CONGRATULATIONS to the 2021 Emerging Faculty Award Winner!!

Keith Peiffer

Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University

"I have recently transitioned from a full-time position in professional practice to a tenure track position at Oklahoma State University to pursue an academic career. Although it has been a long-term goal to teach, it was especially important to me to gain a solid understanding of professional practice first that could ground my further work in the discipline.

Over eleven years, my professional work with Design Collective and Ziger/Snead Architects has received numerous awards for design excellence from the AIA and other professional organizations. My professional work has encompassed a broad range of scales, construction types, materials, and programs. On most projects, I contributed from design through completion of construction, and I spent many hours in the field doing construction administration. Most recently as an associate at Ziger/Snead Architects in Baltimore, I led project teams and specialty consultants for a diverse range of projects (high-end residential, educational, and institutional). This experience has given me a strong foundation in the skillful execution of well-considered architecture.

Given this experience, I am constantly working to find ways to bridge between the academy and practice. This interest is interwoven in my teaching and research efforts; in addition to teaching the required Materials in Architecture course, I also teach design studio and a contemporary architecture theory seminar. I enjoy being able to discuss topics that range from the concrete and technical to the abstract and theoretical. More specifically, I explore the tensions in the discipline between the standard and the custom, between conventional methods and innovative techniques.

My current research is focused on turning a critical eye to elements that we often take for granted, situating things like standard details and acoustical panel ceilings within architectural theory. I look forward to continuing this scholarly work, creating an exhibition of student work related to detailing, and integrating it with my teaching."

Select excerpts from Keith's award submission:

Select jury quotes:

“This submittal is well done. It tells the story of a practitioner turned educator and how his practice background informs his ability to teach and inspire. His use of case studies in the classroom, such as forensics tours of the campus and a 3D scan of the school building exemplify how buildings teach. There is strong integration of research into teaching fundamentals, and potential to impact building technology practice as he continues to involve students in critical analysis that questions the performance of standard details.”  Christine Theodoropoulos

“Professor Peiffer’s approach to building technology education elegantly merges normative professional practice with critical analysis and theoretical writing. By doing so he reveals that to students how standard construction details can exert enormous influence on the built environment.”  Shelby Doyle

“…in depth explanations, gets students to understand tech/studio/theory. Insightful.”  Jason Alread