February 5th, 2015 Comments Off
In conjunction with MSU’s Career Days, the College of Architecture, Art and Design held a panel discussion with representatives from the college’s four areas of study (architecture, art, interior design and building construction science.)
The panel was held on Feb. 4 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall. A reception followed immediately after the question-and-answer session.
Beth Miller, director of the Interior Design Program, severed as moderator.
• Architecture: Ann Somers, AIA, Principal, CDFL Architects + Engineers, P.A. Somers serves on the School of Architecture Advisory Board and is a 1981 graduate.
• Art: Mary Beth McDavid, Creative Director, DPM Fragrance
• Building Construction Science: Adam Moore and Trey Jacobs, Project Managers, Montgomery Martin Contractors, LLC. Jacobs and Moore graduated from the Building Construction Science Program in 2013.
• Interior Design: Ashley Hughes, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, Certified Interior Designer MS & FL, Pryor & Morrow Architects & Engineers. Hughes is a 2007 graduate of the Interior Design Program.
The panel began with general introductions.
CAAD Career Panel from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.
Then, Miller, asked the first question: What do you look at in a potential new hire?
- Moore said the most important thing is a good attitude and how you carry yourself. He also said being able to communicate is important.
- Jacobs said he looks for experience of any type.
- McDavid looks for candidates that have an “entrepreneurial spirit.” “We try to get an idea if a candidate can manage a project.” She encouraged students to have a job while in school and be involved to show they can balance work and school.
- Hughes said, “how you carry yourself.” She said candidates should show confidence and also be open to learning from others. She encouraged students to ask questions and added that organization is also important.
- Somers said the first look at a new candidate is the resume and letter. She said her firm looks at the graphics and tries to see if the candidate’s style matches the firm. Therefore, she encouraged students to match their resume to the firm. Somers said different things stand out to her – sometimes GPA, sometimes experience, sometimes design work. She said she loves when students say they are going to follow up with a phone call, and they actually follow through. She said her firm always brings in those candidates at least for a meeting.
Next, students were given the chance to ask questions.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
- Somers said she enjoys the fact that as an architect, she gets to learn something new every day. She also enjoys collaboration with a team.
- Hughes finds the most important part of her job is to make sure the client is happy with what her company provides. She said she enjoys the time after meeting with a client when she gets to work on developing the solution to the design problem.
- McDavid enjoys customer interaction and agreed with Hughes that it’s enjoyable to solve a design problem. She also said it’s very rewarding to see a product she had a part in designing sitting on a retail shelf and being promoted internationally.
- Moore said he doesn’t really have as much to do with the design process but enjoys that owners value his opinion on budget issues and being cost-effective with projects.
What are some of the responsibilities of a junior designer?
- Hughes recalled a time at her first company when she was invited to lunch with the CEO. He told her that the number one thing he wanted her to do for him while working at the company was to learn. She agreed that the number one goal when starting a job should be to be willing to learn and have a willing attitude. “They will put into you what you are trying to get out of it,” she said, adding “You are just as much in control of your future as the person you work for, and that’s a really powerful thing.” Hughes also said that interior designers should expect to do a lot of drafting, and she praised the MSU Interior Design program for training her in Revit – something she said gave her a leg up in her first job.
- McDavid said that the majority of their new hires are in their first job out of school. She said she loves that they are “not afraid to just jump in and run with it.” She encouraged everyone to take ownership and show initiative in projects and not to come in thinking of a position as a junior position. “Have the attitude of ‘what will I know in a month, and how can I make myself valuable to the company.'”
- Somers added that students now are coming in with new skills that they are able to teach employees who have been working at companies longer.
- Jacobs told students that entry-level jobs in his field involve a lot of paperwork. “They’ll put as much on you as you show you can handle. It’s a lot of on-the-job training,” he said, adding that the more you are willing to take on and learn, the quicker you will move up.
- McDavid added that new hires shouldn’t be discouraged by having to do paperwork or the more mundane parts of a project. “Own those with passion,” she said.
What makes an employee the most valuable to a team?
- Hughes said it’s important to be able to count on a team member – that a project will get done and get done correctly. She also said it’s important to be able to trust a team member.
