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Press Releases

2 Penn State Professors Win National Award for The Secret Life of Public Spaces

January 18, 2013 | By Laura Sullivan
Director, Marketing and Communications
UNIVERSITY PARK (Friday, Jan. 18)—Two Penn State faculty members have won a national architecture award for their work on The Secret Life of Public Spaces, a project supported by a Creative Campus Innovations Grant given to the Center for the Performing Arts by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation funded the $200,000 grant, which came with an additional $51,670 in operating support for the center’s presenting program.

Peter Aeschbacher, associate professor of landscape architecture and architecture, and Marcus Shaffer, assistant professor of architecture, won the 2012–2013 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Creative Achievement Award.

The Secret Life of Public Spaces featured a collaboration with Los Angeles-based Diavolo Dance Theater. The 18-month collaboration, which began in spring 2011, included a course taught in fall 2011 and spring 2012 that engaged students and faculty from Penn State’s Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Dance and Engineering programs.

Students in the course collaborated in creating a site-specific dance work, including design of the physical structures used in the student piece.

Selected students and faculty also journeyed to southern California in June 2011 to work in an intensive program with Diavolo and study the architecture of the region.

The project culminated in an 11-day festival of creativity at various locations on the University Park campus, including The Arboretum at Penn State, in April 2012. The festival also featured the world premiere of Diavolo’s Transit Space, a work commissioned by the Center for the Performing Arts.

Each year the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture honors a specific creative achievement in teaching, design, scholarship, research or service that advances architectural education. The association’s membership includes more than 5,000 faculty in more than 250 member schools in North America.

The association plans to publish a digital book featuring award recipients and their projects. More information on awards can be found at http://acsa-arch.org/programs-events/awards/2012-13-awards-press-release.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/pscpa.

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