CAAD holds Academic Insight event

February 25th, 2013 Comments Off on CAAD holds Academic Insight event

On Saturday, Feb. 23, the College of Architecture, Art and Design held Academic Insight, an event for admitted MSU students and their guests.

The event was meant to help students get a better understanding of the programs within the college and was a chance for students to meet other incoming students, current students and professors.

After a department fair, students and their guests had a chance to mingle with current students and faculty over lunch before Dean Jim West presented an overview of the college.

After the presentation, the group split up into the four college units – architecture, art, interior design and building construction science – and went to those facilities for a “breakout session.”

During the sessions, parents had a chance to meet with the program directors and faculty while students worked on an activity meant to give them a glimpse into their program.

The School of Architecture split students into groups and presented them with a bag of supplies: 20 pieces of spaghetti, one yard of string, one yard of masking tape and one regular marshmallow. The groups were challenged to build the tallest tower in 18 minutes.

A few groups triumphed, while others found that their towers crumbled from the enormous weight of the marshmallow.

The winning group!

CAAD well represented at annual SEC design school meeting

January 25th, 2013 Comments Off on CAAD well represented at annual SEC design school meeting

Jim West, AIA
Dean

Six years ago, a subgroup was created out of the SEC Academic Consortium (SECAC) for deans of design colleges and their directors of development to meet to discuss how they can work together and learn from each other.

Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Design, attended this year’s meeting in Athens, Ga., with Nathan Moore, the college’s director of development.

Mississippi State hosted the gathering last year, where West kicked off the idea of design learning and how design schools can bring value to a university.

This year, the major topic was service learning. The deans from Georgia, Arkansas, Auburn, Missouri, Florida, LSU and Mississippi State discussed how they provide service learning opportunities for their students that bring the expertise from the university into communities and the state. West said some schools incorporate service into their required coursework or with freshmen initiatives, as well as with one-time electives and volunteer events.

He said the meetings usually involve a lot of case studies where the deans discuss things they have done that worked and also things that didn’t work so well.

“It’s nice to gain some added experience without having to actually experience it firsthand,” he said.

The group also discusses issues common to the colleges at each meeting, such as funding strategies.

This year, they decided to work to improve collaboration and started with online courses. West said he expects online collaboration between universities in the SEC to really start growing soon.

The group also wanted to work to broaden collaboration beyond the deans and other administration. They plan to tap into the intellectual capacity available within the SEC to improve programs and the quality of student work through having groups of faculty provide critiques of other programs.

“The main goal of the meeting, however, is always to learn from each other to help us provide a better academic experience for our students,” said West.

Fifth-year Architecture student receives AIA Scholarship

November 28th, 2012 Comments Off on Fifth-year Architecture student receives AIA Scholarship

Carolyn Lundemo, a fifth-year student in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State, has received a $2,000 scholarship from the Mobile Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in association with the AIA Component Scholarship Program.

Justin Lucas, the 2012 president of the Mobile Chapter of the AIA and a graduate from the Mississippi State School of Architecture, will present the award to Lundemo at the organization’s Christmas party.

“I am very excited for the opportunities that can potentially come from receiving this award,” Lundemo said, adding that she is especially excited to meet Lucas and the other AIA members at the party.

A graduate of Pearl River High School in New York, Lundemo has worked to support herself through school each year and said being a fifth-year student is especially challenging because she has met the cap for student loans.

“The extra funding will allow me to just concentrate on my work rather than my budget,” she said. “It’ll relieve a lot of stress.”

After graduation, Lundemo plans to continue her education through gaining experience at a firm.

“The plan is to put in as many hours as possible to enable myself to take the licensing exams furthering my goal of being a licensed architect.”

The fifth-year student also wants to use her talent to help others by volunteering for programs like Habitat for Humanity and working with less fortunate children to encourage them to express their creative ideas.

“I am ready for this next phase and cannot wait to get out and put my touch on the world through design.”

Touchstone honored as 2012 Alumni Fellow

November 13th, 2012 Comments Off on Touchstone honored as 2012 Alumni Fellow

Bradley Tochstone accepts the award for 2012 Alumni Fellow from Dean Jim West. (Photo by Russ Houston | MSU University Relations)

Bradley C. Touchstone, AIA, was recently chosen to represent the College of Architecture, Art and Design in the MSU Alumni Association’s class of 2012 Alumni Fellows.

Touchstone, a 1992 graduate from the School of Architecture, has over 15 years of bridge design experience and has operated his own firm for the past 10 years. The founder and principal of Touchstone Architecture and Consulting, P. A., he has dedicated his career to the planning, design and construction of transportation projects worldwide.