- Somers said, “Attitude is key,” adding that it’s important to be thorough, and that that’s often something that has to be learned – often through a more senior mentor.
- McDavid values a team member who is able to take feedback, listen, ask questions, and apply it all.
- Moore said it’s important to have initiative and a good attitude. “Go learn from the guy next to you,” he said.
(Directed toward construction representatives) What factors led toward your decision to work for a medium-sized contractor?
- Moore and Jacobs both credited the decision partly on family and wanting to not move around as much. Moore added that he would have “felt like just another guy – a number” at a larger company, adding with pride that Mr. Montgomery Martin walks by him every day and knows him by name.
- Hughes said her first company was medium-sized, and she values that she was able to get so much one-on-one training. “The most important thing I feel like I can tell you is in your interview process, try to gauge if they have a mentorship program because that is what is going to help you the most to further your career,” she said.
- Somers said she has had the opportunity to travel and work at both large and small firms. She encouraged students to do the same. “I don’t think you’ll totally know what you want until you are immersed in it,” she said
(Directed toward architecture representative) What are the advantages of working for a large firm?
- Somers said large firms usually have teams that work on culture and put more into training. “They have a different way they distribute work, and the mechanics are just different.” She also said how you rise to success is different in a large firm because there is usually stiff competition, which she said can often push you more.
The panel discussion ended with a final question from the moderator: What are some tips for the interview process?
Tips for an inteview – Adam Moore from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.
- Jacobs: Be able to elaborate, be able to communicate, and be well-rounded.
- McDavid: Ask questions and be conversational (not just one-word answers).
- Hughes: “First impressions are key.” Know about the company, and know what your future goals are.
- Somers: Her current firm (CDFL) looks to see if you are a good fit for the firm and will ask questions about your priorities in life and work. They want it to be a good fit for you as well. “Think about who you are interviewing with and know where you want to head in your career. You want the firm to want you as much as you want the job.” Somers added that larger firms seem to have more clear-cut interviews, and it’s good to have a salary and benefits in mind for the interview.
January 27th, 2015 Comments Off
(Via W. Scott Allen)
Each year, Engineering News-Record magazine’s regional editions celebrate rising stars and the excellence of construction professionals.
In 2015, each region highlighted 20 individuals under the age of 40 who represent the “Best-of-the-Best” in their construction and design careers by advancing their companies and the industry and by giving back to their communities.
W. Scott Allen, Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C, was one of these 20 recipients.
Photo credit: Perkins+Will / Genia Narinskaya
Allen, a New York-based project designer with the global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will and a 2010 graduate of the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, was also highlighted in the February 2015 Issue of Engineering News-Record’s as a “Design Wunderkind.”
His portfolio encompasses over thirty million square feet of work throughout a broad range of building types, and most recently, his ideas and lectures have been seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Fortune, Fast Company, CNN, USA Today, World Landscape Architecture, Bloomberg Business and various smaller publications. His work has also been exhibited in museums and art galleries nationally and abroad.
Allen’s work revolves around asking the unconventional and unique questions provoking new relationships to redefine the built environment for the next generation. His creative process has been characterized by an ideal, yet hyper, practical approach, combining rational and environmental analysis, cultural and social perspectives, and inventive formal solutions. Most recently he has completed designs on an 80-story tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; created an urban reorganization plan for Salt Lake City, Utah; won an international design competition for a confidential consumer goods company’s North American headquarters, securing a new net-zero office development; and he’s currently working on two 60-story luxury residential towers in midtown Manhattan, NY, and numerous other large-scale urban design and commercial projects.
Located at the intersection of design, culture and economy, Allen starts each new project free of predetermined ideas. His design process looks at architecture’s fundamental elements and their relationships to our cities, where his projects integrate commerce, sustainability, urban infrastructure, civic space, custom construction techniques, culture and occupancy issues. His practical and form-generative approach creates projects that take on inspiring solutions that meet the needs of users and are meaningful to their context.
Photo credit: Scott Allen
Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.linkedin.com/in/wscotta
January 27th, 2015 Comments Off
The College of Architecture, Art, and Design will host a special career presentation panel discussion for students in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium (Giles Hall) following the MSU Career Fair on Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m.
