Prof Daniel Brown
Master of Architecture Yale University
Master's Studio Supervisor: John Hejduk
BA(Hons) Williams College, MA
Registered Architect 021852 (USA/NY)
Master's thesis stream supervisor
ARCI 591/592 - Architecture Research Thesis
Cultural Practices: Narratives
View Daniel's Research-Led Teaching video: Changing the Face of Wellington.
View Daniel's website.
My current research interests include:
- storm and flood proofing urban communities
- sustainability and resilience
- narrative architecture and cultural practices
- architecture of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim
Current research investigation
Storm proofing: resilient housing for estuarial slum communities of India
The foremost concerns for India relating to global warming focus on the ability of coastal communities to adapt to severe climate dynamism. Environmental forces can strike vulnerable estuarial communities from multiple directions. Storm surge from cyclones moves upriver; massive flooding from overflowing rivers moves downriver; polluted rainwater from the urban hardscape flows laterally into rivers. This investigation explores innovative low cost housing solutions that actively mitigate extreme environmental conditions for estuarial slum communities in India.
The research site is Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu.The principal aim of this research investigation is to engage environmental conditions as drivers of architectural forms capable of: storm proofing estuarial communities; enhancing an estuarial community's sustainable water, food and energy capabilities; and reflecting / reinforcing regional and place identity. The principal objective of this investigation is to design a system to stormproof vulnerable communities by providing a multidirectional flood-proof platform upon which to build low cost homes.
This platform will also create sustainable energy, filter polluted water, and provide areas for local community gardens. In the design research experiment, a combination of storm barrier, filtration system and catchment area is integrated into one super-infrastructure that filters and collects fresh water for the community, removes pollution, stores energy, facilitates agriculture and protects families and homes in the estuarial slums of Chennai against storm damage.
External Funding: India NZ Education Council, in assoc. with the NZ India Research Institute.
Venice Architecture Biennale
A 5-year retrospective of my research was exhibited in the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, in the host Italy Pavillion, as part of the exhibition "Reflections of the Future." The Italy Pavilion selected architectural research specifically responding to its theme: "work that unveils a vision of architecture as civil art capable of generating solutions for a society in the midst of deep-seated change."
My ongoing research investigates how neglected urban sites can be strategically revitalized by re- establishing critical links to lost cultural and historical imperatives. It transforms dilapidated urban sites into rejuvenated public spaces by reconnecting them to their historic and cultural contexts. The resulting narratives are designed to challenge our perception of our built environment as well as its inhabitants. The impact of my annual collaborative research in Rome since 2005 has played a significant role in convincing the regional council that strategic application of cultural and historical imperatives is a viable cost-effective approach to culturally revitalizing derelict or neglected public spaces. As a result of this research relating to a neglected half-kilometre stretch of the Tiber River between the Sisto and Mazzini bridges, Rome has begun transforming this site of our research into a permanent public arts space.
The significance, originality, and international esteem of the outputs of my research have been evidenced by their selection to premier on opening or closing nights of highly competitive major international events, such as the 2006 European Festival of Music (transforming the decaying walls of the Tiber River in the centre of historic Rome), the 2007 Eternal Tiber River Festival (rejuvenating the silted waters of the Tiber River), the 2008 New York River to River Festival (transforming Castle Clinton in Battery Park, overlooking the Statue of Liberty), and the 2009 Birth of Rome Celebrations (transforming Michelangelo’s Palazzo dei Conservatori on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, overlooking the ancient Roman forum). The esteem of these works has been further evidenced by attracting large public audiences (over 1,000 opening night visitors in 2009 on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, and up to 170,000 at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale), by substantial external funding awarded, and by significant positive reviews in international publications. It is a particular honour that my research rejuvenating neglected urban sites was selected for exhibition in the Italy Pavilion of the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale curated by Luca Molinari, one of Italy's leading curators. The Italy Pavilion selected architectural research explicitly responding to its theme: "work that unveils a vision of architecture as civil art capable of generating solutions for a society in the midst of deep-seated change."
