Two UB Faculty Members Win Prestigious Awards from Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: February 21, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Two faculty members in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning have received prestigious awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the most important academic organization in the field.

Edward Steinfeld, professor of architecture, has been awarded the 2003 ACSA Distinguished Professor Award and M. Beth Tauke, associate professor of architecture and associate dean, has been awarded a 2003 Robert R. Taylor Grant for Faculty Development. The Taylor grant supports faculty research and development focusing on underrepresented groups or subjects.

Both awards will be given at a luncheon during the ACSA's annual meeting in March in Louisville.

Steinfeld is nationally recognized as one of the early developers of the concept of universal design, which is the design of products and environments that can be used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of age or physical ability, without the need for adaptation. Universal design has been adopted and promoted by governments, funding organizations and design researchers throughout the world.

Steinfeld is founding director of UB's Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA), as well as director the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Universal Design at Buffalo, based in the IDEA center. He also serves as an adjunct professor of occupational therapy.

He has received numerous awards, among them a National Endowment for the Arts Design Research Award and two Progressive Architecture Applied Research Awards. He has published widely, including more than 80 articles in scholarly and professional journals, and has served as a consultant on issues of accessibility for a variety of federal and state agencies, building owners and attorneys.

His recent work includes research on accessibility and universal design in housing, usability of automobiles for frail older persons, methods for measuring the usability of products and environments and the development of a prototype "universal bathroom."

A registered architect in New York State, Steinfeld is a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Environmental Design Research Association.

An educator with more than 25 years experience teaching architecture, his current teaching responsibilities include "Architectural Design," "Architecture and Society," "Ergonomics in Building Design" and "Inclusive Design."

He received a bachelor's degree in architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan.

Tauke, a graphic designer, is a research associate in the IDEA center and directs the Curriculum Models Project of the RERC. The Curriculum Models Project develops and shares curriculum units, interdisciplinary course models and advanced research training for university-level education in universal design. The work also includes the development of online instructional resources and a Web-based forum.

A design education and curriculum development specialist, she holds two master's degrees in design from the University of Iowa. Her creative and scholarly work focuses on beginning design pedagogy; visual perception, particularly color perception, and the interface between language and form.

Tauke has published articles in such periodicals as Utopian Studies, Representation, Design Issues and Foundations in Art, Theory and Criticism. In 1994, her essay, "IMAGinING the CITY," won first place in a national competition of the National Institute for Architectural Education.

She has received numerous awards and grants, among them a U.S. Department of Education Curriculum Models Project Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a National Institute for Architectural Education Award, A Lily Endowment Teaching Fellowship and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

She has presented her own work at more than 30 conferences since 1988, including eight National Conferences on the Beginning Student and three Industrial Design Society of America Education Conferences, and has exhibited her work at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, the International Design Conference in Aspen and the Margaret Morrison Construction Site in Pittsburgh.