News Release: MSU Architecture Students Recognized for Design Studio Plans that Showcase Mid‑Rise Wood Buildings


December 14, 2016

Starkville, Miss. — Using innovative wood technologies on the inside and exterior of a proposed mid-rise design studio earned architecture student Curtis Reed a $500 prize and – more importantly – an appreciation for mass-timber technologies.

“Mississippi needs a tall wood building because people need to see it. As people see these students’ designs, I believe it will draw businesses and other entities to want these kinds of buildings for themselves,” said Tedrick Ratcliff, Executive Vice President of the Mississippi Forestry Association (MFA).

The competition was facilitated by TIMB(R): Timber Innovations for Mississippi Buildings Reimagined Studio. This studio was taught by Mississippi State University (MSU) Assistant Professor of Architecture, Jacob Gines, and open to fourth-year architecture students.

Students were judged based on their design’s ability to promote MFA’s mission as well as for practicality and innovation. The projects used innovative mass-timber technologies, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT).

“It doesn’t mean the winning design will necessarily be built, but it will provide MFA an opportunity to conjure interest and investment for such a project in Mississippi. We love the idea of being able to facilitate that process,” said Jacob Gines, an Assistant Professor in the MSU School of Architecture.

TIMB(R) held a symposium that featured expert speakers in the green building field from across the country. Students also went to Oregon to be exposed to some of the most influential research and projects on mass-timber in the United States.

Funding for the TIMB(R) Studio was provided by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), Mississippi Forestry Foundation, and Weyerhaeuser through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. Learn more at

“The TIMB(R) Studio has garnered a lot of excitement about the possibility of mass-timber buildings in Mississippi. Through the programs and projects made possible by the SFI grant, we feel confident that these future architects are prepared to incorporate innovative wood technologies into their work,” Ratcliff said.

Additional support for the project was provided by Shuqualak Lumber, the MSU Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, the MSU College of Art, Architecture, and Design, and other private partners.

MFA’s vision is to serve as the “Voice of Forestry” in Mississippi. MFA’s mission is leading diverse groups to promote landowner rights, environmental stewardship, member prosperity, and community understanding. MFA members and staff work to accomplish the mission by conducting public affairs, communication, and education programs that will foster better understanding and appreciation of conservation, development, and use of forestland and resources. Learn more at


Pictured: Front Row from left: Jacob Gines, Omkar Prabhu, Curtis Reed, Keith Ward, Mark Power and Jarred Creel; Back Row: Anna Kendall, Ian Munn, Tedrick Ratcliff and Robby Toombs


Nick Vezinaw


Abigail Raper


Curtis Reed


Claire Sims


Ebony Batchelor


Omkar Prabhu


Rob Warlick