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Eyes Wide Open:  College of Design Students Travel to Thailand

February 4, 2016   |  

Project Credits:

UK/CoD Education Abroad
University of Kentucky College of Design
Eyes Wide Open:  College of Design Students Travel to Thailand
During winter break, before the start of the spring 2016 semester, a group of UK interior design students travelled to the other side of the world to explore a new culture. Led by assistant professor Lindsey Fay, these students spent 17 days exploring the country of Thailand but will forever have the impact of their visit imprinted on their newfound cultural perspective.

Rather than finite take-aways, Fay explained that the journey was more about the big picture experience. “It’s not as much about the details as the immersion in a new culture,” she said. “Particularly a non-Western culture, and this re-developing country of Cambodia. For them to see that was really eye-opening.”
Her students couldn’t agree more. “It definitely gave me a better perspective on the global aspect of design,” said Megan Conrad, a fourth-year student, explaining the large impact that color and nature has on the Thai culture.
One of the many experiences these students encountered was the personal story shared by one of their guides. Despite having just met, the guide told the account of his life after the Vietnam War. From living through the genocide and losing his parents, to becoming a member of a guerrilla warfare group, he was honest about the impact these experiences had on his life. 

This firsthand account was an eye-opening discovery for many of Fay’s students. “For a lot of those students, they barely knew [the genocide] happened in the first place. If so, it was something brushed over in history class,” said Fay. “To get this account really left a personal impact on us.”
This cultural perspective is what left its mark on graduate student Elizabeth Hern: “The experience alone, just realizing the difference in people. There is a stark contrast in Cambodia, what they’ve been through yet they are such understanding people.”

The dual purpose of exploring a new culture as well as its design influence came together while in Thailand. “Different cultures operate in different ways, languages are different,” said Fay. “The more physical nuance – textures, colors, patterns – can really leave an impact on them in terms of design.”

Faculty Feature - Associate Professor of Architecture Jason Scroggin’s Work Featured

September 24, 2015   |  

Project Credits: Massimals by Dots. Photograph by Magnus Lindqvist of GLINTstudios

University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Architecture

Associate Professor of Architecture Jason Scroggin’s Work Featured in UK’s Experience Art with SAB

UK/CoD Associate Professor of Architecture Jason Scroggin presents a new edition of his Massimals series developed by his design research office, DOTS, on UK’s campus Monday, September 21 through Friday, September 25.
The UK Student Activities Board (SAB) Cultural Arts Committee invited Professor Scroggin to the display the work in the area between the Mining and Minerals Resource Building and the Rose Street Garage (Parking Structure #2) as part of the first Art Matters event.
The pieces are developed as a study on the relationship between digital design and fabrication in the form of playful objects. Be sure to check them out before they're gone!

Photograph by GLINTstudios.

See the UKNOW article on the event here.

Studio Feature – Point of Departure: Sustainable Campus Bus Shelters

July 24, 2015   |  

Project Credits: Assistant Professor of Architecture Martin Summers with Thompson Burry (4th year), Owen Duross (4th year), Hans Koesters (2nd year Grad), Ari Sogin (4th year)

Point of Departure, 4th and Graduate Architecture Studio
University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Architecture
The project began with a simple idea: Develop a solar powered bus shelter on the University of Kentucky campus. While this goal is at the heart of the research, it is clear that to see it within this narrow scope represented a huge missed opportunity. This is our “Point of Departure.” 
An interdisciplinary team was formed and led by Assistant Professor of Architecture Martin Summers and Research Engineer for the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) Michael Wilson, to engage School of Architecture and Senior Electrical Engineering (EE) students to address issues critical to our campus, the City of Lexington, and urbanization. The project evolved into an interdisciplinary collaboration where architecture and engineering students addressed issues of sustainability to impact the lives of the student body and to produce engaging shelters as an outward expression of research on campus.  
The idea gained traction in the fall of 2014 when the team was awarded one of the inaugural, University of Kentucky Sustainability Challenge Grants.  Over the spring 2015 semester the architecture and engineering teams worked in parallel on tasks associated with grant deliverables and collaborated through team meetings, schedules and public presentations.  The EE students developed a mock-up of a small solar array as a “proof of concept,” and as part of a capstone engineering project.  The prototype reached significant completion by mid-semester and began collecting data related to solar generation, lighting, display/interactivity, and measurement. The overall collaboration led to fruitful ideas and insights, shared knowledge, new understanding, and developed a sustainable strategy for the team and its future. 
Point of Departure Studio:
The goal of the studio was to leverage architectural thinking to address issues on campus where new ideas could make a significant impact.  With the recent campus reconstruction, it was clear that there was an opportunity to engage the conversation of design on a 21st century campus through a strategic acupuncture, while improving the riders experience of the transportation network.  The nature of the transportation network, and by extension the shelter as its physical manifestation, places each of the sites at an edge or threshold to campus. This is a significant moment conceptually, where someone’s experience fo arriving is now an educational opportunity that adds value to the overall campus.
The architecture students began the spring semester with an abstract digital exercise that aided in developing a common understanding of form, process, methodology and rapport amongst themselves and with Assistant Professor Summers.  Those connective strategies were then tested at the scale of a shelter while others in the team began analyzing the University of Kentucky Campus Master Plan and the Transportation Master Plan, both concurrently in design by Sasaki Associates.  The studio research produced a valuable new perspective on the campus systems, interactions and future growth, and how they might begin to affect the needs of the individual shelters/sites.  An idea emerged from the campus context, what if each shelter could produce its own quad or new social space?  The concept of the quad related directly to the master plans goal of increasing identifiable green space on campus, and symbiotically linking the shelters to their context.  The individual sites were now becoming part of a larger green space network identifiable with the architectural interventions and new programmatic opportunities not typically associated with bus shelters.
With each significant iteration of the project, the work was presented in an architectural review to the entire team and campus stakeholders to hear feedback regarding the direction of the work, our progress, and to coordinate the efforts with the evolving master plans. Four sites were ultimately selected for exploration based on the campus research, solar access, identity, impact, energy grid connection and input from UK Parking and Transportation and the Transportation Master Plan.
During the late spring/early summer, the work has continued through several meetings with UK administration and Lextran.  We are on track to continue this work in the fall semester as the project shifts from a broader research exercise to a specific design project for a specific site.  This next phase will serve as a Pre-Schematic Design phase where the team will begin to work closely with administration, with outside consultants and with the stakeholders to develop the design further, adding greater specificity to achieve better estimates for future construction.
Architecture Students:
Thompson Burry, Owen Duross, Hans Koesters, Ari Sogin
Engineering Students:
Ian Gibson, Stephen Hardy, Robert Hieronymus, Robert Royalty, Donnie Spencer, Philip White
Special Thanks To:
Melody Flowers, Director of Strategic Analysis in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration who has worked with us from the start.  Her additional role as the head of UK’s Transportation Master Plan has been tremendously beneficial to the team’s understanding of the evolving plans while they are in process.  She has also been the liaison to administration, presenting the project and helping garner support to move us all to the next phase.
Stuart Kearns, Associate Director of Transportation Services (PTS) who participated in design reviews and helped the team with site selection and issues related to the overall network.
Britney Thompson, Energy Engineer at the University of Kentucky who participated early meetings and design reviews where her knowledge of campus energy and solar were invaluable.
Shane Tedder, the University of Kentucky Sustainability Coordinator who was literally in the first meetings about the project last summer and who has participated in all the reviews, helping to steer the conversation in constructive ways toward a more sustainable campus.
The project to date has been funded by the University of Kentucky Sustainability Challenge Grant Program, a program developed as a collaborative effort of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability the Environment (TFISE) and the UK Office of Sustainability.
The team displayed the research at UK’s Earth Day event held at the Student Center and a portion of the team was interviewed on WRFL’s “Green Talks” series, which you can listen to here.

Studio Feature – Shawneetown Community Garden

June 26, 2015   |  

Students in the School of Interiors and the Department of Horticulture, under the direction of Assistant Professor Helen Turner and Assistant Professor Krista Jacobsen, developed design interventions for the Shawneetown Garden, a community project adjacent to the Shawneetown Graduate Residence Facility, home to a number of UK graduate students and their families.
The Shawneetown Gardens began as a student initiative in 2009, and has grown from a gardening space of 20 plots to over 70. Although the gardens have been heavily utilized by Graduate and Family housing residents, a crumbling infrastructure, lack of organized design, and isolation keeps them from their full potential as a sustainable initiative on campus. By collaborating with students from the College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment and student organizations, this project is giving students hands-on strategies for implementing  community and sustainability to create a sense of place.
The project is funded by the University of Kentucky Sustainability Challenge Grant Program. This program was developed as a collaborative effort of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability the Environment (TFISE) and the UK Office of Sustainability. As 2014 is the inaugural year for the program, the steering committee hopes to continue to offer the grants on an annual basis. 
"The campus response to the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program has been tremendous with outstanding proposals from nearly two dozen interdisciplinary teams," said Shane Tedder, University of Kentucky sustainability coordinator. "The seven projects selected for funding all demonstrated a clear focus on sustainability and transformational potential for the campus. These projects also involve high levels of meaningful student engagement and make innovative use of the campus as a living laboratory."
UKNOW also featured a story (by Whitney Harder) on the Shawneetown Community Garden.  You can find the link to that story here
You can also Follow the Shawneetown Community Garden on Facebook.

Travel Studio - Prague and Rome

June 26, 2015   |  

Professors David Biagi and Mark O’Bryan led a group of 25 design students to the ancient cities of Prague and Rome. In this summer seminar course, students explored the relationship between city and country, and the elements of a city through object fabric, component, and landscape.
Students visited sites of cultural and historic significance, including the Prague Castle, Saint Vitras Cathedral, San Gimigiano, Assisi, Hadrian’s Villa, Villa d’Este, and the Vatican. Outside of scheduled course time, students had the opportunity to travel on their own. 
As part of the course requirements, architecture students were challenged to create either hand or computer drawings of a structure in modern Rome, such as a church, museum, or boutique hotel, and include detailed plans, elevations, site plans, and models. Interiors students were promted to create a design concept for a boutique hotel and retail space complete with lobby, courtyards, and public and public spaces.
The students will host an exhibition of their photographs and project work in Pence Hall August 26-September 6.

Studio Feature – Post Occupancy Evaluation of Champion’s Court

June 25, 2015   |  

Students in the School of Interiors evaluated the living and learning community of Champions Court I, one of the new residence halls at the University of Kentucky.
Under the direction of Assistant Professor Rebekah Radtke, and with grant funding from the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the students conducted focus groups, held a community event for residents, and observed the usage of common spaces and facilities.
The students presented their findings to University officials, and offered suggestions that could influence the design of Limestone Park I, a new residence hall that is currently under construction.
The Living Learning Program at the University of Kentucky recognizes that college students learn both in and out of the classroom. The Office of Residence Life has collaborated with academic partners and other student success partners to complement the classroom experience.
Through Living Learning Communities and Residential Colleges, students have an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment. This dynamic residential experience will offer specialized programming, interactions with UK faculty and staff; and a supportive community that focuses on student success.

End of Year Show

May 21, 2015   |  

Students and faculty celebrated the end of the 2014-2015 year with the annual UK/CoD End of Year Show in Pence Hall.

Work from fourth year and graduate students was on display throughout the building, and the newly renovated first floor was open to visitors for the first time since completion.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos.

photos by GLINTstudios.

Historic Preservation Awards

May 13, 2015   |  

The facutly of the Department of Historic Preservation honored their students in an awards ceremony on Thursday, May 7.

The following students were recognized:

  • Christina Sabol received the Helen Edwards Abell Memorial Award for outstanding performance and excellence in the study of historic preservation.
  • Katie McNamee received the Clay Lancaster Memorial Prize for excellence in the study of the history of American architecture.
  • Caitlin Edge received the Faculty Honor Award for Excellence in the Master's Project.
  • Justin Hathaway received the Chair's Prize for his excellent performance in the study of historic preservation.
  • Lauren Poole received the Dean's Prize in Historic Preservation, presented to an outstanding graduating student for distinguished achievement, for excellence in the master's project, and for professional promise.

Design showcase for West Liberty

April 28, 2015   |  

by Whitney Hale, UKNow
Later this week, students from the University of Kentucky College of Design will present their concepts to aid in the rebuilding of West Liberty, as well as their work on a farm-to-table restaurant that will lay the foundation for an emerging fabrication partnership for the community ravaged by a tornado in spring of 2012. Doors open for the event at 4:30 p.m. and will include a formal presentation and an exhibit from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at the Morehead State University Academic Center Building, in West Liberty.
Now in its third year, UK College of Design began addressing issues related to West Liberty starting with a National Science Foundation-funded Systems Thinking for Sustainability (NSF-STFS) course in 2013 led by UK College of Design Associate Dean for Research Gregory Luhan, the John Russell Groves Endowed Professor of Architecture, and a team of UK and Texas A&M University (TAMU) faculty from multiple colleges and departments.
Luhan began publishing the work for West Liberty from his three studios starting in spring 2014 with the book "West Liberty. Moving Forward. Together" developed by Kindall Stephens. This book features the studio work at the TAMU Department of Architecture using UK's STFS course work led by Luhan who was on-site in Texas from 2013-2014. The following fall, his UK studio published its work under the title "West Liberty. Revive. Rebuild. Reflect." The concepts, research and work of his most recent studio are featured in "West Liberty. Building Our Future."
The current interdisciplinary design studio, comprised of 11 students from the UK School of Architecture, worked with industry partners and stakeholders from Lexington, Morehead, West Liberty and Morgan County to develop prototypes for primary and secondary use products germane to the region. These prototypes include a vertical farm, a farmer’s market, a farm-to-table restaurant, a cultural heritage center, a hotel, a bicycle hub, mixed-use bookstore/cafe, an educatorium event space, a recycling center and sorghum/hemp/timber manufacturing facilities.
In addition to proposals for the community's future, the studio is developing an innovative fabrication partnership with Morehead State University and the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, who would assist the studio in fabricating, assembling and finishing furniture and built-in cabinetry for the proposed projects.
The West Liberty projects also expand the college's successful HBEER (Houseboats to Energy Efficient Residences) grant-funded research initiative beyond residential and school-based constructions to include offices and clinics. Luhan’s team is nearing the completion of a first commercial structure, a restaurant – Giovanni’s on Prestonsburg Road in downtown West Liberty.
The West Liberty studio's proposals are also garnering attention outside the state, showing their relevance to answering problems across the nation, as well as internationally. In early April, the studio, which includes members of our university's Big Blue Impact | Making Sustainability Visible team, presented collaborative and artistic approaches to visualizing big data at the Consortium of Design Educators Symposium in Oxford, Ohio. The BBI team then ran a workshop at Fabricate 2015 AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students) Quad Conference for design students from across the United States. The workshop was titled "Data-driven Installations." Both presentations are rooted in the formative structures of multidisciplinary and collaborative teamwork and are working to narrow the gap between data and design. This fall, the team’s co-authored research paper will be presented in Vienna, Austria. 

Fabricate: AIAS Midwest Quad

April 16, 2015   |  

UK/CoD student organization AIAS hosted the annual midwest quad in Pence Hall April 10-12. Each year, regional conferences take place annually in the Fall and Spring in the Midwest, Northeast, South, and West Quads. These gatherings, known as Quad Conferences, are hosted by local chapters who have been selected to organize the event by their Quad. Themes vary based on the city, local culture, and architectural topic of choice. Intensive day-long workshops of small studios allowed participants to create a collaborative projects with dedicated designers from across the Midwest. The aim of Fabricate was to reintroduce the relevance of design innovation to the conference scheme, for an experience that applies to the intense diversity of architecture students, embracing both the technical and the theoretical.

The conference kicked off with a lecture by keynote speaker Nader Tehrani, professor of architecture at MIT and principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry.

Worshop topics included:

