CAAD director of development named 2014 MBJ ‘Top 40’

April 16th, 2014 Comments Off on CAAD director of development named 2014 MBJ ‘Top 40’

Nathan_MooreBy Sasha Steinberg | MSU Public Affairs

STARKVILLE – The director of development for Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is among the Mississippi Business Journal’s 2014 “Top 40 Under 40.”

Since July 2008, Nathan A. Moore has overseen all major-gift fundraising for the state’s only college of architecture and design. A Starkville native and Starkville High School graduate, he holds both a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s in public policy and administration from the land-grant university.

Moore and the other selections recently were recognized formally by the Jackson-based weekly newspaper whose annual program spotlights Mississippians that have established themselves as business and community leaders before the age of 40.

Before assuming his current position, Moore directed orientation and on-campus events for the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships. Prior to that, he was an admissions counselor in the office.

In addition to campus duties, Moore serves on the Starkville Rotary Club’s board of directors and as a member of Starkville Young Professionals. Additionally, he is a reading volunteer at the local Boys & Girls Club, a weekly reader at Brickfire Project #1 Preschool, a War Dawgs Male Mentor at Sudduth Elementary School, and a deacon at the city’s Grace Presbyterian Church.

Jack McCarty praised Moore for being named to this “highly selective group of Mississippi young professionals.”

“Nathan is a leader not only in our office but in the community as well. We are so proud of him and congratulate him on such an honorable achievement,” said the MSU Foundation’s executive director of development who was a “Top 40 Under 40” selection in 2009.

Moore said he feels “both excited and humbled to be included in such a prominent group of young business leaders around the state.

“Being selected for this honor reinforced to me the importance and impact of this university on the state of Mississippi,” he added. “To meet other leaders my age and to learn of their activities, service and impact on their communities has motivated me to continue making a positive difference.”

For more about MBJ’s Top 40 Under 40 awards program, visit

Architecture alumnus gives back to alma mater

December 4th, 2012 Comments Off on Architecture alumnus gives back to alma mater

Alumnus Ted Porter presented the award money to the School of Architecture on Nov. 30 in Starkville and also served as a guest juror for fourth-year student final reviews. (photo by Beth Wynn | MSU University Relations)

Ted Porter may be a long way from home, but that hasn’t stopped him from staying connected to his Mississippi roots.

Porter, principal at Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects in New York, recently won the Brick Industry Association (Southeast Region) Design Award for a project he created in his hometown of New Albany. The award is given each year to an architect who uses brick in a notable way.

Porter designed a house to fill a vacant lot in downtown New Albany, and he is now leasing out the home.

“The idea was to fill a missing tooth,” he said.

The Brick Industry Association Award came with a $2,000 scholarship that Porter could designate to an institution of his choice.

“Of course I chose the Mississippi State University School of Architecture,” he said, but his giving didn’t end there.

Porter said he was recently talking to Jim West, the dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, about how some students don’t have the means to be able to travel, so he decided to set up a scholarship for that purpose.

“I think it’s really important that everyone has the same opportunity for travel in the school,” he said. “It’s good to be able to see great works of architecture, and often that means traveling to far, fun places. Architecture can’t truly be represented in books and online.”

Porter named the travel scholarship after an art history professor he had while studying at Mississippi State, Paul Grootkerk.

“He opened a lot of interests for me that I’ve enjoyed pursing for the last 35 years or so.” Porter said. “I think it’s good to recognize professors who have an influence on you.”

Porter presented the award money to the School of Architecture on Nov. 30 in Starkville and also served as a guest juror for fourth-year student final reviews.

 Read the article by Leah Barbour on MSU’s website.

Read the article in the New Albany News-Exchange.

Simmons discusses façade projects at Harrison Lecture

November 15th, 2012 Comments Off on Simmons discusses façade projects at Harrison Lecture

Marc Simmons talks to School of Architecture student David Lewis. (Photo by Haley Whiteman)

Marc Simmons was the final Harrison Lecturer for the fall 2012 semester.

