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Elgin Cleckley is the Next Speaker in the Mudd Lecture Series Cleckley, assistant professor of architecture and design at the University of Virginia, will give a lecture on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m.

Elgin-2-6-600x400 Elgin Cleckley is the Next Speaker in the Mudd Lecture Series

Elgin Cleckley, assistant professor of architecture and design at the University of Virginia (UVA), will present a lecture on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater as part of W&L’s Mudd Center for Ethics’ series on the “Ethics of Design.”

Cleckley’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “_mpathic design: Perspectives on Creating Inclusive Spaces.” A recording of the event will be available for the W&L community.

At UVA, Cleckley holds appointments in the School of Education and Human Development and the School of Nursing. He is also the director of design justice at UVA’s Equity Center (Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity Through Community-Engaged Scholarship), where he leads the school’s National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Project Pipeline: Architecture Mentorship Program.

Cleckley’s work operates at the intersections of identity, culture, history, memory and place. His research follows a self-formulated empathic design thinking methodology, a hybrid approach to deep empathy that uncovers the layers of a site, cultural landscape, and the built environment. The method is an empathic approach to discovering untold narratives and unheard voices, allowing Cleckley to find design responses and meet the design activism needed in non-inclusive architectures. It also provides tangible toolkits and frameworks for developing belonging in public spaces.

“One of the threads within our ‘Ethics of Design’ series is to explore methodologies that designers use to actualize their values in their work,” said Karla Murdock, director of the Mudd Center. “Through showing us how he has accomplished his body of work as an architect, scholar and community visionary, Elgin Cleckley will not only sensitize us to the role of built spaces in shaping how we understand and move through the world, but also help us to envision how we might translate values-driven practices into our own professional lives.”

Cleckley is also the principal of _mpathic design. This award-winning firm uses evidence-based methods grounded in cultural competency, empathy and human-centered design to address projects in academic, community and professional contexts. _mpathic design has presented at over eighty national and international conferences in architecture, design and education, and has collaborated with Albemarle County Public Schools, City of Lynchburg, and the Albemarle Office of Equity and Diversity. The firm also recently exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Prior to joining UVA’s faculty in 2016, Cleckley was the 3D group leader and design coordinator at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Science Content and Design Department, and Agents of Change Initiative. He is a recipient of UVA’s Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award, Distinguished Public Scholar Award, and Armstead Robinson Faculty Award, as well as numerous national fellowships, including from MacDowell and the Mellon Foundation.

Cleckley received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from UVA and his master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University.

For more information the Ethics of Design series and a complete schedule of events, visit the series webpage.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. By facilitating collaboration across traditional institutional boundaries, the center aims to encourage a multidisciplinary perspective on ethics informed by both theory and practice. Previous Mudd Center lecture series topics have included Global Ethics in the 21st Century, Race and Justice in America, The Ethics of Citizenship, Markets and Morals, Equality and Difference, The Ethics of Identity, The Ethics of Technology, Daily Ethics and Beneficence.