Professional in Residence
51 Atkinson Hall
BArch Louisiana State University
MArch University of Kansas
William Doran has been teaching at the LSU School of Architecture since 2010. Doran was hired as a professional in residence for a three-year term to focus on community design and engagement efforts in Baton Rouge for the School of Architecture. Alongside teaching, in 2013, Doran began working with the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute on a research grant through LSU’s Coastal Sustainability Studio to develop affordable, resilient housing models for South Lafourche Parish. He has also worked professionally in architecture in Baton Rouge on residential projects with Montgomery & Waggenspack Architects since 2011. Doran received a Bachelor of Architecture from LSU and a Master of Architecture in design build from the University of Kansas. His collaborative design-build work at the University of Kansas won a 2011 Residential Architect Design Award. The winning design was a LEED Platinum and Passive House certified single-family residence.
The creative nature of an education in architecture means confronting the threshold of new knowledge as often as possible. It means learning to continuously arrive at new ways of seeing the world. I believe in the hands-on nature of architecture, especially in the context of local communities, as it inherently reveals to architecture students a new potential to impact the world around them. It encourages a belief in their ability to make a difference while challenging them to carefully consider the places where they work. Good architecture is driven by a fervent relationship with its place—its culture, history, and people—followed by belief in the ability of humans to better their communities without blockbuster budgets or unbridled new development. This is why I continue to teach architecture.
Architectural education is project-based. It happens in the context of the design studio. We work; we test; and we make things. Architects study everything from environmental conditions and social issues to materials and construction techniques and are challenged to synthesize these things through the making of architecture. For me, the design studio must find outlets to move beyond the edges of a drawing or the walls of the classroom and into the realms of construction and the context of local communities. This not only gives students an opportunity to envision new ideas that address real issues but also engages their skills to illustrate and test those ideas. This builds on a tradition in architectural education of pushing students to act as socially responsible professionals through the development of relevant, engaged projects in their own communities.
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