Simmons, founding partner at Front Inc., briefly discussed his company before detailing three projects he has worked on.

Simmons described Front Inc., which he helped start 10 years ago, as a multidisciplinary design/engineering firm that includes professionals with a hybrid of backgrounds. The firm has locations in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Hong Kong.

Simmons said he and his partners started Front Inc. “to engage in the execution of good work on our own terms.”

“We are interested in our clients, the people that have a cultural need and desire to build,” he said.

He said the company is proud of its ability to work with and listen to clients’ needs and wants on a project.

“We’ve become skilled at interpreting the context of a project,” he said, “and that is likely going to develop into a successful outcome.”

Next, Simmons explained some of those projects and the processes that went into designing and building them.

The first project he discussed had a unique challenge; for security purposes, the façade had to be 100% blast resistant.

After precedent research, drawings, tests and mock-ups, Simmons and his team created a design that met the challenge and included a large, diagonal steel grid.

Simmons next discussed a project he worked on near his office in Brooklyn. Front Inc. was asked to provide a structure to enclose a 1922 fully restored carousel.

He showed an image from his office of the team working on a giant white board.

“It all starts here,” he said, explaining that his office is full of these boards and that great ideas come from these team brainstorming sessions.

The team came up with several ideas that included a pavilion that could move sideways, projections of images from the carousel onto walls and full acrylic walls.

The final design, however, ended up including seven acrylic sheet panels that fold and have joints made out of Velcro and sailing fabric, which Simmons described as having a “Terminator 2 liquid metal aesthetic.”

Simmons and his team are currently working on an extension to the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas.

He detailed the current state of the project, and ended the lecture with a question and answer session.

Walter Hood, a professor at the University of California, Berkley, will present the next Harrison Lecture on Feb. 1 at 4 p.m.

View the full schedule.

Friday Forum discusses the architecture of hip hop

November 12th, 2012 Comments Off on Friday Forum discusses the architecture of hip hop

Professor Jake Gines discusses the architecture of Hip Hop at Friday Forum on Nov. 9.

Jake Gines, professor in the School of Architecture, presented “The Architecture of Hip Hop” at the Nov. 9 Friday Forum.

Seeing how the culture of hip hop tied into architecture and design was Gines’ thesis work, which he said was met with a lot of adversity.

Gines said hip hop and many of its related forms of expression, such as rapping, break dancing and graffiti, is something a lot of people can relate to and gives many a venue to express themselves.

“You can’t help but get a sense that there’s this yearning to voice your opinion, and the only way it’s going to be heard is in an aggressive way,” he said.

Gines learned more about this aggressive sense of expression when he visited Watts in South Central Los Angeles for research. Watts, often known for the Watts Riots in 1965, is also home to the Watts Towers. The towers were built by Simon Rodia in the early 1900s out of found materials such as steel, concrete, bottles and doll figurines and served as inspiration for Gines’ project.

He chose a piece of land to the northwest of the towers for his project and got to work on research and site models. Research included demographics, gang crime statistics, gang turfs and crime activity.

The professor also chose to explore the message and rhythm of two songs – Tupac Shakur’s “Changes,” which discusses living conditions and what we need to do to change that, and “Why We Thugs” by Ice-Cube, which conveys a similar message in a more aggressive way.

Gines applied his research to design a pedestrian bridge that would go over the railroad tracks in Watts.

“In the end, I began to come up with a scheme that allowed the architecture to gently rest on its landscape and provide movement around and through the site,” he said.

Gines had a graffiti artist paint his project on boards for his thesis presentation “in order to present it in a way that seemed to respond to the culture,” he said.

The professor later used his findings to help students make connections between various forms of music and architecture.

School of Architecture student discusses impact of Design Discovery Summer Workshop

November 5th, 2012 Comments Off on School of Architecture student discusses impact of Design Discovery Summer Workshop

On the fourth day of Design Discovery, campers were divided into groups and assigned the task of creating a “cardboard lounge table device.” The device had to serve as a chair and perform one other function. Rashidat Momoh demonstrates the chair function of her group’s device.

