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Richard W Berman (beyond Architects Touch...)

About the designer
When not designing new pieces of jewelry or running his web business (Architects Touch), Richard is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.

Richard W. Berman is a registered architect, having received his professional degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. He began his architectural career working for a number of firms in and around the New York City area. In 1999, he received his Ph.D in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

He teaches graduate and undergraduate seminars related to design at a variety of scales. He has created and taught courses on sustainable design, urban design, historic preservation, and creativity.

Courses he has created and taught include:

People and Design

The built environment of a city is more than a mere backdrop; the design can actually affect people's experiences. Environmental design primarily focuses on the relationship between people and the built environment. It also looks at how the built environment interacts with the natural one (and the potential for greater sustainability).

This course will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of how people create, perceive, and use the designed environment. We'll approach these concepts by analyzing design at a variety of scales, from products to interior design to architecture. Finally, using that knowledge, we'll conclude by analyzing urban spaces of the city.

Exploring Creativity

Creativity isn't just for artists and inventors. It's an integral aspect of excelling at many jobs. Itís problem solving. Recent studies have pointed to creativity as an important factor for achievement in a variety of fields. Additional studies have discussed how creativity can be enhanced in people of any age.

This seminar-studio will challenge you with various projects to push your creative skills. No previous art experience is required. Weíll also include guest speakers and walking tours. The core premise of this class is that creativity is within all of us. By the end of the class, your understanding of creativity should be deeper, and your personal creativity, enhanced.

Sustainability and the Urban Neighborhood

This studio style class will follow the method of a traditional architecture and city planning studio. Learning will occur while students do a simulated project. A specific neighborhood in Philadelphia will be chosen. Students will examine the neighborhood in detail, focusing on the different aspects that comprise the concept of sustainability. They will then come up with recommendations for the neighborhood.

Green Design and the City

Can our cities become examples of sustainable design? Does inner city revitalization tie into sustainability? Are there successful examples to learn from? This seminar will focus on how existing cities attempt to integrate green design principles within them. It will look at case studies, both in the US and abroad.

Sustainable Design

This seminar will focus on how physical design can improve sustainability. It will be broken down into 3 parts: Smart Growth, Green Buildings, and Products. Moving from large to small, we'll begin by looking at the advantages of denser developments, and the importance of good urban design. We'll then examine the latest in green building practices. Finally, we'll look at consumer products and their consumption.

Seeing the City

I created this intensive urban design studio for incoming graduate students (without any design background) within UPenn's Dept. of City and Regional Planning. My goal is to raise studentsí awareness of the physical environment that surrounds them. This class includes basic sketching, drafting, and presentation skills, along with analysis and design projects.

Introduction to Historic Preservation

This seminar provides an overview of Historic Preservation issues in the U.S.A. Classes combine theoretical issues and practical skills. Hands-on learning is emphasized to engage the students.

Introduction to City Planning

This seminar provides an overview of City Planning. It's structured to provide a blend of theory and practice. The first half of each session focuses on theory, the second half on practical skills.