LTU architecture adjunct named Kresge Fellow

Release Date: August 7, 2013

Charlie O'Geen harvests tires for "dizzy," an installation in Chicago's Volume Gallery, an event-based gallery focused on American emerging contemporary designers. (Photo by Travis Roozee)

Lawrence Technological University Adjunct Professor Charlie O’Geen has won an unrestricted prize of $25,000 as one of 18 Kresge Artist Fellows in the Literary and Visual Arts for 2013 recently named by Kresge Arts in Detroit.

O’Geen’s work involves architectural investigations that respond directly to the conditions of a specific site and often utilize found objects as building materials. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture from SUNY Buffalo and then earned a second Master of Architecture degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

O’Geen is construction manager for Power House Productions, a non-profit that renovates and repurposes abandoned buildings in the Banglatown neighborhood of Detroit just north of Hamtramck where he also lives. He helps on the radical spatial/structural transitions that result in alternative functions of a house.

At LTU, O’Geen teaches in integrated design sequence studios in the Department of Architecture.

“This is a good opportunity for me to flesh out some experiments that have been on my mind,” O’Geen said of his Kresge Fellowship.

One area of inquiry is the use of existing buildings as the formwork for self-consolidating concrete. Another idea he is investigating is using discarded automobile tires as the cladding or shingling for roofs.

More than 700 Detroit artists applied for the Kresge Arts in Detroit fellowship program that is designed to heighten the profile and strengthen the careers of artists in the community and also enrich the quality of life for metro Detroiters by helping artists enhance the spectrum of cultural experiences, according to Director Michelle Perron.

Now in its fifth year, Kresge Arts in Detroit has distributed $2.5 million directly to individual artists.  “We believe that this investment in our artists helps empower culturally minded thinking and positions our city as a major center for arts and culture around the country,” Perron said.

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