AMES, Iowa — Two architects who have guided development of innovative new spaces for design education will share their insights at Iowa State University as the College of Design considers its own space needs.

Ines Martin Robles and Luis Pancorbo, assistant professors of architecture at the University of Virginia and partners in the design firm Pancorbo Arquitectos, will present the Dean’s Charrette Keynote Lecture, “The Future of Design Education,” at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, in Kocimski Auditorium, room 101 College of Design.

Martin Robles and Pancorbo were commissioned to lead the planning and design process for an addition to and renovation of the UVA School of Architecture. As UVA faculty members, they have worked collaboratively with students and colleagues to develop exciting new spaces for design education.

In their keynote at Iowa State, they will share their insights into the process as the College of Design thinks strategically about the directions its disciplines are taking and what needs to be considered when designing physical spaces to facilitate these activities.

The College of Design has engaged CannonDesign to review the space needs analysis the firm completed in 2013 and perform a new space study of the college’s primary building and other facilities.

Dean’s Charrette

The keynote lecture will kick off a weekend-long design charrette competition with 50 students representing each of the college’s departments – architecture, art and visual culture, community and regional planning, graphic design, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture – as well as the interdisciplinary design major. A charrette is a rapid, intensive design process in which participants think holistically about a project to generate and test ideas and potential outcomes.

The charrette competition is an opportunity for College of Design students to develop and propose ideas for changes that accommodate activities they view as vital to the future of design education at Iowa State. Students will work through the weekend in teams and with faculty mentors on three design exercises. These exercises will ask them to consider seven “design drivers:”

  • focusing on students as the heart of the College of Design
  • facilitating interdisciplinary culture
  • creating identity with learning artifacts
  • displaying and celebrating the design process
  • enabling smooth flows between learning activities
  • engaging the community and celebrating relationships
  • recognizing diversity of background and culture leads to better design

Teams will present their work to a jury of College of Design faculty and CannonDesign representatives at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, and winner(s) will be announced at 8 p.m. The top team(s) will travel to Chicago in early February to participate in another charrette with CannonDesign.

About the speakers

Martin Robles and Pancorbo focus their professional practice on submissions to international architecture competitions. They have won nearly 20 awards in different competitions and 10 for their built work, including the 2018 International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies for the Vegas Altas Congress Centre and Auditorium in Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain. They have exhibited, presented and published their work widely. They previously served as associate professors in the ESNE School of Design, Madrid.


Cameron Campbell, Design Administration, (515) 294-8881, cameronc@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu