An interdisciplinary student team from Washington State University won first place in the Design-Build division of the 24th annual Associated Schools of Construction Regional Student Competition, held in Sparks, Nevada on February 19, 2011. The team, which competed against nine other universities, was coached by Associate Professor David Gunderson and included Construction Management students Adam Heffner, Taylor DeGrande, Michaela Ripley, Jason Nanni and Jordan Meehan; and architecture students Shane Fagan and Stephanie Severance. In sixteen hours the team developed a design-build proposal for a Behavioral and Social Sciences Building on a university campus. The problem sponsor and judge, Swinerton Construction, has built the 88,000 square foot facility at Humbolt State University in California.

Associate professor Ayad Rahmani chaired a panel on “Art and Architecture” in the conference “Civility and Democracy” held at Washington State University Spokane, March 3-5, 2011. Other panels addressed history, religion, philosophy and communication. Funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, the conference hosted distinguished scholars including Ed Feiner (Perkins and Will and former GSA chief architect), Joan Ockman (University of Pennsylvania), Alan Plattus (Yale University), and Witold Rybczynski (University of Pennsylvania).

Associate Professor Matthew A Cohen co-organized the international conference “Proportional Systems in the History of Architecture” at Leiden University, March 17-19, 2011. Presenters included Howard Burns (keynote), Jean-Louis Cohen and Marvin Trachtenberg. The conference marked the 60th anniversary of a conference on proportional systems organized by Le Corbusier and Rudolf Wittkower in Milan in 1951. In the opening lecture Cohen argued for a new understanding of proportional systems as narrative structures unrelated to architectural aesthetics. His conference interview with architectural historian James S. Ackerman, who participated in the 1951 conference, is available at:

Professors Paul Hirzel and Gregory Kessler, and Associate Professor Matthew A. Cohen, led a study tour to Portugal in March 2011 for the upper-level graduate studios from Pullman and Spokane. The tour focused on modern architecture and urbanism in Lisbon, Sintra and Porto, including works by Alvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura.

Professor Bashir A. Kazimee completed his edited book Heritage and Sustainability in the Islamic Built Environment, forthcoming by the WIT Press. The book explores heritage and sustainability in the Islamic built environment.

Debora Ascher Barnstone has been promoted to Professor of Architecture. Dr. Ascher-Barnstone has contributed the chapter “Transparency in Divided Berlin: The Palace of the Republic,” to Berlin Divided City 1945-1989, edited by Sabine Hake and Philip Broadbent, published by Berghahn, 2010. She also contributed the chapter “Tales from the East: Food, Drink and Art Patronage in Inter-war Breslau,” to Ezelsoren, Winter 2011.

Second-year undergraduate students of Associate Professor Robert Barnstone have launched a website envisioning an “Electric Highway” across the United States. Developed in collaboration with the Green IT Alliance, it includes designs for highway facilities and power generation for cities. The project is inspired by a current Department of Transportation initiative to make the I-5 corridor the nation’s first electric highway. See: