October 12, 2017
The U.S. Green Building Council is dedicated to preparing students for 21st century careers in sustainability by delivering competency-based education and providing innovative solutions to build the next generation of sustainability leaders. In fact, according to USGBC.com, college students are currently seeking jobs in sustainability at a rapidly increasing rate. Consider the following:
- More than 70 percent of college students and 50 percent of workers are looking for jobs with social impact.*
- By 2038, the United States will generate 4.2 million new green jobs, five times today’s total count.*
- As many as 80 percent of young professionals would like to work in a green job.*
- 61% of prospective college students said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend a school.*
In order to provide students with the education and experience they need to best prepare for careers in sustainability, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC created LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Lab. Students involved in the LEED Lab pursue the assessment of on-campus building(s) and culminate their studies with the submittal of actual certification documents, allowing the campus building to become certified and recognized for greater environmental performance. The result of the lab is a more informed and experienced graduate with experience in the built sciences and an improved campus environment with healthier buildings and sites for everyone.
KSU's LEED Lab Challenge
In Georgia, the passage of House Bill 255 prohibits any publicly funded building to pursue LEED performance ratings. Although the bill perhaps did not intend to impact curriculum and teaching in public universities, the collateral damage undeniably includes one of the most inventive and effective sustainable teaching programs in the nation, the LEED Lab. Authored by USGBC, the LEED Lab engages students with dynamic, real-world, learning opportunities based upon the LEED rating system.
Luckily for KSU College of Architecture and Construction Management students, they have the innovative and determined minds of professors Ed Akins (Architecture) and Brandi Williams (Construction Management). Since Bill 255 prohibits seeking LEED certification on the publicly funded KSU campus, professors Akins and Williams came up with the brilliant idea of creating a LEED Lab for KSU students that would allow them to work with a building off-campus. They reached out to Susan Kidd, Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability at Agnes Scott College (ASC), a privately funded college in Decatur, Georgia, to initiate a partnership that would allow KSU students the opportunity to participate in LEED Lab at an alternative location.
For additional information on the partnership and how it benefits both KSU and Agnes Scott College, please refer to Professor Akins article here.
From a Student's Perspective
"As a student, the LEED Lab is such an enriching experience. After taking this course, I have a clearer understanding of the certification process for LEED EBOM, and I am also engaged in learning more about LEED and pursuing personal accreditation. Being able to combine the requirements LEED establishes for each credit with the physical and financial constraints of an existing building was very productive to apply what we learned in the classroom in a real-life setting. I hope more and more students have access to the LEED Lab, and that this opportunity can motivate them to explore sustainable practices."
- Karlla Dreser, LEED Lab program student
More information on the USGBC LEED Lab program can be found here.
*Source: US. Green Building Council
Pictured above: Prof. Ed Akins and Prof. Michael Carroll's students tour Agnes Scott
Guest Lecturer, Prof. Hasan-Uddin Kahn, Presents “At the Cutting Edge: A Retro-Prospective of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture”
October 6, 2017
The Kennesaw State University Department of Architecture, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Council for the Southeastern United States, presents its first lecture of the series, “Diversity and Pluralism in Architecture" on Monday, October 9th at 4:30pm in the Design II Auditorium.
Please join us for Professor Hasan-Uddin Kahn’s lecture “At the Cutting Edge: A Retro-Prospective of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.” Prof. Kahn is the Distinguished Professor of Architecture & Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University.
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture is not a prize, but a process of examining the built environment of Muslims and a discourse about contemporary building the world over. Looking back over the genesis and development of the Award and looking forward, the architectural discourse so engendered unfolds as a series of agendas that are illustrated by the award program.
The lecture will be followed by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Exhibit opening reception at the Architecture Gallery.
For further information on the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, please visit here.
Designing a Difference
September 7, 2017
Kennesaw State University alumnus William Lentjes has been named a Portz Scholar, an accolade the National Collegiate Honors Council awards to only four people in the U.S. each year.
Lentjes graduated from Kennesaw State in May with a degree in architecture and as an Honors Scholar, the University’s highest academic honor. The NCHC chose Lentjes as a Portz Scholar based on his senior capstone project titled “On Craft,” which re-examines the instructional methods utilized in architectural education.
“Being acknowledged in this way is an honor,” Lentjes said. “It brings up reflection on the friends, family, mentors and advisors who have made something like this possible. A special thanks goes to my honors thesis advisors, Dr. Kami Anderson, Professor Kathryn Bedette and Dr. Mine Hashas-Degertekin, for their help.”
Lentjes will present his project at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Atlanta in November. NCHC member institutions can nominate one paper written by an undergraduate honors student for the Portz Scholars competition, and Kennesaw State’s Honors Collegeselected Lentjes’ thesis – which also was awarded the 2017 KSU Outstanding Senior Capstone Award for the Marietta Campus.
In “On Craft,” Lentjes promotes looking beyond “endless mechanized production and spiritless materialism” and viewing architecture “through the consciousness, awareness and perception of a subject.” He describes “craft” as a relationship between craftsman, tool and material.
Anderson said she was most impressed by the level of detail Lentjes put into the project. He made his own paper on which to write the thesis, used woodworking and burnishing skills to make the cover for the project, and transposed his computational drafts and graphic designs to the handmade book. Lentjes showed “thoughtful attention to how his work on that capstone could be a benefit to the learning process for other architects,” Anderson said.
“All of these things embody each and every one of the Honors foundations: critical thinking, creation and innovation, interdisciplinary learning, information fluency, professionalism, appreciation of diverse viewpoints, effective communication and leadership,” said Anderson, the director of the Undergraduate Honors Program for the Marietta Campus. “William’s capstone was exemplary in so many ways and was the best representation of what we stand for in Honors.”
Lentjes impressed potential employers as well, as he was hired upon his graduation as a designer for Office of Design, an architecture firm in Decatur. Lentjes said he is “excited to learn more each day” and plans to become a licensed architect soon.
“Long term, I aspire to use architecture as a means of helping others,” Lentjes said. “Space designed with care and intentional sincerity can bring healing – or even just a little appreciation for life.”
Original story | Story written by Paul Floeckher
July 18, 2017
This summer, while some kids were off at camp, prepping for the fall SATs or getting through their binge lists, a group of youngsters around Cobb County were pondering how Marietta’s landmark Big Chicken could look even better. They also turned a critical eye to the Marietta Visitors Center, the Zuckerman art museum at Kennesaw State and the new SunTrust Park and Battery complex.
Reimagining how structures can be built for a specific purpose and audience was the aim of the Discover Architecture: Library Edition, a program that paired Cobb public librarians with volunteers from the American Institute of Architects Atlanta chapter and representatives from the architecture department at Kennesaw State. During four one-day sessions held this summer, the teams worked with kids to introduce them to and get them enthused about architecture.
“The theme of our summer reading this year was ‘Build a Better World,’ so this program was a good fit,” said Tom Brooks, the communications specialist for the Cobb library system. “It was also based on creativity and had a real-worldness about it. We’ve had success for a few years with our Girls in Engineering, Math and Science summer program, and we thought this would be another good one for young people.”
Brooks got the idea to create a summer series after hearing about Discover Architecture, a successful after-school program offered in select Atlanta elementary schools. The founders of that program produced a textbook filled with details on lessons and projects that fit nicely into a one-day event. Brooks brought the idea to Youth Services Librarian Amanda Densmore, who works out of the Vinings location.
“Tom mentioned this idea for a program, and I had to be a part of it,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity to work with outside organizations and give kids something totally different— something that they may not expect from the library.”
Phillip Alexander-Cox, an art instructor at E. Rivers Elementary in Buckhead and a co-founder of the APS Discover Architecture program, was happy to provide resources and direction for the library program. It’s another way the concept has grown since he and architect and E. Rivers parent Melody Harclerode launched it seven years ago.
“The idea is to bring design education to young children, usually fourth and fifth graders,” said Alexander-Cox. “During our first year, it was just at E. Rivers, but then we added Garden Hills, and over the next year, we added four more. It’s grown so much that three years ago we published a guide book that’s available through Amazon so other schools, homeschoolers and groups like libraries can use it.”
The after-school version is a nine-week program, followed by an exhibition of student models and drawings. Ideally, sessions run by seven volunteers for 14 students feature hands-on projects, guest speakers and an exploration of architecture as a career. But it’s also about reinforcing important skills, said Alexander-Cox. “It’s about problem solving, too. And we do a lot of drawing to scale and communicating visually.”
The program has been so successful that it earned a grant to expand it to underserved neighborhoods, said co-founder Harclerode. “Architecture and design education is fundamentally valuable for kids because it’s a fusion of math, science, English, history and technology.”
Brooks said the summer program also gave students a chance to explore themes around economic development. “At least,” he said, “I thought of it that way. The kids just thought it was fun.”
Information about the Discover Architecture program at E. Rivers Elementary School: eriverselementary.com.
The Dept. of Architecture partners with the Cobb County Public Library System and AIA Atlanta for "Discover Architecture: Library Edition"
July 10, 2017
Students in grades 4-8 are invited to participate in a one day Discover Architecture workshop based on the AIA's Discover Architecture Program. Students do sketching exercises and build models of their designs, working with volunteers from local architecture firms and faculty from the Department of Architecture at KSU. Dr. Tony Rizzuto, Dr. Giovanni Loretto, Dr. Arash Soleimani, Professor Bronne Dytock and Professor Marietta Monaghan and alumni Jereme Smith and Jessika Nelson joined Discover Architecture founders Melody Harclerode and Phillip Alexander Cox at the Switzer, West Cobb, Mountain View and South Cobb library branches.
May 16, 2017
KSU Architecture student, Jalaal Malik, has been chosen as the recipient of the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry's scholarship to attend the Harvard University Graduate School of Design's six-week summer Career Discovery program from June 19th through July 28th.
Every year, the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry (ACCI) sends a deserving young student who is deeply interested in Architecture to this wonderful program. Others have said that the program has had an enormous impact on their careers both in college and afterward in their profession. We are so proud of you Jalaal, and can't wait to hear about your experience!
More about the program: careerdiscovery.gsd.harvard.edu.
Congratulations to William Lentjes
May 8, 2017
The Department of Architecture would like to congratulate William Lentjes for being awarded the 2017 KSU Outstanding Senior Capstone Award for the Marietta Campus. William was selected for the award for his Bachelor of Architecture Thesis "On Craft", Thesis Advisor: Kathryn Bedette.
Craft is a relationship - a dialogue - between craftsman, tool, and material. Craft begins with the intent of all of these loci, and all of these loci are rooted in Being.
Being is known through the consciousness, awareness, and perception of a subject. Being is the inherent existence and totality of "what is."
Being crafts us; Craft imbues Being.
This thesis re-examines the pedagogical approach of an architectural education. The focus is placed on craft through presuppositionless phenomenology.
In an age of endless mechanized production and spiritless materialism, the practice of craft can teach us to return to the experience of Being.
Announcing the 2017-2018 DoArch Scholarship Recipients
May 1, 2017
The KSU Department of Architecture would like to congratulate all of the the 2017-2018 scholarship recipients! We are immensely proud of all of you.
Dorothy P. Spence Memorial Scholarship
Didiere Porter and Farhaan Samnani
John D. Mulford Memorial Scholarship:
Didiere Porter and Farhaan Samnani
Jimmy Goldgeier Scholarship
Lance Linscott Scholarship
Jeremy Smith Scholarship
April 27, 2017
Annual Thesis Competition
- Student's Choice: Giovonni Reese
- Faculty's Choice: Anna Pack
- Archi-Prix Nomination: Katrina Alano
- Honorable Mentions: Hannah Boyd & Anna Pack
- Third Place: Izuchuwu Ojukwu
- Second Place: Brandon Aultman
- Winner: Laura Sherman
3 Minute Thesis Competition
- People's Choice: Joey (Tony) Rodriguez
- Honorable Mentions: Katrina Alano & Jacob Matherly
- Runner-UP: Jonee Smith
- Winner: Damari Weaver
- 4th Yr Integrative Design Competition
- Honorable Mentions: Joel Lee & Matt McKim
- Third Place: Didier Porter & Will Myers
- Second Place: Devin Perkey & Farhaan Samnani
- Winners: Brandon Arroyo & Lee Martin
Spring 2016 Portfolio Competition
- Honorable Mentions: Christine Nguyen Vu
- Fourth Place: Timothy Austin Huntly
- Third Place: Jeremy Bown
- Second Place: Joshua Robinson
- Winner: Diego Vazquez
Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medalion
- Rebecca E. Robinson
- Michael C. Phaff
- Damari J. Weaver
- Katrina J. Alano
Capstone Award Nomination (Honors Program)
- William Lentjes
- Hannah Boyd
Georgia Outstanding Scholar Award
Pictured above: 2017 Thesis Competition Winner, Laura Sherman
April 19, 2017
With a passion for the intersection between architecture and health, Matt Finn (Architecture, ’07) is working to understand how design affects people.
“As an architect, I need to understand how the spaces I design affect people who use them,” said Finn, who gained his start studying how the built environment could facilitate psychotherapy for U.S. combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“When we look at the military’s observational techniques for how to enter a dangerous area and assess it for threats, it serves as a great template for understanding how human beings use their whole body to gather information about their surroundings,” he said. “There are lessons in this that we can apply to any number of situations.”
Partnering with a Veteran Affairs psychologist and a Marine Corps veteran, Finn first began the PTSD research while at Perkins+Will, the design firm he joined after completing his bachelor’s degree in 2007.
“Architecture’s role is to facilitate the activities within,” Finn said. Finn is currently collaborating with the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to understand how design can influence childhood obesity in America, and with the Green Health Partnership on ways the built environment can influence issues of public health.
Healthcare Design recently named Finn the 2016 HCD 10 Researcher, making him one of the first practicing architects to receive this distinction. One of the projects noted by the magazine was Finn’s consultation on the design of ICU patient rooms for the University of Virginia Health System. Finn and his transdisciplinary research team’s findings were featured at the 2014 Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture Conference and the 2015 American Institute of Architects Convention.
“Matt’s work has provided important insight on the correlation between human health and environment design, specifically how design can facilitate healing and progress for individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and childhood obesity,” said Tony Rizzuto, chair of the department of Architecture at Kennesaw State. “His research has had a transformative impact on the field of healthcare design, one that we can all benefit from.”
In 2014, Finn founded his own consulting and design firm, Cognitive Design, LLC. In 2016, he left Perkins+Will to pursue his own practice full time.
April 10, 2017
Last week, KSUarch Chair, Dr. Tony Rizzuto, served as a juror for AIA Atlanta's (American Institute of Architects) 12th Annual High School Student Design Competition. Also serving as jurors were current KSUarch first year student, Neil Isaiah Requina Capangpangan, who won the competition last year, alumni Jereme Smith and Adam Lamb and part-time faculty, John Busby.
Jurors have selected winners for two projects, a pavilion and a library. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 11th at the College of Design at Georgia Tech.
For more information about the competition, please visit: www.aiaatl.org/hssdc
Click on the photos below to enlarge.
April 3, 2017
The department has just nominated thesis student, Brandon Aultman, to represent Kennesaw State University at the CriticalMASS Symposium Competition at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Aultman will be traveling there next week and will present his thesis "Scalar Resiliency in the Age of Disruption", making this the first time in KSU history to participate in the competition.
CriticalMass started in 2002. It was the idea of a handful of thesis students wishing to share thesis project work with other schools of architecture from the Southeast Region. At that time, the students were interested in the idea of place and region, and the event sought to bring diverse projects from different institutions together so that the students could share, and perhaps understand, what commonalities might be present in their final project work.
The students themselves identified and invited international and national architects and critics to discuss the work and to give an evening presentation. These critics have varied over the past ten years, from those interested in regionalism to those that were launching practices on a more global scale. In all cases, the critics invited reflected the student's interests and the work they had been exposed to in UNCC’s School of Architecture curriculum.
From the efforts of that first handful of students, CriticalMASS has fostered a tradition of collaboration and exploration across schools of architecture. Year after year, the event continues to inspire students to reach across institutional boundaries and come together with shared interests; no other such forum for cross-institution student interaction and learning currently exists.
With coordination from a selected student committee and hard work from student volunteers and faculty advisors, each Spring CriticalMASS hosts a series of presentations and discussions from selected students and Distinguished Guests. Each project that is presented responds to a unifying theme but explores architectural ideas and issues independently through the lenses of technical methods, urban design, and theory.
CriticalMASS Student presentations will take place on April 7th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This year's Distinguished Visiting Critic is Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative.
