Robert Greenstreet, Intl. Assoc. AIA, Awarded 2012 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion
Recipient known as distinguished educator
For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. – December 12, 2012 – The Board of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) named Robert Greenstreet, Intl. Assoc. AIA, as 2013 recipient of the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. In his more than 35-year career, Greenstreet has taught at five schools of architecture in the United Kingdom and the United States. He has spent the last 20 years as dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), making him one of the longest-serving architecture deans in North America.
The AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion honors an individual who has been intensely involved in architecture education for more than a decade and whose teaching has influenced a broad range of students.
Greenstreet has devoted his career to fostering connections between academia and professional practice. In addition to instructing thousands of students, Greenstreet has held numerous positions at UWM, including assistant vice chancellor and deputy chancellor for campus and urban design; he also served as 1995–96 president of the ACSA. In 1998, he received the ACSA's Distinguished Professor Award and was named one of the “Most Admired Educators” of 2010 by DesignIntelligence. Greenstreet has authored or co-authored seven books devoted to various areas of professional practice, with a particular focus on architecture and the law.
After growing up in London, Greenstreet began his architectural education at Oxford Polytechnic University (now Oxford Brookes) in 1970, earning his undergraduate degree there and continuing into its PhD program in the late 1970s. He worked in private practice while pursuing his doctorate, focusing on a range of residential, commercial, and institutional projects, and finishing his degree in 1983.
By the 1980s, Greenstreet had moved to the United States, where he served as an adjunct and visiting professor at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Ball State University, before joining the UWM faculty. At UWM he developed and taught several new courses, including those focused on advanced presentation techniques, building technology, and law and practice for architects. He has also led numerous design studios and study-abroad programs. Greenstreet has spearheaded interdisciplinary and professional program development between architecture students and those studying such diverse subjects as film, art history, engineering, business, and law. Reaching out beyond academia, Greenstreet played a fundamental role in the development of a new public high school in Milwaukee, the School for Urban Planning + Architecture, which enrolled its first class in 2007.
Research and writing have also been major aspects of Greenstreet's career. In addition to seven books, he has published more than 150 papers and articles internationally, appearing in such journals as Progressive Architecture, Licensed Architect, Architecture, and Architectural Research Quarterly. He has also served as editor of The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, Student Edition, and is co-author of The New Administrator’s Handbook and The Junior Faculty Handbook on Tenure and Promotion.
"I have witnessed him act as mentor and friend to the most influential deans, and offer reassuring assistance to the most junior professor," wrote Marvin Malecha, FAIA, dean of the North Carolina State University College of Design and former AIA president, in a recommendation letter. "I never met an individual more generous with his time and energy to our beloved architectural community."
Among other projects, Greenstreet also conceived and executed a program called Community Design Solutions, which helps UWM students work with AIA members so that they can provide pro bono services to inner-city neighborhoods and community groups. Greenstreet also served as an advisor to internationally renowned architect Antoine Predock, FAIA, on his award-winning design for the Indian Community School of Milwaukee. "His energy, enthusiasm and scope," Predock wrote in a recommendation letter, "are boundless."
"Great cities don’t just happen," Greenstreet wrote in a 2008 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial. "They require planning, forethought, and an insistence on good design."
In March, Greenstreet will be awarded the medallion at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) annual meeting in San Francisco. The AIA will also recognize him at the 2013 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver in June.
About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.
About Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. The school membership in ACSA has grown from 10 charter members to over 250 schools in several membership categories. These include full membership for all accredited programs in the United States and government-sanctioned schools in Canada, candidate membership for schools seeking accreditation, and affiliate membership for schools for two-year and international programs. Through these schools, over 5,000 architecture faculty are represented. In addition, over 500 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support of ACSA goals. ACSA provides a major forum for ideas on the leading edge of architectural thought. Issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future are being examined today in ACSA member schools. www.acsa-arch.org.