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Auburn University

May 22, 2012

Auburn architecture student Damian Bolden was selected as the 2012 Gensler Diversity Scholarship Second Prize winner. Damian will receive an academic scholarship as well as an internship with Gensler.

Associate Professor Charlene LeBleu’s summer 2011 studio studied the history of the emancipated slave settlement know today as Africatown, Alabama.  The US State Department has designated the area as a new park to “preserve and interpret to the public the historic and cultural properties at and near Africatown….in Mobile County.”  Professor LeBleu’s students developed designs emphasizing natural systems analysis as a basis for site planning large-scale community facilities and parks. A Dudley Galley Exhibit of the Africa Town State Park student projects is now on display in Prichard, Alabama.

Assistant Professor Jocelyn Zanzot is the lead landscape architect on a diverse international design team, Aditazz that is one of two winners who won the international “Small Hospital Big Ideas” competition sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.  Describing the Aditazz team’s approach, Zanzot stated, “We designed a small eco-conscious hospital as a vital center of health and healing within its community.  The design advances the future small hospital's adaptive, collaborative and regenerative capacities through boundary-crossing innovation.”

Dean Vini Nathan has appointed Magdalena Garmaz, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, as the Interim Program Chair for the college-wide Bachelors of Environmental Design major. Her two-year term appointment is effective on August 16, 2012.

“Prof. Garmaz’s selection is the outcome of a methodical and multi-step process that yielded a strong pool of candidates from the CADC, “says Dean Nathan. “In addition to her extensive depth and breadth of knowledge, Prof. Garmaz brings to this role a well-articulated vision of the possibilities embodied in this program. Her sophisticated understanding of the design domain including its pedagogies and praxis, position her to be an effective leader and champion of this program.”

For several years, Auburn architecture faculty members Behzad Nakhjavan and Magdalena Garmaz have cultivated a thesis studio that explores the possibilities of the urban revitalization of downtown Montgomery. With each passing year, the projects have become more and more relevant to the conversation about how to improve Montgomery's urban landscape. By working with the City of Montgomery Department of Development and local architects, Nakhjavan and Garmaz have immersed their students in tangible issues, shaping their students’ hypothetical explorations into increasingly applicable design solutions.

Auburn University Architecture Thesis student work was recently featured in an exhibition during the first annual 'Montgomery Street Fair' held in Montgomery, Alabama on April 21st 2012.  The event had around 2000 in attendance, and was produced by Helicity Montgomery, a local non-profit that seeks to be a catalyst for the continued cultural and social development of the City of Montgomery and surrounding areas through arts and community engagement.  Several projects have been selected to be showcased further at Department of Development in a reception in Early June.

The Alabama Innovation Engine participated recently in the Design Ethos Conference, where Project director Matt Leavell and co-founder, Charlie Cannon presented an overview of Engine and some of their current projects. Leavell and Cannon also facilitated a group of local residents and designers working on a strategy for the redevelopment of a culturally significant school building in the Waters Avenue neighborhood of Savannah, GA. Instead of producing a specific solution, the group produced a series of recommendations for community engagement to highlight the importance of giving residents a voice.

Two Auburn University architecture students, Chloe Schultz and Henry Loose, together with Univ. of Arkansas teammate Chase Humphrey were recognized as finalists in the international competition Art Urbain International Competition. Sponsored by the French government, the competition focused on “Quality of Social Life, Architectural Quality and Respect for the Environment in cities of the future.”

The students developed the competition entry, entitled, “Porta Portese: Reinterpreting a Roman ‘Gateway District’” as part of their studio course for the spring semester. Along with 18 classmates from Auburn, Schultz and loose were in Rome for the spring semester as part of Auburn’s Rome program (led by Prof. Scott Finn), developed in collaboration with the University of Arkansas’ Rome Center (UARC). The students’ competition entry focused on the lively neighborhoods which comprise the districts of Trastavere and Testaccio, the former city gate of Porta Portese, and the pockets of neglected urban fabric found within.  Students from around the world submitted projects designed in the context of their own urban situations and experience.



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