NOMAS Hosts Guest Lecturer, Nicole Hilton
Last night, the KSU Chapter of NOMAS (National Association of Minority Architecture Students) hosted guest lecturer, Nicole Hilton, an Architect Partner at ColeHil Architects.
Ms. Hilton is a native of Austin, Texas and the founding Partner and Design Architect of ColeHil. An alumnus of Louisiana State University, she is honored to be recognized as the first African American female graduate of the LSU School of Architecture to become a licensed architect.
In addition to her architectural design expertise, Ms. Hilton advocates for diversity and inclusion within the design profession and design excellence. She is currently serves on the AIA Georgia Board and is an active member of the NOMA Atlanta Chapter.
Results: 3-Minute Thesis Competition
Congratulations to the winners of this year's 3-Minute Thesis Competition, sponsored by Cooper, Carry & Associates!
- 1st Place: Damari Weaver ($1,250)
- Runner-up: Jonne Smith ($750)
- People's Choice: Joey (Tony) Rodriguez ($500)
- Honorable Mentions: Katrina Alano & Jacob Matherly ($250, $250)
Results: 2016 Integrated Design Studio Competition
December 6, 2016
On December 5, 2016 the Department of Architecture hosted the Integrative Design Studio Competition. The project was to design a new office for the American Institute of Architects and the Atlanta City Studio downtown. Students dealt with complex urban issues, building tectonics and assembly, as well as creating strong concepts.
First Place Overall: Brandon Arroyo + Lee Martin
Second Place Overall: Devin Perkey + Farhaan Samnani
Third Place Overall: Will Myers + Didier Porter
Honorable Mention: Joel Lee + Matt McKim
4th Year External Jurors:
Ed Akins, KSU Jury Chair
Kevin Bacon, Atlanta City Studio
Chris Yueh, AIA
Missy Bower, AIA
Craig Mendel, Leasing Agent for AIA
Gary Coursey, Gary B. Coursey & Associates
Brian Sudduth, Gary B. Coursey & Associates
All four winning teams were invited to exhibit their work at the Atlanta City Studio at Ponce City Market Exhibition. The exhibition opens on Tuesday, January 24th and closes Saturday, February 25th.
Viewing hours during that period are Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 8pm and Saturday 11am - 7pm.
Built in 3D
September 7, 2016
With their hands on the pulse of New York’s construction industry, Chris Stailey and Jacob Mashburn have worked on some of the city’s top building projects such as the World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden and Hudson Yards.
The 2010 architecture graduates say they feel like a valuable and vital enterprise in the city’s regrowth, a huge boon to the city 15 years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Stailey and Mashburn, fellow college classmates in Southern Polytechnic State’s architecture program, were enticed to New York City after graduation by job prospects during the economic recession. The pair worked for an electrical contracting firm for several years before launching their own construction engineering firm, Agon Coordination, in 2013.
“Our company is on the engineering side of construction,” said Stailey. Their firm specializes inBuilding Information Modeling (BIM), an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides insight to help plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.
Agon – named for the suffix of shapes – provides BIM coordination. Their firm is one of only a handful of companies in the nation that specialize in a cohesive approach to BIM.
“It’s a very niche market and one of the reasons why we are succeeding is because there are not many people who do it,” said Mashburn. Agon is striving to be the one-stop shop for coordinating all of the building’s systems such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing.
The Agon team works as consultants between the general contractor and owner at the early design phases of building to ensure that the architect’s and designer’s needs are vetted and work with the various systems. Once the architect produces a 3D model of the building, Agon’s role is to “fill” the building, using 3D modeling, with each of the imperative systems.
“We are like the quarterback who ensures that everything goes as planned,” Mashburn said. “We understand architectural code and we are able to communicate that to the trades.”
The pair, along with a third owner, count the World Trade Center reconstructions, Hudson Yards, Pier 17 and facilities at both Columbia and New York universities among their credentials.
The World Trade Center projects, which are among the most recognizable construction projects in the past century, encompass four high-rise towers, a transit hub and a memorial for the lost. The Agon team recently provided coordination support for the retail components of Towers 1 and the transportation hub.
“The World Trade Center has been one of our biggest moments early in our careers,” Stailey said, smiling. “But what a job to learn on.” Because the technology embedded within the buildings is classified, the Agon team had to obtain security clearance to work on the projects.
“At our last company, we became the team that stepped in to take care of the major problems. We quickly became the face of the company we were working for,” Mashburn said about deciding to start their own company.
Their Southern roots – both Stailey and Mashburn are originally from Cobb County – are infused in their company values, with a handshake providing their promise of integrity on project completion.
“With our training and the way we were taught at Southern Poly, we take a comprehensive approach when we look at buildings. We think about it conceptually and spatially and find real-world solutions."
Agon plans to expand their company into the Atlanta construction market, and have recently hired a 2014 Kennesaw State architecture graduate to join their team. The company has four full-time and four-part time employees.
Stailey added, “We may have strayed from architecture, but we’ve taken our knowledge and spread it into another field. Architecture is relevant to what we do every day.”
Original story | Story written by Tiffany Capuano; photo by Agon Coordination
Annual Portfolio Prize Winners
August 16, 2016
The Department of Architecture is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Portfolio Prize. Each year, students seeking entry into the upper division of the B.ARCH program submit a portfolio of work as part of the documentation for consideration. This recognition goes to those students whose 2nd year portfolios scored highest among their peers.
