Innovative Kent State Symposium Explores Relationships Between Comics and Architecture

Graphic Novels/Novel Architecture Symposium takes place April 1 at Cleveland Museum of Art

Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design will hold a major symposium to explore productive relationships between comics and architecture. The symposium, which is scheduled for the afternoon of April 1 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, will provide a provocative forum for conversation among leading architects, scholars and graphic artists. 

This timely event will examine the burgeoning influence of different types of graphic narrative – including animations, cartoons, comics, illustrations and storyboards – on contemporary architectural design. Participants will include Vera Camden, Diane Davis-Sikora, Wes Jones, Jimenez Lai, Françoise Mouly, Alison Sampson, Robert Somol, Mélanie van der Hoorn, Chris Ware, Michael Webb and Jon Yoder.

Two sessions of short presentations and roundtable discussions will begin at 1 p.m., followed by an illustrated keynote conversation between Mouly and Ware at 5 p.m. Mouly is the art editor of The New Yorker, where she has been responsible for more than 1,000 covers since 1993. She also is founder and co-editor (with collaborator and spouse Art Spiegelman) of the groundbreaking comics anthology RAW; the New York Times-bestselling Little Lit series; and The TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics. Ware is an artist known for his experimental graphic novels and the Acme Novelty Library comic book series. His award-winning books include Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories, which was named a Top 10 Book of the Year by The New York Times and Time Magazine and chosen as the single best book of 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly.

The Graphic Novels/Novel Architecture Symposium is the first in a series of annual cross-disciplinary events exploring the potentials of diverse forms of narrative media for the field of architecture. This programming is generously supported by Richard Buday, FAIA, of Houston and alumnus of Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Buday is president of Archimage, a design studio dedicated to the practice of computer-based visual arts. Co-sponsors include the Cleveland Museum of Art, Kent State’s College of Communication and Information, Department of English and School of Art.

The MIX at CMA (art, music and mingling) will follow the event. Books by symposium participants will be available for purchase in the Cleveland Museum of Art Store. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. Guests can register through the museum’s ticket center by calling 216-421-7350 or by visiting

Please arrive early for seats in Gartner Auditorium. For more information about this event, contact Elli Rozler, public relations and media specialist for Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, at, or Jon Yoder, Ph.D., associate professor at Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, at

For more information about Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visit

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Media Contacts:
Elli Rozler,, 330-672-0925
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, March 21, 2016 - 4:06pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 1:27pm
College of Architecture and Environmental Design