James P. Cramer to present 24th Annual Jean Giles Memorial Lecture

April 21st, 2014 Comments Off

jcramer IMAGERecognition Day for the School of Architecture will be held on Fri., May 16 at 1 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium.

Graduating fifth-year architecture students will be honored along with students in each year level receiving scholarships and other awards.

The Annual Jean Giles Memorial Lecture will be given by James P. Cramer.

(Via DesignIntelligence) “James P. Cramer is the founding editor and publisher of DesignIntelligence as well as the founder and CEO of the Greenway Group. He researches, consults, and gives seminars for leading professional firms around the world. He is the author of several hundred articles and several books, including the critically acclaimed Design Plus Enterprise: Seeking a New Reality in Architecture. He is co-author of How Firms Succeed: A Field Guide to Management Solutions, and the editor of the Almanac of Architecture and Design. Cramer is the former chief executive of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C. (1988-94), the recipient of more than 80 awards and honors, a Richard Upjohn Fellow of the AIA, and a Fellow of the International Leadership Forum in La Jolla, Calif. He is currently the president of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Design Futures Council. An educator, futurist, and business adviser, he is often leading strategic retreats and facilitating sessions about “futures invention” and value migration changes in the design professions.”

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

Architecture student takes first in 2014 Gensler Diversity Scholarship Competition

March 26th, 2014 Comments Off

Photo by Megan Bean

Photo by Megan Bean

A fourth-year architecture major at Mississippi State working to help others by combining passions for design and architecture is seeing his efforts recognized.

Larry R. Travis Jr. of Tougaloo recently took first place in the 2014 Gensler Diversity Scholarship Competition for his design of a Washington, D.C., library.

The academic award will be used for Travis’ final year of study in the university’s five-year architecture degree program. He also is receiving a paid summer internship at a Gensler regional office, where he will be paired with a professional mentor who may serve as a resource during both the internship and his senior year at MSU.

The son of Edna and Larry Travis Sr. and a 2010 graduate of Murrah High School in Jackson, Travis said he has always had a desire to help and create things for others.

“Meditational Gardens Library,” Travis’ project for the competition, was created during the fall semester while he was participating in an MSU School of Architecture exchange program with the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria, Va.

“I have developed a philosophy that architecture is about a collection of people and that we are responsible for creating our society’s lasting artifacts,” he said.

Travis said he works to solve design problems by carefully listening to client needs and doing extensive research before starting a project. “I tried to rethink what people need in a library and create a project that adapts to our current technological needs,” he said of his competition entry.

He also focused on the experiential qualities of the building and included spaces that encourage relaxation, tranquility and community. “Architecture is not just about designing the building; it’s about designing the experience,” he observed.

His project was among those making it to the finalist portion of the competition in January. At that point, he submitted a video that showcased his overall design philosophy, as well as how he would fit into Gensler, one of the world’s largest architecture firms.

To produce the video, Travis worked with staff members at the University Television Center, especially video program manager David Garraway and student worker Emily Damm, a sophomore communication and mathematics double-major. Damm is the daughter of Robert and Laura Damm of Starkville.

Travis praised the television center–which he said had done “a great job, quickly”–and the professional guidance of veteran architecture professor Rachel McCann and school director Michael Berk, who also holds the F.L. Crane Endowed Professorship.

“Being a student in MSU’s architecture program also really prepared me for this competition and my future career by giving me the tools and critical knowledge to be able to effectively create solutions to architecture design problems,” Travis said.

He added that winning the scholarship “gives me the confidence to continue my educational dreams in hopes of being successful in the industry and making the lives of others better through inspirational design.”

Watch Travis’s video, and check out the story on MSU’s website.

Fourth-year architecture students work on capstone project in Pascagoula

February 10th, 2014 Comments Off

MSU Pascagoula Trip_Group Photo_web

submitted photo

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.


Architecture, landscape architecture students build bridges for Crosby Aboretum

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)

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

Architecture studio returns from semester-long exchange program in Virginia

January 17th, 2014 Comments Off


(photo submitted by Haley Whiteman)

Twelve students, one of three fourth-year studios from the Mississippi State School of Architecture, spent the past semester at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria, Va.

The exchange program has been in effect since 1985 and is part of a worldwide consortium of architecture programs with Virginia Tech’s Washington exchange.

“For the past 20 years, we’ve sent three to four students,” said Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture. “It’s competitive,” he said, adding that students have to apply and be accepted for the program.

The courses the students take at the program count toward their architecture degree at MSU, allowing them to stay on track with the five-year studio program.

MSU student Haley Whiteman said the studios at the WAAC were run similarly to the studios at MSU. She said they differed, however, in the fact that three different projects with a similar theme were offered for the three different studio sections available to her.  One project involved the design of a subterranean metro stop, another was an above ground metro stop, and the third was a water taxi on the Potomac River.

“What I liked most about this,” said Whiteman, “was that I could see the similarities and differences between how each student chose to solve each site’s individual problem – mediating both the water, the ground and below ground.”