De Peter Yi / Studio Gang
Simply put, this workshop is about amassing forms. As part of a wider discourse in contemporary architectural production, the workshop examines recent efforts by architects in breaking the individual/collective dichotomy through the design and construction of high-density housing. From Herzog and de Meuron’s Wood Wharf tower in London to Studio Gang’s 160 Folsom tower in San Francisco, architects are generating new unit to whole relationships amid economic and social forces that tend to push urbanization’s embodied forms into either extreme homogeneity (think Hong Kong) or heterogeneity (think San Paulo). Using these and other precedents as a starting point, the workshop will foreground a series of studies on stacking, multiplying, deleting, aligning, shifting, rotating, and other strategies for aggregation, culminating in the construction of a mass – a highly specific yet open minded installation that makes claims for the potential it generates.
Greg Luhan / UKCoD / LUHANstudio
This workshop focuses on methods for visualizing sustainability through data analysis, interactivity, and intermodal data visualization. Situated as context for interdisciplinary design and collaboration, the workshop will examine responsive and distributed systems as viable mechanisms for depicting an individual’s impact on group initiatives. The workshop will generate a kinetic, feedback-driven, and resilient structure as a final fabricated installation.
Marty Summers / UKCoD / PLUS SUM
As our tools and methods of producing new and unique solutions expand, it is imperative that architects learn how to rapidly evaluate, analyze, alter, and adapt solutions within a fluid process of discovery. In an academic context, students learn to craft expedient solutions in which the digital model is often a superficial representation. In contrast, the digital model in professional practice is becoming the constructed reality with material and construction processes embedded in the model. In this workshop we will explore issues of poché, mass, organization, and formal combinations through a series of iterative digital models. The process will drive the solution requireing quick decisions and rapid digital iterations. Participants will learn that any problem is within a field of relative relations where they control the specifics from macro to micro interactions, and where they are now primed to seek out new combinations to manifest win-win solutions.
Graham Gordon / SHoP
Drapes is a workshop in which students will be creating small scale objects by casting concrete or similar media, using fabric-form techniques.  This analog form-finding technique allows the media and the formwork to find a mutual geometry that cannot necessarily be predicted before the final product has cured.  This exercise will yield results that can be interpreted as architectural/structural mock-ups, autonomous objects (facade panel, fruit bowl, platter) or simply as sculpture.  Students will spend the first part of the workshop learning techniques and designing armature / formwork prototypes. The second part of the workshop will be dedicated to fabricating the formwork, casting the media, and developing a presentation board.
Rives Rash / UKCoD / Rash, LLC
The act of drawing is how things are quantified and produced. Occasionally during the process of creating an artifact, drawings result that rival the intensity, expression, and potential of the pursued product. The end product often becomes a ‘let down’ to the maker. These drawings are directly related to the diligence necessary during fabrication. This workshop will explore how these fabrication drawings may become an end product in themselves.
Chandler Ahrens / Washington University in St. Louis / Open Source Architecture
This workshop will examine plastic to elastic behaviors through material computation. Bending stress can be computed through material experimentation, and when applied strategically it can take advantage of the natural form finding process when stresses find equilibrium. Providing counter forces will require the lamination of composite assemblies of dissimilar elements. Strategically embedding stresses into the system prior to lamination will induce plastic behaviors in the assembly, which will be used to create a prototype that forms the base system. The final stage of the workshop will deploy the system through an increase in quantity of laminated elements within either a single surface or a series of surfaces. As such, the topological condition generated from the elastic�plastic forces in the material informs the process of adapting the surface to a range of possible geometries. The workshop will also integrate digital analysis and predictive systems with Kangaroo, a physics engineering application for Grasshopper in Rhino.
Siebe Bakker / UKCoD / bureaubakker
Many architects look back with envy toward their illustrious predecessors from the early 20th century: Felix Candela, Le Corbusier, and Oscar Niemeyer. Their envy originates from the possibility of building truly monolithic structures, nowadays made virtual impossible by environmentally driven building physics requirements, labor costs combined with traditional formwork technologies, and a wide-spread negative perception of the weathering of fair faced concrete. However, still today the idea of building in one material still evokes an almost magical attraction. This workshop will explore the architectural potential of a material that fulfills this desire, within the current structural and energy demands. A monolithic solution with depth, creating freedom from ‘packaged’ or ‘layered’ flat and nearly 2-dimensional facades: the cavity walls. Through brainstorming and rapid design an array of possibilities will be unveiled.
Jason Scroggin / UKCoD / D.O.T.S.
The goal of this workshop is to develop full-scale interactive models out of off-the shelf components using iterative methods of assembly. The design and construction of the final product(s) will be carried out as a collaborative team project. We will begin the workshop with a discussion of issues of tectonics, typology, and interactivity. This will drive the design and construction of a series of material constructs that consider the relationship between digital design and assembly processes to examine how physical form can engage the public realm.
Tony Roccanova / UKCoD
Drawing is inventing and creating, it is about learning to see people and things, it is a way to remember what is seen. Drawing is a construction and a means for transmitting a thought or a feeling. In drawing one can penetrate into the heart of things. Drawing is a search for truth and a testimony to the existence of the beautiful. Time, space, structure and form are the body of architecture while drawing is the tool that ignites its soul. Architecture needs the human body and the way to achieve a meaningful understanding of that statement is through the making of drawings using the body as focus, model and example. This workshop is about drawing the nude human figure, seeking its expressive fields of thought, gesture, proportion, movement and emotion. The employed means will be observation, paper, chalks, contour and color.
Adrian Elder / alt32
Brian Wagner / LVL1
This workshop will be an investigation into the research and development of architectural installations through technological mediums such as Arduino, embedded microprocessors, servo motors, ultrasonic sensors, capacitive sensors, LEDs, NeoPixels, EL Wire and much more. Components like these allow for art and architecture to become alive as they respond to their surrounding environments. Our goal is to create an interactive piece that illuminates a space based on its interaction with movement, sound, and light. The workshop will be a crash course in soldering electronics, LEDs, wires, and circuit boards, programming embedded microprocessors, and combining mentioned technological gadgets into an overall installation. Other materials such as wood, plexi, mylar, vellum, and whatever else the creative mind can think of will be applied to investigate volumes, planes, and transparencies in collaboration with these technological systems.
Madison Elder / Lexington Fashion Collaborative
“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” From Coco Chanel to Ray Eames, architecture and fashion have been developing along parallel trajectories. Contemporary designers continue to integrate the two arts, considering the human scale both as we dress ourselves and as we interact with the surrounding environment. Collaboration between the two design disciplines provides opportunity for developing shared understandings of proportions, integrating the macro with the micro scale. This workshop will be led by Lexington Fashion Collaborative, an organization combining a diverse group of designers and consumers, artists and stylists, corporations and students, for an ongoing exploration into what defines quality, originality, art, and creativity. Participants will examine connections between design disciplines in a fashion design workshop with some of Lexington’s own professionals.
Aaron M Willette / University of Michigan
Rob Trumbour / Wentworth Institute of Technology
During the past decade and a half Bernard Cache’s ‘objectile’ (a “…generative, incomplete notation, which becomes a specific object only when each parameter is assigned a value”) has become a trope of digital architecture, exemplifying the inherent advantages of design computation. Abstracted and encapsulated in elements of visual programming languages such as Grasshopper and Dynamo, the resulting matrices of objects define the range of possibilities enabled by their systematic frameworks. Participants in the workshop will work with custom computational design and robotic fabrication processes to understand the methodological implications of the objectile, producing families of related, yet formally diverse, objects. As the workshop will focus primarily on exploring the space of the objectile, familiarity with programming languages or robotics is not required.
Michael Wilson / Center for Applied Energy Research
Thomas Grubbs / Center for Applied Energy Research
This workshop will seek to apply an array of contemporary architectural design strategies to an atypical design problem. Drawing upon the UK Center for Applied Energy Research’s (CAER) expertise in the field of CO2 utilization and microalgae production, participants will gain an understanding of the scientific and engineering concepts behind energy production, its emerging challenges, and the innovative use of algae as both a means of carbon capture and as an alternative fuel source. They will then analyze one of the most pressing problems faced by today’s growing algae industry—the design of large-scale, algal photobioreactors—and explore how various design methodologies, including site planning, solar orientation, massing studies, and three-dimensional modeling, can be utilized to improve upon the current state of algae production. While this workshop necessarily focuses on a very specific set of problems, it also seeks to address the emerging trends of design as research and the application of design thinking to historically non-architectural problems.
Mark O’Bryan / UKCoD / The Design Studio
Architecture itself begins with the first crappy model and sketch. An awkward model is produced before you know what to do, before you know what you have. We are limited to a model-dependent reality, where the model is a focus device. Models describe what cannot be put into words and tell us what is important. This workshop will be a thematic development of the ideas above. It will be loose and primitive. We will be introduced to the model as a drawing, and subsequent drawings will be made—developed directly from models. We will use observation and logic to put these loose intuitive models into ideas of building, ideas of architecture, simultaneously making beautiful models and drawings.
University of Kentucky School of Interiors
Architecture is a series of interior and exterior relationships; any given mass has formal implications both from the outside and from within. These complexities exist at all scales—from the building envelope as it reflects arranged program within, to smaller partitions that affect rooms on either side. This workshop will provide participants with a better understanding of interior design, as taught by interior design professors. It aims to not only be insight into the implications of grand architectural gestures on the interior, but to provide students with a greater understanding of the methods by which interior designers approach problems, methods which might in turn apply themselves to architectural problems.
Sabrina Mason / UKCoD / School of Interiors
Pixelation is, by definition, a breakdown to a single, modular component. In image pixelation, the most ubiquitous application, that modular component is defined by a solid color. In this workshop, we will address what pixelation might mean in three dimensions. A component could change based on color, shape, and texture. Students will investigate the visual and textural attributes of pixelation in multiple dimensions. Students will produce pixelation studies throughout the morning – exploring the elements of color, shape, and texture in both two- and three-dimensions. In the afternoon, the group will create a large-scale pixelated landscape by drawing upon successes and failures from morning studies and using “pixelated techniques” to change the status quo environment.
Jordan Hines / UKCoD / Informal Office
Plump Mass will be an investigation into soft, but specific form as a study of full figured architecture. Mass, typically associated with heaviness, material specificity, and the articulation of program, will instead be realized through the manipulation of solids under the forces of tension and material compression. In order to examine plumpness, formal rigidity must allow mass to exceed given boundaries. Plumpness softens the hardened seriousness of construction, into caricatures of architecture with personalities of space and environment. The workshop will test and ultimately fabricate soft constructions that are at once seemingly heavy and physically light.
Nathan Smith / UKCoD / Part Studio
This workshop will allow participants to consider the figure in space through the problem of the chair. The chair in the design world is dominated by ultra-refined examples revered by all and afforded by few. In this eight-hour workshop mad dash, the products will hover between full-scale sketch model and conceptual prototype, marking a moment in time in the designer’s thinking. Informed by the tools at hand and material constraints, the participants will seek to explore the programmatic and positional possibilities of an omnipresent object.
S, M, L, XL
Len Wujcik / UKCoD
This workshop will posit that both abstract and pragmatic concerns related to three-dimensional design can be researched at multiple scales using various object types. Even at a small scale, objects concern themselves with structural legitimacy’s, material pallet and working characteristics, and processes of manufacture. Jewelry, like a building, can interact with the landscape it occupies, a landscape of the body. This workshop will explore these concepts through the design, fabrication, discussion, and presentation of two Body Tectonics pieces. By using a design methodology which emphasizes the discreet tectonic abstractions of point, line, plane, mass and composite, one simultaneously both restricts and focuses the design process while opening up its application to many object types at various scales. A scale variable from traditional concepts of architecture allows design investigation and hands on fabrication that will take students from abstract conceptualization to pragmatic realization of three dimensional form.
Bruce Swetnam / UKCoD 
Louis Kahn was widely recognized for his elegant use of building materials and his knowledge of construction methods. In a famous dialog with a brick, Kahn asked: “You say to the brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And the brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to the brick, ‘Look, I want one too, but arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel… What do you think of that, brick?’ The brick says, ‘I like an arch.’” This workshop will use one of the most fundamental building materials—a brick—to examine possibilities and potentials of fabrication with a focus on the inherent material properties as a driver for design. We will tour the UK campus to examine our rich history of masonry building, and design various sculptural elements to experiment with the capabilities of this material. Students will work alongside master masons for a hands-on experience in brick laying, and develop a more extensive understanding of such a fundamental building material.
Hans Koesters / UKCoD
Claude Stephens / Bernheim Forest
This workshop will explore complex spatial relationships by combining multiple systems through an analogue technique that utilizes microcrystalline sculpting wax to support digital processes and complex problem solving. Functioning as augmented artifacts of conceptual and perceptual ideas about three disparate systems (object, surface, and vector), the production of the work momentarily supplants the precision of the digital environment with a lower-resolution ideation medium that offers speed and haptic engagement. Traditional organizational relationships concerning top, bottom, and side are exchanged for opportunities to develop moments of spatial and compositional resolution at a global scale, while following a logic that allows for flexibility and problem solving at a local level. The properties of the wax material allows for both precision and looseness—fluidity and rigidity—so that the physical operations might function analogously to modeling in Maya or T-splines for Rhino. Although the workshop will not involve digital tools, the process will be highly integrated with advanced conceptual design within a digital environment. Through collaboration with Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, the project will involve discussions of ecological design relationships between constructed artifacts and the natural context.

Students learn in professional firms over spring break

March 31, 2015   |  

Architecture and Interiors students from the UK College of Design spent their spring breaks working alongside professionals in design firms across the country.
Students had the opportunity to learn from seasoned designers on a variety of real world projects, expand their technical skill sets, and network with industry professionals.
Students blogged about their experiences. Below are excerpts about their assignments, the workplace atmosphere, and the lessons they learned.
I have been given the task to stitch together a 3D model for conceptual design. I have been given surveys from various sources, a reference model of a different package of the same project for level of detail. I also have an Autocad file of intensive layering. The sewers, the height level from the Manhattan datum, and so many layers of information that I am still translating. I have a PDF document of topo lines for visual reference. I have been told to add contextual buildings so I am using Google Earth Pro to measure reference lines and the dimensions of the building footprint. 
Tyler Abell | SHoP, New York
My first two days at SGA have been spent doing lots of research. I was assigned to work on a competition team, so I have been putting together some precedent studies for them. As well as working with the Rhino model and setting up some views to be printed and sketched over. Today, we also had our first office meeting conducted by Jeanne Gang. We video chatted the New York Office and discussed the status of the projects each group was working on. There are some exciting projects in the works here at SGA, and I am so happy to get to be a part of that!
Kaitlyn Minix | Studio Gang, Chicago
This program impacted me as a designer through exposure. Through this program I have been able to see projects in the professional world of design to provide me with knowledge of areas/skills that I need to improve. In addition, I have realized where my strengths are as a designer and how I want to use them in my professional career.
Katie Abushanab | Perkins + Will, Chicago
Networking is EVERYTHING. It doesn’t simply aid in obtaining internships, jobs, etc., but also in who you are able to have supervise your construction sites, electricians, contractors, finish representatives… the list goes on. The more people you know, the better. Then, you can ensure that the best and brightest help your designs see the light of day, and that you work in some pretty magnificent places.
Anne Prather | Perkins Eastman, New York
I will be able to reflect on this experience for many years to come. I am very thankful to have met such a broad range of professionals. I will be sure to keep in touch and network with my new connections!
Alaina Bauer | HOK, St. Louis
To read more, click below.
Architecture students worked in the following firms:
Sam Williams  – Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles
Andy Magner – Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles
Ben Ward – Future Cities Lab, San Francisco
Nathan Williams – Griffin Enright, Los Angeles
Hannah Sellers – LTL Architects, New York City
Owen Duross – Morphosis Architects, New York City
Thompson Burry – Morphosis Architects, New York City
Aaron Fritsch – NMDA, Los Angeles
Hans Koesters – Oyler Wu Collaborative, Los Angeles
Randi Riggs – PATTERNS, Los Angeles
Paul Morini – Reiser Umemoto, New York City
Tyler Abell – ShoP, New York City
Kaitlyn Minix – Studio Gang, Chicago
Kelsea Clayton – Urban Lab, Chicago
Andrea Nuzzolo – Urban Lab, Chicago
Emily Bottom – Gray Construction, Lexington
Interiors students shadowed in the following firms:
Grace Lawson - Deborah Berke Partners, New York City 
Lucas Brown - Uhurur Design, New York City
Anne Prather - Perkins Eastman, New York City
Katy Albert - Perkins Eastman, Pittsburgh
Morgan Black  - ZGF, Portland
Jessica Funke - PDR, Houston
Brittany Holian - Perkins + Will, New York City
Katie Abushanab - Perkins + Will, Chicago
Julia Smith - Deca Design, Portland
Stephanie Yachnin - Gresham Smith & Partners, Ft. Lauderdale
Alaina Bauer - HOK, St. Louis
Laine Bennett - Veenendaal Cave, Atlanta 
Samantha Betzold - FRCH, Cincinnati 
Arden Cooper - Ross Tarrant, Lexington
Chloe Crist - Hastings, Nashville 
Zhulin He - Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Chicago 
Samantha Herman - Lichten Craig, Chicago 
Clark Cromer - Gresham Smith & Partners, Nashville
Morgan McKinney - EOP Architects, Lexington 
Megan Conrad- Veenendaal Cave, Atlanta
Amanda Olix - Forrest Perkins, Washington DC
Amy Schlachter - GBBN, Cincinnati 
Grace Snider - Earl Swennson, Nashville 
Emily Corner - HGA, Rochester
Megan Crowe - Christner, St. Louis 
Sarah Donoho - ID&A, Lexington
Heather Hemmer - KZF, Cincinnati
Allison Hoffman - CG Concepts, Lexington
Emily Preece - SHP Leading Design, Cincinnati
Hayley Price - Luckett & Farley, Louisville
Alex Travis - NBBJ, Columbus 
Sarah Zezima - Peace Design, Atlanta 

Second Annual Celebrating Excellence Awards

March 31, 2015   |  

by Whitney Hale, UKNow
Eleven faculty, staff and alumni and one local architecture and interior design firm have taken honors at the University of Kentucky College of Design Celebrating Excellence Awards Dinner held March 26, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.
Two Distinguished Alumni Awards for Professional Achievement were presented to Wayne Braun and Lonn Combs. Braun is the design director of creative design firm PDR. Combs is cofounder of EASTON+COMBS. Recipients of this award have attained prominence through his or her efforts in the professions of architecture, design, interiors and/or historic preservation, as well as other worthy endeavors that form a record of accomplishment, expanding the body of knowledge through his or her contributions to his or her field.
Jack Weber received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the College. Weber is a partner at Gresham, Smith and Partners. The award recognizes a recipient's deeds and actions reflecting the importance of his or her educational training, pride in alma mater and loyalty to UK, as demonstrated through their interest in and support of the college and its programs.
The Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to both Mike McKay, assistant professor of architecture, and Lindsey Fay, assistant professor of interiors. Conferred by the dean, the award recognizes the breadth of teaching activities that happen in the college (studios, lecture courses, education abroad, community projects, advising master’s projects, piloting new courses, curricular innovation, partnerships with faculty, departments, colleges, universities, community groups, etc.).
Gary Rohrbacher, assistant professor of architecture, was presented with the Faculty Excellence in Research Award. The honor, bestowed by the dean, recognizes the value of both scholarly publications and creative work in the college (articles, book chapters, reports, exhibitions, community activities, competitions, design awards, invited lectures, outstanding presentations, etc.).
The Faculty Excellence in Service Award was presented to Faith Harders, head of the Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library. The award reflects a critical aspect of UK as a public, land grant university. The dean annually presents this award to recognize professional service to the college, university, community and/or profession.
The Friend of the College Award went to Barbara Hulette and EOP Architects. Hulette is a board member of the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and chair of the advisory board of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation. EOP Architects is a Kentucky architecture and interior design firm specializing in higher education, K-12, research, health care, fitness, corporate and civic projects. In selecting a recipient of this award, the UK College of Design Dean Ann Whiteside-Dickson, the college's executive committee and awards committee consider a nominee’s excellence in the following areas: contributions to building a better department, school, college, or university community; extraordinary financial support to college priorities; and/or demonstrated record of commitment to one or more of the college’s initiatives.  
Gregory Luhan, associate dean for research and associate professor of architecture, and Allison Carll White, professor of interiors, received the Dean's Award for Special Service. The honor is awarded to faculty and/or administrators who demonstrate overall excellence, and unwavering support of the college, its programs and its students.
The Dean's Award for Staff Excellence was presented to Ginny Miller, a business officer in the UK College of Design. The dean yearly confers an award to recognize the excellence of a staff member. The dean, the executive committee, and the awards committee may consider a nominee’s excellence in the following areas, coinciding with the university’s Campus Core Competencies: dependability; diversity and inclusion; initiative; integrity; interpersonal relationships; and commitment to students, the university community, and its stakeholders.
Each award winner was presented with a pewter cup recognizing their achievement. In addition, faculty and staff received a $500 cash award with their honors. 

