Christopher Bardt has over 25 years of experience as an architect and professor of architecture at RISD. He is a founding principal of 3sixØ Architecture, which Architectural Record named one of 10 leading vanguard firms worldwide in 2002. His extensive professional experience includes furniture design, residential, commercial and institutional commissions and planning studies, ranging from small urban interventions to large-scale metropolitan development. His research on the geometry of sunlight, materials, materiality and tectonics as critical to architectural making and thinking has been widely published and exhibited.
Bardt has been a member of the Architecture faculty at RISD since 1988. He teaches upper-level studios, architectural history, the history and theory of projective geometry and foundation courses and has coordinated and authored the curriculum of all three core semesters. He led the development of the celebrated drawing curriculum, which fuses digital and physical (hand) approaches to architectural drawing. He has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, the National Academy of Design and Art, Slovakia and the China Academy of Art and has served on the Board of Governors of the RISD Museum. Bardt holds a BArch from RISD and a MArch from Harvard University.
Academic areas of interest
Bardt’s research interests are focused on materials and the role they play in our self-definition. For the past two decades he has developed new pedagogy based on material engagement and resistance. He has been thinking about how materials guide the imagination and how their properties generate insights. Materials resist us and make us aware of their resistance, a necessary condition of creativity. His new book Material and Mind (MIT Press) was inspired in part by the mysterious connection between creativity and material engagement in the studio. Earlier in his career, he examined sunlight and used the problem of its geometry to “catch” it with a large-scale tectonic construction wholly generated by sun movement over time. The sunlight research continues, prompting a current book project on self and place or “umwelt” and their deep entanglement, a fundamental yet unfathomable fact of existence.