“The city became a generator of design as we lived daily within the fabric of an urban setting,” said fellow MSU student John Taylor Schaffhauser. “I was able to take an Urbanism Seminar course in which our classroom was literally the city of D.C. We spent much time in the city discussing why D.C. is the way it is today and analyzing all aspects of influence throughout history.”

Students in the program are housed in an historic building in downtown Alexandria close to a train stop.

“Living in Alexandria, just a couple of Metro stops away from Washington, D.C., was one of the best highlights of being at WAAC and opened many doors,” said Whiteman, who added that she and her classmates were able to attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, visit the grave of John F. Kennedy on the anniversary of his assassination, and they even caught a glimpse of a sketchbook that belonged to Leonardo Da Vinci.

“My experiences of exploring and living in our nation’s capital will continue to impact both my studies and future,” said Schaffhauser, who added that he hopes to return one day to practice architecture.

Last semester, the MSU students were joined at the WAAC with undergraduate and graduate students from the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech, along with fourth-year students from California Polytechnic State University, Louisiana State University, the Bauhaus in Germany and the Universidad de Desarrollo in Chile.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to get to experience an urban environment with outstanding resources such as galleries, museums and great buildings,” said Berk. “And it’s a rich urban fabric where they can meet faculty and students form other schools and around the world.”

“Engaging with other architecture students and faculty from around the world,” said Schaffhauser, “along with living in an incredibly rich urban setting, has brought my understanding of architecture and culture to a level that is extremely personal and only learned through engaging experience.”

“I made friends that I hope to keep in contact with for years to come,” added Whiteman. “And I would definitely recommend everyone apply for the program at WAAC.”

Fourth-year architecture students at the WAAC, fall semester 2013:
ALABASTER, Ala. – Anna Lyle, daughter of Craig and Amy Lyle

BILOXI – Haley Whiteman, daughter of Glen and Diana Whiteman

CANTON – John Taylor Schaffhauser, son of John and Jennifer Schaffhauser

CLINTON – Landon Kennedy, son of Kevin and Melinda Kennedy

HATTIESBURG – Andrew McMahan, son of Larry and Mary McMahan

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Rachel McKinley, daughter of David and Anne McKinley

OXFORD – Jacqueline Brooke Dorman, daughter of Machelle Dorman and Gary Listug

PONTOTOC – Ethan Warren, son of Kevin and Donna Warren

ROSWELL, Ga. – Jacob Johnson, son of Michael and Emily Johnson

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Jared Barnett, son of Paul and Lori Barnett

TOUGALOO – Larry Travis, son of Larry and Edna Travis

TUPELO – William Tonos, son of Michael and Jane Tonos

See the story on MSU’s website.


Collaborative Studio ends semester with ribbon cutting ceremony

December 11th, 2013 Comments Off

web ribbon cutting 12022013_24

Philadelphia bus shelter and students with MS Band of Choctaw Indian Chief Phyliss J. Anderson. Steve Murray, planner for the MS Band of Choctaw Indians, said the design has been well-received. “It looks like it’s got elements of the Choctaw culture,” he said, adding that the design looks like a basket.

web ribbon cutting 12022013_39

Tucker bus shelter and students

Second-year building construction science and architecture students have been working together this semester in a collaborative studio with Professors Lee Carson, Alexis Gregory, Hans Herrmann, Emily McGlohn (all architecture) and Tom Leathem (building construction science).

Throughout the semester, the students researched, designed and constructed two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

On Dec. 2, students and faculty from the Collaborative Studio celebrated at the two locations at Pearl River and Tucker.

The group was joined by first-year architecture and building constructions science students and faculty; Dean Jim West; Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture; and Dr. David C. Lewis, director of the Building Construction Science Program. Also present were Steve Murray, planner with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians;  the Tribal Council and other representatives; and Chief Phyliss J. Anderson.

Anderson welcomed and briefly addressed the group before the ribbon cutting.

“It’s always a blessing to have a relationship with the institute of education,” she said, adding that the bus shelter project is something that the students should be very proud of.

The chief then presented College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West with a handmade basket.

West thanked Anderson and said the on-going partnership has been a win/win for the college, and he explained some of the other projects the college has worked on with the MS Band of Choctaw Indians.

The first project was in 2009 when the college’s Carl Small Town Center assisted the tribe in preparing a Transit Plan with funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Tribal Transit Program.  The study was used to support several projects, including the new Transit Maintenance Center, which was recently completed.

Herrmann’s class constructed the first bus stop for Bogue Chitto a few years ago, and this year, two more bus stops were designed and built by the Collaborative Studio for Pearl River and Tucker. There are plans for more bus stops to be built for the community next year.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air to have young people come in and work with us,” said Murray. “They’ve thought about ideas we hadn’t thought about.”

Watch the video from the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read more about the Collaborative Studio here.

Check out the video about the class created by MSU student Nikki Arellana for a TV Production course.

Working on the shelters:


Trashion Show work on display in Giles Hall

November 19th, 2013 Comments Off

The MSU Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) in the School of Architecture held the annual Trashion Show with MSU’s Fashion Board on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in Giles Hall.

