November 30th, 2015 Comments Off on Gregory’s fourth-year architecture studio featured on WTVA news
Unique project offers many forms of learning
An unusual architecture project in Starkville may turn into a gift that lasts a lifetime and teaches in so many ways.
Fourth-year architecture students at Mississippi State are building raised gardens at the Boys and Girls Club in Starkville. The new beds — which feature gravel bottoms, cardboard linings and special material to keep out weeds and moles while allowing dainage, benches and other features — will be more efficient than existing smaller beds at the center on Lynn Lane.
The students designed the garden as well as a ramp that will allow a handicapped volunteer, who also is a Master Gardener, to be more involved. The ramp even will have access to an herb garden.
The college students are learning things they never fully realized from what several say is the most gratifying thing they’ve done.
“To help them understand what it’s like to work with a real client, and also to see the impact of their design and construction in the community. So want them to be able to see that architecture doesn’t end with a building that has air conditioning and heating but that it is actually creating space and places that people can use,” Professor Alexis Gregory said of some of the goals she had when the class took up the project, which also counts as a service-learning project.
Gregory is familiar with the community service and non-profit side, previously having worked for non-profits in Washington D.C.
Architecture students aren’t the only ones involved.
Horticulture classes are planning fruits and vegetables for the gardens and will help teach the kids and their families next spring. Education students are working on lesson plans for teachers to link the garden to every day learning. Nutrition students are planning lessons as well for the students and their amilies.
“I’m really excited to see the kids come out and play with the benches, to start planting things and see them grow,” Gregory said of the anticipation of what’s ahead.
Kids grew tomatoes, pumpkins, radishes, lettuce and cabbage this fall and winter in their smaller boxes. But this takes learning to a new level.
“Some of our kids play and interact with the architecture students and they’ve never been exposed to hands-on building objects so to see them get excited gets me excited. I know our kids aren’t exposed to nutrition and gardening and they should be,” BGC Unit Director Jeffery Johnson said of the experience for the kids.
One major goal is to get entire families and community groups involved so the experience carries on.
“We can work with the Boys and Girls Club to make this a longer lasting project so this becomes good lessons for the kids, hopefully to take home to their parents, and their community as well and really spread this throughout the area,” Gregory xplained.
The project also will include shade structures, rain barrels, vegetable cubicles inside the Boys and Girls Club so the kids can store their produce and other items. Those will be built next semester.
Lowe’s, Oktibbeha County, Bell Building Supply, the Oktibbeha County Coop and others have donated materials. The project also has a Go Fund Me account. Anyone wishing to donate materials can contact the Boys and Girls Club.
November 19th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU School of Architecture one of three to win NCARB award
By Zack Plair | Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture will use funds from a highly-competitive national grant to expand its students’ horizons.
The school, part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, was one of three programs in the nation to receive a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards award, the organization announced recently. With the $30,048 award, the school will plan and implement a new class for undergraduates, called Expanding the Agency of Architects, for the fall 2016 semester.
NCARB awards recognize architecture programs that integrate practice and education; raise awareness of the architect’s responsibilities for the public health, safety, and welfare; and bring non-faculty practitioners into the academy. This is MSU’s second NCARB award, the first received for a project in 2003.
“Winning the NCARB Prize is like receiving an Emmy Award for a faculty member in the discipline of architecture,” said Michael Berk, director for the College of Architecture, Art and Design. “This national acknowledgement reinforces the strong relationship our faculty and students have with the architectural profession in our state.”
Associate Professor John Poros and Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn will instruct the course, which will focus on how architects can use their skills for social impact. The main idea, McGlohn said, is to compel students to break free from the idea of waiting for clients to bring in projects and instead develop projects to take to prospective clients.
“It’s really about community involvement and identifying issues that can be solved through architecture and design,” McGlohn said. “You see a need, take the idea to the community, and you can sometimes even find the funding mechanism for the project.”
Poros also directs the Carl Small Town Center at MSU, an outreach program in the School of Architecture that works with communities across Mississippi on project design.
