Conference Schedule



BTES 2017, Poetics + Pragmatism
Iowa State University, Des Moines, IA
June 8-10, 2017

DAY ONE, Thursday, June 8

8:00-9am: Conference Registration & Breakfast
Location: Pappajohn Education Center Lobby
Food/Drink: LaMie Bakery

9:00-10:15am: Welcome, Opening Keynote Lecture:
Lecturer: Professor Tom Leslie, AIA
Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture and Director of Graduate Education, ISU
Pappajohn Education Center Room 201

10:30am-noon: Paper Session I (Concurrent Sessions)
Pappajohn Education Center Classrooms

12:15-1:15pm: Lunch & Presentation by Autodesk
12:30 Room 201 Presentation by Autodesk
Food/Drink: Tacopocalypse
Location: Sculpture Park (and Pappajohn Education Center Lobby)

1:30pm-3:00pm: Paper Session II (Concurrent Sessions)
Pappajohn Education Center Classrooms

3:00-3:15 Coffee Break

3:15-4:45 Paper Session III (Concurrent Sessions)
Pappajohn Education Center classrooms

5:00-7:00pm Des Moines Tours

7:30pm: “Dine Arounds” in Des Moines
Reservations made at the following restaurants in downtown Des Moines near conference location; sign-up at conference. (Cost not included in the conference registration)


DAY TWO, Friday, June 9

7:30-9:00am:  Breakfast / Coffee
Location: Pappajohn Education Center Lobby
Food/Drink: LaMie Bakery

8:00-8:45am: BTES Board Meeting
Pappajohn Education Center Classrooms
Coffee / Tea available

9:00-10:15am: Keynote Lecture:
Lecturer: Rod Kruse, FAIA, Principal, BNIM,
2011 AIA Firm of the Year
Location: Room 201 Pappajohn Education Center

10:30am-noon: Paper Session IV (Concurrent Sessions)
Pappajohn Education Center classrooms

12:15-1:15pm: Lunch & BTES Presentation
12:30 Room 201 BTES Book Award and Emerging Faculty Winners Present
Food/Drink: Pi515
Location: Sculpture Park and Pappajohn Education Center Lobby

1:30pm-3:00pm Round-Table Discussion
Strengthening Research and Practice Partnerships
Sponsored by AIA in partnership with TAD Journal
Des Moines Public Library, Wells Fargo Meeting Room

3:00-3:15pm: Coffee Break

3:15-4:45pm: Paper Session IV (Concurrent Sessions)
Location: Pappajohn Education Center Classrooms

5:00pm-5:15pm: Transportation provided to DM Art Center

5:15-6:15pm: Cocktails in the Courtyard
Des Moines Art Center
(Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Richard Meier building wings enclosure courtyard)
Food/Drink: Catered by Tangerine

6:15pm-7:30pm: Final Keynote Presentation & Awards
Fiona Cousins, Arup Fellow
AIA sponsored keynote speaker
I.M. Pei Levitt Auditorium, Des Moines Art Center

7:30-9:00pm: Awards Dinner & Reception
Courtyard and Lobby, DM Art Center
Food/Drink: Catered by Tangerine

9:00-9:30pm: Transportation back to Downtown Des Moines

DAY THREE, Saturday, June 10, 2017: WORKSHOPS (Optional)

Workshop descriptions and registration details:

Panel 1

Call for Papers

Building Technology Educators’ Society 2017 Meeting
Des Moines, IA 8-10 June 2017 Call for Papers

TOPIC: Poetics and Pragmatism.

“Talk is cheap and easy; making dreams real takes hard, humble work. Dreams in the Midwest are acceptable, just keep them to yourself. Maybe tell your family, but don’t just talk—do something about it.”             Peter Jenkins, Looking for Alaska

Iowa opened to European-American settlers in 1834, and ever since it has been a place where Americans have held a tenuous grip on the land and against a climate that resists occupation.  Its soil produces grain for the entire continent; its legendary work ethic has fueled generations of farmers but also writers, poets, musicians, and astronomers.  It is a place that takes the real world seriously, but that has also raised the products of such engagement to poetic levels; the novels of Marilynne Robinson, the music of Greg Brown, and the paintings of Grant Wood all speak to this possibility among the sublime landscapes of our state.  But it is also a place of technological engagement and advancement: Iowa State can make a legitimate claim to be the birthplace of digital computing, a legacy reflected in its investment in fabrication and analysis initiatives today.

