Contact: Zack Plair
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture will use funds from a highly-competitive national grant to expand its students’ horizons.
The school, part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, was one of three programs in the nation to receive a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards award, the organization announced recently. With the $30,048 award, the school will plan and implement a new class for undergraduates, called Expanding the Agency of Architects, for the fall 2016 semester.
NCARB awards recognize architecture programs that integrate practice and education; raise awareness of the architect’s responsibilities for the public health, safety, and welfare; and bring non-faculty practitioners into the academy. This is MSU’s second NCARB award, the first received for a project in 2003.
“Winning the NCARB Prize is like receiving an Emmy Award for a faculty member in the discipline of architecture,” said Michael Berk, director for the School of Architecture and the F.L. Crane Professor of Architecture. “This national acknowledgement reinforces the strong relationship our faculty and students have with the architectural profession in our state.”
Associate Professor John Poros and Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn will instruct the course, which will focus on how architects can use their skills for social impact. The main idea, McGlohn said, is to compel students to break free from the idea of waiting for clients to bring in projects and instead develop projects to take to prospective clients.
“It’s really about community involvement and identifying issues that can be solved through architecture and design,” McGlohn said. “You see a need, take the idea to the community, and you can sometimes even find the funding mechanism for the project.”
Poros also directs the Carl Small Town Center at MSU, an outreach program in the School of Architecture that works with communities across Mississippi on project design.
The three-credit-hour course will consist of lectures, McGlohn said, and a final project that will send students to Greenwood. While there, they will meet with community members, investigate a problem, propose design solutions and find funding for the project. Greenwood architect and Enterprise Rose Fellow Emily Roush-Elliot will assist the students in the field, McGlohn added, and she will conduct a series of hands-on workshops on campus during the course of the semester.
McGlohn expects the course to accommodate 12-20 students per semester, and all majors are welcome. Though the grant only guarantees one semester of the course, she hopes the School of Architecture can offer the course each fall.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.