• Ann Somers, AIA, Principal, CDFL Architects + Engineers, P.A.
• Mary Beth McDavid, Creative Director, DPM Fragrance
• Adam Moore, Montgomery Martin Contractors, LLC
• Ashley Hughes, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, Certified Interior Designer MS & FL, Pryor & Morrow Architects & Engineers
A reception will follow at 5:30 p.m. for students and professionals in Giles Hall.
The Spring MSU Career Days will be held Feb. 3 (business and non-technical organizations) and Feb. 4 (engineering and technical organizations) from noon – 4 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum on MSU’s Starkville campus.
If you have any questions about MSU Career Days, please contact our representative with the Career Center, Ryan Colvin, email@example.com or 662-325-3344.
December 17th, 2014 Comments Off
Best of Year event (photo by Brian Roberson)
(Via Beth Roberson)
On Thurs., Dec. 4, bDot Architecture was honored at the 9th Annual Interior Design magazine Best of Year Awards ceremony in the IAC Building in New York City.
The Best of Year Awards is the preeminent design competition recognizing superior interior design products and projects from around the globe. Joining over 950 top designers and manufacturers in a standing room only venue, bDot won “Best of Year” in the Budget category for The Clubhouse. The Birmingham, Ala., based multidisciplinary design studio took home the distinctive bulb-shaped award, presented by Editor-in-chief Cindy Allen, in the budget category, which included projects from as far away as Guangzhou, China. Over 2,000 submissions were considered across dozens of categories and submitted from four continents.
Brian Roberson, owner of bDot and a 1995 graduate of the MSU School of Architecture, commented that “the experience of gathering with incredibly talented people was a wonderful blessing but even more, the opportunity to be inspired by the work of your peers and being moved by the achievements of great design.
When we designed The Clubhouse, we used it as an opportunity to think back to our childhood when our eyes were open to the mystery and verticality of the woods. Taking those feelings and memories, we reinterpreted them into an architectural experience using elements such as a rope ladder, a secret hatch, an observation deck and the horizontal play of shadows throughout the space.”
bDot is focused on crafting project solutions that are meaningful and encompass both a modern relevance and a timeless nature. From creative and cost-conscious architecture to modern furniture, lighting and art, bDot is dedicated to providing a unique and holistic approach to design and affordable solutions to meet the needs of their clients. The company’s website is located at www.bdota.com. They can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Photos of The Clubhouse (photos by Brian Roberson):
December 12th, 2014 Comments Off
l to r: Patrick Sullivan, Keith Findley, Megan Vansant, Kevin Flores , Aaryn Phillips, Nenyatta Smith, Daria Pizzetta and Jim Findley (photo by Patrick Brown)
Jim Fennell and Keith Findley have come back to their alma mater for help with accomplishing a goal they have for the state. The two alumni hope to bring some of the ideas of functional symbiosis and reuse from their Colorado Ivywild project to the state of Mississippi.
Functional symbiosis is when companies partner together and share waste. The Ivywild project is a renovated school that houses a brewery, bakery, community garden and other components that all work together in a closed circuit. The excess water from the brewery waters the garden; spent grains from the brewery goes into making the bread at the bakery and so on.
According to Fennell, when businesses are able to take advantage of a functional symbiotic relationship, they have lower operating costs from the reuse of materials and can, therefore, be more successful.
“In turn,” he said, “that gets others in the community interested, and it starts to grow.”
“I think it can really do good things for the state,” added Findley
So, the two alumni approached Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture, last year about getting architecture students involved in helping spread the idea across the state.
“These young people are our best resources for solutions,” said Findley.
And the idea happened to fit perfectly with what Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory had already been planning for her fall fourth-year studio.
Gregory, inspired by an ACSA conference, wanted to dedicate her semester to getting students to think about recycling and reuse. So, with funding from the two alumni, the Ivywild Studio was born.
Gregory created a series of projects for the studio that, throughout the semester, taught recycling, reuse and functional and community symbiosis. Early projects helped students develop the conceptual idea leading to their final project inspired by the Ivywild project.