4th Place: Timothy Austin Huntley
3rd Place: Jeremy Bowen
2nd Place: Joshua Robinson
1st Place: Diego Vazquez
Congratulations to the winners*! Their exemplary portfolios represent years of hard work and dedication and set the standard for expectations here at KSU. To view these portfolios and the top portfolios from 2015 please visit Portfolio Examples.
*The department would like to note that 1st place winner Diego Vazquez' name was unfortunately not listed in the announcement made at the kick-off meeting.
Photo: From the portfolio of Diego Vazquez
August 9, 2016
The following full-time faculty will be joining the Department of Architecture this fall.
Dr. Arash Soleimani
Dr. Soleimani received his Ph.D. in Planning, Design and the Built Environment from Clemson University’s School of Architecture, where he also received a Certificate of Digital Ecologies. He has a Master of Architectural Design from the University of Nottingham, Department of Architecture in Nottingham U.K. and a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from the Art University of Isfahan, School of Architecture, Isfahan, Iran.
He has taught at UNC Charlotte and Clemson University and published numerous articles on his research that focuses on human-computer interaction and designing cyber-physical and tangible environments. His project Cyber-PLAYce is a Cyber-Physical-Spatial learning environment promoting young learner’s computational thinking and explores the potential relationships between architecture, computer science and education. He will be teaching in the Environmental Technology sequence and Studio.
Dr. Giovanni Loreto
Dr. Loreto is currently finishing his second Post Doctorate at Georgia Tech, this follows his previous Post-Doctorate from the University of Miami. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Universita degli Studi di Napoli ‘Federico II in Naples Italy, where he also received the Laurea (BS/MS, 5-year degree) in Architectural and Construction Engineering.
He has taught at Georgia Tech, Univ. of Miami and Universita degli Studi di Napoli. His numerous published articles address his research on sustainable construction materials, structural performance evaluation and advanced composite materials for reinforced concrete and masonry structures. He will be teaching in the Architecture Structures sequence and Studio.
Professor Karimi holds a Post-Graduate Master of Architecture, Cultural Mediations and Technology from McGill University in Montreal Canada, a Master of Fine Arts, Interior Design from the University of Georgia and a 5-year B.ARCH degree from SCI-ARC in Los Angeles.
She has taught at KSU/SPSU and the University of Georgia. She is also Principal of Connexion Gallery-Design Studio. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and curatorial positions and her current work focuses on tactical urbanism installations. She will be teaching Studio, Thesis Prep and in the Urbanism sequence.
Dr. Selen Okcu
Dr. Okcu holds a Ph.D. in Architecture, Culture and Behavior for Georgia Tech, a Master of Science in Computer-Aided Architectural Design and a Bachelor of Architecture both from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul Turkey.
Dr. Okcu has taught at KSU, SPSU, NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton VA, Georgia Tech and Istanbul Technical University and has published numerous articles on soundscapes and the impact of noise on spatial and psychological perception. Her research seeks to develop new workflows in both education and practice that bring principles of the environment to bear in all aspects of the design process through stages of informed decision making. She will be teaching in the Design Communication sequence, Studio and Orientation to Architecture/Learning Community.
August 2, 2016
As students transition from high school to college, a unique summer intensive program has given nearly 80 incoming first-year students a sneak peek into the architecture program at Kennesaw State. The three-week introductory program, called the Summer Design Workshop, acclimates new students to the studio design experience.
“Many students come here with the idea that architecture is about ornamentation, or decoration only, and they don’t really know what is involved,” explained architecture professor Saleh Uddin, who coordinated the summer program for the Department of Architecture. “This workshop is the total experience. They become familiar with studio culture and learn the instructional methods that will be used over the next five years.”
Students explored 2D design with simple geometric composition to “learn the visual language of architecture,” said Uddin. Students quickly progressed to 3D design, using several techniques to explore surface-to-volume theories, and sketched free-hand observation drawings. Students worked with tools of the trade, such as rulers and proportion scales, to move their ideas from paper to scaled models.
“The workshop gave me a chance to explore architecture, and allowed me to be open minded to a different way of design,” said Justin Fant, who worked as a golf pro for six years before seeking a new career path at Kennesaw State. “I would be lost without this type of introduction.”
Besides lectures and hands-on studio time, the intensive study provided students with daily feedback and critiques of their work, coined a “deskcrit,” from among the seven faculty who worked one-on-one with students. Critique is an essential part of the architecture program, explained Tony Rizzuto, chair of the architecture department at Kennesaw State.
“The faculty really push you, but it’s for a good reason. They provide great critiques, and I have learned different perspectives,” said Jashalynn Maddox of Warner Robbins. “That first week transformed me.”
The Summer Design Workshop is a non-credit, non-graded immersive study that is optional for new students. A majority of first-year architecture students elect to participate in the workshop, now in its ninth year.
“The summer workshop is designed to help ease the transition from high school to our architectural education program,” Rizzuto said. “Collegiate expectations are very different, and even more so for architecture.”
While some students may have taken computer-aided design or drafting courses in high school, this is the first foray into architecture for most students, Rizzuto added.
“I like hands-on better than sitting through lectures all day,” said Zaria Graham of Sandy Springs about her workshop experience. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am glad I came. It gave me a heads-up on what will be expected in studio, what the workload will be like and how much effort and time I’ll need to put in.”
Students gained skills in manipulating their designs and reworking their ideas. They were able to digitally test their designs using software, as well as draw sketches and construct models using a variety of materials.
All of these elements came together at the final presentation and exhibition for parents on the last day of the workshop, Uddin explained.
Beyond the studio session, first-year students learned about time management, work ethic and meeting deadlines, but were also provided tips and advice from about 20 senior students, including members of three architectural student organizations, including the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), Alpha Rho Chi Fraternity – Polyidus Chapter (APX) and the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS), who volunteered their time to help the first-year students.