Studio Feature – Cut and Fill

December 17, 2014   |  

Fourth-year and graduate students in Professor Gary Rohrbacher’s architecture studio addressed the remediation of the contaminated groundwater at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky.
In this studio, the students investigated and proposed “remediating landscapes.” Previous design studios considering the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant have studied how important hydro-dynamics are to the movement, containment and understanding of contaminants present at the site. Initial models of subsurface structures beneath the plant created in the summer of 2010 were an effort to understand and depict the relationships of these structures to the aquifer that moves above, around and through them.
 At the same time, studios that considered site-remediation more directly, ‘Paducah+’ in the fall of 2011, and more recently ‘Atomic City Museum’ in the Fall of 2013 have come to understand the enormous complexity of remediation efforts and regulations. How can one access and possibly disturb the contaminants to remediate, while guaranteeing the health, safety and welfare of both remediation workers and the immediate and broader surroundings?
This multi-semester interdisciplinary studio combined architecture, design, hydrogeology, landscape architecture, robotics and technology to prototype and simulate remediation earthworks for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site. 
Using first CNC routers, then simulated GPS-controlled miniatures in sand or other media, the students prototyped sculpted landscapes to channel, redirect, collect and distribute surface water in ways that could be implemented at site using automated earth-movers. The students presented their findings to representatives from the Center for Applied Energy Research and US Department of Energy novel concepts for next steps in plant cleanup.
Click here to learn more about UK/CoD and the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. 

Students demonstrated the use of drones to aid in the remediation process of the Paducah site.

Studio Feature - Healthcare Design

December 9, 2014   |  

Fourth year students in the School of Interiors are participating in Professor Lindsey Fay’s Healthcare Design studio, in which students examine the concepts of inclusiveness and participation in the research process in order to better understand the practice of evidence-based design. 
"The opportunity to study the UK Chandler Medical Center has become central to my research and has resulted in this annual healthcare design studio,” said Professor Fay. “This fall, students worked with me to conduct research in a pre-move analysis of UK’s cardiovascular unit, and then they were tasked with designing a space which better suits the needs of users as revealed through their research." 
Additionally, the students had the opportunity to visit healthcare design firms in St. Louis, including HOK, Christner Architects, HERA Design, and Mackey Mitchell.
"Because they are fourth year students, I believe it is necessary to offer first hand explorations of not only research, but also how the practice of healthcare design is carried out in professional settings.”
This trip marked the end of an immersive experience in which students conducted research with UK Healthcare as part of Professor Fay’s continuing evaluation of the University of Kentucky Medical Center. 
“Getting to watch how nurses, doctors, and technicians interact within their environments has helped me understand why what we are doing is so important, and how we can better design these spaces,” said Jessica Funke, a fourth year interiors student. 
The students will utilize the knowledge gained from their 10-day immersive observational research and St. Louis experience to design a pediatric cardiovascular unit at Washington University.
The healthcare design studio will hold their final reviews on Friday December 12th from 1:00-5:00 in the College of Design’s Peace Gallery, and welcome leading designers and representatives from the healthcare design industry. Please join them for a review of research and design proposals. 
For more photos, including the students' trip to St. Louis, visit our Facebook page.

Student Profile - Hannah Sellers

November 17, 2014   |  

Why did you choose to attend UK/CoD?
The opportunities that are available are what initially attracted me to the program, but when I arrived on campus, the culture helped solidify my decision to join the UK/CoD. The close knit friendships I’ve developed, the one-on-one desk critiques with professors and outside faculty, and the final reviews that included outside practicing professionals have all collectively shaped that culture. 
Describe your favorite studio project.
Each design studio has provided me with a set of skills that have collectively shaped the way I approach architecture. It’s nearly impossible for me to pinpoint one single studio project as a favorite. Although, I would consider Mike McKay’s 4th/Grad level “CONSTRUCTED AMBIGUITIES II” studio to be one of the greatest learning experiences that i’ve ever had at the UK/ CoD. CONSTRUCTED AMBIGUITIES II was a studio contingent upon the reproduction of formulated intersections that consolidate into one in order to create a three dimensional space. Primarily focusing on the intersection between the original geometry that is given and its particular site, versus the components that transpire from within the new three dimensional space. The project as a whole exercised our perception of what existed between the physical and non physical characteristics of the given and created elements. 
In what programs have you participated outside of studio?
I’ve been very fortunate to participate in a design studio abroad in the summer of 2013 with Mike McKay and Liz Swanson, as well as an internship this past summer at SHoP Architects in New York City. Located in lower Manhattan in the Woolworth building, SHoP is a small and very energetic firm to work for. They are known for their design of the Mulberry House, a housing complex in Manhattan; as well as the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. The office is overflowing with handmade models, and young, eccentric designers. Working with such amazing people taught me persistence, patience, and the TRUE definition of hard work outside of the studio. I am forever thankful to be given such a wonderful opportunity! 
Where do you see yourself after graduation?
After graduation, I would be thrilled to work in some sort of boutique firm in a larger city for a few years, especially after getting a glimpse into what it’s like to work in a high profile firm this past summer. 

UK/CoD students complete first-ever UK101 & 201 courses

November 14, 2014   |  

Current freshmen and transfer students have successfully completed the new UK101 and UK201 courses.
UK101 and UK201 are Academic Orientation sessions to help new students transition to University life. Fall 2014, the College of Design offered, for the first time, UK 101 for freshmen and UK 201 for transfer students. The sessions were restricted to Design students to assist their transition not only to University life but also to life as design students.
In addition to the mandatory university topics, College of Design faculty were invited to speak on topics specific to Design students including Internships, IDP credits, and study abroad. The curriculum for each undergraduate program was also discussed. Representatives from local design firms spoke to students about internship and career opportunities.
UK-101 is a one-credit letter grade course offered to first-year students. UK-201 is a one-credit pass/fail course offered to UK students changing their major or transferring from other institutions.
Both classes were taught by college Student Services staff: Azhar Swanson and Marla Spires with peer instructors Kevin Boomfield (School of Architecture) and Lauren Townsend (School of Interiors) in UK 101 and Rachael Guess (College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment) in UK 201.

Student Profile - Hans Koesters

November 4, 2014   |  

This is the fourth part of a weekly series of interviews with students in the College of Design.
Why did you choose UK/CoD?
After studying architecture at both Ball State University and the University of Cincinnati for two years each, UK/CoD offered a combination of three things that convinced me to come here for my graduate studies: faculty experience at high levels in the profession; intensely personal faculty engagement; and an unparalleled value. As a senior, I visited my younger sister who was a sophomore in the architecture program at UK/CoD; while touring the college I had great conversations with two outstanding professors, Clyde Carpenter and Martin Summers. Their expertise, dedication, and passion for education became increasingly apparent in subsequent conversations throughout the year. During my past year of graduate study, I have realized that these qualities are fundamental parts of the school. 
Describe your favorite studio project.
In Martin Summer’s Fall 2013 studio, we were asked to rethink the contemporary library. The library’s role as a primary point of knowledge has been subsumed by the ubiquity of information amidst the increasingly omnipresent digital environment. Libraries must provide an inventive and unparalleled information access experience. In the project, this begins simultaneously at an urban and human scale. On the site, rectilinear landform extrusions first emerge as a distillation of the linearity of Lexington’s downtown urban fabric. Their initial priority as visual connective tissue quickly shifts to pragmatic functionality to facilitate both movement and repose, manifest as both way-finding luminaries and seating, respectively. These same elements transition to the interior with functionality that becomes inextricably linked to traditional, contemporary, and future means of interfacing with information. This strategy resolves the traditional medium of content discovery at the library’s core, through a recognizable but flexible organization of book stacks that anticipates a fluctuating ratio between the relevance of books and technology. 
In what programs have you participated outside of studio?
This past summer, I worked for PLUS-SUM Design Studio, directed by Assistant Professor of Architecture Martin Summers; we worked on two international competitions, ‘The Louisville Children’s Museum’ and ‘The Helsinki Guggenheim Museum’. The Children’s Museum was originally completed in the first month of the Spring Semester but revisiting the project during the summer, allowed us to realize the full extent of our vision for the project. It was exciting to resolve a large-scale project to the level of articulating pragmatic elements of a project such as lighting coves and glass floor details the way they would actually be constructed. This allowed us to explore some more advanced visualization that wouldn’t be possible with a project of lesser resolution. The lessons learned from the first competition allowed for an accelerated process on the Guggenheim Museum Competition without compromising on feasibility. The knowledge I gained from the close collaboration all summer has dramatically improved the way I work and it has truly prepared me for my career. 
Where do you see yourself after graduation?
I hope to some day address the future realities of our increasingly technological society with deft clarity, supplanting traditional logic with endless curiosity as a licensed architect. I plan to continually delve into uncomfortable territory, because adaptability, agility, and collaboration are critical to solving both current and unforeseen threats to the human condition and the built environment. Upon graduation, I will seek employment in offices that are experimental and forward thinking in their execution of large scale building projects. 

HP students participate in dry stone construction workshop

November 3, 2014   |  

Graduate students from the Department of Historic Preservation traveled to Pine Mountain, KY to participate in a dry stone construction class. Students worked under the direction of Richard Tuffnell of the Dry Stone Conservancy to cut and place stones in a stable and aesthetically pleasing manner to ultimately construct a dry stone masonry retaining wall for the Pine Mountain Settlement School. 
The dry stone construction trip is a yearly tradition for Historic Preservation students. It serves to foster an interest in preserving traditional building methods in addition to a better understanding of the construction of historic buildings.

Studio Feature - Transdisciplinary Research Center

October 29, 2014   |  

Assistant Professor of Architecture Anne Filson’s and her third year students explored concepts for the Center of Transdisciplinary Research at the University of Kentucky.
“Transdisciplinary design involves the integration of diverse fields of expertise, and the methods for translating this integrated knowledge into problem-solving,” said Professor Filson. “Our studio is exploring how architecture strengthens research collaboration between diverse scholars and public stakeholders.”
This design topic was borne out of UK president Eli Capilouto’s recent gift of $250,000 to the University to fund a new building for interdisciplinary healthcare research.
“Such a facility – dedicated with fervor and focus on seemingly intractable scourges confronting Kentucky – can change our state for the next 100 years,” President Capilouto said in a speech in October 2014. “The fact is that discovery and healing today take place not just in one discipline, but at their intersection across and among disciplines, where talent meets, creates, and discovers.”
Such a facility, he noted, would bring together professionals from all fields to address Kentucky’s health concerns.
Professor Filson tasked each of her undergraduate students to design a Transdiciplinary Research Center around a unique research focus. She also challenged them to demonstrate how architecture can be an active agent in addressing real and timely challenges to the Commonwealth. Each student proposed a research center, the particular group of disciplines whose work would be accommodated, and the informal gathering spaces that would encourage informal interactions among researchers and the campus community.
To understand the factors that make a lively, dynamic gathering space, the studio began the semester by examining how UK’s campus community congregates and interacts across campus. Students dedicated hours to observing activity, circulation, and socialization across UK’s common areas.
Based on those findings, and using the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue as their site, students designed concepts for the new research center and proposed programming and spatial conditions that support this new type of academic building.
The students then presented their findings to President Capilouto and Dr. Lisa Cassis, UK’s Interim Vice President for Research. Both President Capilouto and Dr. Cassis were impressed with the depth of the students’ research, and engaged with them in a discussion about the use of public spaces. 
Though this project is an exercise in spatial research and planning, the students’ findings spark a discussion about how to foster collaboration between University units and the desegregation of academic specialties. 
The students will refine their designs based on the feedback of President Capilouto and Dr. Cassis, and will present their final proposals in December.

School of Interiors works to design better health care

October 28, 2014   |  

by Whitney Hale, UKNow
From providing a comfortable, caring environment to ensuring the efficient treatment of patients, design can have a major impact on a hospital stay. A recent collaborative project at the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Emergency Department examined the new space to see how the current design works and what can be learned for the design of future floors and health care facilities.
"We do the best job we can in solving the owner’s puzzle, if you will, with the design process, but we don’t often go away with an understanding of how the building actually works," said David Humlong, project manager at GBBN Architects, of Cincinnati, Ohio.  
To explore the design implementation at the UK Emergency Department, UK HealthCare and health care designers at GBBN teamed up with Assistant Professor Lindsey Fay and Professor Allison Carll-White in the UK College of Design School of Interiors.
"We’re always trying to make design better for our users, and that’s staff, visitors and patients. GBBN, having such a strong focus in health care design, was very, very interested in knowing as a result of their work that they did at UK what was working well, and what may need to be rethought, not just for this space but also for future design projects," said Carll-White.
When designing a new facility much research and preparation goes into trying to meet the needs and specific requests of the anticipated users. However, it can be difficult to predict what needs the department may have in a year, five years or 10 years down the road.
To get a true sense of the day-to-day use of the UK Emergency Department, students and faculty from the School of Interiors implemented a multi-methodological study, which utilized observations, surveys, focus groups, and physical measurements to amass data. The post-occupancy evaluation (POE) gave UK students a wonderful opportunity to develop hands-on experience with research in an environment with which they previously had little experience.
"We were in the Emergency Department for over 200 hours for the first phase. We worked in five teams of two; engaging undergraduate and graduate researchers in this process. We asked them week by week to carry out different research studies," Fay said.
“Anytime somebody wants to look at something you are doing, it's going to help you, because there are going to be things that you don’t know and then there are going to be things that you knew, but you needed the data to prove,” said Patti Howard, enterprise director for emergency services.
The extensive study done by the UK School of Interiors found several successes of the emergency department.
Surveys by users showed a real appreciation for the friendly faces they found at UK's emergency department.
"Something that UK should be really proud of is the quality of their staff. Patients and visitors overwhelmingly said they were the number one thing that they thought was best about the environment at the emergency department," Carll-White said.
In addition, the research found the use of pods, as well as the designs of the pediatric emergency care center, the trauma unit, and the imaging unit to be major assets to the facility. The “pods,” which are patient rooms clustered around a central nurse’s station, allow staff to stay close to their patients without having to travel far to check on them or gather medications and supplies.
The dedicated pediatric center was a favorite of both visitors to the facility and staff. "That’s probably one of the best things we did was to have the Makenna David Pediatric Emergency Center. In the old Emergency Department we had a small area that we called Kids Care where we saw children, but we had very few beds. So that was really a big plus for us to be able to have that space, to have 12 dedicated beds," said Howard.
The faculty at the UK School of Interiors can see exactly why the pediatric center is such a hit. "In the waiting room GBBN used a lot of positive distractions. So there was an interactive wall, there was a computer station, there were some TVs, there were just things to help children who were probably not feeling well or experiencing some kind of trauma to feel comfortable," said Carll-White.
In addition to the successful parts of the department's design, the research also revealed a few areas that could use improvement.
Through observation and interviews with staff members, the faculty and student research team found a lack of line of sight to the intake area was problematic.
In the triage area there are patient rooms that have dual entry. However, there’s not a corridor that connects from this entry point of the emergency department to the patient service area. Unfortunately, the lack of a connecting corridor has led to people cutting through the rooms.
To address these issues, UK School of Interiors and GBBN held a one-day charrette, or design workshop, at the Cincinnati-based firm to rethink the spaces. The use of a collaborative design charrette between researchers and practitioners offered a stimulating challenge in that the researchers had to present their findings in a meaningful and memorable manner, while the practitioners were challenged to critically think about the information and its implications for the built environment.
"What we found is that having the security situated right next to the entrance would give them sight lines to the doors leading back to the emergency department, but then also provide an opportunity to greet patients or families when they are walking in," said Fay. "One scenario also took triage and broke it up into two different design areas with a central space moving from the entry point to the waiting area of the emergency department."
“The fact that they were able to publish their study is very beneficial for all of us,” said Howard. Outcomes from this research have resulted in several research publications in the HERD Journal, the Journal of Learning Spaces, and several conference presentations including two at the Healthcare Design Conference.
Publishing the research garnered from the collaboration will not only impact hospital workers and future patients at UK in the design of new floors, but it will also aid others around the nation by providing data and evidence-based suggestions for design enhancements.
"I have done over 40 emergency departments in my career. We are working on four other EDs right now and some of the things we’re talking about, you know we’re saying, down at UK we did this POE and this is what we learned here and people perk up and say, well, tell me more about it, so there is an immediate use," said GBBN architect, Jim Harrell.
In addition to providing a wealth of data on design for future health care facilities, the collaboration has been a valuable opportunity for UK students giving them skills that will benefit them in their careers.
"I really liked the immersive quality of the post-occupancy. The biggest thing I feel like I learned was how to do behavioral mapping. I think it’s something I can offer professional offices in the future, that I do know how a post-occupancy evaluation works, and I know how to evaluate successes and failures in a space. It was good to be in the space, to see how it functioned, to see the how the different user groups needed to use the space, and how the design was functioning," said Sabrina Mason, a 2014 UK graduate and new instructor at the UK School of Interiors, from California, Kentucky.
The study has additionally resulted in an annual healthcare design studio led Fay. “By engaging students in a POE, they have opportunities to test their beliefs and theories related to the environment that is being examined and develop first-hand experience with the evidence-based design research process and environmental qualities of an emergency department,” Fay said.
In the end though, it's helping make visits to the hospital the best experience possible at a trying time. "To be able to give back and to be part of that patient’s or that family’s caregiving years after the building is turned over to the owners, is very rewarding." 

Student Profile - Connor Verteramo

October 20, 2014   |  

This is the third part of a weekly series of interviews with students in the College of Design.
Why did you choose UK/CoD?
I have often been asked, “Why UK?” As a whole the University of Kentucky met a set of criteria that I had laid out when I started my college search. Coming from out-of-state and not knowing anyone coming to UK it was difficult for me to leave home, but the College of Design made that process much easier. The student work, the professor work, and other opportunities available for my future here were all attractive to me. But more importantly, I felt at home when I visited the school. Without sounding like too much of a romantic, it was where I felt I needed to be.
Describe your favorite studio project.
During my time here, I have learned a great deal about architecture and who I am as a future architect through the projects I have been presented with for studio. I think that this two-fold view of learning is how I can start to differentiate between projects in terms of which ones are the beneficial. My favorite project has been my most recent, maybe because it is so fresh in my history at UK. The objective was to develop three individual ‘systems’-object, surface, and grid. These were to interact and manipulate one another in a theoretical site condition, creating new opportunities to envision architectural space. The final product was a 3D-printed model. Clearly this was an abstract assignment, something that was very foreign to me so far in my education, due to my previously assigned studio projects. But the result was not only something “cool”, but a new/elevated skill-set, a new way of thinking, and an evolved design process. It has challenged the way I see architecture and how I solve architectural problems. The impact it had on me is only just unfolding, it will change who I am as a designer, architect, and person. It is my favorite because it is greater than the immediacy of the end result.
In what programs have you participated outside of studio?
Over the past two years I have been an ambassador for the College of Design, which has enabled me to reach out to potential students. The idea that I can impact the future of individuals through a discussion of my experiences, passions, and personal connections is extremely rewarding to me. Through the Ambassadors program, I have the opportunity to connect with peers outside the College of Design, seeing the greater scope of what is happening here at UK. Being a part of something much bigger than me as an individual is exactly what I love about UK/CoD and the Ambassadors program in particular.  
Where do you see yourself after graduation?                
My experience at the College of Design has changed my view of the future and the interconnectivity that the world is tending towards. This interconnectivity as well as the ramifications of urbanization, the ability to impact the daily life of many, and the overall intrigue of the city are why I want to work and design in the urban context after graduate school. I, like most students of architecture, want to be a licensed practicing architect first and foremost, but I feel a calling to pass on my gained knowledge from experience and become a professor, impacting the next generation of architects.  I enjoy learning and the atmosphere around academia and universities, which is why there is a part of me that wants to go on to earn a Ph.D. one day.
The groundwork for my future goals is being laid while here at UK/CoD. I believe that the lessons I have learned and knowledge I have gained is extremely beneficial. It comes from the professors that teach us, from their thinking, their exemplary work ethic but more importantly from my inner passion for what I am doing. I can only be as successful as I make myself; the College of Design offers resources that enhance my potential and that of my peers here at the College of Design.

