National design competition honors another MSU architecture major

March 31st, 2016 Comments Off on National design competition honors another MSU architecture major

Rashida L. “Mo” Momoh (Photo by Russ Houston)

Rashida L. “Mo” Momoh (Photo by Russ Houston)

A senior West Tennessee architecture major at Mississippi State is continuing the university’s winning tradition in a national urban design competition.

Rashidat L. “Mo” Momoh of Memphis finished second in the recent eighth annual Gensler Diversity Scholarship Competition. She is a 2012 graduate of Arlington High School.

Gensler is an international architecture, design and planning firm of more than 5,000 professionals working throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Over the past 16 years, it has provided more than $200,000 in academic awards to students and graduates.

The annual design competition is open to African-American students at all U.S. not-for-profit educational institutions. Entrants must be entering their final year in academic programs that hold National Architectural Accrediting Board certification.

Momoh is the third MSU architecture major to win a top Gensler award in as many years. Larry Travis Jr. of Tougaloo won first place in 2014, while Aryn S. Phillips of Olive Branch finished in second place last year.

“We’ve had a long history with Gensler, so it’s always been in the back of my brain to apply,” Momoh said.

Her competition entry was a project completed earlier in an MSU School of Architecture studio course taught by assistant professor Jacob Gines. Set in New York City’s Manhattan borough and situated near Central Park, it involved the design of a mid-rise building to be constructed primarily of wood.

“The project really challenged me to think about tectonics in a more detailed way than I had the opportunity to in previous semesters,” Momoh explained. A video of her entry may be viewed at

Since all final projects had to be hand-drawn, student designers were required to be more conscientious about composition. “That gave us the opportunity to understand the building at a deeper level than working on a computer would have,” Momoh said.

In addition to a scholarship, she has been offered a paid summer internship with Gensler’s Boston office.

In noting that Boston was her top internship choice, Momoh expressed appreciation to Gensler officials for the honors. The internship “aligns with how I approach architecture in terms of design and what I want to do to help people in the community,” she emphasized.

Looking to the future, she expressed hope that the Boston experience will help greatly enhance her career opportunities. “I’m going to gain so much knowledge about the architecture practice, as well as design for a community,” she said.

To help further expand her marketable skills, Momoh also is pursuing an overseas cooperative education experience that would precede her required fifth and final year of School of Architecture study in Jackson.

For more information about the Gensler Diversity Scholarship, visit

See the story at

Jason Steiner presents spring Harrison Lecture

March 24th, 2016 Comments Off on Jason Steiner presents spring Harrison Lecture

Jason Steiner, associate principal and digital design director at Mithun Inc., presented the second Harrison Lecture this spring for the 2015-2016 series.

Steiner discussed his firm and their Sustainability Treehouse.

Blending artistic vision with analytic expertise, Steiner leads Mithun’s visual design team in integrating digital modeling, performance analysis and visualization into the design process. With advanced degrees in environmental design and architecture, he assists clients in visually understanding and articulating their goals through the medium of graphic communication. By employing technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), Jason creates compelling representations that bring value to clients by inspiring community consensus and excitement, garnering municipal approval and investor support; and bringing to light challenges and opportunities related to site analysis, sustainable building strategies, and concept development.

A reception, hosted by Tau Sigma Delta, was held following the lecture in the Giles Gallery, which is currently displaying work by Mithun.

CAAD to hold 2016 alumni reunion in Philadelphia

March 22nd, 2016 Comments Off on CAAD to hold 2016 alumni reunion in Philadelphia


The 2015 CAAD Alumni Reunion was held in Atlanta, Ga.

The Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art, and Design will host an alumni reunion and reception on Thurs., May 19, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pa.

Held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and coinciding with the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention, this informal gathering will be a time for CAAD alumni, friends and family to reconnect, visit and network as well as get updates on what is currently happening within the college. CAAD alumni and friends don’t have to register for the AIA convention to attend this free event.

Other university receptions will be held at the same time in this location, so we expect to be able to network with many additional visitors from the AIA and other professional organizations. See photos from last year’s reunion in Atlanta.


Who: CAAD Alumni, friends and family; peers in the industry

What: A time to catch up with classmates, reconnect, and network with friends.

When: Thursday, May 19, 2016, 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Grand Ballroom, Salon K
1201 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 625-6016



Contact Christie McNeal at 662-325-9839 or with questions.

