TSD announces ‘Sixty-Nine Seventy: International Ideas Competition’

August 29th, 2013 Comments Off

6970 exhibit announcement

The Mississippi State University School of Architecture’s Tau Sigma Delta (TSD) honor society is excited to announce an exhibit, “Sixty-Nine Seventy: International Ideas Competition.”

This exhibit, which will be on display in the Giles Gallery through September 13, showcases some of the work submitted for an international ideas competition. More than 200 architects and designers from 48 countries and across the U.S. submitted their ideas for making two blocks, sixty-nine and seventy, in the center of downtown Salt Lake a cultural hub to rival any city in America. A nine-member jury selected 15 semifinalists, including the two Jury Award winners, while the People’s Choice Award was selected by more than 22,000 online.

Jacob Gines, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, was one of the original organizers and the proctor for the judging of this competition.

“I am excited to have this work here and show it off to our students, faculty and the community at large,” said Gines, curator for the exhbit along with Alex Reeves, TSD student curator and president of MSU student chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).

A public reception will be held on Wed., Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. in the gallery located on the third floor of Giles Hall.

Read more on WCBI and MSU’s websites.  Also check out the extended story in the Reflector.

GCCDS planner discusses Katrina recovery on MPB

August 29th, 2013 Comments Off

Hurricane Katrina damage in Gulfport, Mississippi. Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hurricane_katrina_damage_gulfport_mississippi.jpg

Hurricane Katrina damage in Gulfport, Mississippi. Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hurricane_katrina_damage_gulfport_mississippi.jpg

Today is the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The monster storm caused $90 billion of damage throughout Mississippi. Some 52,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged on the Gulf Coast on that single day in 2005. Eight years later, signs of recovery in Mississippi are apparent from repaired and rebuilt schools to museums and homes.

Cheryl Wintzel describes some of the services offered to the homeless here at Back Bay Mission in Biloxi.

Wintzel and her fiancé are homeless now, living in their car and visit the mission four times a week for showers, food, and to look for work on the computers here. This wasn’t how she lived before Hurricane Katrina upended the economy on the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Unemployment leaped to 22 percent the month after the storm. It’s now about 8 percent, and Wintzel is still struggling to find steady work.

“It’s just like I can’t get a toe-hold, all that’s kind of at a standstill, it’s gone downhill financially and here I am,” says Wintzel.

Jill Cartledge is  a caseworker at Back Bay Mission. She says disruptions in jobs on top of unexpected rebuilding and moving costs after Katrina has led to a cycle of debt for many families on the Gulf Coast.

“Some of my families have just never gotten out from under since Katrina, and then there was the BP oil spill and many stuggled from that.  So there have just be so many things that have happened to the people on the Gulf Coast, some are Gulf Coast only oriented and others are national like our economy,” says Cartledge.

More than $2 billion dollars has been spent to restore and rebuild housing in Mississippi since Katrina. Most local community leaders agree there is now plenty of housing on the coast, with vacancy rates in the double-digits. But, they say, much of this housing isn’t affordable to the people who need it. Waiting lists for subsidized housing number in the thousands. But Cheryl Wintzel says it’s still a tough situation.

“Unless you can get in Section 8, if you can get in Biloxi housing based on your income, whatever it is, if you have to go out and pay full price on rent or a house payment, if you don’t have the money, the income coming in to pay it, you’re not going to be able to stay in it, you’re going to be right back out there, back and forth, homeless and in and unfortunately that is what has happened to me and my fiance,” continues Wintzel.

According to an analysis by the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, almost half of renters and a third of home owners on the coast are cost burdened – that is, they’re paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing.  Planner Kelsey Johnson says the question isn’t whether there’s as much housing now but whether the housing there is fits the coast’s current needs.

“If you probably look at the numbers, it’s probably pretty close, our housing has come back and we definitely have enough, I would say enough housing stock the question is, ‘Is it in the right place?’ and ‘Are people able to access that housing?’,” says Johnson.

Johnson says a number of factors have affected affordability: it costs more to build elevated homes, and homeowners insurance is expensive. But while wind premiums seem to have stabilized, Gulf Coast communities  are now facing the specter of skyrocketing flood insurance costs.

Diane Sager and her mother Bo are speaking to federal and state leaders, including the head of the national flood insurance program, while standing under their Henderson Point home. The house perches more than 18 feet above sea level. The Sagers built the home in 2008 at an elevation that they say was higher than even required at the time.

But new flood maps implemented the following year lifted the elevation requirement even higher. They’ve been grandfathered in for flood insurance, but a new law says they will now lose that grandfathering status the next time the area is mapped.

“I’m going from $500 to almost $7000 in flood insurance that’s totally out the wall it’s unbelievable, either grandfather us in because I did everything right so as a citizen I’m being punished for having done everything right, doesn’t make sense,” says Sager.

Diane’s parents, Bo and Jim, both in their 80s, are on fixed incomes. Bo tells the gathered officials that she’s had flood insurance since the 1970s and can’t imagine losing it.

“We need some kind of resolution so that we can rest better, at the age we’ve reached and we don’t rest because we don’t know what’s going to happen with this hurricane season,” says Bo.  “I never worried about hurricanes before, I’m used to hurricanes and I know how to avoid them and what to do but what happens now if we lose this with no insurance, I don’t know what we’ll do.”

Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott says the soaring flood insurance rates, which are already hitting second homes, could devastate beach communities like his, ruining property values.

“Wind coverage was bad, we knew that and all the people that are in the insurance business all said ‘If you can just go 8, 10, 12 years, it will settle down,’ so we live with that whether it does or not, you throw this flood in there, you just killed it, it’s over with,” says McDermott.

There are a number of efforts in Congress now to delay implementation of parts of the bill for one year, and Mississippi 4th District Congressman Steven Palazzo says he thinks there’s an appetite among lawmakers for finding a long-term solution as well.

School of Architecture announces Harrison Lecture Series 2013-2014

August 26th, 2013 Comments Off


(Click the names below to read the full biography).

September 13

October 18

November 22

January 31

February 14

March 21

April 4

May 16
Recognition Day

Click here to see the past lectures.

School of Architecture professor elected to 2014 AIA MS Board of Directors

August 26th, 2013 Comments Off

HerrmannHans Herrmann, professor in the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, was elected to the 2014 American Institute of Architects Mississippi (AIA MS) Board of Directors.

President Elect: Brett Cupples, AIA

2nd Vice President: John Beard, AIA

Secretary/ Treasurer: John Anderson, AIA

Brian Cabunac, AIA
Shannon Gathings, Assoc. AIA
Hans Herrmann, AIA
Pamela Leonard, AIA

Associates Director: Charlotte Martin, Assoc. AIA

Emeritus Director: Ralph Maisel, AIA

GCCDS, partners make up one of 10 team finalists in HUD-sponsored design competition

August 22nd, 2013 Comments Off

Inside the GCCDS in Biloxi

Inside the GCCDS in Biloxi

Numerous design competitions that focus on storm-resistant changes and developments have surfaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. One of the larger competitions sponsored by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, Rebuild by Design, is a project in which teams are working to develop innovative projects to protect and enhance Sandy-affected communities. U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, who also chairs the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, launched the competition on June 20, 2013, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation.

On Aug. 9 the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force announced the selection of 10 design teams who will proceed to the next stage of the competition.

The Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS), one of three research centers housed in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at Mississippi State University, makes up one of the top-10 teams. The GCCDS was established in 2005 to bring planning, landscape and architectural design services to low-income communities rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. The GCCDS, located in Biloxi, is a service-design practice shaped by a commitment to be useful to the community and to collaborate with many partners.

“We are pleased to be able to bring some of the lessons learned from working with communities on the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina,” said David Perkes, director of the GCCDS. “We have been fortunate to be part of many projects that aim to increase resiliency as our work and the work of our partners has evolved from rebuilding to long-term community improvements.”

Other members on the team include unabridged Architecture, an architecture firm in Bay St. Louis, and Waggonner & Ball Architects out of New Orleans, La.

“The selection of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio as part of one of the top 10 design teams from such a robust and well-recognized group of entrants is a further recognition of the quality and depth of work the GCCDS has performed since Hurricane Katrina,” said Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. “The expertise the GCCDS and their partners have demonstrated that covers such a wide gamut including individual housing designs, new construction techniques for flood prone areas and sustainable communities was recognized and helped distinguish their team in this international competition.”

More than 140 potential teams from more than 15 countries submitted proposals, representing the top engineering, architecture, design, landscape architecture and planning firms as well as research institutes and universities worldwide. With support from the Rockefeller Foundation and JPB Foundation as well as the New Jersey Recovery Fund and the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, these 10 chosen design teams will participate in Stage Two of the competition, an intense, eight-month process broken into two distinct stages: analysis and design. Each team will have $100,000 in funding for this stage of the project.

“The ten teams we selected stood out because of the talent they bring to the table, their pioneering ideas and their commitment to innovating with a purpose and competing not just to design but to build something,” said Donovan. “The projects that come out of this competition will save lives and protect communities in this region and – as the Task Force will emphasize in the Rebuilding Strategy to be released in the coming weeks – serve as model as we prepare communities across the country for the impacts of a changing climate.”

The team selections mark the beginning of the second of four phases of the design competition, which will ultimately result in resilience projects that will be built or implemented in communities in the Sandy-impacted region.

Top 10 Design Teams:
• Interboro Partners with the New Jersey Institute of Technology Infrastructure Planning Program; TU Delft; Project Projects; RFA Investments; IMG Rebel; Center for Urban Pedagogy; David Rusk; Apex; Deltares; Bosch Slabbers; H+N+S; and Palmbout Urban Landscapes.

• PennDesign/OLIN with PennPraxis, Buro Happold, HR&A Advisors, and E-Design Dynamics

• WXY architecture + urban design / West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture with ARCADIS Engineering and the Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers University; Maxine Griffith; Parsons the New School for Design; Duke University; BJH Advisors; and Mary Edna Fraser.

• Office of Metropolitan Architecture with Royal Haskoning DHV; Balmori Associaties; R/GA; and HR&A Advisors.

• HR&A Advisors with Cooper, Robertson, & Partners; Grimshaw; Langan Engineering; W Architecture; Hargreaves Associates; Alamo Architects; Urban Green Council; Ironstate Development; Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation; New City America.

• SCAPE with Parsons Brinckerhoff; SeARC Ecological Consulting; Ocean and Coastal Consultants; The New York Harbor School; Phil Orton/Stevens Institute; Paul Greenberg; LOT-EK; and MTWTF.

• MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism and the Dutch Delta Collective by ZUS with De Urbanisten; Deltares; 75B; and Volker Infra Design.

• Sasaki Associates with Rutgers University and ARUP.

• Bjarke Ingels Group with One Architecture; Starr Whitehouse; James Lima Planning & Development; Green Shield Ecology; Buro Happold; AEA Consulting; and Project Projects.

• unabridged Architecture with the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at Mississippi State University; Waggonner & Ball Architects

More information on Rebuild By Design is available at www.rebuildbydesign.org. You can also follow Rebuild By Design on Twitter at @RebuildByDesign.

Read the story on MSU‘s website and WCBI.

MSU ranks in top 50 for humanities

August 20th, 2013 Comments Off

By Jim Laird | University Relations

STARKVILLE – Frequently recognized for its achievements in science and engineering, Mississippi State is also a top 50 university for the humanities, according to data in a new report from the National Science Foundation.

The recently released NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey for Fiscal Year 2011 places Mississippi State at 49th overall in the humanities among public and private institutions based on $1.7 million in research and development expenditures.

“Our faculty includes excellent teachers and researchers who are serving the people of Mississippi through innovative and internationally-recognized research,” said Greg Dunaway, dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Dunaway’s counterpart in the College of Architecture, Art and Design agreed.

“Research in our college and its multifaceted research centers is helping to improve communities around the state and well beyond, and it also upholds the highest standards of architecture, art, design and construction,” said CAAD’s dean, Jim West.

Of note, Mississippi State also held a top 50 humanities ranking in FY 2009 at No. 46 and in FY 2010 at No. 50.

“Our research enterprise is exceptionally diverse,” said David Shaw, MSU’s vice president for research and economic development.

“From labs to the library and to fieldwork around the world, Mississippi State faculty, staff and students are engaged in research programs that are solving challenging problems, creating new knowledge and unlocking the secrets of the past,” he added.

MSU’s expenditures in non-science and engineering fields by subfield for FY 2011 totaled $8.3 million, which in addition to humanities included business and management, $993,000; communication, journalism and library science, $324,000; education, $2.5 million; visual and performing arts, $197,000; and other, $2.5 million (amounts have been rounded).

Overall, Mississippi State is ranked 91st among all public and private institutions based on $226.1 million in total FY 2011 research and development expenditures.

Nationally, MSU is ranked 53rd in non-medical school R&D expenditures.

The land-grant institution remains a top 10 school in the U.S. for agricultural sciences, as well as a top 50 university in engineering. In computer science, MSU climbed from 39th to 37th. It also achieved top 30 status in social sciences, and rose from 82nd to 75th in environmental science, according to the NSF survey.

The full report is online at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf13325/pdf/nsf13325.pdf

In addition to its NSF rankings, Mississippi State is designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as “a very high research activity university,” which represents the highest level of research activity for doctorate-granting universities in the country. MSU is the only school in the state with the distinction. Additionally, MSU also holds the Carnegie Foundation classification for community engagement.

Read the story on WCBI.

