Department of Architecture
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John Maze

John Maze

Associate Professor, Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Program
School of Architecture
office: 262 ARCH
phone: 352-294-1476


Computing, digital media, and design.

Research Interests

Martian Greenhouse Pods and Environments
DCP is going to Mars! This is not entirely true, but Design, Construction, and Planning faculty John Maze of Architecture, and Kevin Grosskopf of BCN, are indeed working collaboratively with faculty from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science on designs to be incorporated in future missions to the Red Planet. Fueled by funding from NASA, IFAS faculty Robert Ferl and Anna Lisa Paul launched the research initiative with Grosskopf and Maze to design and model greenhouse environments for an eventual Mars landing, beginning with small greenhouse pods that can be sent to Mars in the next several years as part of a Mars Rover mission. Ferl, director of UF’s NASA affiliated Center for Space Agriculture and Biotechnology Research and Education, and Paul have been sending plants up in shuttle missions for years in preparation for future Lunar and Martian greenhouse studies. BCN and Architecture are helping to visualize the design of the greenhouses and how they need to function on the surface of Mars.

The project began with the prototyping of the small greenhouse pods not much bigger than a paperback novel. These mini-greenhouses are assembled onto a base controlling the growing conditions for the tiny Arabidopsis seedlings and moves the individual pods through various scanning, imaging, and soil-depositing apparatus. This in turn could wind up on the back of one of the Martian rovers on a future mission to the red planet. The next phase of the project will involve the initial design and testing of larger inhabitable greenhouse assemblies as a part of a Mars colonization effort. Part of the task is to design unfolding or inflating enclosures that provide sufficient protection from the Martian environment, while being compact enough to fit in the payload of a NASA rocket. Architecture graduate assistants Jason Matthews and Andrew Willard are working with state-of-the-art modeling and animation software to build virtual prototypes, enabling scientists to see how the designs function from the inside and out. The material, construction and assembly methods, and systems integration all have to be worked out flawlessly in advance since the greenhouses will be sent hundreds of thousands of miles away from the nearest repair shop. All will be precisely designed by the research team including the specific shade of orange and blue to include on the greenhouses and the exact placement of the DCP logo for all our interstellar neighbors to see.

Jones Studio: Desert Houses
This research project is focused on documenting and analyzing the work of renowned Arizona architects Eddie and Neal Jones. The Jones Studio is considered one of the truest examples of a critical regional practice, embodying the sheer essence of the Arizona desert in every project executed. Yet the portfolio of work extends well beyond the desert into Oklahoma, Montana, and Japan, each time masterfully cementing an embodiment of the qualities of the place regardless of location. Partners Eddie and Neal Jones are able to distill the genius loci5 into an architectural language deeply rooted in context while retaining an inventive formal vocabulary for which they have become known.

Eddie and Neal along with the many talented architects of the Jones Studio blend sustainability with high art, combining very elegant formal volumes, very expressive materialities, and the most logical and time-tested passive heating and cooling techniques. Much of what the Jones’ practice in this latter focus can be found in the centuries-old indigenous desert dwellings of Sonoran Desert, such as Casa Grande to the south of Phoenix. Rammed earth, deep shading devices, and solar orientation are all passive techniques that design partner Eddie has actively observed and implemented over the thirty years he has been in practice in Arizona. Each project is carefully crafted to belong to its unique setting, whether in the city or desert landscape. No two projects bear a striking resemblance to one another, being as unique as each clientele and each site that comes to the Jones Studio.

Digital Architecture
The term “digital architecture” loosely bundles together the pursuits of architectural realizations and visualizations through the use of advanced digital design systems. In an effort to impart upon the School of Architecture students of design, this ongoing funded research delves into various 3d and 4d software and techniques, exploring the philosophy of digital architecture as well modeling and rendering processes. This research builds upon the paradigmatic work done with Eisenman Architects and Roto Architects prior to entering academia full time.