This weekend, the University of Houston welcomes a disparate collection of thought leaders to campus. UH will serve as the host site for TEDxHouston featuring talks led by a diverse collection of professionals. Among the innovators holding court at this event are three esteemed members of the University’s faculty.
This year’s event will take place throughout the day on Oct. 18 in UH’s Student Center. Tickets for TEDxHouston are sold out, but selected presentations will be available to view online after the event. For more details on TEDxHouston 2015, visit its website.
UH professors participating in the event are:
- Andrew Vrana, visiting assistant professor in UH’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and principal at the architecture and design firm Metalab: Vrana will address digital fabrication in architecture, public art and product design. Vrana is involved in a variety of projects and teaches digital fabrication studios at UH’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.
- Susan Rogers, assistant professor of architecture and director of UH’s Community Design Resource Center (CDRC): Rogers will address the concept of “Possible Futures” and how cities such as Houston can embrace smart design and enhance communities and neighborhoods. As Rogers explains, “how small acts can create big changes.” Through CDRC and the Collaborative Community Design Initiative, Rogers and students partners with Houston communities to develop strategies for areas in need of revitalization.
- Patrick Bordnick, associate dean of research and professor in UH’s Graduate College of Social Work: Bordnick will address the topic “Virtual Reality and Change.” He will discuss technology’s impact in changing human behaviors (addiction, weight loss). Bordnick’s research has incorporated virtual reality as a tool for overcoming addiction and phobias. He is the director of UH’s Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab and the University’s Child and Family Center for Innovative Research.
“It’s a humbling experience to be asked to speak at this event,” Bordnick said. “It’s made me look at my research in a different light as I discuss it with different audiences. I look forward to explaining the work we’re doing here on campus and how it is affecting change.”
UH has hosted previous TEDxHouston events in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Faculty members who have participated in past talks include Brené Brown, research professor in the Graduate College of Social Work; Mat Johnson, professor in the Creative Writing Program, and Andy Hines, coordinator of UH’s Foresight Graduate Program.