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March 21, 2023 @ 12:30 PM  /  UTLC Gallery and CoAD YouTube

Karen Fairbanks

Event Location:
UTLC Gallery and CoAD YouTube
Re-envisioning Libraries | Presented by Interior Environments
Re-envisioning Libraries | Presented by Interior Environments

Presenting sponsor:


The Future of University Libraries Lecture Series

Re-envisioning Libraries

What is the future of academia in the workspace?  With the boom of virtual meetings and the need for single spaces in a group setting, how can libraries be designed around noise, meetings and virtual meetings? Lawrence Technological University’s College of Architecture and Design is excited to engage these questions and more in our three-part lecture series on the re-imagining of public and academic libraries during the months of March and April.

As part of our overall The Future of University Libraries Lecture Series, this talk will address the future of library design through examples of recent library projects by Marble Fairbanks. Both public and academic libraries are critical social and cultural infrastructure, providing spaces for knowledge production and access to information. They have unique opportunities to support their communities through design that is responsive and inspirational. As intellectual centers supporting growth, they reflect the values and ethics of their institutions.

Guests will learn about how both public and academic libraries have been evolving as they support the specific needs of their communities and how community values have influenced library design. The talk will explore examples of libraries that have transformed to include a more diverse range of learning environments. Specifically in academic libraries, the talk will also touch on the emphasis on student success and how libraries have addressed those needs in relationship to institutional priorities. Additionally, the talk will consider master plans and flexible scenario planning, along with concepts around libraries as part of campus and urban networks of related resources. Karen received her Master of Architecture Degree from Columbia University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree from the University of Michigan and was honored by Michigan as the 2013 Distinguished Alumna of Taubman College of Architecture. Karen was recognized with the Oculus Award by the Beverly Willis Foundation in 2018 and as the Educator of the Year by the AIA New York State in 2015.

About Karen

Karen Fairbanks is a founding partner of Marble Fairbanks Architects where she has focused on the design and planning for both public and private educational and cultural clients. Karen has been an active member of the AIA, serving on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter of the AIA, as well as on the Exhibition Committee, the Scholarship Committee, and as Co-Chair of the NYC AIA Design Awards Committee. Throughout the development of her practice, Karen has simultaneously built the architecture department at Barnard College. At Barnard, Karen is the Claire Tow Chair Professor of Professional Practice and Chair of the Architecture Department. As Department Chair, she oversaw the merger of the Barnard and Columbia architecture programs, developed the current department curriculum, significantly expanded the faculty, and has taught and mentored students throughout her 30 years at Barnard College and Columbia University. Additionally, during her tenure at Barnard, she has been instrumental in the capital planning of the campus, and she brings this extensive knowledge of institutional organizations and the specific needs of academic clients to the work of Marble Fairbanks.

Marble Fairbanks is a design-driven, client-focused architecture firm located in New York and led by partners, Scott Marble and Karen Fairbanks. Founded in 1992, the practice is at the forefront of merging user-centered design processes with advanced digital tools and technology to create high quality spaces for clients. The work of Marble Fairbanks is a matrix of new buildings, building renovations, interior design, planning studies, strategic plans and design research combined with educational, cultural, residential, institutional, retail and workplace programs. Recent projects include the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Colman Residence Hall, Hunter College Library, Parsons School of Design Planning Study, and Glen Oaks Branch Library. Through their ongoing involvement with architectural education around design innovation, they are recognized leaders in creating connections between university research and professional practice. Marble Fairbanks is the recipient of over 50 local, national and international design awards and their work is regularly published in books, journals and magazines. Their work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world including the Architectural Association in London, the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art in Japan and the Museum of Modern Art in New York where their drawings are part of the museum’s permanent collection.


2022-3-29 T 12:30 PM InStock USD 0