School of Architecture assistant professor exhibits, leads design charette in Ohio

March 28th, 2014 Comments Off

(Photo by Julie Ames)

(Photo by Julie Ames)

(Photo by Julie Ames)

(Photo by Julie Ames)

(Photo by Julie Ames)

(Photo by Julie Ames)

Tim Frank, RA, LEED AP, was recently invited to exhibit his work in Coshocton, Ohio. The exhibit, “Returning to First-Principles,” will be on display through April 26 at the Pomerene Center for the Arts. Click here to read more and see some of the work.

The MSU School of Architecture assistant professor was also asked to lead a two-day design charette for a park in the center of town. ArtPARK will be built at 325 Main Street and will serve as a place to display temporary public works of art, show movies and present performances, as well serve as an anchor for the revitalization of downtown Coshocton.

During the charette, three spatial schemes were developed

led by Anne Cornell – THE COMMUNITY STUDIO Artist, Artistic Director, Pomerene Center for the Arts
Geni Devens – Graphic Designer, Interior Decorator
Byron Brenneman – Sophomore at Otterbein University, downtown historian
Jon Cotterman – CHS Tech Prep Teacher, Musician, Craftsman
Connie Miller – Head Gardner Roscoe Village, Coshocton is Blooming
Leah Bashover-Nichols – Mechanical Engineer, Artist
Mike Stiers – Graphic Artist, Masotherapist

Click here to read more about the charette outcomes.

Click here to read the recent story published on the front page of the Coshocton Tribune.



School of Architecture to hold annual NOMAS Symposium

March 26th, 2014 Comments Off

The annual National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) will hold their annual symposium on Fri., April 4.

The symposium will include a panel discussion that includes various College of Architecture, Art and Design professors and students as well as featured guest Zena Howard. The panel discussions will be held in the Robert in Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles hall from 1:10 – 2:10 p.m. and from 2:20 – 3:20 p.m. The topic of the discussions will be “Design for the Body,” design in relationship to the body (based on the book, World of Perception, by Maurice Merleau-Ponty).

Howard, an associate principal architect with The Freelon Group, will also present a lecture in the auditorium beginning at 4 p.m. as part of the annual Harrison Lecture Series. Click here to view Howard’s biography.

All CAAD students are encouraged to attend the panel discussions and lecture.

For questions, contact Aryn Phillips, NOMAS secretary, at

Architecture student takes first in 2014 Gensler Diversity Scholarship Competition

March 26th, 2014 Comments Off

Photo by Megan Bean

Photo by Megan Bean

A fourth-year architecture major at Mississippi State working to help others by combining passions for design and architecture is seeing his efforts recognized.

Larry R. Travis Jr. of Tougaloo recently took first place in the 2014 Gensler Diversity Scholarship Competition for his design of a Washington, D.C., library.

The academic award will be used for Travis’ final year of study in the university’s five-year architecture degree program. He also is receiving a paid summer internship at a Gensler regional office, where he will be paired with a professional mentor who may serve as a resource during both the internship and his senior year at MSU.

The son of Edna and Larry Travis Sr. and a 2010 graduate of Murrah High School in Jackson, Travis said he has always had a desire to help and create things for others.

“Meditational Gardens Library,” Travis’ project for the competition, was created during the fall semester while he was participating in an MSU School of Architecture exchange program with the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria, Va.

“I have developed a philosophy that architecture is about a collection of people and that we are responsible for creating our society’s lasting artifacts,” he said.

Travis said he works to solve design problems by carefully listening to client needs and doing extensive research before starting a project. “I tried to rethink what people need in a library and create a project that adapts to our current technological needs,” he said of his competition entry.

He also focused on the experiential qualities of the building and included spaces that encourage relaxation, tranquility and community. “Architecture is not just about designing the building; it’s about designing the experience,” he observed.

His project was among those making it to the finalist portion of the competition in January. At that point, he submitted a video that showcased his overall design philosophy, as well as how he would fit into Gensler, one of the world’s largest architecture firms.

To produce the video, Travis worked with staff members at the University Television Center, especially video program manager David Garraway and student worker Emily Damm, a sophomore communication and mathematics double-major. Damm is the daughter of Robert and Laura Damm of Starkville.