2014 Donors & Scholars Luncheon

October 20, 2014   |  

UK/CoD hosted its second annual Donors & Scholars Luncheon on October 16 at UK’s Boone Center.
Recipients of College of Design scholarships had the opportunity to meet with donors and thank them for being part of their academic endeavors. A student representative from each of the College’s three programs spoke to how their scholarships supported their opportunities and experiences.
During the luncheon, AIA-CKC president Mathew Triplett, on behalf of AIA-CKC, IIDA Louisville/Lexington, NAWIC Louisville, CSI Louisville, and Kentucky USGBC presented Interim Dean Ann Dickson with a check for $10,000. This gift was the fruit of a recent fundraiser hosted for the benefit of the College. The funds will be put toward the renovation of Pence Hall.

Student Profile - Sophia Good

October 13, 2014   |  

This is the second part of a weekly series of interviews with students in the College of Design.

Sophia Good, Third-year Interiors Student

Why did you choose to attend UK?
The main reason that I initially considered UK was because of the fantastic National Merit Scholarship, one of the top in the nation. However, after visiting UK, my decision was based on far more than just finances. The warmth of the faculty was far above and beyond anything I had experienced on any other campus (and I visited a lot of schools in my decision process!). My advisor took a lot of time with me, making my schedule the best it could be, and the Dean even took the time to come say hello. The warm, family feel of this very small college was immediately apparent and very inviting. I was also attracted to the studio culture, where creativity and collaboration take center stage as the focal point of your education. In the end, it was far more than the scholarship that brought me to UK—it was the warmth of the faculty and the strength of the program.
Describe your favorite studio project.
Last semester, our studio was tasked with creating an installation piece for a historic building in the North Limestone district. The building had alternately been used as a hemp rope factory, a malt factory, and a jazz club. Each student created a piece that would highlight one aspect of the building’s rich history, and then the class voted on one piece to build full scale.
In researching the hemp industry, I discovered that there was a large metal-toothed comb called a hackle used to separate the fibers of the hemp plant.  Using this information, I designed a much larger scale, modular version of this comb, which would hold the record as the world’s largest hackle. At critique time, the class voted my idea as the project we would build as our final presentation. I learned a lot in the hands-on construction process, and it was really neat to see one of my designs turned into a reality. Today the hackle serves as a focal point for the North Limestone community, and we are working with Guinness to get the design in the world record book.
In what programs have you participated outside of studio?
Last winter I had the opportunity to travel abroad with the design department to Thailand and Cambodia. We got to experience a wide array of cities, from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, to the quiet mountains of Chiang Mai, to the exotic islands of Phuket. The architecture and design culture of these regions was astonishingly alien and beautiful, completely different from what we have in the US. Our trip revolved largely around visits to temples and other significant sights, but we also fit in some side excursions like sea kayaking, jungle trekking, and elephant riding. I can honestly say it was the single best experience of my 20 young years and provided me with memories that will last me a lifetime.
This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Corporate Interior Design division at Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Illinois. It was a great experience, where I got to try my hand at everything from managing the design library to meeting with VP’s about their department spaces. I also learned a lot about the logistics of working in an office and the steps you have to go through to get things done, things that are hard to learn in a classroom setting. Overall, it was an invaluable experience that allowed me to practice my design skills and expand my professional network. 
Additionally, I’ve also served the college a Student Ambassador for the past two years. Whether it is a travel event or one located here on campus, it is a great way to connect with prospective students and answer their questions, because I was in the very same spot not long ago. Talking about the program also reminds me of all the reasons why I chose to come to UK, and I always leave those events excited be right where I am.
Where do you see yourself after graduation?
The great thing about design is that once you are in the design field, the directions you can go are endless.  In my projects I always tend toward a very bold, in-your-face aesthetic, so I envision myself in a line of work that allows for highly imaginative expression, like exhibit design or experience design. I am originally from Dublin, Ireland, and I’d love to take what UK has taught me back home to the other side of the globe!

Student Profile - Julia Arnold

October 6, 2014   |  

This is the first part of a weekly series of interviews with students in the College of Design.

Julia Arnold, 2nd year Architecture student

Why did you choose UK/CoD?
I don’t think that I can choose just one reason for why I decided to be a part of UK/CoD. There are just too many. Coming all the way from Birmingham, Alabama, I was really nervous about college and attending such large classes with teachers that had too many students to even know my name. The UK College of Design is the furthest thing from that. The moment I walked through the doors I immediately felt welcomed here and the faculty members truly acted like they wanted to get to know me. This program is my home away from home and I am so honored to have the privilege to get to learn from some of the most talented professors in the nation. I also love the fact that I get to be apart of a program with such a small college feel, while at the same time getting to attend such a large, SEC University.

What has been your favorite studio project?
Every project I’ve had so far in this program has forced me to think outside of the box and to take my creativity to the next level. If I had to choose my favorite project from my studios last year, it would have to be a project I completed in Liz Swanson’s first year studio. We started out with two balloons (the kind of balloons they use to make balloon animals). Liz instructed us to make crazy shapes and forms out of two balloons. From there she instructed us to take bass wood sticks and we had to make an abstracted model inspired by our balloon form. The cool thing about this project was that when we had our final model, it was made out of a completely opposite material from when we first came up with our form.

In which programs have you participated outside of studio?
I have just recently become an ambassador for UK/CoD and I am looking forward to the events and experiences that come with it this year. I have plans to study abroad with our college in Florence, Italy next summer.

What are your career goals?
When it comes to my future, I am not entirely sure of what exactly I want to do yet. I know that I want to be an architect, but I am just not sure of what type of architecture I want to pursue my career with. I also sometimes think that it would be cool to use my degree in other ways such as set design or other areas related to design. Right now I am here to learn. I just know that this is the major that makes me the happiest version of myself and wherever I end up 3 years from now, is where I’m sure I am meant to be.  

Summer Travel Studio - Florence

August 21, 2014   |  

Nine students from the College of Design's Interior and Architecture programs recently returned from the seven week abitare firenze [inhabit florence] program in Italy. Under the guidance of UK’s program director Christopher Manzo, students studied buildings and spaces through first-hand observation, analysis, and drawing. Students additionally considered notions of facade, hearth, home, and living using examples dating from the Renaissance to the present. Every week of the program, students considered different palazzi (palaces/homes) in Florence as they operate at four scales: as urban fabric (context), the building’s form, the interiority or spatial qualities of home, and ornament. The program culminated with a proposal for a new, modern palazzo in this historic city.
Studio projects included envisioning the “Palazzo of Tomorrow”, a combination residence and art studio for a modern sculptor and her son that integrates their modern needs with the city’s historical architecture.
“Having such tangible access to some of the greatest architectural works in the world fueled such a creative studio culture”, said Architecture student Emily Fannin. “It gave us the ability to experience how our predecessors answered the problems of their day, and how we can aspire to do the same today.”
Students had the opportunity to not only tour the historic landmarks of Florence and the surrounding region, but to visit local design firms. On their weekly travels from Florence, students visited such cities in the region as Venice, Rome, Milan, Verona, Orvieto, Sicily, Cinque Terra, and Arrezzo; and places as far flung as Germany and Paris. 
“The Italian culture, more specifically those that we met in Italy, impacted me in ways that are hard to describe”, said Interiors student Alaina Bauer. “To meet and interact with people different from you is always a learning experience. The kind-hearted and passion filled Italians we met were an aspect I will never forget.”
An exhibition of work by the student participants of the Florence, Delft, and Rome/Paris studios will be on display in Pence Hall September 3-12.

Summer Travel Studio - Delft

August 14, 2014   |  

Five students from the UK College of Design teamed up with public administration students from Leiden University in the Netherlands to examine the relationship between cities and universities.
The students were challenged to develop design interventions that address the social, economic, and spatial integrations of academic and non-academic cultures.
Using the city of Delft and the Delft University of Technology as a case study, students spent eight weeks participating in workshops, attending lectures, and conducting site visits designed to address the issue of municipality and academic integration.
“I knew nothing about scenario planning before signing up for the studio,” said architecture student Sarah Wagner. “Scenario planning goes beyond the typical design studio structure (which looks comparatively at projects in a valued scale) by actually using inherent individual strengths and weaknesses to create an incredibly convincing whole. The studio was a glimpse of all of the possibilities that can come from real and genuine collaborations, something I hope I can carry into even the more individual studios that take place during the year.”
“Studying abroad in Delft was a great experience, because of the practice of collaborating with other people,” said architecture student Lauren Townsend. “The studio was run more like a work environment, which allowed us more exposure, then we get in school, with working with other disciplines in our field. The biggest impact, however, from studying abroad, was being able to see sites that we learned about in school. It was incredible to stand in structures I had only seen pictures. Nothing can compare to seeing the real thing in person.”

Summer Travel Studio - Rome & Paris

August 5, 2014   |  

18 students participated in the College of Design travelled to Rome and Paris for the summer design seminar entitled “Rome and Paris: From Ancient to Modern”. Professor of Architecture Mark O’Bryan conducted students to areas that offered artifacts for study from the Bronze Age to the Twentieth Century, including divergent building and urban types, and masterpieces for the major historical periods.
Studies of the city consisted of investigation of elements, methods of organization, generative and critical strategies, the problem of scale, change, growth and culture, and social planning. Students were introduced to techniques for designing a building using history and formal themes generated form historical artifacts. 
Cultural highlights included: 
  • Musée du Louvre
  • Versailles
  • Foundation le Corbusier at Villa Roche 
  • A walking tour of the Coliseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Hadrains Villa 
"Studying abroad was a great experience," said architecture student Katie Halsey. "It was incredible getting to see, learn, and study all of the great architecture in Paris and Rome." 
“Throughout the 5 weeks that I was overseas, my time was filled with long walks, daily sketches, thousands of photos, and unforgettable experiences,” said architecture student Daniel Polk. “What I gained from it was something that can't be bought. I would urge every college student to make the investment and travel as much as they can, because that month completely changed my perspective on architecture, culture, and my education.”

2014 Design Discovery

July 28, 2014   |  

For the fourth year in a row, high school students and incoming UK first years had the opportunity to explore design fundamentals in the UK/CoD Design Discovery Program. This weeklong program is designed to exposed prospective students to the type of learning environment they would encounter in a design education setting.
Participants took part in design and drawing exercises, model-making workshops led by UK/CoD faculty, and field trips to gain an understanding of what constitutes the studio experience of a first-year student in the College of Design.
“The program theme was "a city of spaces”, said program coordinator Jordan Hines.  “As a studio we continually looked at our work as a collective idea, we displayed all the work as a single work, or a continuous exhibit of design ideas, linked by a common theme.”
The students toured local design firms Ross Tarrant, alt32, and Gray Construction where they spoke with UK/CoD alumni and design professionals. 

End of Year Show

May 20, 2014   |  

The University of Kentucky College of Design closed the 2013-2014 academic year with the annual End of Year Show at The Livery in Lexington
Architecture, Interiors, and Historic Preservation students displayed the products of the year's research for family and friends over graduation weekend.

Phase I of Pence Hall renovations complete

April 29, 2014   |  

The College of Design has recently completed the first phase of the renovation of Pence Hall.
A former studio space has been transformed into the Student Services suite, complete with an expanded space for record storage, as well as a lounge area where students can wait to meet with academic advisors.
Also completed is the new UK/CoD Student Recruitment Center. Prospective students can meet with the College recruitment director, faculty, and current students. The recruitment center also includes a display area for student work.
The next phase of the renovations, which will include a new reception area and directors’ suite, will begin in May.
Visit for more renovation information and updates.

Celebrating Excellence Awards Dinner and Exhibition

April 29, 2014   |  

The UK College of Design recognized outstanding faculty, alumni, and friends of the College at the first Celebrating Excellence Awards Dinner and Exhibition.
The Distinguished Alumni Award honorees included:
William Peace, BA, 1980, School of Interiors
Founder and principal of Peace Design, Atlanta and Missoula, William Peace is a design visionary and leading force in the interior design community. Peace is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards, including the National ASID Project award for residential interiors, City of Atlanta Urban Renewal, and Southeastern Designer of the Year. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of Design in Atlanta and as a legacy member of the Advisory Committee Board for the School of Interiors at the University of Kentucky.
George Metzger, BARCH, 1982, School of Architecture
George Metzger is the Principal responsible for Adamson Associates’ West Coast Office in Los Angeles. He joined Adamson Associates, Inc. in 2006 bringing a critically acclaimed design sensibility and a portfolio of high-profile projects across the world. His expertise encompasses all aspects of architectural practice — master planning, architectural design, interior design, technical issues, and project management. George worked in close collaboration with the renowned architect Frank Gehry. George’s expertise with new and emerging technologies turned Gehry’s concepts and sketches into award-winning completed projects including the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Seattle Experience Museum. Many of these projects have set new standards in project delivery methods, 3D computing technology - BIM, architectural technology, and contractor collaboration systems. 
Kenneth Greene, Bachelor of Architecture, 1981
After graduating from the Architecture program at the University of Kentucky, Mr. Greene first joined Omni Architects, where he developed a substantial portfolio of healthcare design--which he would later use as a managing partner and senior medical planner at GBBN Architects’ Lexington office. Mr. Greene worked on a myriad of healthcare design projects across the Commonwealth, Ohio, West Virginia, as well as China, and served as the Project Manager for the UK Albert B. Chandler Patient Care Facility and Pavilion. After Ken’s sudden passing in May 2011, two days before the Chandler Pavilion’s dedication, his family established the Ken Greene Foundation to endow a scholarship at the UK College of Design’s School of Architecture. This endowed scholarship benefits talented second-year-and-older students demonstrating financial need, just as Ken had received as a student at UK. The Ken Greene Memorial Endowed Scholarship has funded two students to date and will be awarded again in May 2014. 
The college also honored individuals who have demonstrated in multiple ways over many years their dedication to the mission of the college and it’s programs. The Friends of the College Awards went to:
Edith Bingham
Edith S. “Edie” Bingham is a loyal and passionate supporter of the Department of Historic Preservation at the University of Kentucky College of Design. A native of Washington D.C., she has been a fixture in the preservation community and robust advocate for preservation in Kentucky for decades. Currently, Mrs. Bingham serves on seven preservation boards, including the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill and the UK Department of Historic Preservation advisory boards. Mrs. Bingham has served on nearly twenty-five community-based boards in years past, and was instrumental in establishing the Helen Abell and Clay Lancaster professorships at the University of Kentucky. Mrs. Bingham is the past recipient of the AIA Kentucky Citizens’ Laureate Award, as well as the prestigious Preservation Lifetime Award conferred by the National Trust. 
Janet Pike
As Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects Kentucky, Ms. Pike has increased the organization’s membership and budget since her arrival in 1988. She is an advocate for architects and architecture.  She has worked closely with the state and regional AIA boards and architects within the state  to provide resources, support, and assistance to the UK School of Architecture .  The results of her labor includes scholarship funding;  securing AIA national endowments; guiding the establishment of the AIA Kentucky Endowed Professorship within the school; providing support for students after graduation; and working with faculty and staff to establish and maintain a collaborative relationship.
Faculty members Michael Jacobs, Wallis Miller, and Rebekah Radtke were also honored, as was Director of Student Services Azhar Swanson.

School of Architecture explores sustainability with Bernheim Arboretum

April 28, 2014   |  

by Whitney Hale
University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Architecture Bruce Swetnam set a task to his students: design and build a full-scale prototype of a portable living unit out of sustainable materials with a minimal environmental footprint. This is a momentous challenge to students who are only in their second year of study.
“We’ve had projects like this in the past, but this is the first thing we’ve built full-scale,” Swetnam told the Kentucky Kernel.
This project came out of a long-standing collaboration with Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, a 15,000 acre tract outside Louisville.
“We challenged the students to design temporary lodging that could move within Bernheim and between established program nodes that may change over time,” said Claude Stephens, facilitator of outreach and regenerative design at Bernheim. “A future goal is to develop a retreat center buried deep within our 15,000 acre property. The structures being envisioned by the current UK architecture students will help inform future directions for accomplishing those strategies.”
“For most of the students, they are facing the reality of designing domestic space for the first time,” Swetnam said. “In addition, they are dealing with materials, portability, sustainability and the expectations of a client.”
Swetnam used $3,500 of endowment funds to purchase sustainable building materials. When completed, the units will be transported to Bernheim to be displayed at the grand opening of the Edible Garden on May 17.
“Bernheim is committed to working with, and challenging, next generation creative problem solvers that will be well positioned for helping to design a future where we can all live in better agreement with nature,” Stephens said. “We have enjoyed being a part of challenging students toward greater and greater passion for a better future.”
Established in 1929 by German immigrant Isaac W. Bernheim, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest was a gift to Kentucky from the successful whiskey distiller. Bernheim left the 14,000 acre property to be used for a park, an arboretum, and, under certain conditions, a museum, for the people of Kentucky and their friends, "as a place to further their love of the beautiful in nature and in art, and in kindred cultural subjects, and for educational purposes, and as a means of strengthening their love and devotion to their state and country.”