For the final project, titled “Starkville Symbiosis,” students were challenged to research and create a design for a similarly functioning hypothetical building in Starkville. The students were given a site at the corner of Jackson and Lampkin Streets and real-world clients, Ed Dechert and Cameron Fogle of Sweetgum Brewing and Troy DeRego of DeRego’s Bread.
The final designs included a variety of symbiotic ideas and were presented on Dec. 2 for a panel of jurors including two of the clients, Dechert and DeRego, as well as Fennell and Findley.
Additional jurors included Allison Anderson, FAIA, LEED-AP, and John Anderson, AIA, LEED-AP of unabridged Architecture; Daria Pizzetta, AIA, LEED-AP, of H3 Hardy Collaboration; Patrick Sullivan, president of the Mississippi Energy Institute; Jeremiah Dumas, MSU sustainability coordinator; Bob Wilson, executive director of the Mississippi Main Street Association; and Phil Hardwick, project manager for the Stennis Institute.
The jurors were excited to see the variety of creative solutions the students came up with and immediately saw the impact such projects could have on the state.
Allison Anderson said that the students, now in their fourth-year of study, are starting to understand that “architecture doesn’t end at the line of the building; it continues into the community.”
She went on to explain that architects need to think about what the needs are in the community and how it will grow in the future, and this project helped the students to start to do that.
Sullivan said he saw a wide range of opportunities in the students’ projects.
“The IvyWild project,” he said. “There’s just not anything like that in Mississippi. The goal should be for nothing to leave the site – air, water or steam emissions – except products that are being sold and, of course, people coming and going. Taking that kind of approach is just smart.”
“I hope to see one of these actually developed,” said Daria, who also serves on the school’s Advisory Council.
The jurors selected four top projects. First place and $1,000 went to Megan Vansant; Kevin Flores received second place and another $1,000. Honorable mention went to Aryn Phillips and Nenyatta Smith.
“We see this as a first step in an ongoing thing at the university,” said Findley.
Gregory said her students – now “Ivywild fans” – really enjoyed the project.
“Hopefully they’ll carry this throughout their careers,” she added.
Fourth-year architecture students in the Ivywild studio include (by hometown):
CORDOVA – Emma Morse, daughter of James M. Morse and Charlene Smith
CLINTON – Devin Carr, son of Neil and Sandra Carr
FOREST – Kevin Flores, son of Jose and Teresa Flores
GULFPORT – Nenyatta Smith, daughter of John and Dorothy Smith
HERNANDO – Patrick Brown, son of Chet Brown and Earline Wallace
HORN LAKE – Daniela Bustillos, daughter of Jaime and Maria Bustillos
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Megan Vansant, daughter of Donald R. and Rebecca W. Vansant
JACKSON – Lorianna Baker, daughter of Duke and Karen Baker
OLIVE BRANCH – Aryn Phillips, daughter of William and Luretha Phillips
PADUCAH, Ky. – Ryan Bridges, son of Michael Douglas and Delinda Kay Bridges
PICAYUNE – Cody Smith, and son of Ray and Christina Renderman
SNELLVILLE, Ga. – Ryan Mura, son of Ryan L. and Susan D. Mura
Read the story on MSU’s website.
Read the story on WCBI.
December 10th, 2014 Comments Off
David Corban accepts AIA design awards from architect Peter Bohlin. Juror for the awards was Bohlin Cywinski. (photo submitted by David Corban)
firm recently received two design awards from the AIA Florida Southwest chapter.
The awards were for the design of a home in Old Naples and a small public park in Immokalee, Fla.
Juror for the awards was Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and the awards were presented by Peter Bohlin.
“It was an honor to have our projects selected by Mr. Bohlin,” said Corban, who is a 1989 graduate of the MSU School of Architecture. “Because I don’t think there is an architect practicing today whose work I admire more.”
Home in Old Naples, Fla.
Small public park in Immokalee, Fla.
See other recent recognition for David Corban.
December 10th, 2014 Comments Off
Anne Marie Decker, AIA, will serve as the Mississippi State University School of Architecture’s 2015 Eminent Architect of Practice.