School of Architecture announces final 2016 Jury Review schedule

March 21st, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture announces final 2016 Jury Review schedule

fourth-year reviews 04292015

School of Architecture Final Jury Schedule
Reviews will be held in either the Giles Gallery or Fazio Jury Room
Giles Hall (899 Collegeview Street, Starkville)

  • Fri., April 22, 9-6 p.m. (with possible evening session)
     First-Year Studio —  Foundation studio
  • Mon., April 25, 9-6 p.m. (with possible evening session)
    Second-Year Studio —  Foundation studio @ Columbus Lock and Dam site
  • Tues., April 26, 9-6 p.m. (with possible evening session)
    Third-Year Studio: Collaborative Studio w/ Building Construction Science
  • Wed., April 27, 9-6 p.m. (with possible evening session)
    Fourth-Year Studio — Black Box Theatre in Memphis
  • Thurs., April 28, 10-6 p.m. (with possible evening session)
     Fri., April 29, 9-6 p.m. (with possible evening session)
    Fifth-Year Studio — Comprehensive Individual projects (Jackson Urban) 


NOTE: All times are subject to change (due to the nature of the review process) along with breaks for lunch.

****Please contact the school beforehand to confirm the final schedule as it relates to weather and/or other unforeseen circumstances.

Architecture alumna Janet Marie Smith to speak at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

March 21st, 2016 Comments Off on Architecture alumna Janet Marie Smith to speak at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

Janet Marie Smith, alumna and internationally recognized architect, presented Mississippi State University's keynote address at the spring 2013 commencement exercises. (Photo by: Megan Bean)

Janet Marie Smith, alumna and internationally recognized architect, presented Mississippi State University’s keynote address at the spring 2013 commencement exercises. (Photo by: Megan Bean)

Janet Marie Smith, internationally recognized baseball stadium architect and MSU School of Architecture alumna, will speak at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson on Thurs., April 21, at noon.

Smith’s address is Part II of the Hometown Speaker Series, which is being held in conjunction with the Hall of Fame’s presentation of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America.”

Smith completed her architecture degree at MSU in 1981 and her master’s in urban planning from City College of New York. She has designed stadiums for the Atlanta Braves, the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. She currently works for the Dodgers as senior vice president of planning and development.

Click here to download the full release and schedule of events.

Virginia San Fratello presents Harrison Lecture as part of annual NOMAS Symposium

March 8th, 2016 Comments Off on Virginia San Fratello presents Harrison Lecture as part of annual NOMAS Symposium

The annual National Organization of Minority Students (NOMAS) symposium was held on March 4.

As part of the events, students debated on analog vs. digital advantages for architecture.

Following the debate, Virginia San Fratello delivered the Harrison Lecture in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium.

San Fratello is an architect, artist and educator. She is a partner at Rael San Fratello and in Emerging Objects, which is a pioneering design and research company that specializes in 3D printed materials and objects for the built environment based in Oakland, Calif. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University in the city of New York. Her research focuses on the convergence of digital, ecological and creative material explorations. The research is applied through the design and fabrication of innovative buildings and their components, furniture elements and site specific installations that often look at inherent material resources and have embedded political consequences. Rael San Fratello was the recipient of the Emerging Voices Award, Metropolis Magazine’s Next Generation Design Award for their Hydro Wall concept, a finalist in the WPA 2.0 design competition and winner of the Van Alen Institute’s Life at the Speed of Rail competition. Their work has been published in Architect, Metropolis Magazine, L’Arca, DOMUS, the NY Times, Interior Design Magazine and MARK Magazine among others.

Mississippi State University research center receives national American Planning Association award

March 8th, 2016 Comments Off on Mississippi State University research center receives national American Planning Association award

CIRD 02 copy

The Carl Small Town Center has been awarded the 2016 American Planning Association (APA) Small Town and Rural (STaR) James A. Segedy Award for Outstanding Student Project for its planning work for the community of Houston, Miss.

The Mississippi State University research center hosted a workshop in February 2014 as part of the Citizen’s Institute on Rural Design (CIRD), which served to gather ideas from the Houston community and its leaders about the Tanglefoot Trailhead® in Houston. Houston is the southernmost community along the 44-mile-long Tanglefoot Trail®, a cycling/pedestrian pathway that runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc and Chickasaw Counties. Students helped prepare interactive activities, plans and maps and facilitated group table discussions at the three-day CIRD workshop.

A main goal of the workshop was to create a plan to designate a new pavilion location at the trailhead, as well as lead visitors from the trailhead to Houston’s downtown area and also to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.

The planning workshop was themed: “Start Dreaming, Houston…” The result was a swell of momentum to capitalize on the new trail and all its potential for the community.

“Our students gained immeasurable experience in community engagement and developing leadership skills while helping facilitate the design workshop,” said Assistant Director of the Carl Small Town Center Leah Kemp. They also gained exposure to national experts and worked alongside them, which they really enjoyed.”

The center has since designed a pavilion for the site, which is scheduled to be constructed in spring 2016.

“The people of Houston are making big strides to put the workshop plans into action, and we have enjoyed working with them to make it happen,” said Kemp.