UK/CoD students spend spring break in professional firms

April 2, 2014   |  

Architecture and Interiors students had the opportunity to acquire professional experience over spring break by shadowing experts in design firms all over the country.
The spring break professional experience program is designed to match students with a firm that specializes in the students’ areas of interest. The students then work alongside professionals in these firms on real world projects.
“From this experience, I narrowed down more of what I want to do after graduation,” said Interiors student Brenna Murphy who worked in Gresham, Smith, and Partners in Nashville. “I became more inspired and intrigued in the healthcare market, and learned that a large firm may be a good fit for me.”
The experience of the students varied for each firm, as they could be involved with executing a research assignment, sitting in on staff or client meetings, going on site visits, or assisting with drawings, designs, or model building.
Architecture student Nikki Groneck spent two weeks working and learning in Snohetta in New York.
“My last week at Snohetta was dedicated to production for an upcoming presentation that my team had with the client so I was working on diagrams, sun studies, and sections. I have not worked with a lot of sun studies so I learned a lot about how to analyze information based on renders and how to translate that into design development.”
“They work very similarly to the way we do at UK/CoD; lots of programmatic and massing rhino models followed by drawings and diagraming in illustrator,” said architecture student Thompson Burry who worked in LTL in New York. “Everyone there works so incredibly hard. From the minute the come into work they push intently with an incredible level of focus.”
In addition to gaining the experience of working in a professional office setting and learning new design skills, the spring break program gives students valuable contacts and networking opportunities.
“I walked away with about 20 close design professional connections,” said Interiors student Katelyn Hayden who worked in FRCH Design Worldwide in Cincinnati. “Getting exposure to the workplace, professionals, and different possibilities within the design field are all very invaluable experiences that should be taken advantage of as much as possible.”
Read about the experience of UK/CoD architecture students on Tumblr.
Check out more photos by following #practicepreviews and #ukcod on Instagram and Twitter.
Participating Architecture firms include:
  • Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York City
  • Future Cities Lab, San Francisco
  • Iwamoto Scott, San Francisco
  • LTL Architects, New York City
  • Morphosis Architects, Los Angeles
  • Morphosis Architects, New York City
  • Olson Kundig Architects, Seattle
  • OMA, New York City
  • PATTERNS, Los Angeles
  • Reiser Umemoto, New York City
  • ShoP, New York City
  • Snohetta, New York City
  • Urban Lab, Chicago
Participating Interior Design firms include:
  • FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati
  • VeenendaalCave Inc, Atlanta
  • Ross Tarrant Architects, Lexington
  • Gresham Smith & Partners, Nashville
  • NBBJ, Seattle
  • ZGF Simmer Gunsul Frasca 
  • Luckett & Farley, Louisville
  • Haworth 
  • Gensler, New York
  • SHP Leading Design
  • Perkins + Will Chicago, NYC
  • Matthew Carter Interiors, Lexington
  • Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Chicago
  • LSM Lehman, Smith, McLeish, Washington, DC
  • GBBN Architects, Cincinnati
  • PDR Corp, Houston
  • EOP Architects, Lexington
  • KZF, Cincinnati
  • Heery International, Iowa City

Third Annual Preservation South Conference

March 5, 2014   |  

The Historic Preservation Graduate Organization at the College of Design hosted the Third Annual Preservation South Conference February 28 – March 2. Preservation South is a student-run conference created to give historic preservation students and students in related fields an opportunity to present and learn from the research of their peers. 
The weekend-long conference kicked off with a lecture by Jean Carroon, author of Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings. Following the lecture, attendees adjourned to the Boone Center for dinner and a presentation by keynote speaker Craig Potts, Executive Director of the Kentucky Heritage Council and State Historic Preservation Officer.
On Saturday, participating students presented academic papers to a group of peers, industry professionals, and preservation enthusiasts. Topics included “The Evolution of the Kentucky Main Street Program: Its Beginning, Expansion, and Renaissance” by Megan Funk, “Thinking Outside the Fence: A New Approach to Preserving the American Cemetery” by John Bry, and “Developing New Revitalization Policies for the Over-The-Rhine Neighborhood” by Alex Wise.
HPGO would like to thank Jean Carron and Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment.

UK/CoD architecture students tour CAER

February 19, 2014   |  

Second year students in the School of Architecture had the opportunity to visit UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER).
Under the instruction of Assistant Professor of Architecture Martin Summers, students learned about material sciences, and the relationship of material research to larger problems and potential solutions.  The trip was part of ARC 231: Material & Structural Concepts that introduces technological concepts of building and its constituent material systems via spatial and formal design strategies.
Of the many research labs at CAER, students had the opportunity to visit the Carbon Spinlab, which contains the world’s largest carbon fiber spin line in an academic setting. Students also toured the Renewable Fuels Lab, a facility dedicated to developing improved processes for biomass use, and the Algae Greenhouse, which serves as a proving ground for photobioreactors. UK/CoD has previously collaborated with CAER’s algae researchers to develop concepts for an algae research facility. 
Learn more about CAER here.

UK/CoD students explore Thailand

January 23, 2014   |  

Students from the College of Design spent the winter intercession exploring the diverse landscapes of Thailand.
Utilizing the practice of cross-cultural observation, students were tasked with examining the social, cultural, historical, and political contexts of Thailand and neighboring Cambodia.
Starting in Bangkok, students explored the stark contrasts of the vibrant city, with visits to design offices including Gensler, Bangkok and the traditional design of temples, gardens, and markets. The group then moved north to Chiang Mai, where they rang in the New Year with traditional Thai festivities. Other sojourns included Phang Nga Bay, Chiang Rai, and Angkor Wat, the famed palace and temple complex in Cambodia.
“The trip to Thailand and Cambodia was an amazing opportunity, and opened my eyes to a diverse culture,” said Lucas Brown. “The trip allowed me to grow as a person and view life from a different perspective.”
Students also had the opportunity to visit the silk farms of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company, where they learned about textile design and production. Students were treated to an extensive private tour of the Jim Thompson House and Museum, followed by a dinner hosted by the company.
As part of the course’s requirement, students were provided a “research driver” and employed a variety of methods for observing, documenting, and evaluating their surroundings. Course professor Lindsey Guinther led observations, implementing exercises including camera journaling, behavioral mapping, activity analyses, and cross-cultural comparisons, among others.
Students will present the course deliverables in the form of a video exhibition on January 27 at 4pm in the Peace Gallery.

Architecture Studio Feature: Atomic City Museum

January 6, 2014   |  

Assistant Professor of Architecture Gary Rohrbacher and his students continued their study of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in Paducah, KY by developing concepts for an Atomic City Museum. The massive plant once produced enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and fuel for nuclear power plants. Its imminent closure leaves the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) and the US Department of Energy (USDOE) at a loss as to how to redevelop the site, to address the toxicity of the surrounding groundwater, and to maintain the thousands of jobs the plant generates. 
Professor Rohrbacher and his students, working in close association with UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), previously developed scale models of the site’s geographical features, its subsurface conditions, and the groundwater contaminant plumes. The models will be used as a tool to provoke conversation and debate among scientists and the public, with the hope of stimulating progress toward removing and abating the groundwater contamination and its sources, enabling a regeneration of the site and region.
In the fall of 2013, the design studio, facilitated by CAER, Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment (KRCEE), and USDOE, proposed an Atomic City Museum to ensure that Paducah's story is told from its auspicious beginnings and role in producing materials for nuclear weapons during the Cold War, to the plant’s decontamination and decommission. The goal is to propose hopeful futures for Paducah and other cities that face large-scale industrial abandonments. 
Students were encouraged to propose designs for a museum to tell the story of the plant’s history. They could design a 'conventional' museum, 'pop-up' museum, or a virtual museum. They were tasked with developing the most compelling way to convey Paducah’s complex and critical story. 
Participating students included:
Mark Manczyk
Allender Stewart
Stephanie Wyatt
Brooke Roberson
Spencer McNulty
Adam Logsdon
Rupa Gurung
Stephen Schwab
Allen Warford
Victor Smith
Chris WIlson
Adrian Elder
Thomas Grubbs

Fall 2013 Reviews

December 20, 2013   |  

The College of Design wrapped up the Fall 2013 semester with a series of final reviews featuring the culmination of the semester's research. Below is a short description of four studios, which are featured in the slideshow above, along with many other exemplary projects:

  • Martin Summers's Disruptive Continuity studio, which sets out to explore the nature of the contemporary library within rapidly transforming technological, cultural, social, political and environmental contexts.
  • Lindsey Guinther's healthcare environments studio, in which students studied healthcare environments throughout Lexington to obtain real-world data on patient usage, workplace efficiency, and activity analysis. 
  • The architecture/interiors joint studio, led by Mark O'Bryan and Rebekah Ison-Radtke, in which students from both disciplines developed design interventions for the UK student center.
  • Gary Rohrbacher and his students continued their work for Paducah, KY, this time developing concepts for the Atomic City Museum.

See more photos on our Facebook page.

UK/CoD hosts design and research showcase

December 16, 2013   |  

University of Kentucky College of Design hosted a design and research showcase for the members of Leadership Lexington, a leadership development program sponsored by Commerce Lexington.
The showcase exhibited the research and service projects developed and executed by UK/CoD students and faculty that directly benefited the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens.
The visiting group had the opportunity to speak with faculty and students and learn more about the College of Design projects in depth.
The displayed projects included:
  • Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER)
  • Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
  • blue Solar House
  • Henderson HMPL 1
  • UK Medical Center Post-Occupancy Evaluation
  • Harlan Community Engagement Studio
  • Rose Street/UK Campus Ttraffic Sstudy
  • Historic Preservation Community-based Field work
  • Wheelwright Psychiatric Facility Evaluation
  • California, KY Llibrary and Community Center
  • Louisville Water Company
  • Rupp Arena Evaluation
University President Eli Capilouto chose the College of Design as one of five colleges to host the Leadership Lexington group. The other host colleges were the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Pharmacy, and the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.

Architecture Studio Feature: Disruptive Continuity

November 7, 2013   |  

This architecture studio sets out to explore the nature of the contemporary library within rapidly transforming technological, cultural, social, political and environmental contexts. How can a contemporary library support the evolving nature of services, public access, public space, and shared cultural values within a static architectural construction? Can the architectural design process harness the digital tools to find value added solutions? 
The initial exercise attempts to isolate issues related to digital process and rapid prototyping technologies. This isolation allows the students to focus their efforts on development of digital design skills, tools, workflow, and to explore an adaptive design process free from the constraints of a typical project. The goal is to develop a workflow to test and adapt to changing conditions of complex architectural projects that would best simulate a real world practice. Ultimately this process empowers students to explore the limits of a problem and creatively test ideas. This process also prepares them for future practice by confronting complicated problems, exploring new solutions while keeping the design open for new discoveries.
Each student was responsible for producing three distinct systems that are autonomous in form and organization, then testing combinations across scales. They learned how one might use form operatively, how to organize systems. The final project was presented in a 3D-printed model, presentation boards and a three ring binder where they catalogued their iterations to show design evolutions, failures and discoveries along the way.
Martin Summers, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Student Participants
Fourth Year:
Harrison Broadhurst
Kelly Fink
Sarah Gray
Bryant Hawkins
Holly Hornbeak
Mehrnaz Kasai
Haley Koesters
Katie Ryan
Donnie Shepperson
Rachel Smith
Cody Thamann
Tyler Winch
Graduate, 1st Year:
Hans Koesters
Benjamin Ward

HP students successfully campaign for Spindletop’s inclusion on National Register

October 23, 2013   |  

UK/CoD Historic Preservation students scored a victory for Lexington's famed Spindletop Hall.
After two years of work, the iconic property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.
"It's an honorific list; it tells our story", said Rachel Kennedy, Executive Director of Preservation Kentucky, the state's preservation office. "This property will be forever more listed in the National Register based on its significance."
"This building was one of the reason the World Equestrian Games were held here in Lexington," said Holly Weidemann. It was Ms. Weidemann and her students who spearheaded the Spindletop campaign.
To be considered eligible, a property must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. This involves examining the property’s age, integrity, and significance. Over the course of two years, students conducted research, site visits, and interviews as part of the nomination process. 
Completed in 1937 by Mildred (Pansy) Yount, Spindletop Hall was a "modern mansion of classical architecture". The house and the surrounding farm were puchased by the University in 1959. Since 1962, Spindletop has been the residence of the UK Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Club.
The students involved in the nomination were:
Bruce Carter
Mark Fluehr
Alyssa Myers
Patrice Perlman
William Updike
Angelene Hoffert
Kathy Martinolich
Zina Merkin
Whitney Schieltz
Eric Whisman
Joey Klare

Interiors students analyze healthcare environments

October 22, 2013   |  

The fourth-year students in the University of Kentucky School of Interiors participating in Assistant Professor Lindsey Guinther’s healthcare design studio recently traveled to Nashville, TN to more closely examine their studio project’s context. The visit offered students the opportunity to more personally connect with their site, which will be home to a seven-story new construction medical facility.
The students engaged with healthcare design professionals at the Nashville based Gresham, Smith & Partners. Here, Principal and Workplace Strategist Jack Weber, presented several related projects and facilitated a tour of the Middle Tennessee Medical Center.
The students also toured the recently completed Music City Center by tvsdesign to gain design inspiration specifically related to the implementation of community-based art installations in interiors.
Upon returning to Lexington, the students worked on programming scenarios for a variety of healthcare fields, using a neighborhood in Nashville as their site for analysis. Teams of students then visited healthcare environments throughout Lexington to obtain real-world data on patient usage, workplace efficiency, and activity analysis. They presented their findings to a panel of reviewers, including UK/CoD alum Chris Fredi of EOP Architects who has worked extensively in the field of healthcare design.
See the selections of the programming scenarios below.

School of Interiors Advisory board meets with students and faculty

October 21, 2013   |  

Faculty and students of the School of Interiors hosted the first advisory board meeting of the 2013-2014 academic year in September. Alumni Eileen Jones, Luann Holmes, and Chris Estes met with students, faculty, and staff to discuss the future of the interior design profession, as well as the educational and professional opportunities for students in the School of Interiors.
As a central purpose of the meeting, teams of advisors, faculty, staff, and students articulated their visions for the future of interior design.  Focusing on design in 2022, they recognized interiors as a multi-disciplined field, one with ever more complex advancements in technology and expansion of specializations.  They forecast a greater diversity of age in the workforce as well as the quest by millennials for social engagement, sustainable design, a healthy workplace, and increased mobility. They saw graduates of the School of Interiors needing the abilities to analyze and synthesize a wide range of data given the fact that no one can know everything.
For the School of Interiors, those gathered saw the compelling need for an organic approach to mentoring for students and continuing education for professionals that would remove boundaries between students and working alumni. Thought of as a gentle immersion approach for students, the advisors indicated that the emphasis on mentoring would yield a sharing of research and outreach, as well as collaboration within and outside the academy.  
The advisory board meets twice yearly with students and UK/CoD faculty to stay abreast of the School’s direction and advise faculty on issues in the profession. They will gather again in the spring semester to take up the subject of collaboration through gentle immersion.

Masquerade Exhibition: Speculative, Spectacular!

October 9, 2013   |  

Speculative, Spectacular!  displays 15 unique masks along with a collection of study models, analytical drawings, conceptual images and animations that act as a preliminary exercise for Akari Takebayashi's third year architecture design studio.  The studio investigates an architecture that questions the conventional notion of building envelope and aims to reestablish a new relationship between inside and outside.  The goal is to deliver a project, a center for music and dance, that poses a unique and rich experience within a compelling urban context. 
The core of the studio lies on the relationships between things; object to object, object to nature, and nature to nature (a human is an ultimate object!). It's not only the geometry and materials that we examine, but also mysterious relationships between design objects and our senses or an attitude.  Designing a mask allows us to redefine the notion of a self within a context and context within a self.  What if a building transforms place into a state of mind?
Could a building imply a mood? Could a building advocate a means to conceal or reveal the interior to the street? Not only the design decisions made by its functionality and practicality, we are also fascinated to experiment and discover the connotative nature of masks to raise variable questions of architecture. The mask project defines an attitude towards architecture. 
Each student has carefully thought through the techniques of representation to capture the essential atmosphere and experiences that are generated by the project.  Each mask was developed based on critical observation of urban public scenes.  The studio mission is to pursue new entities that pose wonderful sensations in preparation for our future design project.
Student Participants:
Tyler Abell      
Alexander Arrowood      
Sarah Daley     
Forrest Duffy 
Owen Duross    
Rutti Eberhard  
Thomas Fruchtenicht    
Amanda Harley   
Addison Mullins       
Tanner Smith     
Julie Sniadowski    
Scott Sterchi   
Karen Tate     
Sara Weber   

UK/CoD announces renovation plans for Pence Hall

October 7, 2013   |  

On the eve of its 105th birthday, Pence Hall is getting a facelift.
Pence Hall, the center of the University of Kentucky College of Design, will undergo a series of renovations, including a revitalized lobby, a new dean’s suite and conference suite, and reconfigured staff areas.
“The University of Kentucky is undergoing a focused revitalization of our campus,” said university President Eli Capilouto. “A path we have chosen because of its ability to dramatically transform the way we educate our students, support our faculty, and serve our community.”
Slated to begin in the fall of 2013, the renovations will occur in three phases, spread out over two years, and will significantly improve the appearance and functionality of the College’s center.
Funding for the improvements will come from the College’s budgetary surplus and private gifts.
“In our consumer-driven culture, there is an increased importance placed on the book cover,” said College of Design Interim Dean Ann Whiteside-Dickson. “Judgements are made about how we look and command attention as we aim to attract the best and brightest students as well as the next Dean.”
For more information about the planned renovations, visit