Travis praised the television center–which he said had done “a great job, quickly”–and the professional guidance of veteran architecture professor Rachel McCann and school director Michael Berk, who also holds the F.L. Crane Endowed Professorship.

“Being a student in MSU’s architecture program also really prepared me for this competition and my future career by giving me the tools and critical knowledge to be able to effectively create solutions to architecture design problems,” Travis said.

He added that winning the scholarship “gives me the confidence to continue my educational dreams in hopes of being successful in the industry and making the lives of others better through inspirational design.”

Watch Travis’s video, and check out the story on MSU’s website.

See more about Travis on Gensler’s website. (Click “Meet Scholarship Winners” on upper edge of photo).

Read the official press release.

Read the story in the Clarion Ledger.

Architect Charles Renfro lectures at War Memorial in Jackson

March 25th, 2014 Comments Off

Charles Renfro, AIA, lectures at the War Memorial. (photo by David Lewis)

Charles Renfro, AIA, lectures at the War Memorial. (photo by David Lewis)

Charles Renfro, AIA, a partner at Diller Scofido + Renfro (DS+R), presented a selection of works designed by the architecture firm based on the theme of “Civic Service” on Fri., March 21 at the War Memorial in Jackson.

Renfro discussed the work of architects as a service to the communities in which they work. He used various DS+R projects such as the High Line in New York, N.Y., and The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Mass., as examples of this civic architecture.

Students were able to discuss the presentation and the work of DS+R with Renfro at the reception following the lecture in the fifth-year facilities for the MSU School of Architecture.

Cotton District developer establishes workshop in classical architecture at Mississippi State

March 18th, 2014 Comments Off

Dan Camp, founder and developer of the nationally recognized Cotton District development in Starkville, recently made a gift to establish an endowed fund to support a workshop in classical architecture. The gift is part of MSU’s current Infinite Impact Campaign, a $600 million comprehensive capital campaign.

The Dan and Gemma Camp Workshop in Classical Architecture will be an annual, multi-day workshop held at the Mississippi State University School of Architecture. The initial gift will be used to establish the first workshop next academic year, and Camp has pledged gifts over the next five years to establish an endowment to support future workshops in perpetuity.

The workshop will engage MSU students, practicing architects in the southeast region, and the Starkville community in classical architecture and the impact classical architecture has on the built, social and economic environments of communities – all things Camp is very passionate about.

“Classical studies is an expertise that only a couple of schools in the USA currently teach,” said Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture, “And this annual workshop is a way to enhance MSU’s curriculum and broaden the options for our students.”

The workshop will be run by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, a growing nonprofit organization with 15 chapters nationwide. The ICAA is dedicated to advancing the classical tradition in architecture, new urbanism and the arts through education, publication and advocacy.

“We are very excited by this opportunity to partner with MSU.  MSU joins a growing number of architecture schools that are enhancing the capabilities of their graduates by introducing them to the fundamentals of classical composition.  These lessons have the greatest impact on future careers when they are offered early,” said Mark Ferguson, chairman of the Board of the ICAA.

School of Architecture students that participate in the workshop will earn a certificate from the ICAA.

“Preservation issues along with an understanding of classical architecture are both significant elements in cities around the country, and particularly in towns around our state – certainly, concerns that most Mississippi architects will be addressing in their practice,” said Berk. “And this workshop will give MSU students an understanding  and a credential which will better position them as they move into the job market . . .  as well as help communities to make better connections with the past.”

The Dan and Gemma Camp Workshop in Classical Architecture will be the first partnership between the School of Architecture and the ICAA. Also, progress has been in the works for a couple of years to organize an official chapter in Mississippi, spearheaded by architect and 1987 graduate of the MSU School of Architecture, Tracy Ward.

“This joint academic venture with the ICAA and Dan Camp is an incredible opportunity for Mississippi State University,” said Berk, “And we look forward to our future partnership.”

Read the story on MSU’s website.

National Enterprise Rose Fellows visit Mississippi

March 17th, 2014 Comments Off

group pic web

Mississippi State hosted the national Enterprise Rose Fellows on Tuesday, March 4.

