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University of Arkansas

October 11, 2011

Justin Hershberger has joined the faculty as a visiting assistant professor, co-teaching in the Fall 2nd year Design Studio and assisting the Design-Build Studio led by Mark Wise.

Justin grew up in rural Indiana where he spent his spare time working in his father’s cabinetry shop. He earned his M.Arch from the University of Virginia School of Architecture in 2011 and received the American Institute of Architects’ Henry Adams Medal as well as Faculty of Architecture Awards for both Design Excellence and Public Service. In 2010, he received the Sarah McArthur Nix Fellowship to study three concrete churches in France. While in graduate school, Hershberger was consistently involved in teaching assistantships at both the graduate and undergraduate level focused on craft, making, and building. His thesis work focused on how construction influences and can provide an impetus for design.

Hershberger also holds a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture (2005). Before returning to school in 2009, he worked in a fine concrete fabrication shop in Charlottesville, Virginia producing countertops, bathtubs, vanities, etc. As the shop manager, he oversaw projects from the initial design phase to installation. Through the work, Hershberger developed his interest in fabrication, craft, and the details of architecture that influence everyday life.

Santiago R. Pérez, Assistant Professor and 21st Century Chair in Integrated Practice has published "Towards an Ecology of Making," a chapter in a new book edited by Gail Peter Borden and Michael Meredith titled:  Matter: Material Process in Architectural Production.

Pérez has established a new FABLAB at the Fay Jones School of Architecture, focusing on a merger of Craft + Advanced Digital Fabrication, questioning contemporary digital practices and reframing 20th century material - component systems by direct critical engagement through making, in what he terms FABCRAFT.

Hnedak Bobo Competition Winners

The winners of the Hnedak Bobo competition have been announced, with entries submitted by our international programs students who have completed a semester in Rome or Mexico. The Rome Study Center is directed by Professor David Vitalie, and the summer program in Mexico is led by Adjunct Assistant Professor Russell Rudzinski. The competitive prize is sponsored by the Memphis based Hnedak Bobo Group. Jury members Justin Hershberger, Steve Luoni and  Santiago Pérez joined Mark Weaver from Hnedak Bobo in discussions to determine the final winners. The prize was awarded to 5th year student Erica Blansit, for her Rome Program submission- a “Ludoteka” or children’s play and learning center in Trastevere, and a three-student team from the summer 2011 Mexico program; Kenneth Hiley, Akihiro Moriya and Tanner Sutton.

Design Manual for Low Impact Development Wins Second National Award

A visionary handbook for designing low impact development, created by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, has garnered a second national award. The book Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas won a 2011 Award of Excellence in Communications from the American Society of Landscape Architects. This award category recognizes publications, journals and books on landscape architecture with honor awards and one top award for excellence. The manual will be featured at the 2011 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in October in San Diego, and in the October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

The Community Design Center is an outreach program of the Fay Jones School of Architecture.

The jury called the manual “beautifully composed and very accessibly written” and “clear, brilliant, attractive, useful, and pertinent. All young people should read this – boy, does it communicate.” It is already a required text in some university engineering courses nationwide.The Community Design Center and the university’s Ecological Engineering Group developed the book under a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

New AETN Documentary Captures Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Arkansas

Mark Wilcken, a producer at the Arkansas Educational Television Network in Little Rock, has created the 55-minute documentary, Clean Lines, Open Spaces: A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture. The film, shot with high-definition technology, will be screened in four cities around the state this month, including one on Oct. 9 at the University of Arkansas Global Campus in downtown Fayetteville. It will premiere on AETN at 9 p.m. Nov. 14.  Production of the film was funded through grants from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Wilcken interviewed architects, architecture professors, homeowners and a representative of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. All offered helpful tips and advice for finding people and properties. Architecture school faculty members interviewed were Greg Herman, associate professor; Marlon Blackwell, distinguished professor and head of the architecture department, and Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, professor and associate dean, who served as architectural historical consultant on the film. Alumni interviewed include Ernie Jacks (B.A. Architecture ’50), Bob Laser (B.A. Architecture ’50), Charley Penix (B.Arch. ’80) and Reese Rowland (B.Arch. ’90). Hicks Stone, son of Edward Durell Stone, also contributed.

Portal to the Point Design Competition Aimed at Generating Innovative Ideas

Marlon Blackwell is a member of one of five multidisciplinary creative teams selected to participate in Portal to the Point: A Design Ideas Exploration. The teams will focus on public art and design at Point State Park, the most visible landmark in Pittsburgh. About 40 firms from across the country were invited to submit proposals. The final five were selected based on an evaluation of the merits of their proposals and how they’d approach this project, as well as their professional track record, Blackwell said. Blackwell’s firm is the leader of an impressive team that also includes Kendall Buster, a nationally renowned sculptor and a professor in the department of sculpture and extended media at Virginia Commonwealth University; Guy Nordenson and Associates, a structural engineering firm in New York; dlandstudio of Brooklyn, N.Y., led by principal landscape architect and architect Susannah Drake; and Renfro Design Group, an architectural lighting design firm founded by Richard Renfro in New York.

Blackwell is a Distinguished Professor and head of the architecture department in the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. His firm, Marlon Blackwell Architect, is based in Fayetteville.  Blackwell has worked previously with Nordenson, who was the structural engineer for his Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, located in 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park, which opened in June 2010 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A piece of site-specific artwork by Buster, the emerald green fiberglass and steel Stratum Pier, is also part of the museum’s art and nature park. Buster and Nordenson were also both guest lecturers on the University of Arkansas campus, as part of the school’s annual lecture series last year. Renfro graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1979 with a Bachelor of Architecture.

An exhibition of the designs will be held October 19-23 at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. A public symposium with all the participants is planned for early 2012. A book that documents the process and the resulting designs will be available online, establishing an extended platform for the dissemination of information about the project.

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