Professor Filson’s architecture studio partners with CAER

October 3, 2013   |  

By Keith Hautala, Whitney Hale, Alicia Gregory
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research is developing green technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, using algae.
Four years ago, CAER and UK’s Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department set out to demonstrate that an algae-based system could recycle the carbon dioxide in flue gas. Now, with $1.8 million in funding from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, CAER is partnering with Duke Energy to test a pilot-scale algae system at East Bend Station in Northern Kentucky.
Scientists looking for ways to curb carbon dioxide emissions have taken a keen interest in algae. These simple, plantlike, aquatic organisms — their family includes both pond scum and seaweed — are among the oldest forms of life on Earth. Like plants, they draw energy from photosynthesis, using light from the sun and carbon dioxide from the air.
More than 90 percent of Kentucky’s power comes from coal, which when burned produces carbon dioxide as a waste product. With federally mandated carbon emissions limits on the horizon, the work underway at CAER is more critical than ever. Algae does an efficient job of sequestering carbon, taking it out of the air and locking it away in solid biomass. That biomass could, in turn, find use as a raw material for making products or as a renewable fuel itself. 
"The industry will adapt technology, which right now doesn’t exist. So that’s our challenge," said Jack Groppo, CAER's principal research engineer for environmental and coal technologies. "The nice thing about algae is that it actually does capture and sequester the carbon dioxide."
Instead of acres of ponds, CAER’s strategy is based on a closed system of photobioreactors to grow algae. CAER’s system, made of plastic tubes and off-the-shelf PVC pipes, is built by UK students and staff and glued together on-site. Expanding the system simply means adding more tubes. The closed system is more efficient, even in winter when sunlight is minimal. It is less prone to contamination, and evaporation is much less of a problem than with ponds.
"We are harnessing algae’s ability to grow very fast and perform photosynthesis in order to take the carbon dioxide in flue gas and turn it into biomass," said Michael Wilson, CAER engineer.
CAER has installed a 5,000-gallon feed tank with two centrifugal pumps on the east side of the power plant, with southern exposure to maximize the sunlight on the tubes. The feed tank serves as the hub, where carbon dioxide and nutrients are added, and where water returns. Algae comes out of the photobioreactors and it goes into the harvest tank, where it settles to the bottom.
The algae that comes out is dark green and the consistency of pesto. That material can be fed into an anaerobic digester to produce methane gas that the power plant can burn for fuel. It can be dried and processed into fish food or animal feed. Or it can undergo different processing to be turned into biodiesel, or even jet fuel.
"We have to work in the realm of feasible economics," Groppo said. "From a biofuels processing point of view, it makes sense. It is not extremely profitable, but when you look at what’s happened, you have actually captured carbon dioxide from a dilute stream and turned it into a value-added product."
If, in the future, CAER got the funding to install 100 acres of algae tubes to take coal flue gas and make jet fuel, what would that look like? That task was given to UK College of Design students.
Architecture students and faculty understood the needs of this type of technology having designed theoretical proposals for algae systems before. However, Duke Energy's support of CAER's concept gave them an opportunity to develop a potential real-world solution.
"It’s a great opportunity to work with these students because their creativity is unlimited," Groppo said. "They are enthusiastic, they have great ideas, and they are just not confined by anything, which is refreshing. You can see the raw enthusiasm when we open up the greenhouse doors, and when they look at those same tubes, they are just overwhelmed, and the questions just begin flowing."
Under the direction of Assistant Professor Anne Filson, last spring UK students were charged with imagining the future by designing an algae research facility and conference center within a 100 acre demonstration bioreactor on the East Bend Station property. CAER wanted to see what fresh eyes could bring to the project. 
The CAER’s team introduced students to the fundamental principles of algae growth, bioreactor design, and serviceability, which gave each student a functional foundation to explore architectural innovation.
"My students are looking at it as this really amazing surreal landscape that must be experienced," Filson said. "All of them are looking at ways to choreograph the movement through the algae bioreactors, what is it like to approach it, to drive through it, to get out of your car and walk up to a research lab within it, and how does this landscape inspire people to think about energy in a new way."
An algae bioreactor and research facility on the site of a massive coal power plant is a project without precedent, making it a powerful student problem.
"It really creates the perfect architecture project, where there is a big landscape of hundreds of acres of algae bioreactor tubes, with ancillary buildings that would house laboratories for researchers, processing facilities to process the algae into useful mediums like biofuels and jet fuel, and it also presented a fascinating challenge to provide accommodations for the vehicles, materials, and people that would be moving on and off the site," Filson said.
The CAER project served the College of Design’s mission to provide students with the opportunity to apply rigorous design research and architectural thinking to address the unique environmental issues facing Kentucky. Additionally, the project simulated real world professional conditions, by offering students opportunities to engage CAER’s experts and Duke Energy’s client team to assist in the development of ambitious and innovative architectural proposals for East Bend.
"It’s been a great education from a sustainability standpoint," Filson said. "We’re learning and talking every day about how do we transition from a coal economy and coal energy to alternative fuels…slowly, steadily, and how do we participate in that transition."
But as students look for answers to the questions surrounding the alternative energy technology, they haven't forgotten the value of design.
"You’re talking to engineers. They are more concerned about whether it is going to work or not," said architecture senior Robert Pekrul, of Lexington. "Taking that functionality and adding an artistic value to it, is what we are really trying to do here. Because that’s what we do, we design."

Architecture Studio Feature: PERFORMA

September 20, 2013   |  

The PERFORMA Studio at the College of Design is an intensive research and fabrication studio taught by Mike McKay. McKay’s research work involves the investigation of material systems and design strategies that create multi-performative material systems utilizing optimization, aggregation and efficiency. Simple units and semi-finished materials are physically tested in order to extract potential performative characteristics and limits. These limits are then negotiated through rigorous digital and physical techniques in order to produce strategies of fabrication. The formal systems have inherent structural capacities and an ability to adapt to changing conditions. Because of the system pliability, variation can occur within a seemingly homogenous system.
The first part of the studio involves an intensive investigation of innovative surface and structural systems through experimentation with unit aggregate systems. By experimenting with the characteristics of the unit behavior a multi- performative material system will emerge. This is done by physically testing the limits of aggregate systems, cataloging those limits, and then introducing digital tools to experiment with possible strategies.
The challenge of the PERFORMA research is to engage a methodology that allows the designer to create dynamic formal systems using simple materials and methods without the need to rely on ‘rapid prototyping’ techniques. Mass customized materials take a tremendous amount of time and energy to produce and usually are simply a product of software techniques or machining limits. By ‘removing’ reliances on software and output machines, the students are forced to engage a whole host of limits that otherwise would be ignored by simply ‘outputting’. It is then the responsibility of the designer not only to invent the individual unit and subsequent system but also find the means of fabrication that make it possible.
Participating students:
Craig Chamberlain
Lauren Davis
Aaron Fritsch
Addison Hughs
Ethan Marlowe
Drew McGurk
Jenna Roggensack

UK/CoD kicks off semester with All-College meeting

August 29, 2013   |  

Students, faculty, and staff gathered in UK's Worsham Theatre to officially begin the 2013-2014 academic year at the College of Design.
Interim Dean Ann Whiteside-Dickson welcomed students, and she and the program directors introduced the college's new faculty and staff.
Student participants of the summer travel studios in Brazil, the Netherlands, and France recapped their experiences, and encouraged other students to take advantage of UK/CoD's travel opportunities.
Representatives from the student organizations AIAS, IDSA, and HPGO outlined their plans and events for the upcoming semester, including community service projects, networking opportunities, and professional development events.
Stay up-to-date with UK/CoD news, events, and features here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Summer Career Discovery Program

August 13, 2013   |  

Eighteen talented participants took part inthe UK/CoD Summer Career Discovery Program. They engaged in a variety of activities that emulated what it might be like to study architecture and interiors at the College of Design. The participants were juniors and seniors in high school, and freshmen already accepted and enrolled at UK.  The program is directed and taught by Assistant Professor of Architecture Martin Summers and Instructor of Architecture Regina Summers.
SCDP is constructed around an intensive design studio experience, the core of a degree in architecture or interiors, which allowed students to explore and evolve design ideas centered on abstract problem solving exercises. The creative and nurturing environment of the studio allowed students to freely explore their ideas within a given exercises framework, and exposed the participants to other possible solutions and insights through interactive reviews and discussions with fellow participants. Ultimately the students presented their work to invited guest reviewers and their peers. Communication skills were emphasized at multiple points over the two week program reinforcing that good designers must be able to effectively communicate ideas through multiple media types, physical models, drawings, written communication and verbal presentations.
The studio experience was supplemented with lectures and workshops on model making, drawing, contemporary design and how design thinking can be seen in the world around us. Several field trips allowed participants to experience first hand how the design process is ultimately materialized in built form. Tours of modern houses in the region and several local design offices gave concrete examples of the career options in architecture and interiors. Over the two weeks, there were several discussions that emerged naturally from the workshops where other professional avenues were discussed, and how a design education prepares one with a diversity of skill sets and flexible ways of thinking that are applicable across multiple fields.
Summer Career Discovery Program 2013 Participants
Anna Bond
Beata Barati
Arden Barnes
Sommer Cade
Zoe Codd
Loren Ewing
Madeleine Ferrer
Victoria Fredrick
Wesley Gresham
Emily Hozza
Cara Kruse
Eric Lowe
Steve Ngandu
Tariq Onodu
McKenzie Plummer
Hayley Price
Murphy Rodes
Ayesha Tanweer
Guest workshop leaders and critics:

Mark O’Bryan
Rebekah Ison
Helen Turner
Magnus Lindqvist
Clyde Carpenter
Mark Richards
Jeremy Stock
Matt Gannon
Local offices which hosted tours and information sessions:

Gray Construction
EOP Architects

Homeowners and property stewards of the homes toured by the participants:
Tom Caywood
Clyde Carpenter
Avi Eres
Ronit Eres
Greg Luhan
A special thanks to Katie Halsey (RA/TA) and Ari Sogin (RA/TA).

UK/CoD appoints program directors

August 2, 2013   |  

Interim Dean Ann Whiteside-DIckson recently announced the appointed directors of the College of Design's three academic units.

David Biagi has been reappointed as the Director of the School of Architecture. Professor Biagi has served as head of the program since 2003.

Allison Carll-White was named the Chair of the Department of Historic Preservation and the Clay Lancaster Endowed Professor. "One of my goals for the coming year is to work to make our teaching and assistantships more competitive so that we can continue to attract the best and brightest for the program," said Professor Carll-White.

Patrick Lee Lucas joins the College as the Director of the School of Interiors. "I see great promise at UK for advancing interior education in a place that has a strong history for training young designers," said Professor Lucas.

Follow the work of all UK/CoD faculty and students on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

UK/CoD students return from design studio in Delft

July 31, 2013   |  

Students from the UK College of Design completed an eight-week research studio in the city of Delft in the Netherlands.

Working with public administration students from Leiden University, UK/CoD students researched potential interventions for the municipality of Delft. To gain a position as a "Knowledge City", Delft schools and universities must improve student retention rates and increase the percentage of well-educated students.

Students also had the opportunity to visit Germany, Brussels, Belgium, and France and tour some of the most iconic architectural structures in Europe.

Click here for the students' blog that includes student work, photos, and more information about the studio.

UK College of Design Announces School of Interiors

July 2, 2013   |  

The University of Kentucky School of Interior Design, located within the UK College of Design, is rebranding as the UK School of Interiors: Planning/Strategy/Design. The change was officially approved at the university's most recent Board of Trustees meeting.
The name change reflects the dynamic nature of interior planning, and communicates the expertise of the professional degree. The field of study is no longer limited to the concept of interior design, but encompasses community outreach, sustainability, and environmental and workplace performance.
"The study of interiors will change greatly in the face of issues affecting the building arts," said Director of the School of Interiors Patrick Lee Lucas. "I see a course of study, when allied with other disciplines, will engage in a more holistic consideration of the human experience in spaces."
Click here for more information on the UK School of Interiors.

UK/CoD and LPL sponsor Makerspace Workshop

June 27, 2013   |  

The College of Design collaborated with the Lexington Public Library to host a design workshop for teens and adults. Over the course of four days, participants were introduced to drawing, model building, and digital prototyping.
UK/CoD instructor Michael Mead led lectures and demonstrations that culminated in hands-on exercises in CNC milling, laser cutting, and 3D printing in the College's fabrication workshop.
"I thought it was a great opportunity to expose people to some of the things we do in the design industry", said Mead. "And let them experience some of the new technologies we employ."
Click here to see other workshop opportunities offered by the Lexington Public Library.

UK/CoD students complete design studio in Brazil

June 20, 2013   |  

Students from the College of Design just returned from the remote village of Igarai, Brazil where they spent two weeks living and working on an organic sustainable coffee farm. In addition to working in the village, students spent a week in Sao Paolo, Brazil's largest city, studying the architecture present in the city.
School of Interiors instructor Rebekah Ison and nine interior design and architecture students studied the strategic space planning of sustainable industries and also developed design interventions for the village preschool.
"Our discussions transitioned into wanting to help and give back to communities," said student Aleigh Oney. "Even to those which we don't necessarily call home."
Read more about the students' work and experiences on Tumblr.
View the photos on Facebook.

Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza & University of Kentucky - Igaraí Child Care Project 2013 from Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza FAF on Vimeo.

UK/CoD hosts fourth annual End of Year Show

May 13, 2013   |  

The University of Kentucky College of Design closed the 2012-2013 academic year with the annual End of Year Show at Lexington's Land of Tomorrow Gallery.

Architecture, Interior Design, and Historic Preservation students displayed the products of the year's research for family and friends over graduation weekend.

The studios on display included:

  • The Taipei Office Studio
  • The Performa Studio
  • The Harlan Studio
  • The Form and Phenomena Studio
  • The Retail Design Studio
  • The Lexington Distillery District Studio

View more photos of the exhibition on our Facebook page.

Spring 2013 Final Reviews

May 6, 2013   |  

The College of Design wrapped up the 2012-2013 academic year with a series of final reviews featuring the culmination of the year's research. Below is a short description of four studios, which are featured in the slideshow above, along with many other exemplary projects:

  • Professor Mike McKay's PERFORMA, an intensive research and fabrication studio. Professor McKay’s research work involves the investigation of formal systems and design strategies that create multi-performative material systems utilizing optimization, aggregation and efficiency. Simple units and semi-finished materials are physically tested in order to extract potential performative characteristics and limits.
  • Professor Akari Takebayashi's Primitive City aimed is understand the relationship between architectural form, urban economy and history of building typologies. The core lies in the new figure to ground relationships possible in a city. The course's objective was to seek a harmony between architectural form and hybrid spatial occupancies using primitive geometries.
  • Students in Lindsey Guinther and Helen Turner's Retail Studio worked closely with the owner/design director of Lexington’s Creative Retail Services, Clifford Goss, to envision a design proposal for a new retail space located at 126 North Broadway. The work developed over the course of a semester demonstrated explorations in brand identity, surface articulations, visual merchandising and interior design planning and programming.
  • Doug Appler's Historic Preservation Planning Studio focused on the survey process that is the cornerstone of the preservation process. It allows a community to identify its historic resources, and assess whether a neighborhood or district is likely candidate for protection through the creation of a local district, or whether it could be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

View more photos on our Facebook page.

Jose Oubrerie presents career retrospective lecture

April 12, 2013   |  


Jose Oubrerie, renowned architect and former Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Architecture (now College of Design), returned to Lexington to present a lecture to UK/CoD students and faculty at the Downtown Arts Center.
Oubrerie's multimedia lecture covered his extensive career in architecture, and his apprenticeship under French architect Le Corbusier, who is considered "the father of modern architecture."  Oubrerie spoke at length about his design of the Miler House, one of Lexington's most notable structures. The house is regarded as one of the finest examples of residential architecture of the 20th century.
Of the house's design, Oubrerie said he was inspired by different units within a factory. As the house was designed for Robert and Penny Miller and their two children, Oubrerie wanted to create seperate "houses" within a single structure. Each occupant would have a contained living space with shared common areas. 
"I don't like suburbs", said Oubrerie, referring to the design of traditional homes in the area compared to the Miller House. "I wanted to create a city."
Following the lecture, Oubrerie signed posters for attendees, and reconnected with former students and colleagues at a reception in the DAC's second floor gallery.
Check back for a video of Oubrerie's presentation.

UK/CoD students collaborate with Taipei government on urban regeneration

March 26, 2013   |  

This spring semester, students from the UK/CoD School of Architecture are participating in an innovative new studio format called OFFICE STUDIO. Structured like a global architecture firm, with office branches in two other universities, the National Chiao-Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and The University of Hong Kong, in Hong Kong, OFFICE STUDIO KENTUCKY consists of twelve advanced undergraduate and graduate architecture students, and is led by UK/School of Architecture Assistant Professor Angie Co and Dean Michael Speaks. 

 All three schools are working together on a project commissioned by the city of Taipei. Specifically, OFFICE STUDIO has been asked by the mayor’s office in Taipei to create planning and architecture proposals for an existing, soon-to-be-decommissioned train depot station located in the Xinyi Business District, site of the famous Taipei 101 tower, until recently the tallest building in the world. The station and its surrounding site are part of an urban redevelopment initiative launched in 2010 by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin, and are likely to figure in Taipei’s proposal to host World Design Capital 2016.
During this past spring break, twelve UK students led by Professor Co, joined twenty students from the partner schools in Taiwan and Hong Kong on a sponsored and paid visit to Taipei where they toured the train depot building site and met with the Mayor Hau’s office, planners, architects and creative industry leaders. Students also toured the famous 24-hour food “night markets” in Taipei as well as buildings designed by recently named Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito. In Lexington, the students are back to work and have only four weeks to complete their proposals. Over the next month, all three OFFICE STUDIOS—Kentucky, Taiwan and Hong Kong—will continue to work and collaborate online and via Skype and will complete a large scale proposal that will be presented to Mayor Hau for his review in June of this year.
Together, the three OFFICE STUDIOS simulate a global design office: working from offices (studios) with principals (professors) in different locations, students are collaborating on a real, commissioned project for a real client. In addition, OFFICE STUDIO KENTUCKY, taking advantage of online meeting, management and design technology, is being conducted as a hybrid online studio. Assistant Professor Co, who currently works from New York City, meets the students two days each week online, and Dean Speaks meets the students one day per week in person. In addition to these weekly sessions, Assistant Professor Co has run week-long, intensive workshop sessions in Lexington with the students, and Dean Speaks has run workshops and sessions including a start up workshop where students designed and built all the furniture, including desks, chairs and storage cabinets, for their OFFICE STUDIO space in Pence Hall. OFFICE STUDIO is among the first online studios to be conducted in any school of architecture in the US and offers students an opportunity to get first hand experience by working in a technology rich studio/office environment that is fast becoming the norm all over the world.
Click here to see more photos of the Taipei Office Studio on Facebook. 

Design students gain professional experience over spring break

March 18, 2013   |  

Architecture and Interior Design students had the opportunity to work at regional, national, and international design firms over spring break. These programs places students in these firms for 1-2 weeks to garner professional experience and to contribute to the firms' projects.

The experience of the students varied for each firm, as they could be involved with executing a research assignment, sitting in on staff or client meetings, going on site visits, or assisting with drawings, designs, or model building.
"The spring break program is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me," said graduate student Sarah Mohr. "I never imagined this would be a possibility for me before coming to graduate school at UK." Sarah worked with designers in New York's Reiser + Umemto on a hub/hotel in Manhattan.
Architecture students worked the following firms:
OMA, New York
Studio Gang, Chicago
HWKN, New York
Bernard Tschumi, New York
Olson Kundig, Seattle
Urban Lab, Chicago
SO-IL, New York
Barkow Leibinger, Berlin
NMDA, Los Angeles
Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles
Morphosis Architects, New York
Snohetta, Oslo
Reiser + Umemeto, New York
IwamotoScott, San Francisco
PATTERNS, Los Angeles
Interior Design students worked in the following firms:
Gresham Smith & Part., Nashville
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Chicago
Perkins + Will, Chicago
HOK, St. Louis
SHP Leading Design, Cincinnati
Haworth, NYC
PDR, Houston
EOP, Lexington
KZF, Cincinnati
Haworth, DC
Gensler, Atlanta
GBBN, Cincinnati
Veenendaal Cave, Atlanta
Perkins + Will, NYC
Lehman-Smith + McLeish, DC
Heery International, Orlando
FRCH Worldwide Design, Cincinnati
Tobin Starr + Partner, Charlotte
Forrest Perkins, DC
Read about the architecture students' experiences on the Practice Previews Tumblr.

