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 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 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 David Perkes presents final fall 2015 Harrison Lecture
David Perkes, founding director for Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, presented the final Harrison Lecture for the fall on Fri., Oct. 30, in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall.
Perkes discussed the work of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and how the research center got its start.
He then used seven social-ecological principals to talk about resilience: maintain diversity/redundancy, manage connectivity, manage slow variables, complex adaptive systems, encourage learning, broaden participation, and promote polycentric governance.
“The work of our time is to figure out how to make resilient communities,” said Perkes, who challenged students to figure out what that means to them and their future work as architects.
Joining School of Architecture students, faculty, staff and friends were MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw and and Associate Vice President for Research J.A. “Drew” Hamilton Jr.
A reception was held after the lecture in the Giles Gallery, which is currently showcasing work from both of the College of Architecture, Art and Design research centers – the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and the Carl Small Town Center – as well as undergraduate research.
October 30th, 2015 Comments Off on Hamilton presents research lunch and learn
Associate Vice President for Research J.A. “Drew” Hamilton Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Research J.A. “Drew” Hamilton Jr., Ph.D., presented a lunch and learn to faculty and staff in the College of Architecture, Art and Design on Oct. 30.
Hamilton discussed research resources for faculty within the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED).
One particular resource his office provides is research publicity through Jim Laird, research editor.
Hamilton then explained the FY 2015 funding initiatives, which include faculty research support, cross-college research grants (Joint DAFVM) and undergraduate research programs.
“ORED is here to help,” said Hamilton, explaining the office’s many research support units, which include the Office of Research Compliance (which includes human-subjects research), Office of Environmental Health and Safety, Office of Lab Animal Resources, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, Office of Technology Management and the Office of Research Security.
Hamilton gave several research funding pointers.
He encouraged faculty to find opportunities early and make personal contact with program managers.
“Stay late,” he said, adding that faculty can then make those key contacts and ask questions after workshops and other events are over.
Another pointer he gave was to “face rejection and prepare for round two.”
“Rejection is part of being an academic,” said Hamilton, adding that he has only been funded on the first try a few times.
Additional pointers included getting help from experienced researchers and drafting your own budget – then having it checked and corrected by appropriate staff.
Hamilton ended the presentation with extramural funding suggestions.
He told faculty to be willing to work with others and find something interesting they can actually do.
He also stressed the importance of having senior faculty on a team to increase credibility of a proposal.
“Think outside the box,” he said. “Not everything is an exact fit for what you are looking for.”
He added, laughing, “No one fails tenure because they brought in too much extramural funding.”
October 27th, 2015 Comments Off on School of Architecture Advisory Board meets
The Advisory Board for the School of Architecture met on Mon., Oct. 26 in the Shackouls Executive Board Room in the Hunter Henry Center on campus.
Members of the board came together to discuss issues affecting the school.
The group was introduced to Associate Dean Greg G. Hall, who presented an update on the College of Architecture, Art and Design.
Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President Jerome A. “Jerry” Gilbert also presented an update on the university and entertained a question and answer session with the group.
Faculty joined the board for discussions during lunch, and fourth-year student Zach Henry presented a video showing work from the fall 2014 Collaborative Studio.
Following lunch, CAAD Director of Development P.K. Thomas discussed fundraising and gift opportunities.
When the meeting adjourned, the group was invited to visit with students in studio in Giles Hall.
October 27th, 2015 Comments Off on Design studio director to present next Harrison lecture
By Zach Plair | Mississippi State University
David Perkes is looking beyond rebuilding and focusing more on resilience.
As founding director for Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, he plans to promote the studio’s forward-thinking design philosophy when he visits the Starkville campus Friday [Oct. 30] as part of the MSU School of Architecture’s Robert and Freda Harrison Endowed Visiting Lecture Series. He will speak at 4 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium at Giles Hall.
MSU established the design studio in Biloxi as an outreach program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Its staff of professional designers has worked with communities, non-profit organizations and residents to rebuild or repair hundreds of homes, as well as reclaim landscape along the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast. Through a thoughtful, design initiative that closely involves stakeholders, Perkes said, the center aims to promote community sustainability.
The studio has earned numerous regional and national awards, and has been named a National Resilience Design Studio by the American Institute of Architects and Rockefeller foundations.
“The focus isn’t just on rebuilding after Katrina,” Perkes said. “It’s about making strong, resilient coastal communities.”
Started in 2009 with a gift from the Harrisons, the visiting lecture series invites architects, academics, artists, makers and theoreticians from the U.S. and around the world to the MSU campus to present their work and interact with students, said Michael Berk, School of Architecture director and F.L. Crane Professor. The series typically hosts about 10 lecturers annually, he added.