Rashidat Momoh became interested in architecture as a freshman in high school.  Four years later, she heard about the Design Discovery Summer Workshop during her orientation for the Honors College at Mississippi State University and immediately got to work applying.

According to the Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture, the eight-day workshop in intended to provide “an accurate account and full simulation of the what it would be like to study architecture or design in a university setting without the added pressures of grades.”

Momoh also applied for the Johnson-McAdams Design Discovery Camp Scholarship and was one of five campers to receive the aid for summer 2012. The scholarship covered her camp expenses, including meals, lodging and supplies.

“Historically, the Johnson-McAdams Scholarship has done an excellent job of bringing diverse populations of students to our campus to engage in this workshop/camp,” said Berk, “and ultimately choose careers in architecture.”

Momoh said the workshop was a huge benefit to her. “If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship and come to Design Discovery, I wouldn’t have been as prepared for this year – money-wise and mentally,” the now first-year student in the School of Architecture said.

“Design Discovery definitely made me more aware of what we would be working on because I really had no idea what architecture was and how intense this would be,” she said.

Momoh left the summer camp both scared and excited. “But I still wanted to come here a lot,” she said. “It didn’t discourage me at all.”

Currently, first-year students in the School of Architecture are working on mock site plans through a class project called “Time Tables.” Students have been divided into groups with the assignment of documenting how a table changes during a meal, similar to how a site would change over time.

Momoh said she plans to intern for a couple of years when she graduates.

“I also want to travel, hopefully, and study overseas and maybe eventually open my own business,” she said.

Find out more information about Design Discovery.

School of Architecture alumnus Lance Davis highlighted in publication

October 17th, 2012 Comments Off on School of Architecture alumnus Lance Davis highlighted in publication

Lance Davis, AIA, LEED, is highlighted in the upcoming book, The Rise of Living Architecture. 

Davis, a 1995 graduate of the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, is also participating in a book signing at the 10th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference: Cities Alive, being held in Chicago, Ill., from Oct. 17-20.

Davis was recognized in the book for his work in bringing planted roofs to Washington, D.C., and the explosion of planted roofs and living walls within the Federal Government.

The alumnus will also speak at the conference about the integrated design process and its use to increase the benefits of natural and man-made systems.

From the Green Roofs website:
The Rise of Living Architecture
celebrates the contribution of more than 50 leading experts to the development of the green roof and wall industry over the past decade. Leadership profiles are drawn from a wide range of business, academia, policy and design professionals. These extraordinary individuals share their greatest accomplishments and views on the future development of the industry. The Rise of Living Architecture is a beautiful table top book that was designed by award-winning Ian Rapsey and includes a Foreward on Restorative Design by celebrated academic Stephen Kellert of Yale University and an essay on the transformative power of living architecture by Steven W. Peck, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. The outstanding photographic work of Brad Temkinis featured throughout this limited edition work.

Architecture professor named Fulbright Scholar Representative

October 17th, 2012 Comments Off on Architecture professor named Fulbright Scholar Representative

Jane Britt Greenwood is interviewed (with her interpreter, right) by the local Armenian television station in 2011.

Jane Britt Greenwood gives a lecture while in Armenia as a Fulbright Scholar.

Associate Professor Jane Britt Greenwood, AIA, first got involved with The Fulbright Scholar Program in 2010 when she was the state’s only representative to receive the honor that academic year.

Greenwood used her Fulbright Scholarship to teach at the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction [YSUAC] in Yerevan, Armenia, and do research on Armenian vernacular architecture. While there, she discovered the country’s need for curriculum development. She filed for an extension of her scholarship and remained in Armenia for an additional semester to help both YSUAC and Yerevan State Linguistics University after V Brusov with their curriculum development.

When she arrived back at Mississippi State, Greenwood had a new passion for telling others about The Fulbright Scholar Program.

“It was such a tremendous experience,” she said.

