The AJLC website represents the collaborative effort of Oberlin students, faculty, and staff. The objective has been to combine compelling graphics that display real-time and historical data on building performance, with text and photos in order to tell the dynamic story of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center.

The website is intended to educate the public on opportunities for ecologically designing the built environment. At the same time, the process of installing and maintaining the data monitoring system and the website have served as core components of the curriculum of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College.

Digital Communications

The format and organization of the current website and of the display in the atrium of the AJLC represents the work of many generations of students, staff and faculty.  

The original AJLC website was the design project of a one-time course offering in fall of 2001. Practicum in Green Building Technology Education and Display (ENVS314) was organized and led by John Petersen with much collaboration and help from Audra Abt (OC ’01, environmental studies intern ’01–’02) and Cheryl Wolf-Cragin (OC ’88, AJLC building manager). The ideas and even some of the text that emerged from work in this class are still visible in the current version of the website. Gabriel Giles (OC ’03) served as both HTML guru and graphic design consultant throughout the process of implementing the first itteration of the website.

Data Monitoring System

Alex Maly ’03 deserves special recognition for the critical role that he played over a three year period in the initial wiring and programming of the data monitoring system, in development of the Access database and in the design and implementation of the first generation of real-time graphics featured on the website and on the original atrium display; John Petersen still wonders whether the data monitoring system would have gotten off the ground without Alex as a collaborator. Although they did not work directly on the website, Shanti Pless, Paul Torcellini and Ed Hancock from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) collaborated on developing the data monitoring system, and their expertise was critical.

Michael Murray (OC ’04), Vladislav (Vladi) Shunturov (OC ’05), Gavin Platt (OC ’06) and Heather Elmer (OC ’97, environmental studies intern) were responsible for completely revamping both the data monitoring system and the website.  Michael, Vladi, Gavin and John Petersen incorporated Lucid Design in 2004, a company that has become a dominant player in the acquisition, processing, analysis and display of data on building performance. 

Credit for the vision and the fundraising necessary to build the AJLC, and for the concept of architecture as a tool for teaching environmental lessons (“architecture as pedagogy”), belongs to Professor Emeritus David Orr. Credit also goes to the Lewis family and to others who came to share this vision and who made the financial resources available to see the project through to fruition.

About Adam J. Lewis

Adam J. Lewis is a philanthropist whose activities have focused on holistic health, care of the environment, and international health, education and ecological issues. The gift to the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College was the centerpiece of his early philanthropy. Among the other organizations Mr. Lewis has supported are The Open Center of New York; Tibet House, also located in New York, and California’s Seva Foundation and Center for the Work.

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