“The intention of the visiting series is to bring cutting-edge ideas from around the world and the academy to our students and faculty in Starkville,” Berk said. “These inspiring presentations have an amazing impact on our students — it opens their eyes to the possibilities beyond the horizon. These visitors also get a glimpse of the amazing work our students and faculty are doing, helping to enhance our external reputations.”
A former director for the Jackson Community Design Center, where he taught fifth-year architecture students, Perkes won the Latrobe Prize in 2011 and served as Loeb Fellow in 2003-04.
Perkes said he hopes his lecture gives students at MSU’s Starkville campus a better understanding of the design studio’s work and inspires them to become involved.
Check out the recent video featuring Perkes and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.
October 27th, 2015 Comments Off on Fourth-year architecture studio holds review
(Via Jake Gines)
Assistant Professor Jacob Gines’ fourth-year studio recently held a review this coming in the Giles Hall Gallery.
This semester, the studio is examining the role of heavy timber tectonics in contemporary architecture – primarily focusing on structure as scaffolding and façade as skin.
Students are engaging this topic from a historic perspective and researching the significance and varied application of these tectonic manifestations through an introduction to some tectonic theory and precedent.
The scholarly study of the tekton (carpenter or builder) and the discourse surrounding the notion of tectonics received much attention throughout the late 1800’s and continues to exist as a critical endeavor today. It can be argued that at the heart of tectonic inquiry is the idea and application of poesis, ‘to make’. This constructed attitude will motivate the students to express their research and design attitude through a series of iterative exercises, which will be visualized using palimpsestic drawing and additive modeling.
Proposals are for a speculative building sited in Manhattan, NY at 104 West 57th Street.
Topics addressed in this review include:
- Tectonics: Mass. Plane, Frame
- Frampton: Studies in Tectonic Culture
The final review for this studio will be held on Tues., Dec. 1 from 9-6 p.m. Please call the school at 662-325-2202 if you plan to attend and to confirm times.
October 27th, 2015 Comments Off on School of Architecture announces fall 2015 jury schedule
All are invited to the School of Architecture’s fall 2015 Jury Reviews.
NOTE: All times are subject to a bit of change (due to the nature of the review process) along with breaks for lunch. Please call to confirm and let us know you are coming. Giles: 662-325-2202; Jackson Center: 601-354-6480
Fifth-Year Final Jury Schedule (Jackson)
NOTE: Jury to be in the 5th-Year Jackson Center, 509 Capitol Street. Please call first to confirm times. 601-354-6480
- Thurs., Nov. 19 9-6 p.m. (w/ possible evening session)
“Stitching the Urban Fabric” | Jackson Center Director: Jassen Callender
Project #1: Constructing a Civic Artifact. (Teams of two) Students designed and construct full-scale sheet metal doors for an unprogrammed but significant civic building. Through this work, students were expected to formulate a response to the question, “how do individual things join into a larger, more meaningful, whole.”
Project #2: Conceiving a Patch. (Teams of four to five) Students conducted site analyses, documented the figure-ground relationships, and constructed a digital site model that accurately represents the area bounded by Amite Street (north), Adams Street (west), Pearl Street (south), and Roach Street (east). At the conclusion of the Theory of Urban Design intensive course, students worked to develop master plan proposals for this rail viaduct district. These proposals should address issues of program, form, and social justice.
Project #3: Stitching. (Individual) Each student will select a site within his or her team’s master plan for the design of an Archive for the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This is not a destination for tourists. The facility is intended to serve local, national, and international scholars, provide community meeting spaces, and, of course, house the state’s most significant Civil Rights artifacts. The latter function as well as the building’s symbolic importance demands a robust response, both structurally and perceptually. These designs must incorporate the student’s sheet metal door, without modification, and serve as a test of his or her thesis statement on the role of architecture in the making of a city.
- Fri., Nov. 20 9-6 p.m. (w/ possible evening session)
“Stitching the Urban Fabric” (continued)
First through Fourth-Year Final Jury Schedule (Starkville)
NOTE: Jury to be in Giles Hall, Starkville (Giles Gallery and/or Fazio Jury Room) Please call first to confirm times. 662-325-2202
- Mon., Nov. 23, 9-6 p.m. (w/ possible evening session)
- Tues., Nov. 24, 9-6 p.m. (w/ possible evening session)
Third-Year Studio | Coordinator: Justin Taylor
Urban Chicago Medium Density Housing
The third-year studio’s final project is the design of a mixed-use, multi-family housing project on a site in Chicago, Ill. The project teaches students what’s involved in building housing in a metropolitan city.
