RVTR is an experimental architecture and urban design research group at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning embedded within the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a professional architecture practice based in Toronto ON. Our work operates across scales to position design as an active agent in continually evolving ecologies: biotic, social technological and coultural. Our projects range from the visioning of the urban futures of regional territories, to high performance building design, to prototype-based research in responsive envelope systems and the development and production of digitally crafted objects. These operational scales are tied together through a complex systems approach and a belief in the power of design to transform our world for the better. Since our inception in 2007, RVTR's directors – Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov and Colin Ripley – have worked to integrate design research within practice contexts as a means to advance both professional and disciplinary discourse and the depth of thinking embedded in the resulting work. Our studio environments operate as experimental think tanks - horizontally organized to engage the full breadth of our team’s input in each facet of project development. RVTR regularly collaborates with broad multidisciplinary teams of academic, scientific, industry partners and professional consultants - enabling a deep and informed approach to integrated design.
RVTR's work has been recognized with numerous awards including a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in The Practice of Architecture (2011), R&D Awards from Architecture Magazine (2010, 2016), the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council for the Arts (2009), the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers (2008). The work has been exhibited and widely published internationally. In 2016, RVTR represented Canada at the Venice Architecture Bienalle as part of the Extraction project team led by curator Pierre Belanger. We are currently working with the Jackson Mississippi Department of Planning and Development and a team of artists, designers, and food actors on Fertile Ground, addressing food insecurity through engaged art and design practice supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2018 Public Art Challenge.
RVTR Current Team
Geoffrey Thün, Director Design Research, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
Kathy Velikov, Director, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
Colin Ripley, Director, Professor, Ryerson University
Andrew Kremers (Research Associate / Project Coordinator)
Tithi Sanyal (Research Assistant)
Jiushuai Zhang (Research Assistant)
Joshua Krell (Research Assistant, M.Arch student U-M)
Dicle Taskin (Research Associate, Doctoral Candidate U-M)
Paul Raff (Director 2007-2010), Jose Uribe (2007), Mauro Carreño (2007), Mark Friesner (2007), Zhivka Hristova (2007), Leila Mazhari (2007), Gregory Perkins (2007), Pooya Baktash (2007-2009), Farid Noufailly (2007-2009), Clayton Payer (2007-2008), Matthew Storus (2007-2008), Maya Przybilski (2007-2008), Lauren Abrahams (2008), Mike Blois (2008), Sonya Storey-Fleming (2008), Jeff Cheng (2008), Mathew Peddie (2008-2011), Rufina Wu (2009), Zain Abusair (2009-2011), Mary O’Malley (2010- 2015), Din Blankenship (2011), Lauren Shirley (2011), Sara Dean (2001), Lisa Sauve (2011-2013), Adam Smith (2011-2013), Dan McTavish (2011-2015), Ian Ting (2011-2013), Richard Tursky (2012), David Weinriech (2012), Charles Gurrey (2012-2013), Hans Papke (2013), Anthony Pins (2013-2014), Caileigh MacKellar (2013-2015), Wiltrud Simbuerger (2013-2014), John Hilmes (2013), Nick Safley (2014), Eric Meyer (2014), Christina Kull (2014), Michael Sanderson (2014), Yunzhi Ou (2013), Andrew Wald (2014-2016), Di Wu (2015), Stefan Cavezzali (2015), Stephen Sarver (2015), Lucien Menair (2015), Jen Ng (2015), Kallie Sternburgh (2015-2016), Suo Ya (2015-2016) Karen Toomasian (2015-2016), Daniel Tish (2015-2018), Travis Crabtree (2016-2017), Lauren Lahr (2017-2018), Peter Watkins (2017-2018), Cassandra Rota (2017), Kevin Raley (2018), Emine Seda Kayim (2018), Rebecca Smith (2018), Han Zhang (2018)