STARKVILLE, Miss.--Teams of fourth-year architecture, interior design and building construction science majors at Mississippi State University began the fall semester working together in the third annual Brasfield & Gorrie Student Design Competition.
Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors of Birmingham, Ala., is annually contributing $5,000 through 2016 to support an interdisciplinary student design competition in the university's College of Architecture, Art and Design.
"Brasfield & Gorrie's generous support over the past three years has allowed students in these three disciplines to better understand each student's particular expertise," said David Lewis, interim director of the college's building construction science program. "One team even told me they'd like to start their own firm together after this."
Participating students were challenged to devise a system that enabled contributions from all three academic areas while effectively upholding the standards of each professional discipline.
"The Brasfield & Gorrie project provides unparalleled experience for the students in architecture, building construction science and interior design," said Lyndsey Miller, assistant professor in interior design. "At no other point in their academic career will the students be thrust into a collaborative work environment and encouraged to produce an end product that requires each discipline to coordinate simultaneously.
"Employers have long since seen the benefit of integrated design and construction, and evidence of this project will certainly provide a competitive advantage for our students as they enter the workforce," Miller added.
Specifically, this year's challenge involved the transformation of MSU's McCarthy Gymnasium's west side from an interior exit into an interior main entrance. At present, the 1,800-square-foot area lies beneath concrete bleacher supports. The site was researched and analyzed by the student teams before their concluding jury presentations.
Jury members included Michael Berk, MSU's School of Architecture director; Tom Leathem, building construction science assistant professor; and William Riehm, interior design assistant professor.
Senior Katharine L. "Kate" Berryman of Cordova, Tenn., an interior design major on the winning team, credited extra time spent outside of class for her group's success.
"I think they were annoyed with me saying the words 'Starbucks' and 'coffee' by the time we were finished," she said. "Overall, I think all of us were really proud of our final product; even if we hadn't won the competition, we knew we had created something special."
Berryman is the daughter of Mitch and Laura Berryman.
Other first-place winners included, by hometown:
BATON ROUGE, La.--Senior building construction science major Larry E. "Trey" East III, son of Larry and Kim East.
FRANKLIN, Tenn.--Fourth-year architecture major Jordan L. Hanson, son of Kevin and Sharon Hanson.
PASS CHRISTIAN--Fourth-year architecture major Cory A. May, son of David and Donna May.
TORONTO, Ontario--Senior building construction science major Cameron J. Robulack, son of John and Gayle Robulack.
The second-place winners included, by hometown:
BILOXI--Fourth-year architecture major W. Kyle Stover, son of William and Kathy Stover.
CLINTON--Senior interior design major Mary Claire Cardin, daughter of Tommie and Susan Cardin.
GULFPORT--Senior building construction science major John William White, son of Mark and Melody White.
JACKSON--Fourth-year architecture major John David Lewis, son of John and Anne Lewis.
TUPELO--Senior building construction science major Samuel W. "Sam" Hand, son of George and Joy Hand.