“I like that we had the opportunity to meet people, scholastically and socially, ahead of time,” said Caleb Hester of Lawrenceville.
Students worked alongside each other on projects, ate meals together and became acquainted with their future classmates.
“Our architecture students now have a better understanding of the fundamentals of design, composition and drawing, which is the synthesis of the whole three weeks they’ve spent working together,” Uddin said.
Original story | Story written by Tiffany Capuano; photo by Lauren Lopez de Azua
KSU Architecture students featured in AIA Georgia's Citizen Architect Magazine
July 22, 2016
Click image to read.
KSU Hosts The National STEM Guitar Project
July 1, 2016
This past week, the Kennesaw State University Department of Architecture hosted The National STEM Guitar Project. Program participants, including local high school and technical college STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers, spent five days in the Architecture Wood Fabrication Shop working on custom electric guitar design/build projects.
The National STEM Guitar Project, in partnership with NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers with funding provided through a grant from The National Science Foundation (#1304405), hosts innovative Guitar Building Institutes around the United States. The 5-day institutes, combined with additional instructional activities comprising 80 hours, provide faculty training on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for middle, high school, and post-secondary faculty. The institutes present and teach participants hands-on, applied learning techniques to help engage students and spark excitement for learning STEM subject matter. Read more
Photos by James Huntington Cordero | More photos
June 29, 2016
Alex Ross, age 18, just graduated from North Gwinnett High School and is heading to Kennesaw State University in the Architecture Program beginning fall of 2016. Like many other graduating seniors, he is excited to spend this summer hanging out with friends and getting ready for college. But, unlike his classmates, he will be completing a project that has been four years in the making: a 26 foot long model of the Titanic ship. The impressive structure currently resides in Ross’ basement but will soon be moving to the new North Gwinnett Arts Association (NGAA) Center for the Arts in mid- July.
NGAA’s facility in Suwanee Town Center, is the hub of our art community, offering art school, workshops, classes, space for artists to work and display their creations, summer camps, parents nights out and more. It is dedicated to celebrating and promoting our local art culture and to giving both children and adults the resources to pursue the arts. Vickie Johnson, NGAA President, first heard about Alex Ross from Corey Holdrich, Stylist at Hairllucinations Salon. While Ross was getting his hair cut from Corey he showed him pictures of his Titanic project. Holdrich was so impressed and knew it was something that had to be shared with the community, particularly his friend/client Vickie Johnson. “When Corey first told me about it I had no idea how huge this was until I actually saw the pictures…it’s very impressive and I’m so excited to have it in our Center!” Vickie said.
Ross first became interested in the history, magnitude, beauty and tragedy of the Titanic after learning about it in his 7th grade class. At that point his parents bought him a small-scale Titanic model kit; which was admittedly fun to build, but he had much grander plans in mind. During his freshman year of high school those plans started becoming a reality. Ross built the model from historic blueprints of the actual ship. “One time I threw out the entire front section of the ship (and hours of work) because it wasn’t perfect. I want it to be as historically accurate as possible… it’d be really cool if it even ended up in a museum one day,” he said. Ross uses everyday resources to construct the display, including tools such as: cardboard, wire, popsicle sticks, wood, LED lights, electrical wiring, modeling clay and paint. He is resourceful and economical with his tools. “I first started building it from a pile of Amazon boxes I found in the basement,” he said. “Now whenever my parents get something shipped to the house they throw the box down the stairs for me,” he continued. He painstakingly details every aspect of the ship: inside and out. The original ship was covered in rivets, and when his model is complete there will be close to 50,000 hand-created rivets on it… each individual dot made with glue. He has added cracks and splinters in the ship deck in the exact location where the Titanic split before sinking. Inside the model ship he has added tile flooring, staircases, lighting, seats tables, doorways, railings and other details – all based on actual photos of the Titanic.
“It’s hard to say exactly how many hours I’ve spent on this project,” Ross said. “But I started my freshman year of high school and during the school year would probably spend 2-3 hours/day on average and much more time during the summers. There were times in the summer when I’d spend all day working on it,” he admitted. The hours have already started to pay off. When applying for the Architecture Program at Kennesaw State, Ross submitted photos of the ship and the University staff had never seen anything like it. He is now excited to pursue his passion at the next level. “Hopefully this will evolve into a really cool career…I would love to build buildings or even the inside of ships,” he said. The NGAA will be hosting an open house reception when the model ship is moved to their Center for the Arts. For more information about the North Gwinnett Arts Association, visit www.ngaa4arts.com.
KSU Architecture Professor Exhibits at the Venice Biennale
June 27, 2016
Being invited to show artwork at Venice's Biennale would be considered a career highlight by many, and two Atlanta-based artists are among those holding that honor.
The bi-annual contemporary visual art and architecture exhibition opened among the canals and plazas of the Italian city in late May. The work of William Carpenter, architect and founder of design firm Lightroom, and sculptor Bojana Ginn, titled "Presence," is currently on exhibit at the famed event.
"In this collaboration, what we've really tried to do is elevate both of our games, both of our approaches," Carpenter says, referring to the combination of Ginn's work with light, projection and sculpture along with his own architectural elements. "We're really trying to redefine the normal practice of architecture and move [...] into the fine arts."
Both Carpenter and Ginn called the invitation to exhibit work at the Biennale an honor, though one that presented challenges. The pair raised funds through local gallery owners and patrons to make the trip to Italy, but also required research and trial-and-error in getting the work there.
"We were a little bit ..." Ginn hesitates, "should I say scared? Because we were preparing work for something that is across the Atlantic."
