Gretchen Wilkins: Unfinished Cities

W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

October 24, 2018 at 7:00pm

Gretchen Wilkins has been practicing and teaching architecture for nearly twenty years, based in Michigan, Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City. Her work focuses on the integration of productive industries in cities, experimenting with new formal, spatial and socioeconomic patterns of density and mobility. In particular the ‘Future Factory’ project reconsiders factory buildings for high-density sites and cooperative urban programs. She is also collaborating on the FarmHD project – design research funded by the Australia-China Council to propose architectural models for high-rise, high-volume food production in super dense cities, beginning with Hong Kong and Melbourne. The latter city’s long-celebrated livability ranking also provides a framework to both critically assess the formal and informal metrics of urban livability, as well as experiment with new models of them.

Gretchen Wilkins is Head of Architecture at Cranbrook Academy, commencing in the Fall of 2018. Prior to this she was an Associate Professor of Architecture at RMIT University, acting as Head of Design at the Vietnam campus and before that Director of the Master of Urban Design program based in Melbourne. Before arriving to Australia she taught at the University of Michigan, and has guest taught collaboratively at several universities in Europe and Asia. Her design practice includes built work, awarded competitions, international publications and funded design research. This body of work focuses on issues of density, industry and mobility in rapidly transforming cities. She earned her PhD from RMIT University and Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan.