School of Architecture, AIA Mississippi to host design charette

December 13th, 2013 Comments Off on School of Architecture, AIA Mississippi to host design charette

UPDATE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Please contact Alexis Gregory at for questions.

AIA Design Charette_Revised_small

The School of Architecture is partnering with the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to conduct a design charette, or short design project, with professional architects and students from the first through fourth-year studios.

The project will be for the design of a mixed-use building in downtown Starkville.

The event will be held from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Giles Hall on Fri., Feb. 7, 2014.

Join us! The early registration deadline has been extended to Jan. 17. Normal registration has been moved to Jan. 24.

Click here to download the registration form.

Contact Associate Professor Alexis Gregory, AIA, at 662-325-0722 or with any questions.

– Regular registration extended to Fri., Jan. 31. Registration and fee must be received by that time. Late registration will apply after that date.
– Associates registration added! $100 for each associate by Fri., Jan. 31. Registration and fee must be received by that time. Late registration will apply after that date.

Collaborative Studio ends semester with ribbon cutting ceremony

December 11th, 2013 Comments Off on Collaborative Studio ends semester with ribbon cutting ceremony

web ribbon cutting 12022013_24

Philadelphia bus shelter and students with MS Band of Choctaw Indian Chief Phyliss J. Anderson. Steve Murray, planner for the MS Band of Choctaw Indians, said the design has been well-received. “It looks like it’s got elements of the Choctaw culture,” he said, adding that the design looks like a basket.

web ribbon cutting 12022013_39

Tucker bus shelter and students

Second-year building construction science and architecture students have been working together this semester in a collaborative studio with Professors Lee Carson, Alexis Gregory, Hans Herrmann, Emily McGlohn (all architecture) and Tom Leathem (building construction science).

Throughout the semester, the students researched, designed and constructed two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

On Dec. 2, students and faculty from the Collaborative Studio celebrated at the two locations at Pearl River and Tucker.

The group was joined by first-year architecture and building constructions science students and faculty; Dean Jim West; Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture; and Dr. David C. Lewis, director of the Building Construction Science Program. Also present were Steve Murray, planner with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians;  the Tribal Council and other representatives; and Chief Phyliss J. Anderson.

Anderson welcomed and briefly addressed the group before the ribbon cutting.

“It’s always a blessing to have a relationship with the institute of education,” she said, adding that the bus shelter project is something that the students should be very proud of.

The chief then presented College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West with a handmade basket.

West thanked Anderson and said the on-going partnership has been a win/win for the college, and he explained some of the other projects the college has worked on with the MS Band of Choctaw Indians.

The first project was in 2009 when the college’s Carl Small Town Center assisted the tribe in preparing a Transit Plan with funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Tribal Transit Program.  The study was used to support several projects, including the new Transit Maintenance Center, which was recently completed.

Herrmann’s class constructed the first bus stop for Bogue Chitto a few years ago, and this year, two more bus stops were designed and built by the Collaborative Studio for Pearl River and Tucker. There are plans for more bus stops to be built for the community next year.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air to have young people come in and work with us,” said Murray. “They’ve thought about ideas we hadn’t thought about.”

Watch the video from the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read more about the Collaborative Studio here.

Check out the video about the class created by MSU student Nikki Arellana for a TV Production course.

Working on the shelters:


Architecture professor has paper accepted to international conference

December 10th, 2013 Comments Off on Architecture professor has paper accepted to international conference

Alexis Gregory, AIA, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, recently had a paper, “Re-thinking Design Studio Pedagogy:
Collaboration Between Architecture and the Allied Disciplines,” accepted for presentation at the ARCC/EAAE 2014 International
Conference.  The conference will be held on Feb. 12–15, 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Architecture professor has paper accepted to ACSA Conference

December 4th, 2013 Comments Off on Architecture professor has paper accepted to ACSA Conference

Alexis Gregory, AIA, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, recently had a paper accepted for presentation in the paper session, “Building Change: Public Interest Design,” at the 102nd Annual ACSA Conference: Globalizing Architecture. The conference will be held April 10-12, 2014, in Miami Beach, Fla.

Paper submissions were peer-reviewed by a minimum of three scholars. This year’s paper acceptance rate was about 50%.

Carl Small Town Center continues making a difference in the Delta

December 3rd, 2013 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center continues making a difference in the Delta

Photo via MSU website

Photo via MSU website

By Leah Barbour | MSU Office of Public Affairs

A spirit of cross-state cooperation is causing big things to happen in a little place.

To improve quality of life in Greenwood’s Baptist Town neighborhood, Mississippi State University faculty members and students have been working over the past three years with the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation, the city of Greenwood, Jackson-based Foundation for the Mid-South, and Arkansas’ Walton Family Foundation.

Famous for housing blues legend Robert Johnson and well-known actor Morgan Freeman, Baptist Town is a historic African-American neighborhood is located in east Greenwood. Despite its rich cultural history, Baptist Town, like so many small communities in the Delta, faces high unemployment and rising crime rates.

Most recently, Baptist Town gained national attention during production of “The Help,” a 2011 film based on a best-selling novel of the same name. The story of 1960s Mississippi civil rights struggles told through the eyes of African-American maids was shot largely in Greenwood and the surrounding area.

Today, the commitment by the MSU’s Carl Small Town Center and its other partners is causing Baptist Town revitalization efforts to be realized.

The center — the research and service arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design — is named for Fred Carl Jr., a Greenwood native and former Viking Range Corp. owner whose major support made the CSTC possible.

CSTC was recognized with the 2011 Outstanding Student Project award of the American Planning Association for the 2010 master plan developed for Baptist Town. In 2012, the center was one of only four organizations selected to host a national Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow.

Emily Roush Elliott was chosen to implement the major components of the award-winning Baptist Town master plan.

Elliott holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati, and she has worked with the MSU’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio. The studio was established in the wake of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild Mississippi’s coastal communities.

John Poros, CSTC director, said the Baptist Town plan identified key needs as affordable and functional housing, safer public spaces and improved infrastructure. He and other CSTC representatives have been working closely with Elliott as she collaborates directly with neighborhood residents.

“One thing that we’ve completed recently in Baptist Town is the pocket park,” said Leah Kemp, CSTC assistant director. “The park is really a system of concrete pavers, a gravel path that goes through the park, and a series of benches made out of concrete posts and railroad ties.”

Poros said the park is located adjacent to the film home of Help main character “Minnie.” The location one of the few Baptist Town public spaces where residents may sit and talk. Other improvements include additional lighting and sidewalks, and new signage, he said.

Poros and Kemp praised Elliott for making significant progress toward meeting the master plan’s major goals: improved housing and a new community center. In addition to coordinating mortgage opportunities for prospective homeowners, they said Elliot is working with subcontractors to begin foundation construction and is coordinating all project efforts directly with the city and city-owned Greenwood Utilities.

Kemp said that, while the actual Baptist Town park design was provided by a Greenwood landscape architect, MSU architecture majors worked on all aspects of construction, including grating, digging, shoveling and pouring concrete and gravel, as well as bench building.

Poros said the park is lighted, so residents may use it during the evening.

“That’s pretty important because there’s not another place in the neighborhood like that,” he said. “The lighting is supplied by the city of Greenwood, and they’ll also be doing the landscaping at the park.”

Poros said grants from the Jackson and Arkansas foundations paid for construction materials while the CSTC provided funding to cover student labor. Several neighborhood residents, including children, also pitched in to help, he added.

“It’s really important for architecture students to understand how difficult it is to do construction, understand all the planning that has to happen in order to do a simple construction project and understand all the steps that have to be done for something as simple as this little project,” Poros said. “It’s also really important for students to get directly involved in communities and do something like this. It’s really their responsibility as professionals, and as students and alumni of Mississippi State, to get involved wherever they are.”

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