Decker, a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of the school, will work with the fifth-year studio faculty at the Stuart C. Irby Jr. Studios in Jackson to help students in their last semester of study produce their capstone comprehensive projects.
The school established the Eminent Architect of Practice visiting faculty position in 2011 as a way to bring a distinguished award-winning architect of contemporary practice to the MSU campus to teach and mentor students. Decker represents the third Eminent Architect, following Larry Scarpa, FAIA, and Todd Walker, FAIA.
“This semester-long faculty appointment is reserved for nationally recognized, award-winning architects to become an integral part of the studio teaching experience at MSU and most importantly, to interact, energize and critique student projects,” said Michael Berk, AIA, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture. “We are incredibly honored that Anne Marie has agreed to serve with us in this prestigious teaching position.”
Decker is a principal with her partner Roy Decker, AIA, in Duvall Decker Architects P.A. located in Jackson. In 2004, she was honored as the Alumni Fellow for the College of Architecture, Art and Design for her achievements in practice. In 2009, she and Roy Decker jointly held the Paul Rudolf Visiting Professorship at the Auburn University School of Architecture. She has lectured on the firm’s work at numerous universities and conferences including AIA Louisiana’s Celebrate Architecture Symposium, the International Merleau-Ponty Circle Conference, Mississippi State University, Louisiana State University and the University of Utah.
Duvall Decker Architects specializes in public buildings, state institutions, school and university buildings, affordable housing and planning. The firm is a recognized leader and has received state, regional and national awards for design excellence. Most recently the design for the Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building at Hinds Community College was honored with a 2013 AIA Committee on Architecture for Education Excellence Award. The Oak Ridge House received a 2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Award. The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center earned a 2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Citation and a 2011 Design with Brick President’s Award. The firm’s work has frequently been published and highlighted in publications such as the Journal of Architectural Education, Houses for All Regions, a book published by AIA’s Custom Residential Architects Network, Design Bureau Magazine, the Oxford American and in exhibits such as AIA’s “Design for the Decades.”
Anne Marie Decker currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and holds the title of past president. She is a registered architect in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Tennessee.
Read the story on MSU’s website.
Read the story on WCBI.
Duvall Decker office by Duvall Decker Architects P.A, Jackson, MS
Oak Ridge House by Duvall Decker Architects P.A, Jackson, MS
November 13th, 2014 Comments Off
Ann Somers helps review 4th-year students’ projects after the March 2013 Advisory Council Meeting.
Ann Somers, a member of the School of Architecture Advisory Council and a 1981 alumna, was recently featured in the Mississippi Business Journal.
MAKING JACKSON A BETTER PLACE
Ann Somers enjoys her career because of variety of projects and the people she meets
by Lynn Lofton
While growing up in Byram, Ann Somers loved putting thing together, such as puzzles, model cars and ships and fantasy Barbie kingdoms. That interest in building things led to a career in architecture, something she learned about as an eighth-grader.
“I knew that was what I wanted to do,” Somers recalls. “Up to that point I did not like school and was an average student. Once I understood I needed to have a good grade point average to get into architecture school, I stepped it up and became a good student. The other thought with architecture was that I could branch into interior design or site design with an architecture degree.”
All of her first 12 years of school were spent in Byram where she graduated with around 30 class members; some were together all 12 years. She grew up in a rural home with plenty of pets and animals. Her grandparents lived next door, and Somers played outside all the time. “There were very few kids my age around so I entertained myself,” she said.
She remembers her father, who died when she was 10 years of age, as fun to be with and involving her in whatever he was doing, which was mainly farming and selling vegetables to local stores and restaurants. “My mother was a registered nurse who taught nursing most of her career and ended her career teaching hospital staff how to teach patients about their medical issues, so they could stay well,” Somers said. “She was very early in the wellness movement, a great role model for me and extremely supportive.”
After graduation from the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, Somers, 56, spent time working in New York City and Savannah, Ga.; experiences she feels gave her a good background for returning to her home state to work in her profession. In 2003 she was chosen the Alumna of the Year for the MSU School of Architecture.
