KI Funds Studio for Students on Past, Present and Future of Auditoria

Oct. 17, 2007

Green Bay, WI - A new KI-funded studio, "Auditoria Redux: A Study in Material, Form and Experience," provides students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Architecture & Urban Planning with a comprehensive, in-depth examination of the auditorium typology. The course culminates with students presenting research and design concepts for auditoria of the future. The studio meets weekly through December 21.

"Through this studio, students will learn about the vital roles that auditoria play as collective gathering spaces for education and cultural arts," explains Nat Porter, vice president of education markets, KI. "We appreciate the opportunity to support the architects of tomorrow through this important educational partnership with one of the nation's top A&D schools. We plan to draw on information from the course as part of our research and development efforts for auditorium furniture."

Auditoria Redux, which will be spearheaded by Professor Grace La, includes a study of the history and nature of gathering spaces, technical advances in material research, and formal strategies for enriching spatial experience. The studio emphasizes the research and testing of design ideas in drawings and models.

Students will attend guest lectures and participate in field studies as part of their coursework. KI will sponsor prominent lecturers to support the curriculum, as well as partial funding of the UWM SARUP Guest Lecture Series, which invites renowned speakers from around the world to the school. All lectures are free and open to the public.  

"KI's support of these activities is an invaluable enrichment for the students, the A&D professionals and the community at large," says Robert Greenstreet, Dean of UWM School of Architecture & Urban Planning.

In September, a group of students from the studio spent a day at KI's headquarters with company officials, designers and engineers. Students received an overview of the contract furniture industry and KI, learned about the education market, reviewed the company's product development process, and toured KI's manufacturing facility.

"This highly collaborative studio provides students the unique opportunity to actively engage in cross-disciplinary research and design," notes Grace La, professor for the Auditoria Redux studio and principal with La Dallman Architects.

KI manufactures innovative furniture and wall system solutions for education, healthcare, government and corporate markets. The employee-owned company is headquartered in Green Bay, WI, and operates sales offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. KI tailors products and service solutions to the specific needs of each customer through its unique "Market of One" customer service and manufacturing philosophy. For more information, visit

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