- 2011 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (Nepal, fully funded)
- 2010 CAMAC for Art, Science, Technology Fellowship (France, part funded)
- 2010 La Muse Fellowship (France, fully funded)
- 2009 Liguria Study Center Arts & Humanities Fellowship (Italy, fully funded)
- 2008-present Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Fellowship
- 2005-present Asian Studies Institute Fellowship (NZ)
- 1999-2000 U.S. Congressional Fulbright Fellowship (Thailand, fully funded)
- 1998 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (Nepal, fully funded)
- 1997 American Institute of Indian Studies Fellowship (India, fully funded)
My Research-Led Undergraduate Teaching explores how regional buildings - inside and outside - can achieve landmark status through design. Click here to see an article on my Research-Led Teaching published in B-Completepdf1MB . Click here to see an article on my Research-Led Teaching published in the Evening Dominion Post pdf3MB . Click image below to view my Research-Led Teaching video: Changing the Face of Wellington.
My Research-Led Postgraduate Teaching explores the Architecture of Dystopia pdf5MB . This research challenges our built environment to arrive at new solutions to 21st century problems we are facing: partially completed urban infrastructures or abandoned and dilapidated buildings resulting from economic recession; sites transformed by destructive strip mining, rising sea levels, global warming; sites damaged by war, abandonment, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and floods; sites responding to disenfranchised youth, marginalized populations, or diasporas. This research implicates narrative, history, time, memory, cultural identity and meaning. It demands that students, as representatives of the new generation, take a strong personal position on what it means to represent this generation. How can the history and decayed state of permanently scarred sites be proactively used in their rejuvenation? How can the means of rejuvenating a permanently scarred site foster a new way of thinking about the significance of decay and future growth?
- 2005 NZ National Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching
- 2005 Award for Special Academic Achievement
- 2004 Award for Best Lecturer
- 2004 Award for Best Course
- 2003 Award for Best Lecturer
- 2001 Award for Best Lecturer
- 2001 Award for Best Tutor
- 2001 Award for Best Course
- 2000 Award for Best Tutor
- 2000 Award for Best Course
- 1999 Research and Study Fund Award
- 1999 Award for Special Academic Achievement
Click image to see Daniel’s “Teaching Portfolio” submitted for the 2005 New Zealand National Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching (PDF, 4 MB)
Professional experience in architecture
Emilio Ambasz & Associates, NY (Vice-President, 7 yrs)
Emilio Ambasz was Curator of Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York from 1970-76 and President of the Architectural League from 1981-85. As Vice-President of EAA, Daniel managed the New York architecture office and coordinated 40 projects in the USA, Europe and Japan. During this period, EAA's designs were published in 4 monographs, over 100 journal articles, and exhibited in London, Tokyo, Milan, Bologna, Monterrey, and Mexico City.
- Japanese Institute of Architects Certificate of Environmental Architecture Award (International Conference Hall, Fukuoka, Japan)
- DuPont Benedictus Award (International Conference Hall, Fukuoka, Japan)
- DuPont Benedictus Award (Mycal Cultural and Athletic Center, Japan)
- Business Week/Architectural Record Award (Intern'l Conference Hall, Japan)
- SAFLEX Honourable Mention (Mycal Cultural and Athletic Centre, Japan)
- JCD Design Award (Mycal Cultural and Athletic Centre, Shin-Sanda, Japan)
- Competition Award Winner (Spijkenasse, Netherlands)
Richard Meier & Partners, New York (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, 1 yr)
- AIA NY Chapter Award (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art)
Harry Seidler & Associates, Sydney (Senior Associate, 5 yrs)
- RAIA Award (Shell Oil Headquarters, Melbourne)
- RAIA Commercial Architecture Award (Shell Oil Headquarters, Melbourne)
Brown Daltas & Partners, Rome (Senior Designer, 1 yr)
- Competition Merit Award (Copley Square Design, Boston, USA)
- Competition Merit Award (Hotel, Casablanca, Morocco)
Newman Architects, New Haven (Designer, 1 yr)
BBN Technologies, Cambridge (Research Assistant, 2 yrs)
Recent architecture competitions
- Finalist: New Zealand Guest of Honour Pavilion, Frankfurt Book Fair
- Finalist: New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
- Won: Pennsylvania Convention Center - US$500,000 Installation in collaboration with Jones Ginzel
Leadership roles and academic committees
Associate Dean (Academic Development), Faculty of Architecture and Design (FoAD) (2015 -present)
Chair, FoAD Academic Committee (2015 -present)
Victoria University Academic Committee faculty representative (2015 -present)
Victoria University Academic Board staff representative (2013 -present)
FoAD Regional Evenings Student Recruitment faculty representative (2014)
School of Architecture (SoA) Strategic Engagements Committee (Inaugural Chair 2012)
Victoria University Research Establishment Grant Committee (2011 -present)
SADE Faculty Management Team staff representative (2011-2014)
SoA Management Advisory Team (2007 - 2012)
Professions Advisory Committee (2010 -2012)
Wellington Museums Trust Advisory Group (2011-2014)
Deputy Head School of Design (2005-2007)
Program Director, INTA (2004-2007; 2009-2012)
Faculty Timetable Coordinator (2005-2012)
Victoria University Equity Advisory Group (2006-2009)
SoD Senior Executive Committee (2000-2006)
Research, Postgraduate Studies & Leave Committee (2000-2006)
Program Director BA Design Studies (2005-2006)
Director Student Liaison Committee (2004-2006)
Coordinator Marketing and Public Relations (2000- 2006)
Convener FoAD PBRF Advisory Group (2003, 2005)
Exhibitions Coordinator (1998-2003)
Convener SoD Curriculum Development Group (2000-2001)
University Teaching Working Group (2000)
Current research projects
In-Depth Research Study entitled City of Silence, which documents the narrative architecture qualities of 50 Liberty Style mausoleums in Milan's Monumental Cemetery.