7th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium

March 7, 2013   |  

UK/CoD's Historic Preservation Graduate Organization hosted their 7th Annual symposium at Lexington's Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. This year's topic, "Preservation = Jobs", addressed how the rehabilitation of historic neighborhoods and buildings bolsters local economies and generates employment.

The invited speakers included:

  • Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Colby Broadwater, President, American College of Building Arts
  • Terrian C. Barnes, National Trust Community Investment Corporation
  • David Feldman, Right-Sized Homes
  • Todd Barman, Main Street Center

Each of the four speakers cited specific examples of historic preservation directly generated jobs within a community. Referencing Charleston, SC, Gen. Broadwater noted how "people come to [Charleston] to see and experience remarkable historic built environments." Charleston has 4.5 million visitors annually, providing the city's 34,000 residents with jobs.

Terrian Barnes addressed the federal historic tax credit and their effect on local economies.

"The NTCIC provides flexible funding to restore and readapt old buildings, generating construction jobs, retail and restaurant jobs, provides operating spaces for non-profits, and generates state and local taxes." Over the life of the Historic Tax Credit program, 2.35 million jobs have been created.

Both David Feldman and Todd Barman addressed how the rehabilitation of historic buildings drives investment to lower-income neighborhoods. A recurring point made throughout the event was how rehabilitated buildings are "green", as they reduce landfill waste and save energy.

Each speaker responded to questions and discussion topics from a panel of preservationists, architects, and entrepreneurs.

Click here to view the lectures and discussion panels.

Kyle Miller, College of Design Co-Host Possible Mediums Conference

March 5, 2013   |  

The Possible Mediums Conference, which took place at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture from February 7th - 10th, 2013, brought together 18 designers, 120 students (from the four co-host schools: The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, and University of Kentucky College of Design), and special guests John McMorrough and Jeffrey Kipnis, to participate in design workshops and formal discussions surrounding the question of mediums in contemporary architecture. Challenging the boundaries of architectural convention, the invited workshop leaders led students in exploratory processes rooted in mediums external to the discipline (such as film or comics) or developed from atypical applications of more conventional mediums (such as drawings or models). The conference results, both in design and discourse, demonstrate the profound potential of an expansion and diversification of architectural mediums as format, as material, and as a means of projection.

Assistant Professor Kyle Miller curated the Active Models group which sought to connect a group of designers that employ interactive technologies to link digital and physical environments. Their work utilizes embedded computation, continuous measurement, and kinetics to propose new modes of visual, spatial, and formal engagement.
Assistant Professor Angela Co participated as a workshop leader in the Figural Projections group. This group framed three designers who are engaged in the study of architectural legibility related to figural form and shape. Subverting (often subtly) the conventions of projective geometry, these designers employ narrative, optical deception, and ambiguously precise massing to craft imaginative worlds.
Photos by Phil Arnold
For a list of workshop events and instructor bios, visit the conference website.

CoD students participate in design competition

February 25, 2013   |  

The Beaux Arts Foundation recently hosted a competition for current College of Design students to determine the full-scale installation to be a part of their annual Beaux Arts Ball.

Current architecture and interior design students were invited to submit diagrams, images, renders, and models of a proposed large-scale installation for the foundation's upcoming Beaux Arts Ball. Four designs were chosen to be built for the event, chosen by popular vote. 
Above are images of student work from the competition. Special thanks to Lindsey Guinther and Brittany Dingledein for their assistance in capturing the event.

UK/CoD students return from design studio in Florence

February 21, 2013   |  

Two UK/CoD students spent the Fall 2012 semester in Florence, Italy. Sam Forman and Shannon Ruhl spent five months studying classic and contemporary architecture and traveling to more than twenty European cities in a course titled "Reading Cities". 

The students participated in an urban design studio to reimagine the urban plan of Florence. They focused on redesigning of three piazzas that are visited by more than five million tourists annually.  
This design studio is a partnership with Kent State's College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). Students experience the historical evolution of European art, architecture and urbanism, as well as the contemporary “design scene” and the on-going modernization of European cities.
Photos by Sam Forman and Shannon Ruhl.

Design Adds Value to the Commons Symposium

February 4, 2013   |  

The College of Design hosted five internationally renowned landscape architect teams in a symposium to discuss the merits of good design in an urban environment.

Mark Johnson of Civitas, Shane Coen of Coen+Partners, Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside, Julien de Smedt & Diana Balmori of JDS Architects/Balmori Associates and Kate Orff of Scape addressed a crowd of over two hundred students, faculty, city officials, industry professionals and members of the public at the Lexington Children's Theatre. Dean Michael Speaks moderated the event; Aaron Betsky, Director, Cincinnati Art Museum and Bradford McKee, Editor, Landscape Architecture magazine also participated in the discussion.
The five design teams were shortlisted by the Downtown Development Authority for the Town Branch Commons Competition. The project involves creating a linear park in addition to a series of pocket parks centered around the Town Branch Creek, which currently flows beneath Lexington's streets.
"Water creates a certain energy in a city", said Diana Balmori, representing JDS Architects. "It creates tourism, business development. Things come to it. It is a corridor for development."
According to SCAPE's Kate Orff, such a project could serve a performative function, as the park and the resurfaced creek could filter storm water and remove pollutants. 
Though the five teams varied in their approaches to the project, they all agreed that Town Branch Commons would do more than drive business and tourism to Lexington's downtown scene. "It would resolve urban issues and generate city dynamics," said Shane Coen. "The outdoor space is vital to the health of a city."
Click here to watch videos of the event.

ID students exhibit design proposals

December 26, 2012   |  

The third-year students in the School of Interior Design hosted an exhibition of their proposed designs for an arts center and performance venue in Harlan County at Awesome, Inc. in Lexington, KY.

The exhibition featured the proposals for the conversion of an abandoned furniture store into an art and community center.  The center will include a performance space, gallery, coffee shop, three studio classrooms, as well as an apartment for visiting artists.  The students also provided designs for a series of plays and exhibitions set to occur throughout Harlan in October 2013. The studio explored programming and branding techniques designed to meet the needs of the community. Work on the Harlan art center is set to begin in the summer of 2013.

Fall 2012 Final Reviews

December 13, 2012   |  

UK/CoD faculty and students wrapped up the Fall 2012 semester with final reviews of their studio projects.

Architecture and Interior Design students participated in final review sessions over the course of the week, and garnered feedback from their instructors, classmates, other faculty members, and invited industry professionals. 
These projects included:
  • Kyle Miller's second year undergraduate design studio, which focused on developing formal-spatial relationships through investigating form making techniques and massing strategies. Each student worked independently to design a 10,000 sq.ft. commercial flagship store for the city of Chicago that combined retail, educational, and administrative spaces.
  • Martin Summers's Studio, "GRAY Area: Between City and UNIVERcity" that emphasized master planning projects for downtown Lexington and UK's campus. This studio took advantage of the RFQ's released by the DDA for the Town Branch Project, the Cinema/Entertainment/Restaurant Project on the transportation center site, and an area of housing that could provide a possible direct linkage between these future public amenities and the campus.
  • Jason Scroggin's studio focused on the design of a 50,000 square foot Intermodal Transportation Hub on the West Side of Manhattan on the edge of the Hudson River at the end of 42nd street. The students considered the transportation hub as a spatial interface between movement (circulation of pedestrian and modes of transport) and the public realm and develop the project through the use of flexible geometric strategies.  In addition to this scenario, the studio analyzed the material and organizational systems that collect and produce renewable energy and seek opportunities to incorporate these systems into the fabric and experience of the building.
  • Helen Turner's fourth year interior design studio asked students to determine an individual project type, scope, and location, as well as user profiles and branding through research, programming, and writing exercises.

See more photos on our Facebook page.

UK/CoD hosts charrette on Lexington’s Distillery District

November 19, 2012   |  

UK/CoD architecture students presented their urban planning approaches and building designs for Lexington’s Distillery District with Kentucky and Ohio architects and faculty. The third-year design students in Professor Gregory Luhan’s Fall 2012 studio are examining the rubrics of Authenticity and Permanence as a means to “Get-Centered” and to develop an AIA-KY Center for Architecture.

Using their pre-design techniques to re-imagine the context and to design a repository for Kentucky's design research enterprise and an incubator for emerging practitioners, students were able to lead the architects through the schematic designs for their project. Using an immersive brainstorming session as a departure point, students received critical feedback from area professionals much like they would within a design office setting. This synergistic exchange allowed students to engage in a formative and insightful dialogue with the architects as a mechanism to advance their ideas, and to identify any areas that might be development in the weeks before final review.
The jurors and charrette participants were:
Adam Wiseman, Pohl Rosa Pohl Architects
Jared Altobello, Ricci Greene Associates
Ben Simmons, EOP Architects
Eric Zabilka, AIA, OMNI Architects
Patricia Kucker, AIA; Associate Dean and Professor of Architecture University of Cincinnati
Terry Boling, Architect and Professor of Architecture University of Cincinnati
Martin Summers, Assistant Professor UK College of Design School of Architecture
Michael Jacobs, AIA, OMNI Architects
Gregory Luhan, AIA, Associate Dean for Research, UK College of Design School of Architecture

Olson-Kundig architects lead student workshop

November 7, 2012   |  

Architects Kristen R. Murray, AIA and Steven Rainville, AIA of Olson-Kundig Architects in Seattle led a design workshop for UK students and students visiting from Ball State University. Olson-Kundig Architects was a keynote speaker at the 2012 AIA Kentucky/AIA Indiana Convention held in Lexington, KY. The workshop was organized by UK/CoD professor Martin Summers.

Olson-Kundig Architects has recently been selected to design the new Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. Based on this commission, Murray and Rainville led students in an exercise in design brainstorming. Students selected one contextual issue and paired it with a technical issue, then sketched out ideas with those constraints in mind.
Olson-Kundig was recognized by the American Institute of Architects in 2009 with the National Architecture Firm Award. The AIA cited their creation of inspiring buildings and places, collaborations with artists and craftspeople, and their commitment to sharing knowledge with students, clients, and the community.
The American Institute of Architects recognized the firm with its 2009 National Architecture Firm Award, citing our hands-on project involvement, creation of inspiring buildings and places, intense collaborations with artists and craftspeople, and deep commitment to sharing knowledge with students, interns, clients, and community. 

Interior Design students host project exhibition

October 31, 2012   |  

First-year students in the School of Interior Design hosted an exhibition of their latest project in the cooridor gallery of the Funkhouser Building.

Students were challenged to create a three dimensional parti of an interior or building by a designer. The models convey the most fundamental elements and principles of design contained in the building. Students illustrated the ideas as a conceptual representation of those design concepts.

2012 Scholarship and Awards Dinner

October 23, 2012   |  

Students, faculty, and invited guests gathered at UK's Boone Center for the 2012 Scholarship and Awards Dinner on October 18.

Students who received scholarships from the College of Design were recognized, and many were able to meet and thank those responsible for their funding.
The College of Design also gave out two awards. The Alumnus of the Year Award was given to Scott Veazey '74. Veazy of Evansville, IN, has served on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors since 2005. At the 2011 Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington D.C., he was installed as President. Veazey continues to serve on the Board of Directors as Past President and a member of several Council committees. In 2011, he was awarded the AIA Indiana Edward D. Pierre Award for service to the architectural profession. Veazey is a member of the College of Design Advisory Board.
"Scott has been a valuable presence on the College of Design Advisory Board. His expertise in the Architectural profession on a regional, national and global scale has been an important resource for the College," said Dean Michael Speaks.
The Friend of the College Award was given to Dr. Rodney Andrews, the Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. 
Dr. Andrews is an Associate Professor for the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at UK. He has directed major multi-university and industry-academic collaborative projects. He has published more than 50 peer reviewed journal articles and three book chapters. He has been granted four patents. In addition to his UK achievements, he is on the Advisory Board of the American Carbon Society and the Executive Council of the Consotrium for Premium Carbon Products from Coal (CPCPC).
Through his work at CAER, Dr. Andrews has been instrumental in building some of the College's best studio projects. These include the Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER), The River Cities Project, The Paducah Studio, and the production of UK's entry in the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. 
"Rodney has been a tremendous asset for the College. Simply put, his partnership and willingness to collaborate has enabled the College to infuse many studios with the increasingly important agenda of 'Design + Energy,' said Dean Speaks. "The studios where we have partnered with CAER have not only challenged our students, but also enabled the College to reach new levels of importance in the global discussion of design."

Historic Preservation students participate in dry stone construction workshop

October 22, 2012   |  

Graduate students from the Department of Historic Preservation traveled to Pine Mountain, KY to participate in a dry stone construction class. Students worked under the direction of Richard Tuffnell of the Dry Stone Conservancy to cut and place stones in a stable and aesthetically pleasing manner to ultimately construct a dry stone masonry retaining wall for the Pine Mountain Settlement School. 

The dry stone construction trip is a yearly tradition for Historic Preservation students. It serves to foster an interest in preserving traditional building methods in addition to a better understanding of the construction of historic buildings.

UK/CoD hosts MICD East Regional Session

October 17, 2012   |  

On October 10-12, the College of Design hosted the 2012 East Regional Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD). The conference, which is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, was held in conjunction with the City of Lexington and MICD Staff.

The Institute features collaborative sessions where Mayors present a case study on an issue in urban design facing their city to a resource team of professionals. The closed door sessions are designed to foster an understanding of and appreciation for the role of design in creating vibrant, livable cities, and the importance of mayors as advocates for good design.

Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington served as the host mayor of the session. Other participants included: Melodee Colbert-Kean of Joplin, MO, Henrietta Davis of Cambridge, MA, Kim McMillan of Clarksville, TN, Lorenzo T. Langford of Atlantic City, NJ, Neil O'Leary of Waterbury, CT, Liz Rogan of Lower Merion, PA, and Vaughn D. Spencer of Reading, PA.

The resource team included Gary Bates of Spacegroup, Shane Coen of Coen + Partners, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, Paul Morris, Deputy Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Roberto de Leon of de Leon and Primmer Architecture Workshop, Susan Sellers of 2x4 Design, and Roger Sherman of Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design.

Following the conference, Denari, Gang, and de Leon participated in a discussion entitled “Design Adds Value” with College of Design students, faculty, and members of the Lexington community. The panel addressed how projects such as the ones proposed by the visiting mayors can impact a city on an economic, physical, and social scale.

The Mayors' Institute on City Design is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors.  Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.

UK/CoD hosts discussion panel on city design

October 17, 2012   |  

On Friday, October 12, the UK College of Design hosted a discussion panel entitled “Design Adds Value” which addressed how the design of public spaces can benefit a community on an economic, physical, and social level. The discussion featured three prominent architects who are working on a regional, national and global scale.

Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects in Chicago, Roberto de Leon of Louisville’s de Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, and Neil Denari of NMDA Architects in Los Angeles presented projects to students, architects and invited guests at the downtown Lexington Library. Michael Speaks, Dean of the College, moderated the discussion.

Each of the three architects presented projects that addressed the specific needs of a community that were met through their collaborative design thinking process. Gang spoke of the importance of engaging all stakeholders throughout the design process, addressing assets and the needs of users through open dialogue.

After the presentations, the speakers took questions from the audience in the over-capacity library theater.  When asked if their personal experiences and narratives ever play a part in their designs, all three architects agreed that the community’s needs and the building’s purpose factor in to a design before anything else.

"The world is so uneven," said Gang. "Cities are emerging…there is a great need for architects to come up with design geared toward living."

The discussion panel was part of the regional Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a two-day conference hosted by the College of Design and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Eight mayors from cities across the eastern United States were invited to discuss design problems facing their cities with prominent architects, designers, and planners over a period to two days in Lexington.

Design Research - Four Examples from Scandinavia

October 11, 2012   |  

On Saturday, September 22, UK/CoD welcomed guests from Norway, Finland, and Sweden to a symposium to discuss the recent shift in design that is catalyzed by research, and how that shift enriches the creative process.

The day-long event included presentations from Mari Lending of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Katja Grillner from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Ville Kokkonen, Design Director of Artek in Helsinki, and Jonas Runberger of White Architects in Stockholm.

The guest speakers, along with School of Architecture Director David Biagi and Interior Design instructor Lindsey Guinther, presented examples of design research, and engaged in discussion about the implications of pursuing design as research in both private and public contexts.  Professor Biagi presented UK's ongoing HBEER project, while Profesor Guinther discussed the research methods employed in designing the emergency room at UK's Chandler Hospital.

Photo: Ulstein Bridge Vision is the product of design research at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (click here to learn more about the project).

Ulstein Bridge project website

Click here to watch the videos.

Jimenez Lai Lecture & Workshop

October 2, 2012   |  

Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular led a drawing workshop for 15 students from the School of Architecture. The workshop began with a discussion which focused on a wide range of topics such as figural forms, sensibilities of line-types, acute angles, sulking, optimism, and misbehaving.

Each student participant contributed to a tiled drawing featuring scenes of augmented domesticity - projecting new, imaginative possibilities for a domestic context with orthographic projections as well as plan and section drawings. The students were able to gain a greater understanding about pertinent topics within the discipline of architecture such as plan versus section, figure ground relationships, architectural forms, and the architectural narrative.

Ultimately, the students gained insight into novel ways to rethink conventional forms of representation - in this case, freehand figural drawing. 

Second-Year Showcase: Light & Shadow

October 1, 2012   |  

The School of Interior Design second-year studio recently presented a showcase entitled "Light & Shadow," which was on display in the Peace Gallery in the Funkhouser Building.

The theme for this show was the relationship between light and shadows, with students focusing on these two elements. Using an art piece as inspiration, screens were designed to create an interesting interplay of shadow and texture on the surface behind.

Students created the works using technology located in the digital fabrication laboratory, such as a laser cutter, to create the detailed cuts for the show.

UK/CoD unveils models for Water Innovation Center

September 21, 2012   |  

At the IdeaFestival in Louisville, Associate Dean for Research Gregory Luhan and Architecture graduate student Xiaoyin Li presented student models for the proposed Water Innovation Center in Louisville. The project, commissioned by the Louisville Water Company (LWC), was part of a year-long workshop during which students worked with engineers, architects, and designers to develop proposals for a center for education, exhibition, and recreation at the site of the historic water tower on the banks of the Ohio River.

“What I envision is we would have programs for preschool to elementary to middle to high school, college, and then post-doc research,” said LWC CEO Greg Heitzman to WFPL News. “So it would be a venue by which you could study the entire science of water and how we advance the science of water to be able to make this world safer and be able to extend the life of humans throughout the world.”