Now a partner in the Jackson firm of Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons, Somers enjoys the continual learning of being an architect. “It is never boring. Every project type has a learning curve, and building materials and systems are ever changing,” she says. “Plus there are new people you get to know with each new project.”
Although Somers has worked on many high-profile projects, she has difficulty choosing one single project of which she’s the most proud. “That’s a hard question because I love all our buildings. They’re a little like children I birthed into the world. But to pick just one building, it would be the Mississippi Department of Archives and History building.”
As a dream project, Somers is currently thinking a lot about what makes the perfect retirement living situation. “I would love to design a retirement village where you can age gracefully and happily in place,” she said.
As a long time member of the Sierra Club, Somers is vitally interested in architecture that’s environmentally friendly and sees some changes coming to Mississippi in that regard. “Mississippi is getting better and it’s partially due to a national movement started through USGBC (United States Green Building Council) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to work toward sustainability and create healthier environments,” she said. “The USGBC website is a great resource for project owners to see what is possible. As owners are educated and excited by what is possible in building, greater changes will be made. In the meantime, architects, engineers and contractors are making a difference through smart design, efficient systems design and construction waste reduction.”
When not working, Somers volunteers with Community Animal Rescue and Adoption, which she also serves as a board member, and Rankin County Animal Adoption foundation. “Metro Jackson has a terrible problem with unwanted pets,” she said. “The local government is euthanizing about 15,000 pets annually, which is 288 per week. We do not have a culture of spaying and neutering our pets, so along with adoption promotion, I am involved with spay and neuter public education.”
She and husband Jim Somers, a landscape architect who recently retired, live in Jackson and have four dogs and a cat — “all of which are beautiful, sweet and perfect.” The couple is committed to making Jackson a great place to live. “We help by promoting and participating in music, art, and community events,” she said.
November 6th, 2014 Comments Off
Women in Construction Training Center (GCCDS)
Baptist Town Master Plan (CSTC)
On October 16, the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Mississippi) hosted a Design Awards Celebration in Jackson to honor recipients of its Design Awards and Member Awards, as well as newly licensed architects, landscape architects and interior designers in the state.
The two research centers housed in Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design both were honored at the event.
The Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS) received an Honor Award in the Architecture/New Construction category for the Women in Construction Training Center for the Moore Community House.
Women in Construction is an organization that trains and assists women to get jobs in construction-related fields. Over the years Women in Construction has been a partner with the GCCDS on many projects for homeowners and for the community.
David Perkes, director of the GCCDS said, “It was especially rewarding to work with them to create a work space that embodies their ‘can-do’ culture. Building the project was as important as getting it built, and the completed building is a testament of the capability of the women students, staff and volunteers.”
The Carl Small Town Center (CSTC) received a Citation Award in the Master Planning and Urban Design Category for the Baptist Town Master Plan for the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation.
“The award for the Baptist Town Master Plan reaffirms the longterm effort the CSTC has made in its commitment to Greenwood and the Baptist Town neighborhood,” said Leah Kemp, assistant director of the CSTC. “We are starting to see these master plan elements come to life as recent housing has been installed and the community center is under renovation.”
“It is a testament to the School of Architecture’s commitment to ‘community design’ and ‘social justice’ when our research centers are recognized for their amazing outreach work with Design Awards from the AIA Mississippi Chapter,” said Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture. “The work that our centers produce is nothing short of heroic — and the impacts to the communities will be felt for generations.”
The AIA Mississippi Design Awards program is part of the annual program of events, Mississippi Celebrates Architecture, presented by AIA Mississippi. The goal of the program, which also features an Educational Symposium and a Public Outreach and Exhibition, is to promote and celebrate the role of architecture in Mississippi’s culture. The Design Awards program further seeks to encourages design excellence and elevate the quality of architecture and design in the state by recognizing and honoring members’ works of distinction.
Read the story on the MSU website.
Several alumni and friends of the School of Architecture were also honored at the event. See the full list of AIA/MS 2014 Design Awards below.
• Albert & Associates Architects, P.A.
