Ranko Ruzic is a senior instructor in the Department of Architecture where he teaches graduate design studios, sketching (Sketching-to-see), and hands-on architectural design theory (Theory Anxiety).
In his teaching Ranko draws from dialectic parallels between his recognized professional practice and teaching: architectural design with critical reflection. He aims to provide students with improved architectural skills of making and appreciation. Design exercises include projects such as ‘public’, ‘flexible’, ‘contemporary’, and ‘infill’ projects.
Critical reflection in Ranko’s classes proceeds through questions of what, why, and how. Such questions deal with topics of identity, cultural context, design interpretation, as well as topics of sustainability, daylight, orientation, and ‘value’ engineering. In parallel, Ranko encourages students to engage architectural theory--contemporary tectonics (traditional and digital)--in the context of theory from its beginnings with Vitruvius (firmitas – utilitas – venustas) to current times. In anticipation of their future professional practice, students tackle global and local aspects of their design process, e.g., technology, the market, and/or culture – as they adapt their design objectives and priorities.
Ranko Ruzic is a principal architect at NAC Architecture in Denver.