Academia, American University of Sharjah, Architecture, CAAD, College of Architecture, Fullbright Scholar Program

AUS architecture professor Marcus Farr has been named a 2019 Fulbright Scholar

Marcus Farr, assistant professor of Architecture at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) is the recipient of the 2019 Fulbright Scholar Program, whose research will be conducted in the Yangtze River Delta region in China – where he will also be teaching.

Farr, who is a faculty member of the College of Architecture, Art, and Design at AUS, will examine how historical architectural methods could inform more sustainable construction practices in China, as well as around the world as part of the Fulbright Scholar program.

Farr joins a prestigious list of scholars undertaking the program, with Fulbright alumni including 82 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 59 Nobel Prize winners, and will begin his tenure in January 2019.

His work in generating more ecologically and sustainably sound buildings comes at a pertinent time for China – a country that is experiencing an urban growth at a rate never before seen in history. The country is currently consists 15 mega-cities (cities with a population of more than 10 million people). This number is expected to grow and urbanisation is expected to increase by a further 10% by 2020.

As part of his research, Farr will look at how traditional approaches to building in the Yangtze River Delta, one of China’s most populated regions, could help inform developers to create buildings with a smaller carbon footprint and reduced impact on the local environment.

Additionally, due to the extreme climatic conditions in the delta region, the area provides a microcosm for exploring how building practices can be adapted to counter extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Farr’s research will also investigate how historical material choices and the placement and orientation of buildings can improve the sustainability of contemporary architecture, both in China and further afield. His studies will be disseminated through a series of seminars at Tianjin University, one of China’s top-ranked architecture schools.

“As professors of architecture, it is our responsibility to ensure our students understand the impact of their work in a wider context, and appreciate their role in overcoming some of the greatest challenges we face at a local and global level,” Farr said.

“The impact of waste and climate change affects all of humanity, and so it is with some urgency that we must begin to create built environments that are more sustainable and future-fit. We must begin to understand—and apply—building practices that have less of a negative environmental impact and will well serve our future generations.

“Knowledge of historical practices in architecture and building traditions have much to offer in showing us how this can be achieved. I am excited by what I might find through my Fulbright research and the impact this will have for future urban development.”

The Fulbright Program is an international academic exchange program of the US government, offering students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists who are American citizens the opportunity to conduct research as well as teaching opportunities abroad.

The program also offers citizens of other countries the opportunity to do the same in the United States, promoting increased mutual understanding between the US and the world through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.

Entrants are chosen by a committee of senators appointed by the President of the United States.

It has also been recently announced that an educational course has been launched at AUS to teach executives how artificial intelligence (AI) can be applied to smart city projects.