February 10th, 2014 Comments Off
The fourth-year School of Architecture studios have partnered with the Mississippi Maritime Museum in Pascagoula for their 2014 capstone project.
The thirty-four architecture students are working on a conceptual vision of how Lowery Island might be developed. The students’ visions include how the Mississippi Maritime Museum might become a part of Lowery Island over the long term.
The visions were shared with the museum’s Board of Directors on Feb. 1 for future consideration along with members of the city of Pascagoula’s Planning Department.
The project is a follow-up to MSU’s earlier visit in January for the suggestions of design and functional use of the Museum’s two facilities on 611 DuPont street in Pascagoula. The Maritime Museum acquired the old PHS Math & Science building and Band Hall in 2013, and plans are underway to convert these facilities into a Maritime Museum that will reflect the state of Mississippi’s 300 years of maritime history. Read more about this part of the project.
The Museum Board of Directors expressed their appreciation for the applications of ideas from MSU and welcomes their continued input for the future.
January 23rd, 2014 Comments Off
School of Architecture Assistant Professors Alexis Gregory, AIA, and Emily McGlohn, along with architecture alumnus and former Building Construction Science faculty member Chris Cosper, had a poster accepted to the 50th International Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC).
The poster is titled “Teaching Today’s Master Builder: A Collaborative Studio in Architecture and Construction Management.”
The poster explores the spring 2013 combined architecture-construction management studio at Mississippi State University. Surveys were given to both groups of students, and the results and recommendations are explored in the poster.
From the abstract’s ‘research impact:’ “Assuming the Architecture-CM studios develop as planned, the integrated studios at MSU may be of interest to other universities who have architecture and construction management programs and wish to address the critical issues surrounding fragmented design and construction practice.”
The 2014 ASC conference will be held from March 26 – 28 in Washington, D.C.
January 21st, 2014 Comments Off
MSU architecture and landscape architecture students stand on the bridges they designed and built for the Crosby Aboretum. (Photo by Pat Dracket via http://picayuneitem.com)
Hans Herrmann, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, taught two special topics classes (one in the spring of 2013 and another last fall) along with Department of Landscape Professor Bob Brzuszek.
In the spring, architecture and landscape architecture students worked on designs of bridges for the Crosby Aboretum and presented their designs to the board of the aboretum.
The fall semester class took the previous class’s designs and transformed them into constructable designs that were eventually built and installed. The group ended the semester by constructing two pedestrian bridges at the south edge of the Gum Pond at the Crosby Aboretum.
An article about the project was recently featured in the Picayune Item.
The Crosby Arboretum is a living memorial dedicated to the late L.O. Crosby Jr. Crosby was a prominent forestry figure, civic leader and philanthropist who held a deep compassion for nature. After his death, his family decided to transform the strawberry farm on Ridge Road in Picayune into an interpretive center for native plants of the Pearl River Drainage Basin. The Crosby Arboretum Foundation was established to implement this concept. A series of exhibits were designated to display plant communities typical of Southern Mississippi ecosystems. Construction began in the early 1980s, and the arboretum was dedicated to public use in 1986. In 1997, the Foundation teamed with Mississippi State University so that the Arboretum could expand their resources.
Herrmann has also been invited to help complete the final phase of the exhibit design and installation – a large bride that will form the architectural centerpiece for the exhibit. The work is ongoing and is tentatively planned to be installed in spring 2015, should funding be provided.
Click here to see the design from the spring 2013 class.
Devin Carr, second-year architecture
Michael Davis, fourth-year architecture
Kevin Flores, second-year architecture
Jerry Hill, fourth-year landscape architecture
West Pierce, second-year architecture
Nick Purvis, fourth-year architecture
Cody Smith, second-year architecture
Click here to see the design from the fall 2013 class.
Conner Ansley, second-year architecture
Byron Belle, fourth-year architecture
Devin Carr, third-year architecture
Audrey Duchemin, second-year architecture
Kevin Gehrke, fourth-year landscape architecture
Jerry Hill, fourth-year landscape architecture
Donald Lockett, undeclared major
West Pierce, third-year architecture
Nick Purvis, fifth-year architecture
January 14th, 2014 Comments Off
Jassen Callender, associate professor and director of the MSU School of Architecture Jackson Center, had an article he co-authored published in the April 2013 issue of World Health Design.
Callender wrote “From Shopping Mall to Village: Retrofitting the Built Environment for the 21st Century” with fellow Jackson State University colleagues Anthony R. Mawson, MA, DrPH, and Thomas M. Kersen, PhD.
Click here to see the full article.
