NJIT News Room

Looking for something?
Search Newsroom
RSS Feed
Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Wiley Publishes NJIT Professorís Book About the Process of Design

Karen A. Franck, PhD

Design through Dialogue: A Guide for Architects and Clients by Karen A. Franck, a professor in both the NJIT College of Architecture and Design and the NJIT College of Science and Liberal Arts, was published last month by Wiley & Sons. The book explores the relationship between client and architect through the lens of four overlapping activities that occur during any project: relating, talking, exploring and transforming. Teresa von Sommaruga Howard is the co-author. 

“Completed projects receive more public attention than the process of their creation and so the myth that architects design buildings alone lives on,” said Franck, a long-time professor of architecture at NJIT.  “In fact, architects work with a great many others and the relationships that develop, particularly with clients, have a significant impact on design.”

The book details cases of design and collaboration, ranging from smaller-scale retail, residential and educational projects in the US, Sweden, the UK and the Pacific Rim to large institutions, including Seattle’s Central Library, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, the Supreme Court in Jerusalem and more.

Material is taken from interviews with clients and architects and research in psychotherapy, group dynamics and design studies. Throughout the book aspects of process are linked to design outcomes to illustrate how architects and clients collaborate creatively.   The book is available in hard and soft cover.

Franck serves as director of the doctorate program in urban systems. Her research interests related to cities have included alternative housing, the role of building and place types in ordering space, food and the city, and possibilities for unexpected uses of urban public space.

Publications related to these interests are: New Households, New Housing, edited with Sherry Ahrentzen (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989), Ordering Space: Types in Architecture and Design, edited with Lynda Schneeloth (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1994); Food and the City (guest-edited issue of Architectural Design 2005); and Loose Space: Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life (Routledge, 2006).

Franck holds a PhD in environmental psychology from the City University of New York.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.