The three-credit-hour course will consist of lectures, McGlohn said, and a final project that will send students to Greenwood. While there, they will meet with community members, investigate a problem, propose design solutions and find funding for the project. Greenwood architect and Enterprise Rose Fellow Emily Roush-Elliot will assist the students in the field, McGlohn added, and she will conduct a series of hands-on workshops on campus during the course of the semester.
McGlohn expects the course to accommodate 12-20 students per semester, and all majors are welcome. Though the grant only guarantees one semester of the course, she hopes the School of Architecture can offer the course each fall.
For more information on NCARB, visit www.ncarb.org.
November 18th, 2015 Comments Off on Architecture student receives AIA St Louis Scholarship Award
By Marissa Landon
Third-year architecture student Curtis Reed recently received a $500 AIA St Louis Scholarship Award.
According to the AIA St. Louis website, the scholarship fund was founded in 1965 to assist students from the greater St. Louis region enrolled in an architecture program accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). Today the AIA St. Louis Scholarship Fund is one of the largest scholarship programs in the country. Financial support is provided to students entering their third, fourth or fifth-year of studies.
“I’d like to give a big thanks to Bob Winters and the rest of the AIA Saint Louis board of directors for having chosen me to receive the summer scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year,” Reed said. “The cost of school these days is outrageous, but with the help from scholarships like this, I can continue to pursue this passion.”
November 16th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU professor invited to White House conference
John Poros will attend a conference on rural development at the White House Nov. 17. (Photo by Megan Bean)
By Zack Plair | Mississippi State University
A Mississippi State University faculty member has earned an invitation to the White House for a conference focused on better rural development.
John Poros, an associate professor of architecture and director for the Carl Small Town Center at MSU, will attend The White House Convening on Rural Placemaking on Tuesday [Nov. 17]. The event will include federal, state and local public sector officials, national non-profit organizations, foundations and individuals to better align federal, state and philanthropic work to support and leverage the power of “placemaking” – a citizen-led process that helps activate downtowns and community gathering places.
The Carl Small Town Center has worked with Mississippi communities for more than 30 years, said Poros, the center’s leader for the last eight years. He said his team – which includes an assistant director and roughly a dozen undergraduates from the College of Architecture, Art and Design – work on designs for several community projects each year, ranging from parks, plazas and public buildings to improvements to historic structures and entire downtown districts.
“There are so many places in a rural environment that are important and can provide a sense of place,” Poros said. “When you’re talking about public spaces, you’re talking about quality of life issues.”
Most recently, Poros noted, the center designed a park and pavilion for the town of Houston, Mississippi, to anchor the Tanglefoot Trail, a 44-mile bike trail that runs from Houston to New Albany and helps drive tourism in the area. He said the center also has worked with communities such as Corinth, Laurel, Cleveland, Greenwood, Pass Christian and Jackson.
The White House Rural Council is partnering with Project for Public Spaces and the National Main Street Center to host Tuesday’s convening. It represents a new approach, said Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan, in partnering communities with federal resources to create public spaces that generate pride and economic development.
“It’s pretty simple. First, we partner with communities by seeking out their plans or vision. Second, we take a one-government approach that crosses agency and program silos to support communities in implementing their plans for improvement,” Donovan said in an email statement about the program. “Finally we focus on what works, using data to measure success and monitor progress.”
At the Washington convening, Poros said he hopes to share MSU’s knowledge and experience in dealing with rural communities, as well as learn about “common problems” and “common goals” among others attending from across the country. He called it “very heartening” to see the White House administration involved in advancing rural placemaking.
“These types of projects could have an enormous impact on the survival of some of these rural communities,” he said.
For more information on the Carl Small Town Center, visit http://carlsmalltowncenter.org/.
November 16th, 2015 Comments Off on Architecture alumnus Lance Davis staying busy with U.S. General Services Administration
Lance Davis, AIA, LEED program manager for Design Excellence Architecture+Sustainability, in front of the U.S. General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. (photo via http://plus.usgbc.org/monumental-green/)
Program Manager for Design Excellence Architecture+Sustainability for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Lance Davis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and a 1995 graduate of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State, has been staying busy lately.
Davis was recently asked to be part of the plenary panel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference, Past Forward.
