Associate Professor Catherine Wetzel excels in teaching first-year undergraduate and graduate students and implementing innovative curricula into their degree programs. Wetzel was recognized with the American Institute of Architects Education Honor Award for 2006 and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Creative Achievement Award for the 10 years that she led the first-year bachelor’s studio sequence program. In addition to her work as partner in Zed Architects, Wetzel is now director of the first year of the Master of Architecture Program, heading an initiative to coordinate studio and visual training courses with history, structure, and digital technologies. Past projects include a 100-foot-long tension cable bridge and a 35-foot-high parabolic arch.
With the aid of a five-foot-tall model of the world, last year Wetzel aimed to get people to think more about environmental issues in the workplace. She and faculty member Richard Nelson designed Oath of Office, one of more than 120 spheres in Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, a 2007 public art exhibit along Chicago’s lakefront held to raise awareness about global climate change. A group of architecture students worked on the production of the IIT globe, which was encircled by an equator featuring the preamble of the United States Constitution, rewritten to include items relating to sustainability and ecological balance.