- Mon., Nov. 30, 8-6 p.m. (w/ possible evening session)
Second-Year Studio | Coordinator: Hans Herrmann
Collaborative Studio ‘Build/Design’
The second-year Collaborative Tectonics Studio presents BUILD/DESIGN a full-scale study of wood frame materials and methods in service of heightened design education. This fall, 62 architecture and building construction science students participated in a detailed project planning, cost estimating, scheduling and construction exercise. The 11-week effort resulted in the construction of two unique structures on the MSU campus. The structures form part of a home garden demonstration site located adjacent to the Landscape Architecture buildings just off Bully Blvd. on the MSU main campus. Realized by students as a kit-of-parts which feature hand built Shou Sugi Ban cypress partitions and a gull wing kinetic folding wall system the project focused students foundational materials and methods issues.
The detailing and assembly logic learned in the BUILD portion of the semester will be presented by students in their DESIGN term-project, a Tea House. Students will present original Tea House designs based upon the recast kit of parts they previously deployed for the MSU Landscape Architecture BUILD project. Detailed assembly diagrams, materials estimates, and design models/renderings will be presented as evidence of the students newly forged knowledge of architectural tectonics.
- Tues., Dec. 1, 9-6 p.m. (w/ possible evening session)
Fourth-Studio (two studios)
Studio One: Timber Hi-Rise in NYC | Coordinator: Jacob Gines
“Scaffolding + Skin”
BACKGROUND – This studio will examine the role of heavy timber tectonics in contemporary architecture – primarily focusing on structure as scaffolding and façade as skin. Students will engage this topic from a historic perspective and research the significance and varied application of these tectonic manifestations through an introduction to some tectonic theory and precedent. The scholarly study of the tekton (carpenter or builder) and the discourse surrounding the notion of tectonics received much attention throughout the late 1800’s and continues to exist as a critical endeavor today. It can be argued that at the heart of tectonic inquiry is the idea and application of poesis, ‘to make’. This constructed attitude will motivate the students to express their research and design attitude through a series of iterative exercises which will be visualized using palimpsestic drawing and additive modeling.
Final proposals will be of a speculative building sited in Manhattan, NY at 104 West 57th Street.
SUSTAINABLE STRATEGY – Utilize heavy timber and/or engineered wood construction in innovative and experimental ways to develop a proposal for a tall wood building (15-20 stories) in Midtown Manhattan.
Benefits of using wood in tall wood buildings include…
• Renewable natural resource
• Reduction of carbon emissions
• Carbon sequestering / carbon sink
• Expedited erection schedules – 20%±
• Reduction of overall project costs – 4%±
• Innovative applications
Studio Two: Boys & Girls Club Educational Garden | Coordinator: Alexis Gregory
The School of Architecture, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, Horticulture Club, and Graphic Design have joined together with the Boys and Girls Club of Starkville to design and construct an Educational Garden. The hope in constructing the garden is to get the kids at the Boys and Girls Club excited about growing and cooking with homegrown foods. This project intends to educate children on how to grow multiple different foods appropriate for the Starkville climate. The phases in the project intend to lay out a full plan for the construction of the gardens as well as intentions for future building changes. The building changes set up an educational kitchen to teach the kids how to prepare the food they grow. This educational garden will be an example of a community garden that will hopefully grow through the city of Starkville.
October 19th, 2015 Comments Off on School of Architecture professor works with Auburn’s Rural Studio
MSU School of Architecture Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn recently developed and hosted a workshop at Auburn University’s Rural Studio.
The design/build outreach program in West Alabama has developed inexpensive housing that can be designed and built for $20,000. In the last 10 years, the program has built 17 “20K” houses.
The Rural Studio group has committed to design and build three additional houses this year, and they want their design decisions to be evidence-based.
So, they called in McGlohn and two other experts – one from environmental consulting firm Atelier Ten and also a Ph.D. candidate from Yale University – to conduct a workshop to get students to think about what a new Ecological 20K house should look like.
Students were encouraged to focus on the environment, think about overall energy efficiency, good building enclosures, and a strategy for a house that is sensitive to material use and energy consumption.
McGlohn then helped the students develop tests to perform on the existing 17 houses to verify some of their assumptions and enable them to make evidence-based decisions for the new designs.
She also made recommendations on the building diagnostic tools the students would need to carry out the tests such as a blower door tester; infrared camera; and data loggers that measure light, humidity and temperature.
“It’s great for two SEC universities with architecture programs that have really close campuses to be able to collaborate on this project,” said McGlohn, who has been invited back to the Rural Studio throughout the semester to follow-up on the progress.