So, when she heard the call from the program for peer reviewers last April, she applied and is now one of three Peer Discipline Reviewers for The Fulbright Program for architecture.  Since she was notified in August, the School of Architecture professor has reviewed 11 applications.

Greenwood said her job as a reviewer is to look only at the scholarly content, such as the proposal details, the applicant’s background and the details of the research plan.  Each review takes her about an hour, and she gives written comments and feedback that is given back to applicants.  That way, if an applicant’s proposal is not accepted, he or she will have an idea of improvements that need to be made if submitted again.

Greenwood further explained that the peer review is just the first step in the yearlong process. The proposals next head to a regional review, and the last step is a review by the embassy in the country of the applicant’s proposed project.

Along with her involvement as a peer reviewer, Greenwood also serves as a co-representative for the university with Dr. Stephen Cottrell.

As MSU Fulbright Program Campus Representatives, the two work to promote the program to students and faculty.

Greenwood said faculty, administrators and professionals can apply for seven types of Fulbright Scholarships. One offering is a Senior Specialist project that is short-term, usually lasting two to six weeks.  The Core Fulbright, which is the program Greenwood participated in, is a longer opportunity that allows faculty to do research and/or teach for a year.

Students can also take advantage of The Fulbright Program.  There is an umbrella under the program that allows students to study abroad, and those with an undergraduate degree can travel to teach English or work on their own special project.

The co-representatives plan to hold a workshop soon to help students and faculty learn more about the application process, and they have a goal to increase the number of Fulbright Scholars at Mississippi State.

Carl Small Town Center, Architecture students receive APA MS awards

October 17th, 2012 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center, Architecture students receive APA MS awards

The Carl Small Town Center (CSTC) has received the Public Outreach Award from The Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA MS). The center won the award for its MS Bypass Guidelines, which were published this year.

The Public Outreach award was one of only three awards given by the MS APA this year and is for an individual or program that uses information and education about the value of planning to create greater awareness among citizens and other segments of society.

Rachel McKinley and Zachary James, students in the School of Architecture, also received the Collaborative Project Award from APA MS. The award is for their work done in the CSTC’s CREATE Common Ground class last spring, which focused on revitalizing New Albany.

The Collaborative Project Award recognizes research, projects or other activities in which a student has worked collaboratively with practitioners/planners and/or faculty.

The awards will be accepted at the annual conference in Meridian next Friday, Oct. 26.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Creating Sense of Place: Collaborative, Sustainable & Innovative.”

Read the story by Leah Barbour | MSU University Relations

Fall Jury Week 2012 schedule set for the School of Architecture

October 17th, 2012 Comments Off on Fall Jury Week 2012 schedule set for the School of Architecture

Final reviews will take place Nov. 28–Dec. 6 in Giles Hall in Starkville. Please let us know if you plan to attend!

Please call the Main Office at 662-325-2202 to confirm exact times and dates prior to attending. Also, let us know if you will attend. We would like to provide enough snacks and/or meals for our guests!

All the following reviews will be in Giles Hall – Starkville:
First-year studio (Foundation Design)
Wednesday, Nov. 28
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)

Second-year studio (Tectonic Studio I)
Thursday, Nov. 29
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  (and probably later with an evening session)

Third-year studio (Mixed-use multi-family Housing – Chicago)
Friday, Nov. 30
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)

Fourth-year studio (Topical Studios: Gulf Coast) 
Monday, Dec. 3
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)

Fifth-year studio (Urban+ Conceptual Projects) 
Wednesday, Dec. 5
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later . . . w/ evening session)
Thursday, Dec. 6
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and maybe later)

Below is a description of what you will see at the final presentations.
First-year studio (Foundation Design)
Professors: Andrew Tripp (coordinator); Jacob Gines; Todd Walker, FAIA
Studio Assistant: Finas Townsend III
The first semester of design one is divided into three modules:
1.  “Drawing Intensive” – For the first seven weeks students are challenged to develop a rigorous but critical creative process through a variety of black and white freehand drawing assignments.

2.  “Rotation around a void” – The next three weeks are spent on a three-dimensional composition exercise designed to challenge and condition a student’s ability to conceive and represent space.  The conventions of architectural representation (including model making, plan, elevation, section and axonometric drawing are introduced in this module.

3.  “Time tables” – The final weeks of this semester are dedicated to fostering an elementary understanding of siting.  Students are asked to document and analyze a typical place and purpose and to create a series of drawings.  At the final review, this project will only be in progress.  It will not be completed until spring semester.”

Second-year studio (Tectonic Studio I)
Professors: Hans Herrmann, AIA (coor dinator); Emily McGlohn
The second-year studio will be presenting design proposals for the composition, material palette logic, detailing / tectonic considerations, methods of installation and finishing for the floating ceiling of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, Green Building Demonstration Pavilion.  The students will present individual schematic designs along with a single, full-scale built design. The designs will be presented via digital and physical means of representation.

Third-year studio (Mixed-use multi-family Housing – Chicago)
Professors: Alexis Gregory, AIA (coordinator); Jane Britt Greenwood, AIA, Justin Taylor
The third-year studio is designing a mixed-use, multi-family housing project on three different sites in Chicago, Ill.

Fourth-year studio (Topical Studios: Gulf Coast) 
Professors: Rachel McCann, Ph.D (coordinator); Frances Hsu, Ph.D.
Fourth-year students will present on Topical Studios: Gulf Coast.

Fifth-year studio (Urban+ Conceptual Projects) 
Professors: Jassen Callender (coordinator); Mark Vaughan
In the first five weeks, fifth-year students worked in four large groups to create master plan proposals for the future development of the fairgrounds in Jackson.

Individually, in the middle five weeks of the semester, half of the students are developing wooden ‘seeing’ frames, which correct for some aspect of the tendency of knowledge to short circuit full-fledged vision; the other half of the students are working with ‘language’ and developing a new graphic means of conveying spoken English. (They are reading Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees and Rousseau’s Social Contract, respectively). In addition, students are working in ‘seeing/language’ pairs to develop proposals for retrofitting/improving an existing street wall in downtown Jackson.

In the final five weeks, students will continue to work in ‘seeing/language’ pairs to more fully develop a single street wall of their choice from one of the master plans.

AIAS, others participate in Green Apple Day of Service

October 10th, 2012 Comments Off on AIAS, others participate in Green Apple Day of Service

(Photo by Hans Herrmann). Volunteers at the Green Apple Day of Service 2012 in front of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. Pictured: Back Row (left to right): Jared Brown (4th-year; Web Master of AIAS), Sam Krusee (4th-year), Jonathan Greer (3rd-year), Scott Polley (3rd-year), Mack Braden (4th-year; Vice President of AIAS). Middle Row: Professor Cory Gallo (Landscape Architecture), Katherine Ernst (3rd-year), Alex Reeves (3rd-year), Emily Lysek (3rd-year), Kristin Perry (4th-year; Member Involvement of AIAS), Jacob Owens (4th-year; Public Relations of AIAS), Spencer Powell (1st-year), Landscape Architecture Masters student, Mike Varhalla (4th-year), Tyler Baumann (4th-year). Front Row: Kapish Cheema (1st-year), Chance Stokes (4th-year; President of AIAS), Danielle Glass (4th-year), Jared Barnett (3rd-year), Chelsea Pierce (4th-year; Secretary of AIAS).

About twenty people showed up Saturday (Sept. 29) at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum for Saturday’s national Green Apple Day of Service.

Many of the volunteers were American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) who have been working on the project at the museum throughout the summer with School of Architecture Professor Hans Herrmann and Landscape Architecture Professor Cory Gallo.

Chelsea Pierce, secretary for AIAS, said volunteers worked from around 9 a.m until noon painting 2x4s for the roof installation, cutting Plexiglass for kickbacks in the stairs, weeding the garden, painting and other small projects.

“It was good to be out there to give the School of Architecture a good name and volunteering,” she said.

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