Ultimately, "Presence" traveled to Venice packed into suitcases.
"There was so much work involved," Ginn says, "that I feel that right now after everything is done [that] I can actually look back and see what happened."
Once the work of putting their exhibition was through, however, Ginn thrilled at the experience of attending the exhibit.
"Just walking endless hours from one exhibition to another," she says, "like a kid in a candy shop … it was overwhelming. "
Original article | Article written by Myke Johns; photo by Lapid Photography
Athens Banner-Herald: Athens native named top 10 in architecture competition
May 17, 2016
May 15, 2016
KSU Architecture and Construction Management faculty recently attended the DCA European Conference, hosted by Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey May 11-14, 2016.
Dr. Saleh Uddin, KSU Professor of Architecture, co-chaired the conference, while additional College faculty members also contributed heavily, including publishing seven papers, conducting two workshops, participating in the paper review committee and editing the proceedings.
KSU Faculty Contributions
Conference Co-Chair: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Proceedings Editor: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Paper Session Moderators: Chris Welty, Ameen Farooq, Marietta Monaghan, Tim Frank (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Workshop Presenter: M. Saleh Uddin and Chris Welty “Moving Entourage in Architectural Animation” (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Workshop Presenter: Tim Frank “Ecological Design Simulation” (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Member of Paper Review Committee: Mine Hashas and M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Authors of published papers in the printed proceedings or paper presenter: Ameen Farooq, Hussein Abaza, Marietta Monaghan, M. Saleh Uddin, Tim Frank (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Conference Introductory and Concluding Address: M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
"Precedent Study: A design Inhibitor or Facilitator in Design Foundation", Ameen Farooq (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
"Marietta High School’s Haiti Restoration and Reclamation Container Building Research Project", Marietta Monaghan (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
"Marietta High School Haiti Container Project", Theodore Grosch, Leon Grant, Marietta Monaghan, Marcellus Pitts (Kennesaw State Univ., Marietta School District, Kennesaw State Univ., Fowler-Pitts Associates)
"Threat Mitigation through Design: Designing out threat in educational environment", AKM Zahidul Islam, Univ of North Texas, M. Saleh Uddin
"Interdisciplinary Collaborative Project at a Polytechnic: A High Hurdles Race", Leslie G. Hankey, M. Saleh Uddin (Department of Digital Writing and Media Arts, Kennesaw State University; Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
"International Collaboration for Teaching GIS in Afghanistan", Hussein Abaza, Charner Rodgers (Department of Construction Management, Kennesaw State of University)
"Mapping Atmosphere: Sketching the Ambient Qualities of Islamic Space", Tim Frank (Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State of University)
Marietta Daily Journal: Architecture student earns national award for sustainable design
May 8, 2016
April 28, 2016
Laura Sherman was working in her Integrated Design Studio class last semester when she stumbled upon a call for entries in The American Institute of Architects (AIA) student design competition that seemed perfectly suited to her latest architecture project.
Her design was selected recently by the AIA Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE), in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), as one of 10 recipients of the AIA COTE Top Ten for Students.
The national competition, now in its second year, recognizes 10 exceptional studio projects that fuse innovative, regenerative strategies within broader architectural design concepts. Sherman’s project was selected based on her integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology.
Her project, "O2O4W: Oxygen House in the Old Fourth Ward District", proposes a new facility on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium in Atlanta. The MLK Natatorium was a social and activity hub for the surrounding neighborhoods but was determined to be structurally unsound. As part of their studio design proposals, students were required to introduce a new community amenity, along with a center for lung health and well-being, explained Edwin Akins, associate professor of architecture, who teaches the Integrated Design Studio course in the College of Architecture and Construction Management at Kennesaw State.
To meet the requirements, Sherman’s design included a community room, an outdoor pool with supporting facilities, a childcare center, an extension of the existing gymnasium and a public café. As part of the studio course, students were asked to combine a lung cancer or asthma consultation clinic with their public outreach programs.
Sherman explained that this was very difficult because the programs introduced dissimilar requirements for private and public spaces.
“The goal was to design this space to complement each other,” Sherman said. “A community center is very social and open to the public, and as a counterpoint, a lung cancer clinic should have privacy and limited access.”
The ground-level community center that she designed acts as a pillar to the upper-level consultation clinic by providing community support and awareness, she explained.
“This project was about balancing many things: technology, sustainability and the structure of the building. I also had to consider how it feels to be a cancer patient or a resident of a neighborhood,” she added.
To meet the requirements of the AIA competition, Sherman’s project had to meet some additional criteria, which Sherman worked on between semesters with the help of faculty mentor Edwin Akins, who helped her to refine some of the technical aspects.
“Laura’s work was clearly a synthesis of content from multiple courses into one studio project,” said Akins. “She skillfully maneuvered her work through multiple scales to capture the experiences and technical documentation of a truly exceptional design proposal.”
Akins said that Laura and her classmates were a strong group who integrated their passion for learning and environmental stewardship into their assigned projects.
“I am so proud of her work and the work of all of our students in the Architecture department. They are a committed and talented group of young adults who are proving to be true leaders in the field,” he said.
The AIA competition program challenged students to submit projects that provide architectural solutions to protect and enhance the environment. Sherman said that the most interesting part of creating for the AIA competition – and architecture, in general – was trying to solve a complex problem through design.
“There is no perfect solution to any design problem,” she added. “It just engages you in being creative.”
The Athens, Georgia native, whose mother worked as an architect at the University of Georgia, first learned that she wanted to study architecture while in high school, when she attended the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program for visual arts. There, she recalled how much she enjoyed “making spaces.”
