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Anchor 1

Referring to the forum 

and the practice of making an argument

Referring to the techniques

used to develop investigative strategies

Referring to time

and the non-linear sequencing of events

2020 AIA/ACSA Practice and Leadership Award

The Forensics Studio is the final studio in the Master of Architecture program at South Dakota State University's Department of Architecture (DoArch). The studio investigates a range of architecture projects completed by the leading architecture firms in the state of South Dakota. During their last semester of study student teams collaborate with one participating architecture firm to research the firm’s methods of work and to unfold the critical workflows of that practice.

The work of the studio centers on making visual narratives from invisible and seemingly dull professional processes. How could we describe and understand the development of a building through the study of meeting minutes, requests for information, emails, and other ubiquitous tasks that consume our professional world? Visualizing under-examined professional processes to theorize about architectural labor is at the center of this academic project.

The primary vehicle for making these processes visible is the collaborative design and development of several Forensics Books. The narrative of these books happens at the intersection of precedent study, professional practice, and speculative research.

Since January 2016, thirty-eight (38) students, six (6) professional practices, and fifteen (15) architects have participated in the study of eighteen (18) buildings across South Dakota. The Forensics Studio is led by DoArch faculty, Federico Garcia Lammers. 

> People


Federico Garcia Lammers. Studio Coordinator. Assistant Professor. DoArch

Brian T. Rex. Studio Advisor. Department Head and Associate Professor. DoArch

Jessica Garcia Fritz. Studio Advisor. Assistant Professor. DoArch


Professional Practices

TSP Inc. (2016 – Current)

CO-OP Architecture (2017 – Current)

Koch Hazard Architects (2016 – 17)

JLG Architects (2016 – Current)

Perspective (2016)

Design Arc (2016)



John Angulu

Daniel James Bilka 

Justin Davis

Shaun Davis

Jesse Dunn

Anthony Dyk

Iman Ebadi Paskiabi 

Blake Foxley

Aspen Greene

Teresa Hebert

Bret Holt

Kyle Jamison

Amanda Jamison

Alex Krug

Nicholas Kummer

Ted LaCoursiere

Makenzie Lane

Megan Leebens

Emily Linehan

> Work

The project in the Forensics Studio is an investigation into the decision-making and execution of a series of existing buildings in South Dakota. Through the making of time-based images and books, students explore networks of performances affecting the production of architecture.

The studio defines forensics in three ways:

1.  Referring to the (forum) and the practice of making an argument.

2. Referring to the (techniques) used to develop investigative strategies.

3. Referring to (time) and the non-linear sequencing of events.

These three ways of referring to forensics are embedded into three steps that connect the studio schedule with its intellectual scope.

The first step is an investigation of the building’s effects – basic functions and architectural relationships, and the links among owner, architect, financiers, and building professionals. After being connected to the project’s architects, engineers, contractors, and clients, students interrogate the situation and graphically dissect the building.

The second step is connecting the facts of the project into a plausible story of how the project got to the way it is. In this phase students are graphically mapping out webs of interconnectivity between people, tools, and place. Webs are mapped by analyzing content and documents shared by the architecture firms.

The third step is the graphical telling of each of these stories of a building process, and re-presenting the building to the project’s progenitors and the region’s professional community. Where the crux of the story lies both structurally and stylistically is the critique. The critique is based on linking broad disciplinary questions to specific professional processes.

The aim of this work is to make the practice of architecture in this region of the United States the direct subject of a studio. Below is some evidence of the ongoing investigations conducted by students and faculty.

Publications and Awards

2020 AIA/ACSA Practice and Leadership Award

American Institute of Architects and

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture


Professional Landscapes at the End of Education
Feedback Processes in Practice and Pedagogy Session 
107th ACSA Conference. Carnegie Mellon University

Dull Professional Data from Ordinary Precedents 
Search, Research, Repeat Session
107th ACSA Conference. Carnegie Mellon University

I Didn’t Do Architecture Today... 
ACSA/EAAE Conference. Practice of Teaching, Teaching of Practice

University of Antwerp, Belgium 



Studio Websites



Alejandro Marin Rodriguez

Sulaiman Mustafa 

Ethan Millar

Emily Nelsen

Jared Nurnberger

Tolulope Oyeniyi

Levi Pfeil

Cassie Pospishil

Beau Prest

Jacob Ricke

Sushmita Shrestha 

Brian Skrovig 

Spencer Sommers

Thomas Squires 

Jacob Urban 

Joshua Wagner 

Garrett Walter

Riley Walz

Quadri Yusuff

Work 1
Work 2
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