Contact: Madison Welzbacher
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Sixteen teams of Mississippi State architecture and building construction science students have spent recent weeks learning to work together as design professionals for their spring collaborative studio project, and their work is benefitting the Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity.
A partnership between the School of Architecture and the Building Construction Science program in MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, the joint project is sponsored by the PCI Foundation Studio grant to teach students the necessity of multidisciplinary cooperation in designing building projects.
Teams of five—each with three architecture and two building construction science students—have designed housing plans for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, which builds affordable housing for low-income families. The students’ designs may see implementation on an existing local site owned by the organization.
The students also have submitted their projects to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 2022 Habitat Design Competition, which required them to create a climate-positive design with precast concrete as the primary building material. Teams recently presented their designs to judges from both the Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity and the PCI Foundation.
Alexis Gregory, an associate professor in the School of Architecture, served as the studio coordinator. She said for many of the students, the group project was their first opportunity to collaborate with those from other disciplines, as well as design with a budget and client in mind. She said they learned a lot about how to design in a “real world” context and to understand other perspectives while working together.
“Architecture and construction students are very different in how they approach things,” Gregory said. “The benefit of the studio is to have them start to learn what those differences are and how to overcome them in order to have a successful project together.”
Kobe Clouthier, a junior architecture student from Garden City, Idaho, whose team received accolades for their work, said the project helped his group better understand how building projects are created in professional spaces.
“We haven’t had to work in this environment before,” Clouthier said. “We’ve always been really free with budget, and so having the budget and the materials be very specific was very real-world and helpful in that sense.”
Two student teams were recognized for their outstanding work, with each individual student receiving a $100 cash award.
Winners from the architecture major include Elaine Otts of Beaverton, Alabama; Michael Chew of Birmingham, Alabama; Du’Juan Brown of Collinsville; Mary Stafford Shurden of Drew; Kobe Clouthier of Garden City, Idaho; and Jacob Bryson of Jackson.
Winners from the building construction science major include Colby Stalcup of Acworth, Georgia; Chapman Cooper of Columbus; Elizabeth Gallagher of Greenwood; and Tanner Madison of Hernando.
Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design at www.caad.msstate.edu.
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