form the larger public realm.

In each of these scales of development, establishing an enduring design is essential.  The endeavor requires that we think beyond the singular architectural object and develop deep, long-term, loose-fitting principles to guide the work we do as architects; developing strategies that make the architectural object the right fit, for many people, for a long time.  Good design is enduring design.

This premise requires collaborative thought and work.  Unfortunately, in academia we give priority to single-minded approaches and design solutions.  We praise the novel, individual genius at the expense of collaborative, holistic, diverse design solutions.  In practice, we mostly build for single clients, (individual or institutional committees), concerned for the architectural object within defined, property-line boundaries.  This insulated thinking and action (perhaps unconscious for many) limits the potential of architecture to act in useful and productive ways in society.  In almost every research project, I attempt to include others, be interdisciplinary, and be public.  The research is strengthened by dialogue, diversity of view, and by the less-tangible elements that test the physical object (whether efficiency, durability, healthy human relationships, or possession).  Along with working in collaborative ways, I have felt it critical to make my work, our work, as architects, public.

Since beginning this inquiry in graduate school, my research has continually evolved, starting with understanding the public realm—at the larger community scale.  Much of this work has been an attempt to understand how the public realm, with individual buildings placed within this realm (places of commerce, housing, daycare) can best support an inspired and enduring community life and making those efforts public.  Directly working with the citizens in a community and building actual constructions has tested design methodologies by working directly with materials, on actual sites and with real people. Through these sorts of public-realm projects in fringe communities, I have found a great need for infill housing, affordable housing and childcare as part of the larger community-life matrix.  My research attempts to fill this need.  So much housing, particularly the nominally “affordable,” is plunked into neighborhood without considering non-traditional family life, work/living arrangements, affordability as defined by durability maintainability, limiting energy consumption, lasting and healthy materials, connection to public transportation, and the like.  Current research and proposals indicate a strong future in this area. And finally, this research challenges my teaching methodologies and has contributed to a national discourse on the value of teaching community design and service learned.

Academic Areas

  • Architecture

Areas of Expertise

  • Sustainable Design
  • Community Design
  • Recycled-Content Architectural Products

Courses Taught

  • ARCH 201, Undergraduate Architectural Design II
  • ARCH 500, Undergraduate Design Studio VII
  • ARCH 703, Graduate Architectural Design III
  • ARCH 680, Building with Intelligence: An Introduction to Sustainable Design
  • ARCH 681, Defining Community

Education

  • B.Arch., Kansas State, 1985
  • M.Arch., Harvard, 1992

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