BTES’ first meeting in the Midwest offers an opportunity to ask how building can address both practical and poetic desires.  The ‘hard, humble work’ of constructing in an indifferent environment can balance our needs with what that environment has to offer while touching our deeper sensibilities.  Indeed, cognitive science has produced evidence suggesting that beauty, in the words of Denis Dutton, is “nature’s way of acting at a distance,” an instinctive preference for objects, landscapes, and sustenance that can leverage our relations with the world.

How do the pragmatics and the poetics of building coincide?  How do they resist, challenge, or provoke one another?  How do buildings and the ways in which we build bridge realms of material performance and aesthetics?  And how does a new generation of tools collide with, enhance, or critique these traditions?  We seek papers on a broad range of topics that address how and why we build, that examine technology and techne in the contexts of function, beauty, and poetics, and that reveal these links both in contemporary practice and throughout history.  Papers that address Midwestern traditions are particularly welcome, but we seek a broad mix of geographical, conceptual, and disciplinary approaches.

Submit abstracts of no more than 500 words via EasyChair. Papers will be reviewed in a two-stage process.

  • Deadline for abstracts: 15 September 2016
  • Deadline for abstracts extended: 25 September 2016
  • Notifications to Authors:  1 November 2016
  • Notifications to Authors:  16 November 2016
  • Final Papers Due: 1 March 2017
  • Final Papers Due: 10 March 2017
  • Notification of Paper Acceptance:  15 April 2017

Download PDF of BTES 2017 CFP

Panel 2


Fiona Cousins

I am an Arup Fellow with expertise in mechanical engineering and sustainability consulting. I have a particular interest in building physics, thermal comfort and energy efficiency, and spent the first few years of my career developing software to analyze the performance of highly-glazed buildings. My interest in energy efficiency in buildings broadened to include all aspects of environmental and social impacts of buildings. The projects that I am most proud of are those where we have achieved strong sustainable performance as well as excellent design and place-making. These projects include Princeton University’s Frick Chemistry Building and the US Embassy in London. I lead the sustainability team in the New York office of Arup and am one of the leaders of the mechanical engineering team there.  I am a LEED® Fellow and have served for two years as the chair of the New York Chapter of the US Green Building Council (Urban Green). I am the 2016 chair of the board of directors of the USGBC. I frequently present on the topics of low-energy design and sustainability. More…

Fiona Cousins lecture is made possible by sponsorship from The American Institute of Architects.


Rod Kruse

Panel 3

Conference Registration

To register:

$300 Before Mar 1 Early Bird Registration (BTES Members Only)
$350 Before May 1 Regular Registration (BTES Members Only)
$450 After May 1 Late Registration
$400 Non-Member BTES Registration (includes 2 year membership to BTES)
Panel 5


btes logo

The Building Technology Educators’ Society (BTES) is an organization of architectural educators, passionate about teaching the technology of building design and construction.

The mission of the BTES is to promote and publish the best pedagogic practices, relevant research, scholarship, and other creative activity to facilitate student learning, advance innovation, and enhance the status of our disciplines in the profession at large.

To achieve this mission, the BTES seeks to:

• Promote and share the best architectural technology teaching practices among all who are concerned with effective teaching in these subject areas.

• Promote critical discourse and the scholarship of teaching on issues related to
pedagogic theory in architectural technology, with peer-reviewed publications of its work for public dissemination.

• Enhance the mentoring process among faculty, students and practitioners for the enrichment of all involved and for the preservation and propagation of accumulated experience and wisdom.

• Stress the issues concerning technology in architectural curricula to help influence change when necessary in the related accreditation process.

• Foster the continued betterment of the profession by serving as a point of contact for the discussion of issues related to building technology with the design professions and building industry at large.

• Bring issues of concern to affiliated entities in the Academy, profession, industry and associated regulatory agencies and

• Facilitate connections among like-minded individuals for collaborative research.