The Wilder School brings leading experts in planning, architecture, or urban design to VCU each year through the annual Morton B. Gulak Lecture in Urban and Regional Planning.
Launched in 2013, the lecture series honors the memory of Morton B. Gulak, Ph.D., who helped found the Master in Urban and Regional Planning program more than 40 years ago.
Gulak, who died in 2012, taught at VCU for 38 years. He inspired legions of students in the areas of urban design, urban revitalization, physical planning, and the application of professional planning methods.
Christopher J. Howard, an accomplished architect and scholar whose commentary and design proposals on monuments and memorials have earned him national recognition, will deliver the 2022 Morton B. Gulak Lecture in Urban and Regional Planning on Oct. 27.
Howard’s lecture, “Civic Art, Justice and Inclusion,” will take place at 7 p.m. in the University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms, 907 Floyd Ave. His work examines the importance of civic art including monuments and memorials in contemporary society and incorporates design tactics and policy guidelines for elevating public spaces through more inclusive civic art. The event is free and open to the public.
Howard is a practitioner and full-time faculty member at Catholic University where he teaches courses in a newly launched classical architecture and urbanism track. Prior to joining the academy, he served as a Lead Project Architect for McCrery Architects in Washington, D.C., where he led the design and construction of major ecclesiastical projects to benefit Catholic communities. His commentary and design proposals on monuments and memorials have garnered national attention including the 2019 Leicester B. Holland Prize, for comprehensive documentation of the Lyceum building in Old Town Alexandria and an award-winning entry for a Contrabands’ and a Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, Va.
His 2008 award-winning design for the Contrabands’ and a Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial was chosen from among several hundred entries submitted from 20 countries and was used as the design framework for the memorial that was completed and dedicated in 2014. Howard received both his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism from the University of Notre Dame.
The 2019 speaker was Gary Hack, a professor emeritus and the former dean of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, who has developed and advised on plans for cities, neighborhoods, and developments in over 35 cities in the US, Canada, and Asia, including the redevelopment of Prudential Center in Boston and collaboration with Studio Daniel Libeskind on the winning entry for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center. Hack spoke on Sept. 26.
The 2018 speaker was Majora Carter, a leading urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training and placement systems. She spoke Oct. 17.
The 2017 speaker was Toni L. Griffin, founder of Urban Planning and Design for the American City. Through her New York City-based practice, Griffin served as project director for the long-range planning initiative of the Detroit Work Project, and in 2013 completed and released Detroit Future City, a comprehensive citywide framework plan for urban transformation.
Previous Gulak Lecturers include Sara Zewde, a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, and renowned planners Dhiru A. Thadani, Ellen Dunham-Jones, and Jeff Speck.