In-Depth Research Study entitled Capturing the Cosmic Sea (fully funded in conjunction with a research grant from the Asian Cultural Council in New York), which documents the narrative Hindu Architecture of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.
Research Study entitled Pulse which examines how the “Pulse” – a universal concept of time as well as life (blood flowing through our veins) – can be used to rejuvenate our relationship to scarred or damaged urban and architectural interiors.
Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy Pavilion, Venice 2010. The Italy Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale showcased 5 years of my research relating to rejuvenation of the Tiber River in Rome through re-establishing critical links to lost cultural and historical imperatives.
Night Hours, Architecture of Devotion Exhibit, Brooklyn, New York 2011. This Research project investigates how the Architecture of the Dead plays a critical role in establishing sacred sites where rites of passage between life and death can be witnessed.
Fluviale, Venice Architecture Biennale: Finale Event 2010. Investigates how polluted urban waterways are a reflection of the waters of our world; by re-activating links to lost cultural & historical imperatives, public awareness & civic responsibility can be regenerated.
Silent Witnesses: Pathways and Passages, Toulouse 2010. This Research documents the narrative architectural qualities of buried or broken architectural pathways that have acted as silent witnesses to a community’s culture and history.
Silent Witnesses: Portals, Marnay-sur-Seine 2010. This Research documents the narrative architectural qualities of buried or broken architectural portals that have acted as silent witnesses to a community’s culture and history.
Vessels, New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington 2010. This Research investigates how the narrative architectural qualities of public space can be transformed to reflect the intermittent passage between life and afterlife.
Le Lupe Come Forme del Tempo (She-Wolves as Forms of Time), Genoa 2009. This Research project investigates how historic cultural imaging transforms and distorts when filtered through the digital age.
Intermezzo, Anniversary Celebrations of the Birth of Rome, Rome 2009. This Research investigates how the narrative architectural qualities of public space can be augmented to reflect the liminality blurring utopian cultural mythology and dystopian contemporary reality.
Rivers of the Underworld, Genoa 2009. This Research documents how the extravagant waste of contemporary culture can be interpreted as a reflection of the mythological Rivers of the Underworld while evidencing the cultural values of our social condition.
Overtones, Orvieto 2009. This Research investigates how the ordinary aspects of our environment can be reawakened as rites of passage – light transitions into darkness, shadow becomes reflection, and urban cacophony reemerges as spatial harmonics.
She Wolves from the Tiber to the Hudson, River to River Festival, New York 2008. This Research investigates how a neglected urban site (Battery Park on the tip of Manhattan) can be revitalized by re-establishing critical links to lost bi-cultural and historical imperatives.
Luminalia, Summer Solstice Festival, Rome 2007. This Research investigates how a neglected urban site (the silted waters of the Tiber) can be revitalized by re-establishing critical links to lost cultural and historical imperatives through mythological reflection.
Four Arias at the Edge of Darkness, European Festival of Music, Rome 2006. This Research investigates how a neglected urban site (the abandoned embankments of the Tiber) can be revitalized by re-establishing critical links to lost cultural and historical imperatives.
Solstizio d’Estate, Eternal Tiber River Festival, Rome 2005. Investigates how a neglected urban site (the soot-covered Tiber River walls) can be revitalized by re-establishing critical links to cultural imperatives through cleansing as a reflection of contemporary graffiti.