According to the website, World Health Design is a subscription-based journal with an interdisciplinary readership that includes architects, designers, developers, health scientists, clinicians, health managers, psychologists, economists working within government, academia and business. World Health Design’s mission is to be the leading international authority online and in print, promoting, celebrating and disseminating new knowledge, information and excellence in the field of design and health.
January 13th, 2014 Comments Off
The architecture fellow heading the Baptist Town Project said she’s had a productive first year on the job in 2013 despite some major setbacks.
Emily Roush Elliott said she hopes to continue making tangible progress in 2014 while also broadening the scope of her work. She’ll be co-teaching a course at Mississippi State University this coming semester.
Elliott, an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, 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.
Elliott said her first year of the fellowship, awarded by Enterprise Community Partners Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit design company, focused almost exclusively on executing work in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood.
Starting this week, Elliott will be commuting to Starkville as well, where she’ll co-teach a course on community design with Leah Kemp, the assistant director of the Carl Small Town Center. Elliott said the course will focus on giving students real-world experience in using design to improve the quality of life in one Mississippi small town.
The Carl Small Town Center, which focuses on rural design and planning, is named for Fred Carl Jr., the founder and former CEO of Viking Range Corp. Carl endowed the center with a $2.5 million gift in 2003.
Elliott said the CREATE Foundation, a Tupelo-based nonprofit dedicated to regional development in Northeast Mississippi, provides a grant to the Carl Small Town Center to teach the class. This year, CREATE asked Elliott and Kemp to choose a community along the new Tanglefoot Trail, a 43-mile rails-to-trails project.
“We biked the trail, which was super fun, and ended up choosing a town called New Houlka,” Elliott said. “It’s a really small community. I don’t know much about it yet, but they’ve been really receptive to us.”
Over the course of the semester, the students in Elliott’s course will focus on getting to know the residents of New Houlka and creating designs to address their needs. Elliott said that in years past, the end result was usually a book of plans, sketches and blueprints for the town to implement on its own.
Although Elliott said compiling designs will play a role this year, she’s hoping the students get their hands dirty and actually carry out one of their recommendations.
“What we’re doing differently this year is that we’re saying, especially in these really small towns, (a book of plans) is often not enough to get people going,” Elliott said. “What we’re going to try to do is see if we can get a little energy going and hopefully give students a little more hands-on experience. As we’re getting these big ideas, we’re also getting small ideas, and we’re going to pick one and implement it.”
The project the students tackle, Elliott said, might not even fall into what most people consider architectural. It may be something as small as repainting New Houlka’s fire hydrants with a vibrant new design that brings a little life to the town.
Elliott calls that “doing something real,” a mantra she’s also brought to her work on the Baptist Town Project. Elliott said the Economic Development Foundation has had a master plan, produced by the Carl Small Town Center, on file since 2010 but hadn’t made many steps toward turning those lofty ideas into tangible results.
When she came on board at the beginning of the year, Elliott soon learned that the grant funding for the project, provided by the Foundation for the Mid-South, was set to expire in July 2013.
“I started Jan. 1 thinking I was going to do new housing, rehab housing, build a community center, parks, entryways and infrastructure over my three years,” Elliott said. “It turned out all the funding I’d gotten for that was over the first six months.”
Elliott said she realized she’d have to focus all her energies on completing one aspect of the project and quickly zeroed in on using donated Katrina cottages as affordable housing units in the historic but largely impoverished neighborhood in Greenwood.
Elliott said it was extremely difficult when a number of setbacks, including the failure of a bill in the Legislature to allow the city of Greenwood to donate the cottages, resulted in the Economic Development Foundation losing the grant and the project being delayed.
Elliott didn’t give up on the cottages project and continues to work toward getting it back on track. She said, however, the last thing she wanted to do was sit around and do nothing after that idea hit roadblocks.
So she set to work and has been busy building new sidewalks and putting up new street signs and neighborhood entrance markers in Baptist Town. Five MSU architecture students came to Greenwood in May.
Working with Brantley Snipes, a landscape architect and the executive director of Main Street Greenwood, they designed and built a small “pocket park” at the corner of McCain Street and Stevens Avenue. In October, volunteers from GE Capital built a new playground in a park on Avenue A that Elliott planned with extensive input from neighborhood children.
“We got a lot accomplished,” Elliott said. “There are some very visible signs of progress that continue to happen in Baptist Town.”
As her fellowship continues, Elliott said she hopes to effect further improvements in Baptist Town but also broaden the focus of her work. Working with the Carl Small Town Center, Elliott would like to look at projects in other areas of South Greenwood, to work with other towns in the state facing similar issues and possibly even partner with state agencies to improve the design of low-income housing developments.
