MSU research center fellow selected for prestigious Japanese program

October 1st, 2015 Comments Off on MSU research center fellow selected for prestigious Japanese program

An architect with Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design recently returned from a week-long collaborative learning experience in Japan as part of an international group of young professionals.

Emily Roush-Elliott was selected for The Outstanding Young Persons Program of Osaka’s Junior Chamber International organization. She is the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow at the Fred Carl Small Town Center, the research arm of MSU’s School of Architecture.

Since 1981, the Japanese organization has worked “to encourage mutual understanding and communications beyond national frameworks.” Annually, it invites less than a dozen individuals representing a variety of career fields throughout the world to gather, discuss, learn from and encourage each other.

This year’s TOYP program covered a range of critical issues and was designed to expand the participants’ knowledge of and appreciation for the Pacific island nation’s highly evolved culture.

Roush-Elliot expressed appreciation for being selected, adding that she was “particularly excited” about this year’s program theme, “Designing Society for Equity.”

“Utilizing design thinking to respond to the globe’s most complex social equity challenges is at the core of my work and the work of the organizations of which I am a part,” she said.

“It was a great honor to be chosen as a participant. The JCI Osaka members were gracious and attentive hosts who introduced us to Japanese culture while also engaging us around issues of national importance, such as gender inequity and a parallel decline in population and economic growth,” she added.

In 2012, the Carl Center became one of only four national organizations designated to receive an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow.

Roush-Elliot arrived at MSU early the following year and since has lead the Baptist Town Neighborhood Reinvestment project in Greenwood. She holds degrees in design from Arizona State University and architecture from the University of Cincinnati.

During her time in the Leflore County seat, Roush-Elliot has focused on planning and constructing a park, playground, streetscapes and signage. She also has opened a community center and organized participatory activities in the Central Delta community.

Additionally, her multi-disciplinary MSU team had completed an 11-unit modular housing project in which low-income families were able to purchase new homes from the Greenwood-Leflore Fuller Center for Housing.

Roush-Elliot joins nearly 200 that have been selected for the prestigious Japanese program since it was established more than three decades ago. Among others are Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc.; former presidential aide Roger B. Porter; and Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity.

Greg G. Hall, associate dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, was a 1994 selection. He described the program as a valuable opportunity to discuss critical issues with colleagues from around the world, as well as Japanese business leaders.

“We’re excited that Emily was invited to participate,” he added. “Her experience as an architect and her work with the Carl Small Town Center in the Mississippi Delta provide an especially important viewpoint.”

The national Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship was created to provide a select group of the nation’s most outstanding early-career architects with opportunities for first-hand training and experience in sustainable community design work. For more, visit The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship.

See the article of MSU’s website.

 

Hearin grant to pair MSU, Delta State

August 11th, 2015 Comments Off on Hearin grant to pair MSU, Delta State

Via msstate.edu

A grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation will allow two state universities to collaboratively research business opportunities in the Mississippi Delta.

With the $73,395 award, Mississippi State University’s Carl Small Town Center and the College of Business will partner with Delta State University’s Master of Business Administration program to determine if a “symbiotic district” is a feasible means for economic development in the Delta.

A symbiotic district involves a single site where businesses, community members and the building itself exchange products — such as garden vegetables, social services or cultural enrichment — and reuse their waste byproducts. The aim of this recycle-reuse collaborative is to create sustainable businesses and neighborhoods while helping the environment.

“Creating a symbiotic district in the Delta, where businesses will not only profit from their close economic relationship but also an ecological one, will provide a model for sustainable economic development throughout the state,” said John Poros, director of the Carl Small Town Center.

The grant also will fund a feasibility study in which MSU and Delta State MBA students, under the supervision of faculty outreach directors, will research possible business relationships in Delta communities for the project. Using those findings, the Carl Small Town Center’s national Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, Emily Roush Elliott, will then work with students from MSU’s School of Architecture to recruit potential business partners and secure buildings and site locations.

“We are pleased to be a part of this project that could provide a model for economic development not only in the Delta region, but throughout the state,” said Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business. “This is a great collaboration with not only the College of Architecture, Art and Design, but also our colleagues at Delta State.”

Robert Hearin Sr., the Mississippi Valley Gas Co. chairman and chief executive officer who died in 1992, established the Hearin Foundation in his will. It primarily supports the state’s higher education institutions and economic development.

