Ian Caine receives 2016-17 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award

(February 16, 2017) -- Ian Caine, an assistant professor of architecture in the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP), has been selected to receive the 2016-17 New Faculty Teaching Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). The award recognizes demonstrated excellence in teaching performance during the formative years of an architectural teaching career and is awarded to a maximum of three architectural faculty nationally each year.

Selections were made by a jury composed of members of the AIAS national leadership and ACSA Board of Directors. The New Faculty Teaching Award is part of ACSA’s annual Architectural Education Awards, which honor educators for exemplary work in areas such as building design, community collaborations, scholarship, and service. Winners will be presented with their awards on March 24 in Detroit at the ACSA National Meeting.

Caine’s design studios, seminars, lectures, and research are united by an emphasis on the form, processes and impacts of suburban expansion. He and his students often focus on the metropolitan landscape of San Antonio, which together with Dallas Fort-Worth and Houston comprise the three legs in the Texas Triangle. This rapidly expanding megaregion will add another ten million people in the next four decades, a scenario that leaves its inhabitants in a precarious situation, balancing the allure of development with ecological sustainability.

 “I am deeply gratified to accept the 2016-17 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award,” said Caine. “As an educator, my highest aspiration is that the students will positively impact the trajectory of the megaregion’s growth, bending it towards a more spatially inspiring, ecologically viable, and socially just result.”

A registered architect and urban designer, Caine’s path into academia has been a non-traditional one. Before joining the faculty at UTSA in the fall of 2012, he practiced architecture for more than ten years while teaching design studios as an adjunct instructor at Washington University in St. Louis. More than a decade of professional practice allows him to present students with a broad and deep view of contemporary architectural and urban issues. Caine consistently attempts to leverage the synergies that occur when a pedagogical and scholarly project align, employing three core principles in his approach — pursuing innovation at the intersection of teaching and research, maximizing public discourse inside and outside the academy, and committing to environmental sustainability at all scales.

During his first four years on tenure-track, Caine developed two new graduate seminars and eight unique design studios, while teaching a freshman core lecture that enrolls up to 170 students. His efforts have generated consistently high teaching evaluations and positive student comments. In 2016 Caine received a UTSA President’s Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes a single tenure-track faculty member across all university disciplines for excellence in early career teaching. He was also a co-winner (with Dr. Rahman Azari) of the 2016 UTSA Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award, which acknowledges outstanding teaching within the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning. At the national level, Architecture 2030 included a studio curriculum that he developed with Dr. Azari in its 2016 Pilot Curriculum Project, selecting it as one of seven nationwide that “transform the culture of sustainable design education.”

“Ian continues to represent UTSA at a very high level of accomplishment in the realm of educational value for the students and the department,” said Dr. John D. Murphy Jr., Dean of the CACP. “His history and experience as a registered architect brings the profession into the classroom in a profound way.  We continue to be very proud to have Ian as a member of the CACP team.”

Caine’s commitment to public discourse manifests itself in the structure of his courses. During the past eight semesters, his students have generated or contributed to six public exhibitions; received extensive national, regional and local press coverage from outlets including the New York Times, Texas Public Radio, Texas Monthly, and the San Antonio Express-News; submitted dozens of entries to international blind peer-reviewed competitions; presented three projects at a peer-reviewed research conference; earned a national AIA/ACSA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Award; and won a design award from the American Institute of Architects San Antonio Chapter. Most recently, he and his students have initiated a collaboration with the Spatial History Project at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. This project is engaging undergraduate students from Stanford and UTSA, leveraging support from research and scholarship programs at both universities.

— Nicole Chavez

Read the announcement on the ACSA website.