MS (Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials) University of California, Berkeley, 1993 MArch University of California, 1988 BA (Architecture) University of Washington, 1985
Associate Professor Stephen Duff's principal interests in architecture concern how buildings are made, particularly how structure, construction assemblies, and materials relate to the spatial and aesthetic qualities of buildings. He teaches courses in architectural design, structural behavior and structural design, and a theory seminar called The Craft of Design. He is also a member of the UO Center for Housing Innovation.
Duff's specific research interests include the nature of design processes that support the integration of structure and space in architectural design, including the active use of finite-element and other digital technologies in the process of form generation and spatial differentiation; studies in methods and models for engineering and structures education; and the structure and construction of historical and modern buildings. He has a technical focus on wood structures, particularly their connections, and has conducted experimental research in heavy timber connections for architectural and seismic applications. For his work on energy-dissipating connections for timber structures, funded by the USDA's National Research Initiative Competitive Grant Program, he received the ARCC Best Paper Award at the ACSA-CIB-ARCC-SBSE International Science and Technology Conference in 1999. He is currently working on a book with the working title The Structural Order of Architecture.
Active professionally, Duff is developing a master plan and building designs for a new shipyard, land base, and interpretive centre for the Sail and Life Training Society (S.A.L.T.S.) in Victoria, British Columbia. In 2005, Duff was one of five lead participants in a project based in Morocco to design, engineer, and reconstruct an ancient Greek defensive weapon known as Archimedes Claw, a project that was documented in a film aired on BBC and the Discovery Channel.
Duff runs a design-build program at the University of Oregon and teaches courses that involve students in the entire building process—from design and engineering to detailing and construction—of timber-frame structures. He and his students are completing a heavy-timber kiln shed for the UO Department of Art, and he previously directed students in the design and construction of the Silver Falls State Park Registration Building for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and tent platforms and cabins for Pioneer Pacific Camp on Thetis Island in British Columbia—a project that received a national design award from the Wood Products Promotion Council in 1997. He is regularly involved in overseas study programs and has established a non-profit organization that will offer a program in architecture and urban design called Studio at Sea, scheduled to commence in the Mediterranean in the summer of 2009. Duff was recognized as the University Professor of the Term in Winter 2006.
Before coming to the University of Oregon, Duff was a designer and project manager at the Center for Environmental Structure in Berkeley, where he worked on several published residential designs, an un-built Waldorf school, and a low-cost construction system for housing in Santa Rosa de Cabal (Colombia). He was the first recipient of the T. Y. Lin Prize for Research in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.