The Carl Small Town Center, a research center within MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, is named for Fred E. Carl Jr., a major university benefactor who founded Viking Range Corp. For more information on the center, visit http://carlsmalltowncenter.org/.

Carl Small Town Center receives arts grant for Marks project

July 16th, 2015 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center receives arts grant for Marks project

By Zach Plair | Mississippi State University

The Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State is receiving a $25,000 National Endowment of the Arts grant to develop a cultural master plan for a North Delta community.

To feature an interpretive trail and center for the city of Marks, the university-developed plan will highlight and explain civil-rights related sites in the Quitman County seat and beginning point of the historic 1968 Poor People’s Campaign “Mule Train.”

Organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference–whose first president was Martin Luther King Jr.–the campaign featured a mule-pulled wagon train that began in Marks and ended in Washington, D.C. In the nation’s capital, the slow-moving travelers eventually joined 3,000 others from throughout the nation assembled at “Resurrection City,” a massive tent camp set up on the Washington Mall.

The D.C. event was a protest against living conditions faced by poor in the U.S. King twice had visited Marks and held it up as a symbol of America’s downtrodden.

“The Mule Train was really the start of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968,” said associate professor John Poros, the MSU center’s director. “We are honored to be able to help the people of Marks make this piece of their history visible and present to visitors and community members through the NEA Our Town award.”

Now in its fifth year of funding Our Town projects, the independent federal agency this year is awarding 69 grants that total almost $5 million. The individual awards range from $25,000 to $200,000.

The grant program supports creative place-making projects designed to promote local community art and creativity. Since the program’s inception in 2011, NEA has awarded 325 Our Town grants totaling nearly $26 million.

“The Carl Small Town Center demonstrates the best in creative community development. This work will have a valuable impact on its community,” Jane Chu, NEA chairman, said.

“Through Our Town funding, arts organizations continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike,” she added.

A research and service arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture, the Carl Small Town Center works to help improve the quality of life and create economic opportunity in small towns by improving their physical environments.

Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the center’s namesake, is a Greenwood resident who founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at the university, he endowed a statewide community design outreach program in 1979 that was renamed in his honor.

See the story on WTVA.com.

CAAD research center director has book chapter republished

April 13th, 2015 Comments Off on CAAD research center director has book chapter republished

Associate Professor John Poros, director of the Carl Small Town Center (CSTC), recently had a chapter re-published in the two-volume book, Architecture and Mathematics from Antiquity to the Future.

Vol. 1: Antiquity to the 1500s

Vol. 2: The 1950s and the Future

Poros’ chapter, “The Ruled Geometries of Marcel Breuer,”provides an important contribution to this research archive that highlights the diverse relationships between the disciplines of mathematics and architecture through the century.

WCBI features Carl Small Town Center workshop

February 24th, 2015 Comments Off on WCBI features Carl Small Town Center workshop


The Carl Small Town Center, one of two research centers housed in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, hosted the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design workshop in Houston, Miss., from February 22-24.

The main goal of the workshop was to create plans to lead visitors from the Tanglefoot Trail to Houston’s downtown area and to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.

Carl Small Town Center featured in Tupelo’s Daily Journal

January 30th, 2015 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center featured in Tupelo’s Daily Journal

Corinth tourism wants downtown boutique hotel

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Corinth tourism officials want to spark interest in building a boutique hotel downtown, and the Mississippi State University Carl Small Town Center is doing the groundwork.

Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Christy Burns and tourism council president Russell Smith met this week with MSU School of Architecture student Hannah Waycaster and Carl Small Town Center Director John Poros to review the feasibility study for the project.

“It’s been a problem for us for a long time that Corinth doesn’t have enough hotel rooms,” Smith said.

At times like the mid-March weekend when Corinth hosts a popular Bible conference at a local church and a state gymnastics meet at the Crossroads Arena, Corinth hotels are fully booked and some people who plan to attend must stay in hotels in nearby cities, he said.

The proposal Waycaster and Poros presented was developed with the help of a professor in the university’s real estate department.

It outlines a 49-room hotel to be built on one of several available properties in downtown Corinth that the team scouted. Those properties range in size from a few thousand square feet, requiring the hotel to be built vertically with several stories, to as large as more than 35,000 square feet.

“I stayed at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood for the Mississippi-Alabama Rural Tourism Conference, and I think something like that could work in Corinth,” Burns said.

The Alluvian is described as “a cosmopolitan boutique hotel in the heart of the Mississippi Delta,” and is situated across the street from the Viking Cooking School, which attracts visitors worldwide.

