Face Time: Introducing the Facade Tectonics Institute

There is history to this new enterprise. Facade Tectonics started as a series of invited roundtable discussions at the University of Southern California School of Architecture in 2007 as a strategic response to the escalating importance and complexity of building facade technology. These roundtables grew into a series of conference events that drew hundreds of participants, and affirmed a broad range of interests in the building skin. The accelerating change of facade technology and the growing awareness of the facade as not only integral to, but the very fulcrum of holistic building design, has propelled Facade Tectonics to the forefront of the emerging dialogue of building skin. The facade system uniquely combines considerations of performance and appearance; it is quite simply the most interesting and vital aspect of architecture and urban habitat today.

The current milestone in the evolution of Facade Tectonics is the formation of the Facade Tectonics Institute, with the mission of carrying out progressive and broad-based research in building facade technology. The intent is to catalyze and foster a deep dialogue of collaborative research activity that bridges the fragmented market segments of the building industry — pairing industry, government, academia, the profession, and ownership as partners in the pursuit of resilience and sustainability of urban habitat through advanced building skin technology. Integral to this mission is the dissemination of historical, theoretical and practical information derived from this research to the building marketplace, thereby acting as a conduit and facilitator for both learning and further collaborative research pursuits.

The Institute is an international member organization based at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. In addition to its research activities, the Institute conducts an annual conference, a series of half-day Forums, and similar events at venues local and regional. It publishes the Facade Tectonics Journal and produces various publications ranging from conference proceedings to technical guides, research reports, and books addressing diverse areas of building facade technology. The Institute also makes available to the public ever deepening technical resources online at FacadeTectonics.org, and the retrofit databaseFacadeRetrofit.org.


If you are in New York City the week of October 26, join us in the Facade Tectonics room, an intimate venue where 20 thought leaders and leading facade practitioners will share their insights and latest work in five themed sessions over two-full days. The program is free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come basis. See the full program here.

The program includes two special 30-minute sessions where the Institute and its mission will be discussed in greater detail.

  • Tuesday, October 27
    Morning Session
    10:30 – 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, October 27
    Afternoon Session
    3:30 – 4:00 pm

A steering committee meeting will also be open to the public from 9:00 – 10:30 am on the same day.

The Facade Tectonics room is held in conjunction with the CTBUH 2015 International Conference at the Grand Hyatt New York, just steps away from Grand Central Terminal in New York City.


The Institute is also planning its inaugural world congress the first week in October 2016. A call for papers will be issued in the upcoming months. All upcoming Facade Tectonics activities can be tracked at FacadeTectonics.org or in the monthly newsletter SkinTec. Sign up for SkinTec here.


Visit FacadeTectonics.org to learn more about the Institute, to better understand its mission and activities, and to learn how you and your organization can participate in this dynamic enterprise.

Join the dialogue! Review membership opportunities here.