Sherman’s work has been honored a few times this year, leading up to the top AIA student award. She earned first place in the department’s comprehensive design studio awards at Kennesaw State.
Sherman and two of her classmates were also the only three students in Georgia honored by the 2016 AIA Georgia Design and Honor Awards for their innovative design work. In addition to the Merit Award, Sherman also earned the People’s Choice Award for her project.
Katrina Alano earned an Honor Award for her project, “The Oxygen Pavilion,” and William Lentjes, earned a Merit Award for his work, “International Living Future Institute: South-East Headquarters.”
Sherman’s honored work will be on view at the AIA Annual Convention in Philadelphia in May and the ACSA annual meeting in 2017.
Beyond her design work, Sherman is a Goldgeier Scholar, which provides an annual scholarship award to a deserving architecture student at Kennesaw State. She also is the recipient of three other scholarships, including the James G. Fausett Scholarship, the AIA Dorothy P. Spence Scholarship, and is the first recipient of the Jeremy Smith Memorial Scholarship.
Because of Sherman’s desire to give back, she recently led a group of architecture students in hosting a fundraising event, which raised several thousand dollars during the Jeremy Smith Scholarship Fund Napkin Sketch Gallery Auction.
Original story | Story written by Tiffany Capuano; photo by David Caselli
Recent KSU Architecture graduate to teach workshop at ACADIA Conference 2016
April 26, 2016
Hakim Hasan, (KSU Architecture, B.ARCH 2015) will be teaching a workshop entitled “Design Space Construction – Defining, optimizing, and communicating performance-based building design spaces” at the upcoming ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) Conference, to be held at the University of Michigan Taubman College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 27 - 29, 2016. Hasan will be representing Perkins + Will, where he currently works as an Architect for their Atlanta firm.
For more information about the conference, visit: 2016.acadia.org
April 1, 2016
Dean’s List Sponsors:
A.D.E. Builders, Inc.
Honor Roll Sponsor:
David A. English Architect, PC
Gary B. Coursey & Associates, Architects
Hole in One Sponsor:
Million Dollar Shot Sponsors:
Adele P. Grubbs
Human Element Architects, LLC
R.A. Lee & Associates, Architects
The Sherwin-Williams Company
Faculty of the Dept of Architecture
$10,000 Putting Contest Sponsor:
P. Marshall & Associates, LLC
Golf Clinic Sponsors:
Terracon Consultants, Inc.
Terracon Consultants, Inc.
Beverage Cart Sponsors:
Wallace Engineering Structural Consultants, Inc.
Shull and Associates, Inc.
KSU Architecture Students Dominate the 2016 AIA Georgia Design & Honor Awards
March 30, 2016
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Georgia has announced the finalists for their 2016 Design & Honor Awards, and KSU Architecture students have proudly claimed all three finalist spots in the “Student Projects” category. The projects include:
“International Living Future Institute: South-East Headquarters” | William Lentjes
“The Oxygen Pavillion” | Katrina Alano
“O2O4W: Oxygen House in the Old Fourth Ward District” | Laura Sherman
In addition, KSU Architecture Professor, Bill Carpenter, was selected as a finalist in the "Design + Innovation, Built Projects" category, for his project “Paty Modern” for Lightroom.
All of the finalists were nominated for the “People’s Choice” award, along with a project from a fourth KSU Architecture student, Brandon Aultman, for his project, “O4W Oxygen House”.
March 20, 2016
Ten Kennesaw State University Architecture students and Assistant Architecture Professor, Tim Frank, participated in the Technology Student Association (TSA) State Leadership Conference (SLC), held at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia March 16 - 19, 2016.
During the conference, KSU students mentored middle and high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics (STEAM) career paths, as well as their advisors. The KSU participants also judged competitive events, including fashion, photography, CAD drawing, architectural renovation and video game design.
Participation in the TSA SLC provided the College a great opportunity to interact with high and middle school students from all over the state who display self-drive and motivation in the areas of design and technology.
KSU Participants (Architecture students):
ArchiTour 2016: KSU ARCH Students Visit Chicago
March 20, 2016
This semester, KSU’s Architecture students decided to visit Chicago as part of the Department of Architecture’s ArchiTours Program. Dr. Setiawan and seventeen students spent three days (March 17 - 20) exploring and analyzing architecture in the windy city.
March 11, 2016
On March 11, 2016, Julie and Jim Kimball of Canton joined in a signing ceremony with College of Architecture and Construction Management Dean, Rich Cole, to formalize their philanthropic commitment to benefit students in the Department of Architecture. Julie and Jim are in the process of fulfilling a pledge to endow a travel scholarship to assist deserving architecture students to travel on domestic or international study abroad programs sanctioned through the Architecture Department. Also participating in the signing ceremony was son Jason Kimball, BArch 2008.
March 4, 2016
Rick Fredlund (Cooper Cary), Alex Paulson (Randall-Paulson), Lisa Tuttle (Fulton County Public Arts), Mike Wittenstein (Storyminers), Julie Newell (KSU) and Todd Harper (KSU)
Finalist: Landon Clark ($1,000)
Summer Travel Awards: Paa Kwesi Amponsah ($600) and Asta Varneckience ($400)
People's Choice: Kris Goettig ($200)
Cooper Carry, Inc.; Randall-Paulson Architects; and College of Architecture
Photo showing architecture student 3-Minute Thesis Competition participants (left to right): Jonathan McConnell, P.K. Amponsah, Jun Xu, Landon Clark, Asta Varneckience, Kushal Patel, Kris Goettig, Michael Diaz, and James Logan Patterson.