All the work is currently on display in the Giles Gallery. Click here to watch the video.

_TMH8778_1 _TMH8769_1 _TMH8706_1 _TMH8648_1 _TMH8447_1 _TMH8440_1 _TMH8439_1

Photos by Taylor Howell | MSU Office of Public Affairs

Photos by Taylor Howell | MSU Office of Public Affairs


School of Architecture announces fall 2013 Final Review schedule

November 15th, 2013 Comments Off

(In Giles Hall – Starkville:)
First-Year Studio (Foundation Design)
Monday, Nov. 25
Noon – 6 p.m. (and probably later . . . w/ evening session)

Second-Year Studio (Tectonic Studio I)
Monday, Dec. 02
9 a.m. – noon
* A ribbon-cutting will be held at 2 p.m. for the Collaborative Studio’s bus shelter design/build installation on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal Lands. Call the main office – 662-325-2202 – for more information.

Third-Year Studio  (Urban Housing)
Tuesday,  Nov. 26
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later . . . w/ evening session)

Fourth-Year Studio (Topical Studios: Gulf Coast)
Tuesday, Dec. 03
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later . . . w/ evening session)


(Stuart C. Irby Jr. Studios, Jackson)
Fifth-Year Studio (Urban+ Conceptual Projects)
Thursday, Dec. 05
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 06
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

“The fifth-year fall studio considers some of the myriad ways in which architecture animates human experience. To this end, students are asked to focus on projects of three distinct scales – a light fixture and its relation to an interior space, a significant interior space and its relation to the building and a building and its relation to the surrounding urban fabric. It is intended that larger concerns that emerge as we make linkages between these scales will serve as beginning points for the students’ independent projects in the spring semester.” – Jassen S. Callender, fifth-year program director and studio coordinator

Please call the main office – 662-325-2202 – to confirm if you will be attending any of the reviews.

2013 NOMAS School of Architecture Trashion Show | HD Video |

November 7th, 2013 Comments Off

Direct Link to HD Version: https://vimeo.com/78867931

Design, construction collaborative studio takes shape at MSU

October 31st, 2013 Comments Off

reviews 10162013_5_web

Watch the video by Leah Barbour where students and faculty discuss the challenges and rewards of collaboration.

By Leah Barbour | MSU Office of Public Affairs

Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is offering a unique collaborative studio for architecture and building construction science majors.

“It’s the only one of its kind in the country,” said CAAD Dean Jim West. “The architecture students and the construction students are in the same studio with faculty from both groups team-teaching over two semesters.”

The university course offers a special learning opportunity, and collaboration is key to the students’ success, said Tom Leathem, BCS assistant professor.

While the nearly 50 students are working together in the classroom, they will construct two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in Neshoba County. The shelters will be delivered to Philadelphia at the semester’s end.

“The students have to work together hand-in-hand the entire time,” Leathem said. “The architecture students are being challenged with learning and executing architecture practices, and the BCS students have to be conscious of the impacts that they could make on the design when they’re trying to execute their construction portion of the project.”

Architecture assistant professor Hans Herrmann said the course offers the perfect opportunity to introduce architecture majors to fundamental building construction and design materials.

“The studio is very much focused on a non-traditional set of issues for beginning students,” Herrmann explained. “Engaging in the study and practical application of the effects of building materials and methods at this level in their education is highly unusual.”

By designing and building the bus shelters together, the students are learning how to make the compromises that will become an integral part of their professional careers, he said.

Several architecture majors said they initially thought the biggest challenge they will face will be to consider the construction aspects of their designs. Likewise, BCS majors anticipated their biggest struggle will be adherence to the design while realizing it with construction materials.

“Architecture and building construction science programs and students are just different,” said sophomore Ryan M. Fierro, an architecture major from Madison, Ala. and the son of Mario and Sheila Fierro. “I know I’m going to leave this studio still having my design sense, but I’ll understand how it will be affected and changed by the construction aspects.”

Finding pragmatic ways to realize the designs will be a challenge, but gaining real-world experience is preparing the entire group for the workforce, said junior building construction science major Brent M. Gaude’ of Natchez, the son of David and Ann Gaude’.

As the class began the project by sculpting clay models of the proposed shelters, differences between architectural and BCS mindsets were obvious, said sophomore Rashidat L. “Mo” Momoh, an architecture major and the daughter of Khadijat Momoh of Cordova, Tenn.

“After the first rounds of models were completed, you could easily tell which ones were done by architecture majors and which ones were done by building construction science majors,” Momoh said. “Even though there was a distinction between the majors, neither was right.

“The architecture majors did not consider how their models would be made out of real-world building materials, and the building construction science majors did not consider how playful and inviting a bus stop should be,” she said.

When the design phase was completed, both students and faculty members critiqued the models, and teams composed of both disciplines were asked to create new models. As the students discover how to learn from one another, they will be better prepared for the workforce, Herrmann said.

“The intent of our work this semester is to form a foundational understanding of integrated project delivery as a way of realizing buildings in the world,” he said.


You are currently browsing the Student Recognition category in the School Of Architecture News.