“Our hotels seem to be booked Mondays through Wednesdays,” Burns said, “but we’re trying to help sell weekends. For group tours a boutique hotel might be a target for that, or something like a girls’ weekend.”

Waycaster, under Poros’ direction, has developed several community improvement projects in Corinth, including a recently completed pocket park at the corner of Wick and Franklin streets, and a proposal for renovations at Crossroads Regional Park. A $40,000 grant from the Pierce Foundation – $10,000 a year for four years – is being used to support these projects.

Waycaster’s next step is to create a schematic design for the hotel, using a 20,000-square-foot lot to create the footprint for the design. She expects to have a design to present by early summer.

“This work will show prospective builders the feasibility of the project, but they would need to use their own people to decide on going forward with it,” Poros said.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com

Panelists named for upcoming Houston rural design workshop

January 13th, 2015 Comments Off on Panelists named for upcoming Houston rural design workshop

panelists

Four panelists have been selected from across the country to serve as resource team experts for the upcoming Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design workshop in Houston, Miss., from February 22-24.

  • Andrew Barresi of Massachusetts, principal at Roll Baressi & Associates, will serve as graphic designer for wayfinding and signage around the community.
  • Heather Deutsch of Washington, D.C., sustainable transportation planner at Toole Design Group, will serve as cycling advocate and Rails-to_Trails expert.
  • Keith Holt of Wisconsin, southeast region director at Wisconsin Bicycle Federation, will serve as the project’s community engagement specialist and bicycle advocate.
  • Brice Maryman, ASLA, PLA, CPSI, LEED AP, of Washington, landscape architect and lecturer at the University of Washington, will serve as the landscape architect for the project.

Houston was one of just four communities nationwide to receive a 2014 CIRD Award funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award will fund the upcoming workshop, which will serve to gather ideas from the Houston community and its leaders about the Tanglefoot Trailhead in Houston. Houston is the southernmost community along the Tanglefoot Trail, a cycling/pedestrian pathway that runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc and Chickasaw County.

The Carl Small Town Center, one of two research centers housed in Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design, will host the workshop, which has the main goal of creating plans to lead visitors from the Tanglefoot Trail to Houston’s downtown area and to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.

“We are excited to have this esteemed group of experts to help Houston realize its potential at the trailhead of the Tanglefoot Trail,” said Leah Kemp, assistant director of the CSTC. “Each of these resource team members will provide a skill-set that will be beneficial to help envision and design a great place for Houston.”

The free workshop, open to the Houston community, will kick off with an event in the afternoon on Sun., Feb. 22, at the Houston Trailhead. The remainder of the workshop will take place at the Houston Civic Center.

Expert Biographies:

  • Andrew Barresi is in charge of the overall management of Roll Barresi & Associates and directs the firm’s design efforts. He has served as project manager for sign and wayfinding programs for Johns Hopkins University, the City of Newport, Duke University, Peabody Essex Museum, The Arnold Arboretum and Harvard Business School. He is an honors graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology (civil engineering, 1987) and Massachusetts College of Art (graphic design, 1997). He previously served as graphics coordinator for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, responsible for the design of graphic systems for the Authority in metropolitan Boston and surrounding cities and towns. He also managed the MBTA’s public arts program, “Arts on the Line” and ADA accessibility standards. Barresi’s work on the city of Newport sign program has received an Annual Design Award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Designers. His work has been published in SEGD Design and Architectural Record.
  • Heather Deutsch has worked on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects for the past ten years for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, D.C.’s Department of Transportation and most recently Toole Design Group.  In addition to providing design assistance on hundreds of private and public transportation and public space plans, she has managed trail projects from land acquisition to design and on to construction.  At the Rails-to-Trails Conversancy, Deutsch led a team that provided legal, acquisition, economic and design assistance to municipalities throughout the U.S.  Previous urban planning work focused on under-served communities in redeveloping historic neighborhoods. Deutsch holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Math, Science and Philosophy.  She has traveled to 35 countries and bicycled across the country at the age of 13.
  • Keith Holt has worked for more than five years for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (now Active Transportation Alliance). In that role, he served in a community liaison capacity, developing and maintaining relationships with the African-American communities throughout Chicago and working to gain support for the organizations’ programs in those areas. Since moving to Milwaukee in 2007, he has brought his personal mission to the neighborhood where he lives and continues with the formation of Milwaukee Bicycle Works. He also serves on several board and committees. He is chairman of Milwaukee Bike Ped Task Force, serves on the Washington Park Partners Steering Committee and is a board member for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. His specialties include urban trails and greenways, livable communities, cycling advocacy, event coordination/facilitation, youth development, bicycling in communities of color and urban built environment.
  • Brice Maryman is an award-winning landscape architect at SvR Design Company in Seattle. Whether working on children’s playgrounds or public streetscapes, he is passionately concerned with the vitality and health of natural and cultural ecosystems. In addition to his work at SvR, he currently serves in a leadership role on the board of Seattle Parks Commissioners. He co-founded the University of Washington’s Urban Green Infrastructure Certificate Program and co-directed the ASLA award-winning Open Space Seattle 2100 project with Nancy Rottle.  Maryman has been involved with several local organizations including the Great City, the Arboretum Foundation and the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks. This involvement continues his deep commitment to balancing environmental and cultural values within the urban environment. He recently served as chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for Planning and Design for the STAR Community Index.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces Inc. along with the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters® Partnership. Established in 1991, CIRD has convened more than 60 rural design workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets in order to build better places to live, work, and play. For more information visit www.rural-design.org.

