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Lawrence Technological University

November 21, 2012

Students from the Master of Urban Design (m.U.D.) program at the College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University have won the Outstanding Student Project Award from the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP/APA Michigan) for the “Mid-Century Modern Design Guidelines” they developed for the City of Southfield, Michigan.

The award was presented on Oct. 17 at the MAP annual conference in Traverse City. Winning the award were one LTU graduate student and two graduates of the m.U.D. program, Carolina Ferrero and Michael Mason. LTU graduate student Matthew Galbraith, CoAD student representative to MAP, acted as the nominator.  In order to complete the design guidelines, the LTU students extended the internship they took for a course, Principals and Practices of Urban Design, taught by m.U.D. coordinator and Assistant Professor Constance Bodurow. Working as interns in the planning department under Planning Director Terry Croad, the students documented three districts/neighborhoods and dozens of buildings built in the Mid-Century Modern style from the 1950s to the early 1970s that are important to the architectural heritage of Southfield, which grew rapidly after World War II as a first-ring suburb of Detroit.

One of the most significant buildings in Southfield is the former Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office designed by Minoru Yamasaki, a Troy-based architect best known for the World Trade Center in New York.

The design guidelines provide the Southfield Planning Department with an essential tool to keep significant structures and districts intact. The guidelines not only define the style and identify significant structures, but also provide recommendations for enhancements through the use of case studies.

The student authors gathered input from local historians, architects, and academics in order to comprehensively identify, document, and inventory the city’s significant resources. The recommendations made by the students were considered and applied, resulting in the adoption of Low Impact Design Guidelines for the City of Southfield.

“The Mid-Century Modern Design Guidelines is a valuable asset for the Planning Department in our understanding and review of redevelopment of existing Mid-Century Modern buildings and sites,” said Terry Croad, Southfield’s director of planning who worked with the student interns.

The MAP award recognizes the high-quality design guidelines and detailed direction exhibited throughout the manual.

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