Monday Minute, October 11, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

You may have noticed on the front yard of the Armory, near Rapson Hall, the reassembly of the Icon House -- the University of Minnesota's entry into the 2009 Solar Decathlon competition. Part of the Bell Museum's exhibit, "Sustainable Shelter: Dwelling within the Forces of Nature," which opens this Saturday, October 16, 2010 and runs through May 15, 2011 the Icon House will be open for tours from 12-2 p.m. every day except Monday, with additional hours possible. I'd encourage you to take this opportunity to see the wonderful work of our students, who, with the help of our faculty and staff, designed and built a house that came in fifth overall, and first in engineering and lighting design.

This resurrection of the Icon House would not have happened without the tremendous efforts of Dan Handeen and John Carmody (both Center for Sustainable Building Research). They helped design the Bell exhibition, and, with Director of Development Sue Danielson Bretheim, secured the financial support for rebuilding the house, which included a substantial cash gift from Target Corporation and in-kind contributions from Mortenson Construction and Murphy Companies, all of whom have representatives on the college's advisory board: Rich Varda, Greg Van Bellinger, David Mortenson, and Richard Murphy.

You can also tour the Icon House as part of a reception on the evening of November 11, 2010 after the college's Rendezvous with the U lecture in Rapson Hall, where the Danish architect, Kim Herforth Nielson, will talk about how architecture shapes human behavior. His interest in the intersection of design and social science reflects the importance of those two areas of activity in our college. It also fits one of the underlying themes of the Icon House: that we will have to change our behavior as well as the physical environment if we are to achieve a truly sustainable future.