“A lot of people think being a good-looking place is just about aesthetics, but, especially at a neighborhood or city scale, it’s a lot more than that,” Elliott said. “It’s about inspiring people to spend their money there, buy houses there or live there at all.”
January 9th, 2014 Comments Off
MSU architecture assistant professor Jacob Gines (left) discusses the project as David Perkes, director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, looks on. (photo from Mississippi Press website)
Watch the video on WLOX.
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – The Mississippi Maritime Museum Group is getting some help transforming the old Pascagoula High School into a naval history museum.
The old building may not look like a museum now, but that will soon change. Mississippi State University architecture professors and students have teamed up with Mississippi Maritime Museum Group to breathe new life into this place.
“We are having the beginning of a Charette from Mississippi State School of Architecture,” said Museum Vice President Jack Hoover.
“The Charette means that they are coming in here and they will study this building as far as the best usage, plans and future development.”
During the two day trip, the MSU group will meet with maritime museum and city leaders to get insight on what they want to see developed here.
“It is a combination of looking at the kind of museum and what they need and also make into a great project for students,” said David Perkes, Director of MSU’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.
Museum board member Robert Hardy also has some suggestions for the naval center.
“I think our primary focus is to build this museum as an educational tool and opportunity to gather and preserve artifacts,” said Hardy.
“We have a 300 year heritage going back to 1699 with maritime development on the Pascagoula River. Today, 85 percent of U.S. Navy warships that are active in the Navy were built here at Ingalls.”
MSU student John Taylor Schaffhauser of Canton said creating an action plan should be easy because there is potential in every room of this structure.
“It has some really good bones and when I walked in, I was immediately amazed how well lit it is. The natural light pouring in, it is feels how school should feel. The walls are thick and they’re honest. Yes, it really has some great potential,” Schaffhauser said.
Thursday afternoon, the MSU staff and students will present and discuss the details and visuals for the new Museum with city leaders and the maritime board. The meeting will be held at the Chamber of Commerce building in Pascagoula.
Read the story and see the video by the Mississippi Press.
December 10th, 2013 Comments Off
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.
December 4th, 2013 Comments Off
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%.
October 28th, 2013 Comments Off
By Leah Barbour | MSU Office of Public Affairs
The more they get together, the happier architects and their public-service clients will be, according a new report co-written by a Mississippi State University architecture professor.
David Perkes, director of MSU’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, is one of four authors who recently released “Wisdom from the Field: Public Interest Architecture in Practice: A Guide to Public Interest Practices in Architecture.” The study is a result of a $100,000 Latrobe Prize awarded to the group by the American Institute of Architects in 2011.
Based on detailed interviews with 50 organizations from Washington state to Rhode Island, Perkes’ section, “The Partners’ Perspective,” highlights ways architects can apply public interest practices to achieve the practical needs of organizations.
Though geared toward architects, interns and students, the full report also may be beneficial to community developers, municipal officers, funding entities and non-profit organizations, among others, Perkes said.
“Public interest work doesn’t happen without partners, and I chose to develop the partner section of the report because I knew that I could highlight the value of collaboration,” he said. “I have a good understanding of the importance of partners from our own work in the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, as well as work the College of Architecture, Art and Design has been doing for years in the Carl Small Town Center.”
Established in response to 2005′s massive Hurricane Katrina, MSU’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio is a professional service and outreach program of the university’s College of Architecture, Art and Design. It, like the Carl Small Town Center, provides design services, landscape and planning assistance, and educational opportunities and research to organizations and communities. For more, visit http://www.gccds.org and http://carlsmalltowncenter.org.
Perkes said his research suggests six major consistencies that foster positive working relationships between architects and public service organizations. They include practical knowledge of the partner’s work, design expertise that advances the partner’s mission, a flexible practice approach, community design skills, effective collaboration and community commitment.
“I identified some practical skills that an architect can focus on to be successful at public interest work, and I certainly learned a lot and found specific examples that I have been able to use to teach architects about how they can be more useful to partners,” he said.
In putting together so comprehensive a document, Perkes credited the expertise and hard work of his three colleagues. They include Roberta M. Feldman, University of Illinois at Chicago professor; Sergio Palleroni, senior fellow for the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University in Oregon; and Bryan Bell, executive director of the Raleigh, N.C-based Design Corps.
Perkes also expressed appreciation for support provided by the AIA, and the research team continues working together to create other publications for the national organization.
“We have hundreds of hours of interview information, of which we were only able to use a fraction in the AIA report,” Perkes said. “As a team, we see our research as the beginning of an archive of case studies of key practices that are setting the direction of public interest work.