Charnley-Norwood House Restoration
Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources
& Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History
• Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects & Engineers, PA
Puckett Machinery Headquarters
• Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
Women in Construction Training Center
Moore Community House
• JBHM Architecture
Tupelo Aquatics Center
City of Tupelo
• Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.
James H. White Library Renovation
Mississippi Valley State University
Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management
State of Mississippi
• Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.
Mississippi Dept. of Information Technology Services
Cooperative Data Center
Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management
State of Mississippi
• unabridged Architecture
Waveland Business Center
City of Waveland
• WFT Architects, P.A.
Rehabilitation of the Medgar Evers House Museum
• WFT Architects, P.A.
Exterior Rehabilitation of the John W. Boddie House
(The Mansion), Phase II
• Carl Small Town Center
(Master Planning Urban Design)
Baptist Town Master Plan
Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation
• Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A.
Delta Blues Museum Muddy Waters Addition
Delta Blues Museum
November 4th, 2014 Comments Off
TEX-FAB, a digital fabrication alliance, recently held an international digital to design fabrication competition, “Plasticity.” They received 70 entries from 16 countries on 6 continents.
Nels Long, a 2013 graduate of the School of Architecture, (along with team members Brennen Huller and Nikita Troufanov) was selected as a top-four finalist, going on to present at the 2014 ACADIA Design Agency Conference at USC in Los Angeles, Calif.
The prototype will be on exhibit at the University of Houston School of Architecture along with the other two prototypes and the winning installation from March 26 – October 2015.
Project Summary: PUFF’D prototype explores plasticity of composite construction and the role of the seam and joint in architecture. Inspired by Japanese joinery, puffy jackets and jet fighter airplanes, PUFF’D proposes a novel construction technique for full scale architecture. Instead of following parametric paneling and module-based logics, PUFF’D employs large monolithic building components or ‘mega panels’ suggesting new ways of full scale assembly on site. The project follows up on our previous explorations with mega-panels, joinery and robotic assembly. The previous prototype used the language of stitching and wood joinery to study how composite mega-panels may come together as assembly. The current proposal scales up and develops an inflatable composite sandwich technique to minimize waste and explore new formal and structural possibilities. Instead of milling a foam block and laying up fiberglass, we propose sewing two sheets of uncured ‘pre-preg’ fiberglass and injecting spray foam inside. The form of the prototype is a folded envelope with hyperbolic surfaces. Structural analysis was run on the form and stress gradients were identified. That information was then used as a template to parametrically develop structural reinforcement in the surface. The thickening of the surface took place by inflating the regions that needed more resistance to stresses. Inflation produced interesting effects, beginning to resemble a puffy jacket or lush baroque furniture. Where there was little stress in the shell, no foam is needed and the surface becomes very thin and transparent, producing effect of multi-materiality. The interior of the shell became highly articulated and the exterior remained smooth and simple. Seams and joints were then introduced to break up the shell with a real/fake joint language. While the puffy interior expressed only the real assembly joints, the smooth exterior surface began to have fake seams running off and around the real seams to give articulation to the exterior.
Biography: During his undergraduate studies, Long had the opportunity to interact with many different cultures and methodologies through an exchange with a program in Izmir, Turkey, an internship with the Center for Maximum Potential Buildings Systems and the Austin chapter of Architects Without Borders, among others. These experiences come together in his work through a passion for the use of games and play as creative tools. Extreme low-tech and the cutting-edge juxtapose in the development of his method. This results in virtual reality software alongside trading card suites with the intent to stimulate communities towards positive change while simultaneously mitigating psychological strain. The potential of his work has been recognized through lectures given at the Technical University of Berlin and the Architectural Association’s visiting school hosted by Art Academy University in 2014.
In the finalists’ round, the jury agreed that Puff’d Composites offered a range of unique features that would benefit from additional research and full-scale prototyping. Juror Alvin Huang was “intrigued by the formal articulation of the soft puffed interior vs. the interlocking seams of the hard shell.” Benjamin Ball applauded the project for being “one of the few that seriously explores the design and production of architecturally scaled components that function.” He added, “Puff’d expands the simple notion that seams are a border between separate panels to that of an interlocking mechanical connection that functions.”
PUFFD from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.