The MSU alumnus has participated in a leadership role on some of the nation’s largest transportation projects including the $4 billion Columbia River Crossing in Portland, Ore., the $5 billion Detroit River International Crossing between the U.S. and Canada and the $245 million Christopher Bond Bridge in Kansas City, Mo. He has also worked on signature international projects including the A-25 Completion Project in Montreal, Canada, and the recently completed Saadiyat Bridge in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

The 2012 Alumni Fellow has given hundreds of presentations and lectures on transportation-related subjects. He has taught at the Florida A&M School of Architecture and was a featured speaker at the International Bridge Conference.

His work has been published both nationally and internationally in publications such as Architectural Digest, Bridge Design and Engineering International, Roads and Bridges, Florida and Caribbean Architect and Engineering News Record.

Touchstone and the eight other 2012 Alumni Fellows will be honored on campus Nov. 15-17 in conjunction with the MSU vs. Arkansas football game.

Check out the story about the Alumni Fellows in Alumnus magazine on Page 42!

Architect delivers update on Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center

October 10th, 2012 Comments Off on Architect delivers update on Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center

(Article By Terri Ferguson Smith /  The Meridian Star)

MERIDIAN —  A long-awaited project to build the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center in Meridian is a step closer to becoming a reality. It still has a ways to go, but conceptual drawings of the center, to be located on property at the corner of 22nd Avenue and Front Street, were revealed Tuesday (Oct.9) to members of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation.

Bob Luke, an architect with LPK Architects in Meridian, presented an update on the project that began in 2001 when the Mississippi State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 2666, establishing the center.

Meridian was chosen for its home and in 2005 the Legislature passed a bill approving a local food and beverage tax of up to 2 percent in Meridian to help fund the project. The bill was subject to approval by Meridian voters in a referendum; however no referendum has ever been called, so the tax has not gone into effect. That particular legislation is only good for this project and cannot be used for any other project, Luke said.

In 2006, the state issued $4 million in bonds to get the project going. Last year and this year, The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center Board of Directors purchased the property and tore down the existing buildings there. The property is now project-ready, Luke said.

A professional design team is now in the process of completing the project’s design and drawings. Those are expected to be completed by the summer of 2013.

The work that has been done so far has been funded by the $4 million from the state, Luke said, but now the project is entering another phase — fundraising.

“They are interviewing private fundraisers to solicit private funds for this project,” Luke said. “There is a lot of potential money on the table that will allow us to do something good.”

Luke told EMBDC members that between $30 million to $40 million is needed to construct the center.

“They are now trying to raise construction dollars,” Luke said. “When we met with the governor a couple of weeks ago, he was very excited, very supportive. He said, ‘Alright, let’s get going. Let’s make this thing happen.’ That means we’ve got to get public money. We obviously need to start in Meridian.”

Gov. Phil Bryant asked them to add a recording studio to the center, so they have included one in the plans, Luke said.

Typically, museum projects get about half their funding from public dollars; and about half from private sources, he said.

Money will come from outside of Meridian and Lauderdale County as well.

“This is not a Meridian project. It’s located in Meridian. We’re the beneficiaries, but it’s statewide,” Luke said. “But we can’t go to Jackson and ask for state money unless we put our money where our mouth is first.”

As to the question of what the city and county will be asked to contribute, Luke said no dollar amount has been discussed.

“The city and county are both being supportive and they’re both talking about how they can participate,” Luke said. “I don’t think anybody has issued an official request, nor have they provided any in-depth support other than conceptually they support the project and are trying to work with us. The county has made it clear that they will do whatever they need to do to step up to the plate. The same with the city.”

Mayor Cheri Barry said the city is 100 percent in favor of the project, but it’s too early to name an amount the city could give to the project.

“I think that the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment (board) has ample time to look at it and determine how they are going to move forward with fundraising,” Barry said. “When the timing is right, I think you’ll see this community coming together in support of this project. We’re still in hard times and it would be premature to say what we can do at this point.”

Joe Norwood, president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, also serves on the Entertainment Center Board of Directors.

“Specifically, I can’t say what the county can do,” Norwood said. “We’ve been dealing with this for years and there is support from this Board of Supervisors to see this project through.”

Pryor & Morrow announces registration of Taylor, Daniel

September 21st, 2012 Comments Off on Pryor & Morrow announces registration of Taylor, Daniel

From The Dispatch:

Michael Taylor has been with Pryor & Morrow Architects and Engineers, P.A. since 2003 and completed his professional degree in 2009. He is originally from Central Arkansas and currently resides in Caledonia.