Watch the video on WCBI

Read more about the Houston’s Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design Award on Mississippi State University’s Website.

2014 Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design Award recipients

For more about the Carl Small Town Center, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.

The MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design is online at caad.msstate.edu.

Read the story on MSU’s website and at WCBI.com.

Housing revitalization project celebrated by MSU, community leaders

January 5th, 2015 Comments Off on Housing revitalization project celebrated by MSU, community leaders

 

New homeowners in Baptist Town celebrated the opening of their new residencies at a Friday [Dec. 19] ceremony in Greenwood, while community leaders congratulated them.

New homeowners in Baptist Town celebrated the opening of their new residencies at a Friday [Dec. 19] ceremony in Greenwood, while community leaders congratulated them.

By Leah Barbour | MSU

After 13 years of continuing collaborative efforts, led by Mississippi State University’s Carl Small Town Center, 10 families in a historically African-American neighborhood in the Mississippi Delta are realizing the dream of homeownership.

Baptist Town, famous for being a residence of blues legend Robert Johnson and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, is a culturally rich community in east Greenwood. However, because of challenges related to high unemployment and rising crime rates, similar to many Delta neighborhoods, quality of life in Baptist Town declined as the economy weakened.

Greenwood native Fred E. Carl Jr., a former MSU architecture major and major university benefactor who founded Viking Range Corp., funded a grant in 2001 for MSU Small Town Center leaders to develop a master plan for Baptist Town revitalization. The plan, completed in 2003 when Carl endowed the center as the Carl Small Town Center, identified the community’s key needs as affordable and functional housing, safer public spaces and improved infrastructure.

Following the formation of a new coalition among the center, Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation, the Foundation for the Midsouth and other community organizations in 2009, an updated master plan was released in 2010.

This plan won the 2011 Outstanding Student Project award of the American Planning Association. In 2012, the center was selected as one of only four organizations in the country to host a national Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, Emily Roush Elliott. She, as an employee of MSU’s center and the local development foundation, was tasked with implementing the major components of the award-winning Baptist Town master plan.

On Friday [Dec. 19], one of her major responsibilities–bringing affordable housing to Baptist Town–was realized. Ten families have begun moving into brand new homes, and they are excited about their new roles as homebuyers, Elliott said. The community celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The neighborhood here has been a strong partner as we’ve provided education for these new homeowners,” she said. “None of these new homes are for rent or for lease; we just divide out what we invest in the project, and we sell it for that much.”

New homeowners in Baptist Town include Dorothy Russell, James Melvin Williams, Brenda Gray, David Lee Thomas, Mable Miller, Lora and Michael Gallion, Shakera Harris, Earlene Smith, Mattie Brown and Betty Montgomery.

The new homes come on the heels of some of Elliott’s other major accomplishments in Baptist Town. A children’s play park was renovated, and a pocket park with seating and lighting was created for local residents. Also, sidewalks, streetlights, signage and landscaping have improved the community’s appearance.

Elliott’s next major goal is the development of a community center. The space will become a place to foster youth education and community activities, she said.

“I feel like this is a project that just keeps giving,” she said. “The greatest moment hasn’t probably even happened yet. But installing these houses and watching people move in–it’s the biggest moment so far.”

More information about the Carl Small Town Center, the service arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, is available at http://carlsmalltowncenter.org/

Watch the video.

