From Ted Kesik (and others below):
"Please find attached a summary of the replies that I received after circulating my comments in Celebration of Thermal Bridging. They are unedited and everyone was asked if their comments could be published, with or without identification.
My terse and at times biting rhetoric is a cultural trait that reveals my Sudbury roots. On a scale of human responses, I believe my rhetoric is actually quite mild compared to the potential damage done by things I criticize, but I also appreciate there are other cultures where my behaviour is viewed as entirely abominable. I am not sanguine, merely quid pro quo. I apologize if I have offended the sensibilities of those who have done no harm.
Some people have misinterpreted that I am against lectures that portray what I deem to be offensive content. That is not the case. Freedom of expression is more important than any individual's sensibilities. I am grateful to say not a single member of our community questioned my right to express my views. Thanks to everyone for upholding the values that make the University of Toronto such a vital and relevant institution.
Further, I do not wish to suggest the sustainability agenda is not rooted at Daniels. We have a number of faculty who have garnered awards for their research in this area, and others have designed notable projects with highly responsible ecological footprints. From my perspective, the diffusion of this work into the mainstream curriculum and accessibility to the associated expertise within core courses by students has lagged by comparison. Building science continues to take a back seat to artistic expression and formalism at Daniels in a world that is demanding performative architecture. This reinforces the importance of exposing students to best practices in performative building design and avoiding examples that are questionable in venues like our lecture series.
It would be preferable to conduct our exchanges live but this impromptu, digitally mediated discussion is all we have managed to muster of late. I don't know if it is a sign of the times or if the world is becoming busier, but the academic tradition of setting aside ample time for discussions about pedagogy has withered not only at Daniels, but at many other institutions I am told by colleagues there. Unlike 1999 when I first joined the U of T and we had 12 students in the first year of the Master of Architecture Program, today I don't know what my teaching colleagues profess and know even less about my students. When Marshal McLuhan said, "the medium is the message" I did not think it would mean people burrowing in front of their computers at the expense of the human dimension.
I shall not be continuing this thread by email as I prefer meeting with people and having face-to-face discussions. Getting to know one another is among the most meaningful of social interactions.
There are so many important issues to discuss among the students, faculty and practitioners, and I hope we don't get stuck on the ethical dimensions associated with the performative design of buildings. That doesn't mean we should not attempt to resolve our position in this regard at Daniels, even if it is a pluralistic conclusion. Biodiversity makes for healthy ecosystems as long as there is liberal interaction and exchange, every viewpoint is given equal airtime in the curriculum, and students can choose their path of study accordingly.
I look forward to many more discussions and debates about the future of architecture education and practice in the 21st century. These issues are not going away. We can always do better.
Ted Kesik, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Professor of Building Science
Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design - University of Toronto"