He joined Pryor & Morrow in 2003 while pursuing his degree. Taylor has been project manager for various projects including: The Wise Center Exterior Renovation, Necropsy Renovation and Verner G. Hurt Research and Extension Building for Mississippi State University, and The Tennessee Williams Home Renovation located in downtown Columbus for the Columbus Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

He graduated from Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture.

Stephens Daniel has been on staff at Pryor & Morrow since 2010 and completed his professional degree in June 2005.

He is originally from Petal and a current resident of Tupelo. He joined Pryor & Morrow Architects and Engineers’ in 2010 and specializes in financial, residential, educational building design, and manages projects for BancorpSouth.

Registered architects are responsible for accommodating client needs, following building and life-safety codes and administrating the construction process. Local building departments often require that buildings of a certain size or complexity be designed by a registered architect.

He graduated from Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture.

A person seeking to become a registered architect in Mississippi must obtain a professional degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, must complete the three-year Intern Development Program (IDP) and must pass all seven components of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

Massie presents second Harrison Lecture on ‘Surface’

September 18th, 2012 Comments Off on Massie presents second Harrison Lecture on ‘Surface’

William “Bill” Massie, architect in residence and head of the Department of Architecture at Cranbook Academy of Art, presented the second lecture in the Harrison Lecture Series on September 14.

Massie, who is visiting the School for the second time, discussed the idea of surface and presented a sampling of his work that focused on this idea.

The architect began his discussion of ‘surface’ by describing his ipad as a “minimalist box.”

“What’s really interesting,” he said, “is that’s it’s only a surface from an architecture standpoint. It’s all interior in a strange way, but all you can see is exterior.”

Massie then also showed a picture of the grass tennis court that is beside his house.

“I’m obsessed with the surface,” he said, going on to explain how he mows the grass every day to keep it at just over ¼-inch.

“The better the surface is,” Massie explained, “the more the surface goes away.” He later described how this idea works with reflections by showing images from one of his projects dealing with projection of light.

Massie said his first built thing was a concrete wall that was 70% stronger because he designed it with a curve.  He further demonstrated the idea to the audience by curving a sheet of paper.

Next, Massie discussed the idea of “visual rhyming.”

He explained how he tried to make a building in Montana look like the landscape but not be camouflaged – make the building “visually rhyme,” he said.

Massie went on to discuss projects where he experimented more with curvature and light.  He also described his designs that dealt with surface for a shower, kitchen, sink, and even his office in New York.

Massie finished the lecture by discussing the exhibit he created for his 2011 Arts and Letters Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Massie described the exhibit, which played with surface, projection and lighting as, “My attempt at trying to construct surface and image into a new kind of way of making space.”

Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture, presented Massie with a copy of BARNworks before everyone headed to a reception organized by Tau Sigma Delta.
The next lecture will be in collaboration with the Department of Art, Department of Communication and the Society for Photographic Education Conference.  Photographer Todd Hido will present a lecture in the McComas Theatre in McComas Hall at 4:30 p.m. on October 26.

Architecture students study materials, methods of construction

September 14th, 2012 Comments Off on Architecture students study materials, methods of construction


Architecture students recently finished up a project in second-year studio with Professors Hans Herrmann, AIA and Emily McGlohn.

The goal of of the project was to teach students how a design may evolve based on how it would be constructed.

The students worked in groups and had to use different materials, such as wood, cardboard,  clay and paper to build their designs.

School of Architecture alumna hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers

August 7th, 2012 Comments Off on School of Architecture alumna hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers hired Janet Marie Smith as Senior VP of Planning and Development.

Smith, known throughout the sports world for her work with the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, joins the Dodgers immediately.  She most recently served as the Orioles Vice President of Planning and Development.

“Dodger Stadium is one of the most iconic venues in sports and Janet Marie is one of the few people I would trust with its future,” said Dodger President Stan Kasten. “She respects baseball’s tradition and knows how to retain a ballpark’s distinctive charms while providing fans with the amenities and comfort they’ve come to expect. Any fan that has walked through the gates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the renovated Fenway Park or Atlanta’s Turner Field has been a beneficiary of her understanding of what a ballpark means to its community. Every new baseball stadium built since 1992 has been influenced by what she helped build at Camden Yards.  And we thank Orioles owner Peter Angelos for allowing Janet Marie to join us.”

In her new role with the Dodgers, Smith will oversee upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium.

“I’m looking forward to working with the new Dodgers ownership to find ways to create an even better fan experience,” said Smith. “Dodger Stadium is a treasured piece of the Los Angeles community and a special place where I watched more than a dozen games per season when I lived in L.A. during the early 1980s. It’s important to all of us that we restore and enhance the park in a way that honors its heritage and highlights its distinctive appeals, while still capturing what fans want and franchises need in a modern venue.”

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