Carl Small Town Center’s Tanglefoot Trail® project featured on WCBI

November 20th, 2014 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center’s Tanglefoot Trail® project featured on WCBI

http://caad.msstate.edu/wpmu/sarcnews/cstc-tanglefoot-wcbi/

Via WCBI

They gathered at the Tanglefoot Trailhead® in Houston, near what is left of the old depot. A mix of community leaders, economic development officials and specialists in rural design, to talk about how the trail can serve the community.

“The hard work is done, the trail is here, it’s great, people are using it, but now we kind of look at, ok, how do we make this even better?” said Cynthia Nikitin, who is with the Citizens Institute on Rural Design, which picked Houston as one of four towns nationwide to help develop a plan to maximize public spaces.

There are many possibilities for development along Houston’s portion of the 44-mile-long Tanglefoot Trail®, which runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc into Chickasaw County. Options including recreation facilities, public spaces or other community amenities.

One of the main goals is to get visitors from the trailhead to the downtown area. A workshop set for early next year will look at ways to do just that.

MSU students from the Carl Small Town Center will help organize the workshop and will help implement ideas.

“It’s a really wonderful opportunity for them, it’s a real world project that they get to be involved in, they get to see first hand how to interact with community members and produce great results,” said Leah Kemp from the Carl Small Town Center.

Economic development officials say having a plan to draw more people to the trail and the community will benefit everyone.

“We want to develop further businesses, we want to develop the landscapes, so people are attracted into this community, it has much much potential,” said John Walden, chairman of the Chickasaw Development Foundation.

Once plans are finalized, experts will look at options to pay for the projects.

The workshop to gather ideas for development along the Tanglefoot Trail® in Houston is set for mid February.

MSU’s Carl Small Town Center to receive CIRD workshop funding

October 24th, 2014 Comments Off on MSU’s Carl Small Town Center to receive CIRD workshop funding

Via Leah Barbour | MSU Public Affairs

When Chickasaw County community leaders contacted Mississippi State University’s Carl Small Town Center, they wanted to discuss ways to connect the Tanglefoot Trail® to downtown Houston and the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The CSTC is the service and research arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, and the center works with officials, citizens and organizations to improve quality of life in towns throughout the Magnolia State, said Leah Kemp, CSTC assistant director.

Houston is the southernmost community along the Tanglefoot Trail, she explained. At present, the end of the 44-mile, rails-to-trails cycling/pedestrian pathway is a vacant lot, but Houston leaders want to change that.

“There is currently no way for cyclists to get from the trail to the nearby downtown or the Trace,” Kemp said.

CSTC leaders chose to apply for a competitive Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design workshop funding, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, because connecting Houston’s tourist attractions should boost tourism and benefit neighborhoods, Kemp said. In late July, the CSTC learned Houston was one of only four communities in the nation to receive the award, which will enable CSTC to host a rural design technical workshop this fall for the town.

“We and our partners in Houston recognize that this area has wonderful potential; we also recognize that this CIRD program will provide the necessary expertise that Houston needs,” she said.

The CIRD funding will fund a two-and-a-half day workshop in Houston, with CIRD providing design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000, according to CIRD officials. The CSTC-Houston team will receive additional training, both before and after the workshop, through conference calls, webinars and other web-based resources. Topics include community engagement, rural design, partnership development and workshop planning.

CIRD is a National Endowment for the Arts initiative that collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Project for Public Spaces, Inc.; the Orton Family Foundation; and the CommunityMatters Partnership to sponsor design experts’ work in rural communities.

To qualify for the CIRD funding, towns must have populations fewer than 50,000; only two towns and two counties were selected. The Mississippi community is the only one in the Southeast, and it’s the smallest–only 3,562 residents. Other funding recipients are located in Franklin, New Hampshire; Oregon County, Missouri; and Lancaster County, Nebraska.

“The selected communities demonstrate rich potential for leveraging partnerships to take action on a wide range of rural design issues,” said Cynthia Nikitin, CIRD program director and senior vice president of project for Public Spaces, Inc. “Rural design is a valuable tool for citizens to use to build on existing assets and improve their community’s quality of life and long-term viability.

“The workshop will provide national experts in design-related fields that can help develop a tangible vision for how to connect the trail to the downtown, as well as provide a way that Houston can bring economic development to its town by capitalizing on the trail.”

For more information about the CSTC, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.

Learn more about CIRD at www.rural-design.org.

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