Student work up in Giles Gallery

December 14th, 2012 Comments Off on Student work up in Giles Gallery

Have you had a chance to see some of the fantastic work that currently fills the gallery in Giles Hall?

Students who have work in the gallery:
second-year: Patrick Brown, Cody Smith, Kevin Flores, Devin Carr, West Pierce, Sang Nguyen, Mary Sanders and Aryn Phillips
third-year: Larry Travis, Jake Johnson, Landon Kennedy, Jordan Hanson, William Commarato, Alex Reeves and Jared Barnett
fourth-year: Chance Stokes, Michael Varhalla, Mack Braden, Kristin Perry, Clay Cottingham and Sanjay Rajput

A special thanks to Mack Braden, Kristin Perry and Tau Sigma Delta for their hard work getting this set up!

Heritage Museum installs new green roof

December 10th, 2012 Comments Off on Heritage Museum installs new green roof

(Photo by the Starkville Daily News)

(By MATT CRANE | Starkville Daily News | Dec. 8, 2012)

Continuing their work on the multi-year landscaping project, Mississippi State University students and faculty from both the architecture and landscape architecture departments installed a green roof on the new pavilion outside the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum Friday.

Landscape architecture assistant professor Cory Gallo said Chicago-based company Hydrotech and Jackson’s Malone Roofing Company donated various materials for the roof’s installation as students put finishing touches to the structure Friday.

“We’re putting in the gravel along the maintenance edge and planting seeds and grasses shipped from a nursery in Atlanta, Ga.,” he said. “We wanted to improve the grounds of the museum as well as conduct a series of demonstration projects on better ways to manage rain water, and a green roof is one technique for that.”

Gallo said the highly collaborative process has allowed for a unique contribution to the Starkville area, offering a myriad of benefits.
“A green roof provides some habitat and makes the environment cooler because it’s not tar from the roof radiating heat, and it helps slow down and absorb rain water,” he said. “There are a lot of cities in the U.S. where this is much more prevalent, so this is really the first of anything like this around here.”

Describing the months-long construction process as a complete team effort between the architecture department and museum officials, Gallo said he is excited about the project’s final plans and looks forward to a grand opening in the spring.

“We have some donations for LED lighting that we’ll be putting up next semester as well as redoing the parking lot,” he said. “We’ll do a grand opening celebration in the spring when the weather is better. It all feels very good and we’ve made a lot of progress.”
For more information about the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, visit or call 662-323-0211.

Read the story in The Dispatch.

Watch the video on WCBI.

School of Architecture alumna Belinda Stewart sponsors internship for Carl Small Town Center

December 6th, 2012 Comments Off on School of Architecture alumna Belinda Stewart sponsors internship for Carl Small Town Center

Belinda Stewart, front, and her team of fourteen employees at Belinda Stewart Architects, PA, have the goal of helping small towns figure out how they can have a viable future.

Belinda Stewart didn’t know much about the field of architecture growing up.

“I didn’t even know how to spell it,” she laughed.

That all changed, however, when the then-Associate Dean of the School of Architecture at Mississippi Sate University, James F. Barker, paid a visit to Stewart’s high school in Eupora to explain what architecture was.

“It blew me away,” she said, explaining that she had always enjoyed traipsing around after her grandfather, a carpenter, and loved to hear about how areas – especially buildings – had changed over time.

So, Stewart decided to give architecture a try and enrolled at Mississippi State.

It was there that she discovered her true passion after an assignment she received from Dr. Michael Fazio, her professor of architecture history.

“He assigned a report to us to discover and research something you are excited about to do with historic architecture,” she said, “something you want to be ‘an expert in.’”

Stewart chose to define the early historic architecture and how buildings evolved in her home of Webster County.

“I think’s that’s what really fired me up with these small towns,” she said, explaining that she discovered many of the buildings in Webster County were pre-Civil War. “It’s amazing that those structures are still there. It was exciting to learn about them.”

Encouraged by her interest in historical architecture of small towns, Stewart did her fifth-year thesis project on the study of vernacular architecture – specifically looking at why buildings evolved the way they did and the impact this knowledge could have on current design.

“I think that was an incredible base for an architect – knowing why things evolved in this area,” she said. “It’s just a great base to have.”

In fact, Stewart, the founder of Belinda Stewart Architects, PA, said she would like to encourage more of that type of study at the School of Architecture and has established the Belinda Stewart Architects Internship to help.

“The School of Architecture is set in Mississippi – in the middle of incredible richness of design and architecture – a lot of which is in our small towns,” Stewart said. “Having the opportunity to know those structures and know why they evolved the way they did and why they were designed that way can make them a stronger architect. Whether they go on to practice that type of architecture or not, I think more and more people need to have the knowledge of what’s around them.”

Stewart’s gift will support the competitive hiring of a student to join the staff of the Carl Small Town Center. The internship will afford an outstanding architecture student the opportunity to engage in design research and outreach efforts on behalf of small towns throughout the state, while honing their own design skills and gaining professional experience.

“There is so much need for small communities in the state,” said Stewart. “The economic base is not there any more for so many of them, and the vision has kind of been lost because the town’s base has been lost. Our goal is to help towns relook at themselves and, more importantly, to learn to appreciate what they have … what makes them unique and what makes them special.

Stewart and her team of fourteen employees have the goal of helping small towns figure out how they can have a viable future.

“Our philosophy is there’s always a way, and it’s just about helping them find that way,” she said. “Those are the kind of tools I think would be incredibly powerful for an intern … to go into communities and learn how to help them find that way.”

Architecture alumnus gives back to alma mater

December 4th, 2012 Comments Off on Architecture alumnus gives back to alma mater

Alumnus Ted Porter presented the award money to the School of Architecture on Nov. 30 in Starkville and also served as a guest juror for fourth-year student final reviews. (photo by Beth Wynn | MSU University Relations)

Ted Porter may be a long way from home, but that hasn’t stopped him from staying connected to his Mississippi roots.

Porter, principal at Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects in New York, recently won the Brick Industry Association (Southeast Region) Design Award for a project he created in his hometown of New Albany. The award is given each year to an architect who uses brick in a notable way.

Porter designed a house to fill a vacant lot in downtown New Albany, and he is now leasing out the home.

“The idea was to fill a missing tooth,” he said.

The Brick Industry Association Award came with a $2,000 scholarship that Porter could designate to an institution of his choice.

“Of course I chose the Mississippi State University School of Architecture,” he said, but his giving didn’t end there.

Porter said he was recently talking to Jim West, the dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, about how some students don’t have the means to be able to travel, so he decided to set up a scholarship for that purpose.

“I think it’s really important that everyone has the same opportunity for travel in the school,” he said. “It’s good to be able to see great works of architecture, and often that means traveling to far, fun places. Architecture can’t truly be represented in books and online.”

Porter named the travel scholarship after an art history professor he had while studying at Mississippi State, Paul Grootkerk.

“He opened a lot of interests for me that I’ve enjoyed pursing for the last 35 years or so.” Porter said. “I think it’s good to recognize professors who have an influence on you.”

Porter presented the award money to the School of Architecture on Nov. 30 in Starkville and also served as a guest juror for fourth-year student final reviews.

 Read the article by Leah Barbour on MSU’s website.

Read the article in the New Albany News-Exchange.

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