“We expect to continue to take a role to promote and educate around this topic,” he said.
The full report is available at www.publicinterestdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Wisdom-from-the-Field.pdf.
October 15th, 2013 Comments Off
Jacob Gines shows students some of his work at the recent reception for the faculty exhibit in Giles Hall.
“Prolific Professors: MSU faculty produce projects behind the scenes, and they foster student development”
By Alie Dalee | The Reflector
One of the most understated relationships in a student’s daily life is the relation between student and professor — professors pour into students every day, positively alter their lives, feed them knowledge and shine light on their ideas. They have an unequivocal effect on students’ minds. Professors provide academic nourishment otherwise unavailable to students and color their minds with scholarship.
Professors know students’ thoughts and ideas. Professors read, edit and critique the work produced by the minds they so diligently cultivate. Yet, the work of professors is often unknown territory to students without time spent carefully combing faculty websites in search of professors’ research and accolades.
Professors continue to produce work outside of teaching to fulfill the research the university and professorship requires. However, some professors go beyond research requirements and continue to hone their craft while they teach.
Catherine Pierce, co-director of Mississippi State University’s creative writing program, is the author of two volumes of poetry and is published in a plethora of literary reviews. She said via email she finds her writing gives her a sense of camaraderie with the students she teaches.
“I hope my students find it encouraging to know that I’m doing the same sort of work I’m asking them to do and that I’m facing the same kinds of challenges daily with regard to revising and generating new ideas,” Pierce said.
Brent Funderburk is the fine arts thesis coordinator for MSU’s Department of Art. His work hangs at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Miss. He said as an artist he uses an extensive amount of his time to create, pretend and delve into ideas.
“I just wanted to run away, to be alone and make things,” he said. “It was always a spiritual experience to be alone. I deeply long for that state — to be alone, to find things.”
Funderburk finds part of his identity in his utilization of art as a creative outlet. He said there is also an equal part of him that identifies with students and yearns to help them understand the creation of art.
He explained his underlying need to teach others art, paralleled with his introspective desire to create, leads him to be an introverted-extrovert and exhibit a need to converse with people who share the same ideas about art. He said it is this part of his person that led him to teach.
“You can’t be still and quiet and working all at the same time, so I was encouraged to teach. I like to perform, so that was a stage where you can have a conversation,” Funderburk said. “The studio classroom is a place where you can jam with your students. Their ideas, your ideas — everyone can play music together and orchestrate that classroom.”
MSU’s School of Architecture makes significant strides to close the gap between professor and student this month. Tau Sigma Delta architectural honor society presents “Exposing Faculty,” a gallery exhibit specifically geared to display the sketches, sculptures, models and other works produced by School of Architecture faculty.
Housed in the peninsula of windows that make up Giles Gallery, Jacob Gines, visiting assistant professor of architecture and faculty adviser to TSD, has models and sketches in the exhibit that are some of the first to catch the eye upon entry.
His sketchbooks display structures across Spain and America with minimalistic beauty in intricately illustrated pencil with watercolor overlay. His master’s thesis, “Hip-Hop in Architecture,” is on display and includes a book ranging from historical accounts of hip-hop to architecture models scaled after the beats of a Tupac Shakur song. Gines said the catalyst for part of his thesis is the similarities he sees between hip-hop music and the design of buildings.
“I wanted to analyze them (hip-hop songs) based on the rhythms, and beats and patterns that existed. Architecture really deals with those same principles, rhythm and proportion and scale,” Gines said. “It’s very clear in hip-hop because those beats are expressed so clearly.”
Gines said the “Exposing Faculty” gallery allows the architecture faculty an opportunity to display the creative work and models they produce outside the classroom.
“At the School of Architecture, we interact with our students so directly all the time. We are constantly critiquing their work,” Gines said. “I think when the students see the work that we’re doing, they probably take us a bit more seriously.”
David Lewis, fourth year architecture major and current president of TSD, is the student curator of the “Exposing Faculty” exhibit. To create the exhibit, he received instruction from the majority of professors featured in the exhibition. He said he gains invaluable inspiration from viewing his professors’ work.
“I think it’s been really beneficial to be able to see that not only do the professors do architecture works, but they do other works. They can pursue other creative outlets,” Lewis said. “Plus it also gives us a really grounded sense. It establishes the credibility of our professors. To see these pretty incredible things that they’ve done gives us not only faith in the things that they know, but in the opportunities we have out there for us.”
The “Exposing Faculty” exhibit is currently on display in the Giles Gallery on the third floor of Giles Hall until Oct. 15.