Earlier this year, Michael A. Speaks took over as dean of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture. As dean of the College of Design at the University of Kentucky, Speaks focused his school's energy into a series of multi-stakeholder community revitalization projects, not unlike the legacy left by his Syracuse predecessor, Mark Robbins, whose tenure was defined by numerous efforts to revive the Rust Belt city. On the occasion of Speaks's first midterm review, he spoke with RECORD about his accomplishments at Kentucky, inheriting Robbins's mantle, and how postindustrial redevelopment and design education can benefit each other.
Before coming to Syracuse, you finished a reinvention of the University of Kentucky’s 2009 Solar Decathlon entry.