The University of Texas at Austin
  • New Faculty Profile: ALLAN SHEARER

    New Faculty Profile: ALLAN SHEARER

    By Marjorie Smith
    Published: Aug. 24, 2009

    New position: Assistant Professor, School of Architecture

    Former university: Rutgers University

    Former title: Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Last year I was a Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow here at UT.

    Education: A.B., Princeton University; M.L.A. and Ph.D., Harvard University

    Hometown: East Berlin, Pa.

    What attracted you to The University of Texas at Austin?

    Coming to UT Austin is a chance to work with exceptionally insightful colleagues and very ambitious students from across the design disciplines. Also, the resources of the university are tremendous—one could spend several very happy academic careers in the Harry Ransom Center alone. And, I very, very much appreciate that when not in a classroom or library, you can learn how to two-step at the Texas Union.

    What is your area of expertise?

    My work centers on how individuals, communities and societies create scenarios of the future and how these narratives and images of tomorrow are used to inform present-day decisions about the environment. Much of this work has been focused through the examination of relationships between the modification of landscapes and different dimensions of security, including national security, environmental security and human security.

    Are you prepared for fall semester?

    Yes, but please do not ask me to elaborate. Being prepared for the start of the semester is a full-time, on-going activity and if I take the time to explain how prepared I am, I won’t be.

    What is one thing you are looking forward to the most during your first semester?

    In design studios, students are given complex problems for which there are no obvious answers, then each is asked to present their ideas in front of their peers and defend their solutions before a panel of experts in the field. Seeing everyone rise to the occasion is always satisfying.

    Have you discovered a favorite restaurant in Austin yet?

    Lamberts Downtown Barbecue for the wild boar ribs and collard greens, and Quack’s Bakery for the blueberry muffins.

    What do you think of the summer heat?

    I have been told that, in Texas parlance, it’s been only “a little warm.”

    What is one word that best describes you?

    Direct.

    • Quote 2
      Pedal to the Metal - NYTimes.com said on March 10, 2011 at 9:42 a.m.
      [...] Another is that breakthroughs only come with a lot of effort and experimentation and, unavoidably, failure. Learning involves breaking. This means that a useful trait these days is the “courage to fear” — a phrase used in a recent discussion of tipping points by Allan Shearer, an architecture professor at the University of Texas, Austin, who studies how humans design the future as much as he designs structures. [...]
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