During the conference, Davis presented a power session, “ESPCs: Using Energy Efficiency Initiatives to Spark Reinvestment,” where he discussed the use of ESPCs for historic preservation.
This week, Davis will speak at the Embassy of Canada about his work for the sustainability of architecture for the U.S. Federal Government and how Canada can play a better role in this effort.
At the end of the week, he is also scheduled to speak at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Federal Summit in Washington, D.C., on GSA’s sustainability efforts and successes. His Nov. 20 G10 session is titled “Mending Mid-Century Modern.”
The USGBC’s magazine, USGBC+, recently featured the work of the Federal Government in an article titled “Monumental Green,” and Davis was interviewed for the piece.
November 12th, 2015 Comments Off on Architecture student honored as 2015 Epting/Mathews Co-op Student of the Year
(left to right): Joel Myers, Huntington Ingalls rep.; Ryan Colvin, senior coordinator at the MSU Career Center; Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture; Jake Johnson; Alexis Gregory, assistant professor and School of Architecture co-op coordinator; and Bryan Moore, Huntington Ingalls rep.
By Marrisa Landon
Jacob “Jake” Johnson, a fifth-year architecture student, has been named the 2015 Epting/Mathews Co-op Student of the Year. This award recognizes one outstanding co-op student at Mississippi State each year for academic excellence, exhibited professionalism in the work place and leadership in respective organizations.
Johnson received a $500 scholarship sponsored by Huntington Ingalls and a recognition plaque. This marks the first year a non-engineering student has been selected as the Epting/Mathews Co-op Student of the Year.
Johnson completed a thirteen-month co-op with Seay, Seay & Litchfield Architects in Montgomery, Ala..
This co-op “allowed me to experience projects at every stage of development and to see first-hand the many roles that architects play,” said Johnson. “My time there greatly challenged my abilities, helped me understand my future goals within the field and has since impacted my work in the classroom.”
November 10th, 2015 Comments Off on Marvin Windows, archimania host fifth-year architecture students
(Via Associate Professor and Jackson Center Director Jassen Callender)
For eleven straight years, Marvin Windows and Doors, a premier made-to-order wood and clad wood window and door manufacturer, has hosted the fifth-year School of Architectures students at their door manufacturing facility in Ripley, Tenn.
In addition to a day of guided tours on Oct. 22, Marvin Windows provided hotel accommodations, breakfast and lunch to the students.
Archimania, a Memphis firm led by MSU graduate Todd Walker, hosted the students a day earlier. Archimania employees and MSU alumni Kayce Williford and Will Randolph provided tours of several of the firm’s Memphis-area projects.
November 6th, 2015 Comments Off on School of Architecture holds 2015 NOMAS Trashion Show
TrashionShow2015 from Justin on Vimeo.
Mississippi State University’s seventh annual NOMAS Trashion Show was held on Wednesday [Nov. 4] at 7 p.m. in Giles Hall.
MSU Fashion Board models sported fashionable outfits designed by architecture, fashion design and merchandising students.
This years fashions were made from soda cans, water bottle labels, dryer sheets, straws, newspapers, bottle caps and other recycled goods.
November 4th, 2015 Comments Off on Architecture studio helps improve local community garden
By Zack Plair | Mississippi State University
Several Mississippi State groups are working with the Starkville Boys and Girls Club to help promote long-term healthy eating habits among local youths.
First, university students in a fourth-year School of Architecture design studio are making plans to transform the club’s community garden into a larger, more accessible and efficient horticultural space.
The class is taught by assistant professor Alexis Gregory, who said the team soon will begin construction of six raised garden beds, two shaded pavilions and a storage space for tools. An Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible ramp leading from the club’s main building on Lynn Lane to the back garden area also will be built.
Gregory estimated that the project should be complete by mid-spring, weather permitting.
The architecture majors are joining with others on campus to organize a sustainable program in which club members learn to maintain the garden and take home vegetables they grow.
The larger effort involves the MSU Horticulture Club, assistant professor Brittney Oliver of School of Human Sciences’ food science, nutrition and health promotion department and assistant professor Kenneth Anthony of the College of Education’s curriculum, instruction and special education department.
