AMES, Iowa — Danielle S. Willkens, a designer, architectural historian and preservationist who engages audiences through interactive projects, will speak about her work with digital technologies in a lecture at Iowa State University in early March.

Willkens will present “Provocations in Preservation: Interactive Data, Visualizations and Suppressed Narratives” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, in room 0114 Student Innovation Center. The lecture will be livestreamed on YouTube.

In her talk, Willkens will explore ongoing research and documentation of civil rights sites in Selma, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, and share how field work and digital technologies can combine to enliven archives, activate reality capture data, and initiate preservation planning.

Through selected case studies, she will showcase how technologies and amalgamated methods can serve as accessible platforms to engage students, honor erased histories and spark critical conversations about memory and meaning.

Part of the 2021-2022 College of Design Lecture Series, Willkens’ lecture is free and open to the public.

About the speaker

An assistant professor of architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Willkens was a fall 2021 Mellon History Teaching Fellow in Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, pursuing the project “From Plantation to Protest: Visualizing Cultural Landscapes of Conflict in the American South.” She is working on a Historic Structures Report for the Edmund Pettus Bridge National Historic Landmark in Selma.

Willkens is the author of Architecture for Teens: A Beginner’s Book for Aspiring Architects (Rockridge Press, 2021). She was the 2015 recipient of the Society of Architectural Historians’ H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship. Her research into transatlantic design exchange has been supported by the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, the International Center for Jefferson Studies and an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant.

She is an Associate of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a LEED Accredited Professional for Building Design and Construction. She also holds a Federal Aviation Administration Remote Pilot Certificate. She serves on the Atlanta Preservation Center Board of Trustees.

Willkens holds a bachelor of science with honors in architecture and architectural history as well as a master of architecture from the University of Virginia; a master of philosophy in the history of art and architecture from the University of Cambridge, St. John’s College; a graduate certificate in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design; and a doctorate in architectural history and theory from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.


Shelby Doyle, College of Design Lectures & Exhibitions Committee, 540-454-4390, doyle@iastate.edu

Saylor Upah, Design Events, upahsay@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, 515-294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu