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University of Kansas

April 22, 2014

The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning hosted a 3-day symposium on "Water", that included: an all-School design charrette, a round table discussion on the future of water and climate change moderated by Hadley and Peter Arnold, Ward Lyles, assistant professor of urban planning, and Steve Padget, associate professor of architecture, and a keynote presentation by Peter and Hadley Arnold of the Arid Land Institute. Sixty students participated in the charrette, in which collaborative teams composed of students from the departments of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning developed highly water-efficient, prototypical designs to respond to future conditions that could include both drought and flooding. The KU campus was chosen as the site for these projects. All the events were open to, and well attended by, members of the School, University, and the community.

A gateway designed and built last spring by Dirt Works Studio – a design-build studio, led by assistant professor Chad Kraus – has earned two awards. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture gave it its Design-Build Award: And, the Architect’s Newspaper just gave the structure an honorable mention in the student-built work category of its Best Of Design Awards: Sixteen third-year students completed the gateway in May. The structure is located at the Field Station’s research and operations center and Armitage Education Center. It fulfills a key wayfinding function for visitors attending special events and for visiting researchers. This is the second structure at the Field Station built by Dirt Works Studio. The first, the Stanley D. and Janet B. Roth Trailhead, built in 2012, won two awards from the American Institute of Architects. The gateway is the fourth project commissioned by the Kansas Biological Survey at the Field Station through the KU School of Architecture, Design & Planning.

Professor Dan Rockhill has been named a 2013-2014 ACSA distinguished professor for his outstanding contribution to advancement of architectural education through teaching and design scholarship. Professor Rockhill established “Studio 804” in 1995, a not-for-profit committed to the continued research and development of sustainable, affordable, and inventive building solutions. In collaboration with the University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Studio 804 offers a yearlong design-build studio for the final year students of the Masters of Architecture program. Over the past 20 years Studio 804 has received multiple national awards, pioneered new technologies, and advanced construction techniques, including four LEED Platinum projects completed to date. 

A drawing by Anne Patterson, assistant professor of architecture, has been given an award of excellence by the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. It will be shown in the ASAI’s 29th annual Architecture in Perspective exhibition, Oct. 14-19 in Dallas. It will also be published in the society’s annual. The drawing was named after Patterson’s home, “1142 Rhode Island Home.” She drew it in a notebook in about 50 minutes using a ballpoint pen. It is one of approximately sixty pieces, chosen from hundreds of entries from around the world, which will be displayed at the show.

The Resilient Lifestyles Lab, a collaboration of the School of Architecture and the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas led by Associate Dean Keith Diaz Moore, has recently received two grants. One, from the Alzheimer's Disease Center, is to retrospectively examine the correlates between objective characteristics of neighborhood and selected health outcomes in older adults that are pre-clinical dementia.  The other is a grant from the Reeve Foundation to develop an informational tool to enhance visitability in residential environments.  The Lab is also spearheading an international collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, the Centre on Ageing and Supportive Environments at the University of Lund and the Institute on Gerontology at Simon Fraser University to examine residential accessibility and its disparate impact on health outcomes in minority populations.

This fall a team that includes associate professors of architecture Shannon Criss and Nils Gore received a $29,000 Tier II Research Grant from the Office of the Provost to build what they call a Mobile Collaboratory for Civic Engagement, or MoCoLab. KU’s Research Investment Council made the award. A used Airstream trailer purchased in September is the starting point for the project. During the spring semester Department of Architecture students will transform it into a community-room on wheels to “take scholars to the people.” The MoCoLab will be a resource that researchers and faculty can check out for specific projects, and driven to and set up in Kansas communities for any number of purposes: needs assessments, the seeking of opportunities, or to devise and initiate projects that hopefully will prove to be transformative. In addition to Criss and Gore, research participants include Andrea Witczak, director, Center for Civic and Social Responsibility; Vicki Collie-Akers, assistant research professor, Life Span Institute; Marilu Goodyear, director, School of Public Affairs and Administration, and Yo Jackson, associate professor, Applied Behavioral Science.

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