“We’re wanting to educate children on healthy eating and food sustainability,” Gregory explained. “Hopefully, through this program, these ideas will transfer to their parents.”
After determining total project costs at approximately $10,000, Gregory said the team opened a GoFundMe account. Members also are soliciting material donations from local businesses, she added.
A mini-grant provided by MSU’s Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence is enabling senior Lorianna A. Livingston of Columbus, a CASLE Service-Learning Scholar, to provide graphic design services.
An art/graphic design major, Livingston said that in addition to finding new ways for incorporating various building materials into her creations, the project has provided many positive interactions with a diverse group of clients and project team members.
“It is extremely rewarding to work collaboratively with groups of students and faculty from all over campus to serve our community,” Livingston said. “The faculty and staff at the Boys and Girls Club have been very appreciative of our efforts, and we are so excited to be able to complete this project for them.”
Once the new beds are built and ready for planting, students in the MSU Horticulture Club will supply and recommend plant materials, conduct educational sessions on gardening preparation and maintenance, and help guide Boys and Girls Club members through the planting process.
Richard Harkess, horticulture club faculty adviser, said the highly coordinated approach that all involved have brought to the project ultimately will help make a positive difference in the lives of many Starkville families.
“When children pull radishes out of the ground that they grew from seeds, they are more likely to take a bite of one than they would be if their mom brought it home from the grocery store and put it on their plate,” the professor of plant and soil sciences observed. “This will help give these kids a better idea of where their food comes from.”
According to Gregory, a Healthy Hometown grant in 2011 funded the club’s first community garden project, with volunteers from the community and MSU helping maintain it since that time.
Healthy Hometown grants are provided by the Jackson-based Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
Boys and Girls Club director Jeffrey Johnson said the current construction project, when combined with curriculum and support provided by the Mississippi State academic partnership, should help the organization’s young members become even more involved.
“We’ll have programs that will promote health and nutrition, boost the kids’ self-confidence, and also this garden is going to look great,” Johnson said. “This is a great example of how the club can branch out to better connect with Starkville and MSU.”
Follow Gregory’s fourth-year studio and their design and construction of the Educational Garden project for the Boys & Girls Club in Starkville on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram under “MSU Learn & Grow.”
Click here to view the architecture studio’s project board.
November 3rd, 2015 Comments Off on Models to showcase trash transformations at NOMAS Trashion Show
By Georgia Clarke | Mississippi State University
MSU Fashion Board models will stroll the runway Wednesday [Nov. 4] at 7 p.m. in Giles Hall. The models will be sporting fashionable outfits made of materials varying from soda cans, water bottle labels, dryer sheets and straws, to newspapers, bottle caps, and other recycled goods. (via msstate.edu)
Trash will be transformed into fashion at Mississippi State University’s seventh annual NOMAS Trashion Show.
MSU Fashion Board models will stroll the runway Wednesday [Nov. 4] at 7 p.m. in Giles Hall. Free and open to the public, the show is anticipated to fill quickly, so early arrival is advised.
The models will be sporting fashionable outfits made of materials varying from soda cans, water bottle labels, dryer sheets and straws, to newspapers, bottle caps, and other recycled goods, said Elizabeth Bueche, treasurer of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students. The masterminds behind the designs are architecture and fashion design and merchandising students.
“Each year we challenge ourselves by pushing for new ideas,” said Bueche, a third year architecture student from Maryville, Tennessee.
“Designers and members have been working diligently for this year’s Trashion Show, and we can’t wait for everyone to come out and see the designs,” she added.
In addition to the show, Junk to Funk also will return, but with a twist. From 5:30-6:30 p.m., just before the Trashion show, guests can receive a makeover by a Fashion Board member, a custom made-to-order “Trashion” accessory and two professional photographs for $20. The whole process is anticipated to take less than 10 minutes.
Both the Trashion show and Junk to Funk are sponsored by MSU’s School of Architecture, School of Human Sciences, Fashion Board and the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS).
On Instagram, follow NOMAS @msunomas and Fashion Board @msufashionboard. When posting or searching photos from the show, use #msutrashion2k15.