Fifty current and past fellows met in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, current fellow Emily Roush Elliott’s project location.

(Elliott is co-hosted for her three-year stint in Greenwood by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and the Carl Small Town Center of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State).

Afterwards, the current fellows headed to Starkville to work with Elliot’s class – co-taught with Leah Faulk Kemp, assistant director for the Carl Small Town Center – and present their projects before a larger group of MSU architecture students.

A “Fat Tuesday Feast” was held after the presentations for the fellows, faculty and students.

See the photos.

Architect Charles Renfro to speak at War Memorial in Jackson

March 6th, 2014 Comments Off

Photo by Alessio Boni

Photo by Alessio Boni

Architect Charles Renfro, AIA, will present a lecture at the War Memorial in Jackson on March 21.

Renfro, a partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an award winning, 90-person interdisciplinary design studio that integrates the performing arts, visual arts and architecture, is one of eight lecturers who make up the 2013-2014 Mississippi State University School of Architecture endowed Harrison Lecture Series line-up.

The annual series, sponsored by Robert and Freda Harrison of Jackson, brings in national and international architects and others in the trade to speak to School of Architecture alumni, faculty and students as well as the MSU community.

“This particular lecture affords us the opportunity to have an internationally recognized firm make a presentation in the Jackson Metro area, which focuses on the ‘practice’ of architecture,” said Michael Berk, director of the school. “The work of these firms is intended to connect more readily with the professionals and locally interested community members in the state.”

Renfro will speak at 3:30 p.m. at the War Memorial (120 North State Street, Jackson 39201), and a reception will immediately follow at the fifth-year facilities for the MSU School of Architecture, the Stuart C. Irby Jr. Studios (509 East Capitol Street, Jackson 39201). Both the lecture and reception are open to the public.

“The School of Architecture will be busing down students and faculty from Starkville to also participate and celebrate this unique event,” said Berk.

Renfro lectures frequently both in the United States and abroad. His work with DS+R has been exhibited worldwide at many museums and institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Centre Pompidou. Prior to joining the firm, his independent art and architectural work had been exhibited in galleries nationwide, including the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.

For more information, contact Alexis Gregory at 662.325.0722 or  Lecture attendance is worth 1 AIA CES credit.

More on Charles Renfro (Bio)

See the lecture poster.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Spring Collaborative Studio holds midterm review

March 6th, 2014 Comments Off

Photo by Alexis Gregory

Photo by Alexis Gregory


By Alexis Gregory

The Third-Year Collaborative Studio conducted their midterm presentation on the design of a new fire station in Caledonia for the Lowndes County Volunteer Fire Department on Wed., March 5, in the Michael Fazio Jury Room in Giles Hall.

Twelve student teams composed of students from the School of Architecture and the Building Construction Science Program presented their work to a collection of volunteer fire fighters, professional architects, professional constructors and faculty from both departments.

Guest reviewers included John Beard and Dale Riser from Beard + Riser Architects in Greenwood; Ryan Florreich from JBHM Architects PA in Jackson;  Michael Grote from the MSU Gulf Coast Community Design Studio; Dan Whatley, construction administrator at MSU; and Tim Younger and Sammy Fondren from the Lowndes County Fire Service.

The Third-Year Collaborative Studio will present their final work on Wed., April 30 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Giles Hall Gallery.

Tickets now on sale for Beaux Arts Ball

March 4th, 2014 Comments Off

web Beaux Arts Ball Schaefer Hedgepeth Poster

The annual Beaux Arts Ball, “Black and White,” will be held on Sat., April 5, from 8 – 11 p.m. at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum Pavilion.

The event will feature a cash bar and catering by City Bagel.

Tickets are $10 now through March 10 and $15 after that and can be purchased from Caroline Cooper in Freeman 106 or from any AIAS officer.

For more information, email

Reception held for TSD’s ‘Graphic Design’ exhibit

March 3rd, 2014 Comments Off

photo by David Lewis

photo by David Lewis

A reception was held at 5 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 26 for Tau Sigma Delta’s “Graphic Design” exhibit.

The designer, John Schaffhauser with Schaffhauser Design, briefly discussed his work and background with students before allowing them to ask questions about particular pieces.

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