Greenwood retires from Mississippi State after 19 years

August 15th, 2013 Comments Off

greenwood farewell

Jane Britt Greenwood, associate professor in the School of Architecture, has retired from Mississippi State University.

A lunch was recently held in her honor to celebrate her 19 years of service at the university during which she also served as Associate Dean for the College of Architecture, Art and Design.

Heritage Museum featured on WCBI News

August 12th, 2013 Comments Off

Approximately 100 MSU students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design participated in the design and construction of the Green Building Technology Demonstration Pavilion at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum in Starkville. Photo by: Megan Bean

Approximately 100 MSU students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design participated in the design and construction of the Green Building Technology Demonstration Pavilion at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum in Starkville. Photo by: Megan Bean

The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum was recently featured on WCBI News as a “hidden treasure.” Watch the video.

A while back, the museum partnered with Mississippi State University to design a pavilion that would serve as an open-air, small space for programs of educational, entertainment and civic significance. A generous green roof was built over the pavillion, and a “living lawn” of environmentally appropriate plants and grasses were planted.  This phase of the project was designed and constructed jointly by the School of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture under the guidance of landscape architecture professors Corey Gallo and Brian Tempelton and architecture professor Hans Herrmann.Landscape architecture, architecture, building construction science and graphic design students worked on various phases of the project.

Belinda Stewart Architects Fellow takes first at MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium

August 8th, 2013 Comments Off

Taylor Keefer and Assistant Professor Jacob Gines visited this cotton mill in Jackson to discuss with the owners possibilities for what they can do with the site. Through her research, Keefer learned about what’s involved and the benefits to listing a building as a National Historical Landmark or on the National Register of Historic Places.

Taylor Keefer and Assistant Professor Jacob Gines visited this cotton mill in Jackson to discuss with the owners possibilities for what they can do with the site. Through her research, Keefer learned about what’s involved and the benefits to listing a building as a National Historical Landmark or on the National Register of Historic Places.

Belinda Stewart, FAIA, an alumna of the School of Architecture, recently established a student internship in the Carl Small Town Center (CSTC). The Belinda Stewart Architects Fellowship was established to 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.

“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,” said Stewart. “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.”

The first Belinda Stewart Architects Fellow, Taylor Keefer, a fifth-year architecture student from Hueytown, Ala., spent the summer learning just that. She worked with the CSTC, Assistant Professor Jacob Gines and Stewart to research cotton mills in the state.

Stewart said her goal at her firm, Belinda Stewart Architects, is to help 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.”

After Keefer had conducted extensive research that involved learning about the National Register of Historic Places and the National Historical Landmark, Stewart helped Keefer get in touch with the owners of a large cotton mill in Jackson. Keefer and Gines then visited the site to help the owners figure out what to do with the mill.

“They have a ton of ideas,” said Keefer, “But they still have to do lot of cleaning up of the site before anything can happen.”

Keefer said she and Gines discussed with the mill owners the possibility of getting a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) or Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) done of the property. They also explained the possibility of listing the mill on the National Register or getting it listed as a Historical Landmark.

After the visit and more research, Keefer presented her findings, “King Cotton,” at the recent Mississippi State University Undergraduate Research Symposium, and she won first place in the Arts and Humanities category.

Keefer learned a lot during her internship and said, “It did really show me how history, something I’ve always been interested in, really does apply to architecture and practice, not just research.”

She hopes her thesis project this year will expand on her summer research.

Click here to see Keefer’s poster for the research symposium.

Click here to see her abstract.

Keefer and Gines also mapped out on a Google Map all the cotton industry buildings throughout the state (existing, demolished and ruined) using historical data from Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, “an incredible undertaking,” according to Gines. Click here to see their work.

Architecture student takes second in Tenshon Scholarship Competition

August 6th, 2013 Comments Off

Cody Smith's design submitted to the Tenshon Scholarship Competition.

Cody Smith’s design submitted to the Tenshon Scholarship Competition.

Cody Smith, an architecture student from Professor Jake Gines’ Materials class, was recently awarded second place in the Tenshon® Scholarship Competition.

For the competition that offered a $1,500 scholarship, Tenshon® challenged students interested in architecture, design and/or engineering to create a unique sail structure using the company’s shade sails. According to the company, the purpose of the scholarship design contest was to expand thinking about the possibilities found in the tensile fabric industry and to reward the stand-out students who best display an aptitude for shade sail design.

Smith, an upcoming third-year student, submitted a design and explanation for a seaside restaurant. In his proposal, Smith questioned how the sails could become more artistic and practical, especially trying to discover the purpose of the sails when there is no sun. He proposed a system of lights to make the shade sails functional for day and night.

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