The workshop was funded by a 2014 CIRD Award funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and Houston was one of just four communities nationwide to receive the funding.

The James A. Segedy Award is given annually to recognize an outstanding project by a graduate or undergraduate class or individual that addresses a planning issue facing small town or rural areas.

“This award is one of many recent awards that recognizes the work of the Carl Small Town Center to develop and implement design projects for small towns and communities in Mississippi,” said College of Architecture, Art and Design Associate Dean Greg G. Hall, Ph.D., AIA, NCARB. “The Houston planning workshop serves as an example of ways in which the center supports the mission of the university to serve the development of the state through teaching, research and service.”

The award will be presented at the STaR Business Meeting on Sun., April 3 during the National Planning Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The Houston Trailhead project will be highlighted at the meeting and featured in a STaR newsletter article.

The Carl Small Town Center is a nonprofit community design and outreach component of the College of Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture. The research center works to help improve the quality of life and create economic opportunity in small towns by improving their physical environments. For more information on the center, visit

See the story at

See the story in the Mississippi Business Journal.

School of Architecture awards second Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship

March 7th, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture awards second Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Holmes_Edward mug


A Mississippi State architecture major is among the second to receive the newly established Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Fourth-year student Edward Holmes V is receiving $1,500 as he spends the spring semester conducting research with Method Studio, a full-service architectural and design firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Upon successful completion of research project/s, Holmes will receive an additional $1,500 in May.

This summer, Holmes – a graduate of Newton County Academy and son of Bill and Jami Herrington – will serve as the student director for the school’s annual Design Discovery Workshop, a week-long camp for high school students and incoming freshmen that is intended to answer many of the questions about architecture and interior design as a field of study and as a profession.

“It is a great honor to be able to be able to research for Method Studo,” said Holmes. “I know that I have a lot to learn from them, and I’m sure this will be an exciting experience.”

As part of the fellowship, Holmes will working under the guidance of Jacob Gines, a School of Architecture assistant professor who also is Method’s vice president of research and design.

Gines, now in his fourth year on the Starkville campus, said he and other professionals at the Utah firm are working to make it a “thought leader” in the architectural community, both to generate and disseminate knowledge. “There is a lot of support for connecting academia to the profession of architecture,” he added.

Gines said the new fellowship should provide “a unique opportunity” to strengthen that connection between the architecture school and Method.

School director Michael Berk said he and his colleagues “are honored to be working with Method Studio and value the confidence the firm has placed in the School of Architecture.”

“This research collaboration is an important endorsement of our faculty expertise and will provide our faculty with research assistants, enabling us to continue to push the boundaries of cutting-edge tectonic research,” said Berk, who also holds the school’s F.L. Crane Professorship.

While Method is not local, Gines said fellows will be researching a variety of issues that are transportable across geographic regions. “There is strength and value in connecting not just locally, but at a distance as well,” he said.

For details about Method Studio, visit

Click here to read about the school’s first Method Fellow, Maria Degtyareva.

School of Architecture, Institute of Classical Architecture and Art to hold lecture in classical design

March 4th, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture, Institute of Classical Architecture and Art to hold lecture in classical design

MSU poster copy

The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) in conjunction with the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University is pleased to announce the Dan and Gemma Camp Lecture in Classical Architectural Design. The lecture is sponsored by Dan and Gemma Camp (founder and developer of the Cotton District in Starkville) along with a generous gift by Briar (S|ARC Class of 1994) and Michelle Jones.

Faziol_Michael mug


Mississippi State University Emeritus Professor of Architecture Michael W. Fazio, Ph.D., will present the April 1 lecture, “The Works of Benjamin Latrobe,” at 4 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall. (899 Collegeview Street, Mississippi State, MS 39762). A reception will immediately follow also in Giles Hall.

The lecture has been approved for 1 AIA/LU credit. To register (it’s free), click here.

For more information, contact the School of Architecture at 662-325-2202.

The lecture is also a part of the 2015-2016 Harrison Lecture Series lineup.

Upcoming lectures include:

  • April 8, 4 p.m.
    James Cathcart
    Author, Pamphlet Architecture 25: Gravity Project
    Project Director, Ralph Appelbaum Associates
  • April 15, 4 p.m.
    Gregory Walker and Benjamin Wiemeyer
    Principals, Wow Atelier
  • May 6, 1 p.m., S|ARC Recognition Day
    (Dr. William and Jean Giles Memorial Lecture)
    Malcolm White
    Author, Little Stories
    Owner, Hal & Mal’s Restaurant

The Harrison Lecture Series is sponsored through a generous gift by Freda Wallace Harrison and Dr. Robert V.M. Harrison, FAIA, FCSI.

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