White House: Perkes a 'Champion of Change'
The founding director of Mississippi State's Gulf Coast Community Design Studio will be honored Tuesday, July 19 at the White House.
David J. Perkes of Biloxi is a new selection for President Barack Obama's Champions of Change initiative. An associate professor of architecture, he led in opening the Harrison County-based studio--an arm of the university's School of Architecture--in the devastating aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
Over the years, the design studio has provided planning and design for numerous affordable and sustainable housing initiatives. Perkes and his staff also have worked to help strengthen the local economy, create jobs and help the Gulf Coast area recover from last summer's massive oil-rig spill.
"All across the country, ordinary Americans are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world," explains the Champions of Change website. "Every week, we will invite the Champions of Change to the White House to share their ideas to win the future." [For more, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.]
Recently, Perkes was part of a four-member team receiving the American Institute of Architecture's prestigious Latrobe Prize. The $100,000 research grant supports their proposal titled "Public Interest Practice in Architecture," an investigation of "needs that may be addressed by public interest practices and the variety of ways that public interest practices are operating." [For details, visit www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=5260.]
Perkes holds a master's degree in architecture from the University of Utah.
Sammy McDavid | University Relations