Chris is a graduate of the College of the University of Chicago
(A.B., Cultural Anthropology), and holds professional degrees in architecture (M.Arch.)
and planning (M.U.P.P.) from the University of Illinois – Chicago. His Ph.D. is
from the School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado Denver, with
the dissertation Valorizing Heritage:
Network and Regime in the Colorado Historic Preservation Policy Sub-System.
Christopher Koziol, Ph.D., AIA, is a licensed architect and
passionate urbanist with a specific commitment to enriching the civic
experience for those whom are often underserved by the architectural
profession. His approach to design integrates an empirical understanding of current
conditions and attentive listening for future aspirations of stakeholders, with
a grounding in an understanding of the historical circumstances underlying the
present. Firmly believing that the public interest can be served by high
quality design, he works at the intersection of public policy and architecture.
As a scholar and teacher, he researches the history of design in civic
advancement while working with students to influence contemporary practices.
Chris's current scholarly project centers around a book
project, Urbanism on the Make: Assembling
Chicago’s Architectural Past (and Future) [under contract with Ashgate
Publishing]. This work affords a historical account of how Chicagoans have for
more than a century iteratively reinterpreted their material – and specifically
architectural – past to advance future actions related to both urban form-giving
and social reform. As a case study of the practices of architects, planners,
sociologists, politicians, social reformers, real estate developers, business
leaders, and neighborhood advocates acting alone and in concert, this account
explores the role of the past, that is, “heritage,” in rhetorical and material transformations
of the existing city. A goal of this understanding is to identify those methods,
including public interest design, which advance a more just city.
Chris’s teaching practice is informed by history and heritage,
not for their own sake, but as methodological entrees into intervening in and transforming
present conditions. As a studio educator, he introduces his students to community-based
clients attempting to improve their neighborhoods and civic life more broadly.
In recent semesters his graduate architecture students have been working with
several non-profits in Denver. They have helped a residents’ group, Westwood
Unidos, visualize and prioritize features they deemed important in advocating for
a recreation center in an underserved part of the city. In another studio he
worked with an advocacy non-profit, Denver Shared Spaces, conceptualizing
how both their individual shared-space building, the Social Foundry, and that
facility’s relationship to the existing neighborhood context will be affected
by future redevelopment. A current studio focuses on using building and site
rehabilitation and new design to advance the mutual objectives of two
community-based organizations with different, but complementary, missions. His
students are working with Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center and
NEWSED Community Development Corporation to explore a complex program of
performance space, youth education, business incubation, permanently affordable
housing for artists/creatives and an events plaza on Santa Fe Drive in the
Lincoln Park /La Alma neighborhood. In each of these cases, Chris draws upon
his familiarity with the history of local institutions in advancing design for
public good to posit another step forward.
In addition to studio-based architectural education, Chris
also developed and teaches the Social
Context of Design core course in the M.Arch. curriculum. This course
introduces students to many of the topics that are probed more deeply in the
studios. Thematic modules in this course cover: “the profession in society,” “spaces
of public life,” “local institutions,” “spaces for work and residence,” and “the
changing form of the (post) industrial city.” In recent years he has also taught
seminars on Urban Conservation: Context
for Reuse and Public Interest Design.
Chris directs both the Master of Science in Historic
Preservation program and the College’s Colorado Center for Community
Development (CCCD). The degree
program affords students training in emerging aspects of heritage conservation
including advanced documentation, sustainability, and neighborhood conservation.
CCCD is an almost five decade old community design center that has provided
technical assistance and advocacy for communities throughout Colorado. While
Chris has focused his personal Center projects on urban projects arising from
the non-profit and community-based sectors, he also manages a professional and
student staff focusing on technical assistance to small and under-served
communities across the state. The Center functions as a clinical teaching
practice for the College while addressing the planning and design needs of a
wide array of partner organizations.
Chris currently serves on the steering committees of Denver
Shared Spaces, an initiative to spur collaboration among non-profits, and Space
to Create Colorado, a statewide effort to develop affordable arts-based
live/work in rural communities in support of economic development. He is the
past board president of Colorado Preservation Inc.
While primarily focusing his career on education in recent
years, Chris maintains architectural licensure in both Colorado and Illinois.
He occasionally consults with practitioners and communities both locally and
nationally in his areas of expertise. Earlier in his career he worked as an
architect in several states. Project types include: adaptive reuse of
industrial buildings in Chicago, scattered site public housing in Boston,
transit oriented development in Lynn, Massachusetts, rehabilitation of historically
significant structures in several states, and urban design for the first phase
of the RTD light-rail through downtown Denver.
Recent Courses TAUGHT
- Social Context of Design
- Architectural Studio
- Studio V
- Urban Conservation: Context for Reuse
- Design in the Public Interest