Charlotte is growing, the skyline changing and our uptown is being re-imagined. Charlotte is not alone, cities across the world are increasing in density with ambitions of becoming socially, economically and environmentally more sustainable.

Discovery Place Science and the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture will host a panel discussion on how Charlotte and cities of tomorrow are being re-imagined to be better places to live. Emily G. Makas, Ph.D., interim Director of the School of Architecture, will moderate a lively discussion between current and former Charlotteans who are changing the urban landscape both locally as well as across the globe.

Join us as we welcome Sean A. Gallagher, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Nick Ault, Little and Jefferson Ellinger, UNC Charlotte, to share their work and thoughts on the science of cities of tomorrow.

The panel discussion will begin at 5:30 p.m. and attendees are invited to explore Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks afterwards.

Complimentary light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available during before and during the panel.


Makaš has a Ph.D. in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University (2007), a Masters in Historic Preservation from Columbia University (1997), and a Bachelors in History from the University of Tennessee (1995). Her research focuses on memory and identity and the built environment in American and European cities and specifically engages the relationships between architecture, urbanism, heritage, memory, museums, and memorials. She is currently finishing a monograph on commemoration, heritage reconstruction, and public space in the Bosnian city of Mostar and is also editing a volume on the planning of capital cities in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Her key publications include the co-edited volume Capital Cities in the Aftermath of Empires: Planning in Central and Southeastern Europe (Routledge, 2010, with T.D. Conley) and co-authored Architectural Conservation in Europe and the Americas (Wiley, 2011, with J.H. Stubbs). At the School of Architecture, her teaching relates to her research interests and includes history seminar on topics on Museums, Adaptive Reuse, Capital Cities, and Architecture and National Identity. Makaš also regularly teaches courses on Historiographic Methods and Writing Architecture, advises students in the Minor in Architectural History and Criticism, and has led study abroad programs to Berlin and Central Europe.


Sean A. Gallagher is an Associate Principal and Director of Sustainable Design at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a 115-person interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, the performing arts, and the visual arts. His research and work has focused on re-evaluating the traditional relationships between the public and urban environments to develop new strategies to increase social space through sustainable design.

Sean’s recent projects include the master plan for the Discovery Place Science museum in Charlotte, University of Chicago Rubenstein Forum Tower, Columbia University's Business School Towers, United States Olympic Museum, and Google’s Pier 57 Urban Ecology. He has presented his research and work on industrialism, urbanism, and sustainable design at national and international conferences, providing the keynote lectures at AIA’s “United States Goals for LPOE: Design Excellence, Sustainability, Security and Transit,” the Green Building Council's “Buildgreen Argentina + Expo International Conference," and the International Congress of Bioclimatic Architecture “High Technology and Sustainable Design” in Mexico City.

Sean is also faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture. He is part of the Jersey City Arts and Architecture Committee as well as an Embankment Preservation Coalition Board Member that is transforming Jersey City’s abandoned Pennsylvania raised rail into the nation’s first naturally rooted urban downtown forest.

Nicholas is a Licensed Architect at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting in Charlotte and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte (2006) and a Bachelor of Science in Technology from Bowling Green State University (2003). As well as having studied under the Pritzker Prize winning Architect Glenn Murcutt (2006). As an academic Nicholas has held teaching positions at UNC-Charlotte and Clemson University - including teaching internationally at Clemson’s Charles E. Daniels Center for Building Research and Urban Studies in Genoa, Italy. His writing and research focuses on the methods and modalities of Digital Fabrication and how historical methodologies of working / representation can be investigated and reinterpreted utilizing modern digital technologies. As a practicing Architect, Nicholas applies his 8 years of experience in Higher Education to approach the complexities of design and construction in a rigorous and focused manner, engaging the process of creating architecture with energy and diversity. He has led award winning projects in North Carolina and California and continues to strive to create Architecture that is both stimulating and functional.


Jefferson Ellinger, associate professor of architecture at UNC Charlotte, is founding partner of Ellinger/Yehia Design (E/Ye Design) and has built several projects throughout North America and won several international competitions. His work has been featured in multiple international publications, exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was highlighted in his TEDx Talk. He holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University in New York City and a B.S. in Architecture from Ohio State University.

He suggests that in contemporary architecture, design and manufacturing arenas operational ecology is an interconnected, performance-driven design logic, and not merely a product, or quality. He positions his design firm and academic endeavors so that all types and scales of performance criteria, quantitative and qualitative, influence and communicate with one another in an ecological way to produce projects driven by next generation solutions, furthering the discipline of Architecture and Design in general.

He has refined and solidified this position as his research/design practice gained international recognition for using advanced computational techniques for building construction: selected built projects and/or winning entries to several international competitions include: W-House, Rose Guest House, Dostyk Business Complex, Ice House, TWICC Composite Cladding, and Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole.

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