The presentation included not only conceptual renderings of the students' proposals, detailing appearance of the center, but also how it would be utilized by the community. Concert venues, exhibition spaces, and sports fields were among the possibilities.

The models were constructed over the summer following a Spring 2012 Design Studio taught by Brown-Forman Chair in Urban Design Elodie Nourrigat from N + B Architects in Montpelier, France.

View the video renderings of the models here.

Graduate students kick off school year with weekend workshop

September 13, 2012   |  

New graduate students in the College of Design's School of Architecture recently completed an opening weekend workshop to orient themselves with the capabilities of the digital fabrication tools. The students gathered on August 24-26 in the basement of Pence Hall.

During the weekend, Rives Rash, a member of the UK/CoD faculty and the coordinator of the Digital Fabrication Lab, led students through a series of exercises, culminating in the creation of a hood ornament that was produced in a 3D printer.

Throughout the weekend, students were tasked with learning the software programs (Rhino, Adobe Creative Suite) and machine function (laser cutting, CNC milling and 3D printing).

At the top of this article there are images of the finished products as produced by the graduate students in their final state as well as the renderings used in the planning stages. Many of the pieces featured moving parts that would move in a car's head wind.

Second year graduate student Brian Richter also aided in leading his fellow classmates through the weekend workshop.

Architecture students return from summer in Berlin

August 30, 2012   |  

This summer, students from the School of Architecture participated in an eight-week design research studio based in Berlin, Germany.

Led by UK professors Jason Scroggin and Akari Takebayashi, the students engaged in several projects tailored to address design issues in Berlin.  In addition to studio projects and office tours of local architecture firms in Berlin, students went on guided architectural tours of noted buildings such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the state library, the Dutch Embassy, and the BMW plant in Leipzig.

The studio continued outside the city with trips to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Helskinki.  The students had an extended weekend to travel on their own, visiting Paris, Prague, London, Rome, and other cities.

"I brought back a newfound knowledge of more than just architecture", said graduate teaching assistant Matt Gannon.  "I felt that the trip truly inspired me to truly know that there is a whole world out there to discover, and you are the only person holding yourself back.  I also loved the experience of interacting with the undergraduate students and being able to offer insight into graduate school to them."

"The biggest challenge I faced abroad was coming back home," said senior Morgan Brown.  I enjoyed the culture of Berlin so much that was actually hard to board the plane to come back to America."

Click here to view the students' Tumblr blog.

Professor Mike McKay’s PERFORMA studio featured on Archinect and suckerPUNCH

August 23, 2012   |  

PERFOMA, the research and fabrication studio run by UK Professor Mike McKay, was featured on the contemporary art site suckerPUNCH, as well as an Editor's pick on the website Archinect.

"Students developed individual proposals for aggregate formal systems based on specific research parameters that I set at the beginning of the term," said McKay in an interview with Archinect. Further research and testing refined the process of fabrication and assembly.  PERFORMA first installed at the annual Beaux Arts Ball, and then later moved to Lexington's LOT Gallery for the College of Design's end of year show.

"The main idea is to create a dynamic heterogenous form using extremely simple materials and fabrication techniques.  All individual units and connections are identical, but a new quality of complexity emerges due to the system pliability and the seemingly complex geometry.  This aspect of PERFORMA is what interests me most, and is always most surprising to students."

PERFORMA on Archinect


Architecture students return from summer studio in the Netherlands

August 22, 2012   |  

Six architecture students from the UK/CoD had the opportunity to live and study in Delft, Netherlands for an eight-week design studio.

Over the course of two months, students studied under Siebe Bakker, founder of bureaubakker, a firm that facilitates exchanges between various industries and education institutions.  The studio was an extension of the Fall 2011 semester studio in which students worked with Bakker on their entries for the 5th Concrete Design Competition.  The topic for both studios was Energy, and how the characteristics and versatility of concrete contribute to a design's function as well as form. The students researched materials and techniques and produced prototypes with various concretes. "This is a rather different approach than most other design studios", said Bakker.  "They had to develop ideas on concrete in relation to architecture and energy...they could choose their own program in such a way that their design results would show their notions on concrete as accurate as possible."

In addition to the design studio, students exchanged presentations with architecture students from TU Delft, toured architecture offices, particiapted in a workshop with the German-based research and development company G.Tecz. They also attended design exhibitions, lectures, and presentations with visiting critics, architects, and designers.  On the weekends, students were free to travel on their own around the Netherlands, as well as visit London, Paris, and other cities.

"It was an overall amazing experience", said senior Drew McGurk.  "Being immersed in another culture's design community was wonderfully eye opening, and working on a competition with a jury helped me find a fierce work ethic even while taking in all the new scenery. The competition we worked on was a real challenge that pushed me to think about design in new ways."

Click here to view the students' Tumblr blog.

High School Students Participate in SCDP

July 30, 2012   |  

For the second year, UK/CoD Assistant Professor Martin Summers and Instructor Regina Summers led the intensive, two-week Summer Career Discovery Program for high school juniors and seniors.  The program served to expose prospective College of Design students to the type of learning environment they would experience as design students.

"They live on campus, eat on campus, go to classes, work in studios, and attend lectures," said Martin Summers.  "In many ways, it's an introduction to life as a student in design school."

The participants took part in daily writing and drawing sessions, model-making workshops, field trips to relevant sites, project critiques, and attended lectures by other College faculty.  Lecture topics ranged from studies in contemporary architecture and interior design to digital design and fabrication.  Additionally, they learned how to prepare and present a portfolio of work.  They presented their projects in group critiques where they recieved feedback from the instructors, fellow participants, and other faculty members and guests.  "The format is exactly the same as what a first-year student would experience", said Martin Summers.

There were also opportunities to visit local design firms including Gray Construction, Omni Architects, Tate/Hill/Jacobs Architects, Alt32 Architecture, and EOP Architects.  These firms all have ties to the College, participate in reviews, and many of them employ UK/CoD graduates.

The highlight for many of the student participants was seeing the correlation between the concepts taught in lectures and workshops and the real-world execution of those concepts.  "It's always nice to see the fascination in things they've never seen before," said Regina Summers.  "One of the most excting things was to not only see the friendships formed between the participants, but to see them gain confidence and comfort n the concepts they're learning."

Special thanks to guest instructors, lecturers, critics and tour guides:
Michael Speaks
Randall Vaughn
Don Witt
David Biagi
Clyde Carpenter
Mark O’Bryan
Greg Luhan
Ann Dickson
Lindsay Guinther
Helen Turner
Kyle Miller
Brock Hinze
Sarah Heller
Magnus Lindqvist
Jeremy Stock
Joshua Gilpin
Richard Polk
Mike Sparkman
Dan Ware
Azhar Swanson
Audra Cryder
Tony Jackson
Marla Spires
Ginny Miller
Kimberly Light
Elizabeth Hill
Taylor Wood
Katie Halsey
Ari Sogin
Tau Sigma Delta
Thanks also go to the local offices who shared their time, skills and offices for tours:
Alt 32
EOP Architects
Gray Construction
Omni Architects
Tate/Hill/Jacobs Architects

Shanghai University students visit College of Design

July 5, 2012   |  

Nine exchange students from Shanghai University participated in a six-day workshop that introduced them to digital design and fabrication in architecture. The workshop, instructed by UK School of Architecture faculty members Kyle Miller and Rives Rash, sought to promote innovation in design through the understanding and use of contemporary techniques. The workshop introduced and showcased rapid iteration of plausible design solutions generated in a digital environment and the equally rapid production of them by employing readily available digital fabrication technology, in this case three-dimensional printing.

"The workshop’s design project focused on developing "soft" forms in the virtual design environment using a handful of creation and manipulation techniques enabled by Rhinoceros 3D, a digital design software widely used in the College of Design's architectural design studio courses," said Miller.

As part of the architecture workshop, the group produced drawings and images to describe the geometry of their digital designs and printed physical models of each design. The outcome enabled a discussion about how digital design and fabrication techniques contribute to innovation in the field of design and making.

"The workshop participants were actively engaged in a discussion and event about the changing nature of the profession and gained an understanding about how architecture can be generated in a digital environment and actualized by employing digital fabrication technology," Miller said. "They were also able to use the tools that make complex architectural designs more attainable and the construction of them more cost-effective, sustainable, and expedient."

The Shanghai students seemed to really appreciate the hands-on opportunities to learn more about the new technology from Rash and Miller.

"I am impressed with the classroom, the access to technology, and that the teacher’s work so closely with the students," said Lu Zike, a second year student at Shanghai University.

Fourth year Shanghai University student Zhang "Amber" Bijun agreed, "I am very excited to have the opportunity to learn this software. Generally, at home, students must purchase and teach themselves how to use this technology."

When they weren't in the classroom or relaxing in Ingles Hall, the Shanghai University group was learning about Kentucky culture and taking in the sights around the Bluegrass. This year's visit, included excursions to the Woodford Reserve Distillery, Winstar Farm, and museums in Cincinnati, as well as a homemade American dinner and the Lexington fireworks show on Independence Day with trip coordinator Allison Hays.

"They love the pace, beauty, and welcoming nature of Lexington," Hays said. "This is a bit of an oasis for them because the rest of their time in the U.S. will be spent touring major cities at a lightning pace, so this is meant to be about art, fun and sharing. They really seem to enjoy everything and love the beauty of Kentucky."

"Lexington seems very nice," Bijun said. "I love the historic buildings, and seeing people out jogging, walking and relaxing.

ID students complete summer studio in Brazil

June 15, 2012   |  

Project Credits:

University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Interior Design

This May students from the School of Interior Design traveled to Brazil as part of the College's summer travel studio. Students flew in to Sao Paolo, Brazil, where the group of ten worked at Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza, an organic coffee farm, in the small town of Igarai. The coffee plantation, which is in the process of becoming a model of sustainable agriculture for the country, hosted the students over a three week period.

Students travelled the countryside visiting different farms and compared the methods each farm worked to obtain sustainability, from their electricity sources to the design of their dwellings. Students also spent the bulk of their time working on projects for the farm, painting murals on the walls, building furniture, working on lighting. Students were able to complete the projects before departing and significantly enhance the living conditions and space through the creation of a communal workspace in an old plantation home. 

Once their projects were complete, the group spent a week in Sao Paolo, visiting architectural sites, favelas, graffiti walls and open markets. The group particularly enjoyed their tour of the converted drum factory SESC Pompeia, which now serves as a cultural center for the sprawling city. Inside students were able to explore the unique architecture and spaces created in the community center.

Students also collaborated with local kids and teens in a local village and in Sao Paolo, teaching the kids to play cornhole and other Kentucky traditions. 

Instructor Rebekah Ison comments, "This was an amazing experience for UK ID students as they were able to experience design in a completely different culture. Brazil has an immense amount of potential, both economically and culturally, to become an important global leader in design."

Scroll through the pictures above to see images taken by the students during their travels. 

UK/CoD celebrates academic year with End of Year Show

June 5, 2012   |  

On May 4, as part of graduation weekend, the College of Design held its Third Annual End of Year Show at the Land of Tomorrow Gallery on Third Street in downtown Lexington. Students, families, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate another successful academic year. Among the work featured were projects from the following studios:

  • The Performa Studio
  • The Paducah Project
  • Interior Design's response to President Capilouto's charge to revitalize campus
  • The Northern Kentucky River Cities Studio
  • Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residencies
  • The Louisville Water Company Studio

Please click through the images above to see the work on display during the show.

Plan for PGDP unveiled at national DOE meeting

May 10, 2012   |  

by Jenny Wells and Whitney Hale

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Kentucky Research Consortium on Energy and Environment (KRCEE) and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), students and faculty in the UK College of Design were charged with creating a 150-year plan for the closure, clean up and future use of Kentucky's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, located near Paducah, Ky., one of the most contaminated sites in the United States. As the point of origin for much of the fissile material bound for both energy and defense during the last 60 years, the site now finds itself with a four-mile long heterogeneous plume of contaminants running beneath it.

As a major example of service learning, students participating in "The Paducah Project," led by Gary Rohrbacher and Ann Filson, developed scale models of the site’s geographical features, its subsurface conditions, and the groundwater contaminant plumes. The models will be used as a tool to provoke conversation and debate among scientists and the public, with the hope of stimulating progress toward removing and abating the groundwater contamination and its sources, enabling a regeneration of the site and region.

The model was presented at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Chairs Meeting, held April 17-19, which brought together approximately 40 leaders associated with Paducah's Citizens Advisory Board and seven other Site-Specific Advisory Boards from around the nation. The national meeting is held every two years. Other nuclear sites represented at the meeting were: Hanford, Wash.; the Idaho National Laboratory; Savannah River, S.C.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Nevada; Northern New Mexico; and Portsmouth, Ohio.

At the request of the assistant secretary of the nation's Office of Environmental Management (EM) or the field managers, Site-Specific Advisory Boards may provide advice and recommendations concerning the following EM site-specific issues: clean-up standards and environmental restoration; waste management and disposition; stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials; excess facilities; future land use and long term stewardship; risk assessment and management; and clean-up science and technology activities.

The College of Design project builds upon previous work and research done at PGDP by a collaboration of partners at UK, including KRCEE, the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI), CAER, the College of Engineering, and the College of Communications and Information Studies.  The combined accomplishments between these groups are serving as long-term (e.g. 100+ years) sustainable possibilities and opportunities for the PDGP and Paducah.

In 2009, KRCEE was asked to develop a community-based future vision for the PGPD that would identify the range of community perspectives and preferences for the site’s future after the facility closes. This project is well documented and can be viewed at

Plans developed for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant will also be presented at the fifth International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, being presented from April 20 through August 2012 in The Netherlands. The biennale, titled "Making City," addresses the future of cities. "The Paducah Project" is one of two city plans developed by UK College of Design for communities on the Ohio River as part of the "The River Cities Project."

The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant once provided several thousand high-paying jobs, which have diminished over the years and will soon be eliminated upon the plant's closure. Rather than see job losses and legacy contamination as problems and causes for the region’s demise, the students looked at  those problems as the basis for a solution. The studio proposed a new economy generated by the complex process of cleaning up the site.

Associate Professor Rohrbacher has been impressed with the work the students have been doing on the projects and is excited for the college's opportunity to present their plan in Kentucky and internationally. "Students have been working hard for over a year now, they're focused on the work because they believe in it, and because they want to share their discovery that at least sometimes the solution lies directly within the problem," Rohrbacher said. "They also know that the prospects for successful real-world outcomes increase radically through distributed and networked collaboration and interaction."

UK/CoD studios on display in the 5th IABR at the Netherlands Architecture Institute

May 1, 2012   |   School, Projects

The University of Kentucky College of Design recently unveiled their entry in the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. This iteration of the bi-annual international exhibition focused on the efforts surrounding “making city,” a term used as the underlying theme of the exhibition.

As IABR Chief Curator George Brugmans states, “We are convinced that lasting solutions must be sought using socially motivated, broadly supported agenda for the city…If making city is the task at hand, we must really go about it differently, with strong alliances, with good design, and from a genuinely urban agenda.”

It is this unique approach to “making city” that led IABR to accept the College of Design’s River Cities Project as one of 25 participants in the exhibition, and one of two accepted from the US. Within the exhibit, the College of Design featured two studios: The Henderson Project and the Paducah Project.

The Henderson Project proposes a redevelopment of the Henderson Municipal Power Plant (HMPL#1), a decommissioned coal fired power plant located on the Ohio river, in the heart of Henderson, KY. By re-functionalizing HMPL#1 and bringing new public amenities to the site, the project is intended to revitalize Henderson’s waterfront and have a positive effect on the region’s business, tourism, and urban fabric.

The Paducah Project took on the tremendous challenge of developing a one hundred and fifty year plan for Kentucky's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PDGP). The PGDP once provided thousands of high-paying jobs, which have diminished over the years and will soon be eliminated upon the plants closure. Rather than see these numerous problems as cause for the region’s demise, the students looked at the problem as the solution. The studio proposed a new economy generated by the complex process of cleaning up the site.

In each instance, the College of Design is serving a unique role in a public-private partnership—bringing together city government, community patrons, and a research driven agenda. The results of this approach now on display at the IABR.

The exhibition will be open to the public until August 12, 2012, during which over 100,000 visitors are expected to visit the institute.

Other cities and projects featured in the exhibition included: Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Rotterdam, Paris, The Hague, The Nile River Delta, Brussels, New York City, Singapore, Zurich, Guatemala, Dehli and Bordeaux, among others.

CoD and Health Sciences collaboration integrates science and art

April 16, 2012   |  

Project Credits:

University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Architecture

Written by: Dr. Rita Patel and Sarah Heller

An interesting opportunity presented itself where the first year design studio of Sarah Heller, an architect and instructor at the UK College of Design, teamed up with Dr. Rita Patel director of the Clinical Voice Center and Vocal Physiology and Imaging Laboratory, at the UK College of Health Sciences. Dr. Patel conducts an NIH-funded study that investigates vocal fold motion that lead to the development of voice disorders in children with the use of specialized equipment called high speed digital imaging and custom-built pediatric laser endoscope. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Patel also treats children with voice disorders.

For her research and clinic, Dr. Patel, examines the vocal folds of children with an endoscope, which is a small cylindrical medical tube that allows her to see around corners and in dark places like the throat. In order to get the children engaged during the examination process, Dr. Patel has a collection of off-the-shelf toys i.e. a cheese hat, a plastic yoda, and a stuffed trachea toy, Larry the Larynx (Blue Tree Publishing), which she uses while attempting to perform endoscopy.

This collaboration began when Sarah Heller met Dr. Patel over a dinner involving several employees of UK. After learning about what she did and her clinical study Sarah became personally interested in the question: "How can knowledge of design be used to create a functional design model that would facilitate Dr. Patel's research and clinical practice?" As an architect Sarah strongly believes that research on any given topic can be generative to a concept in design, and through this concept a statement on form (art and design) and function (in this case medical) can be established. This project served as a perfect opportunity for two disciplines at UK to combine and explore the use of design for medical purposes and educate the first year designers in methods of scientific investigations and provide firsthand experience to creatively extract a concept from the medical field, to generate a form for a client.

"Dr. Patel and I became fast friends after we met over dinner through a colleague," said Sarah Heller, architect and faculty in the UK College of Design. "As an architect I've always been fascinated by the human body am inspired by its design, proportion and function. What began as a simple conversation about her clinical study involving the larynx turned into my participation in her clinical trial. I was able to witness the movement of my own vocal folds through high definition video and found the structure and movement inspiringly beautiful."

Sarah decided to get her first year undergraduate design student's in the course, 'ARC 101 and interior design ID 121' involved on the topic where they spent the last 5 weeks of the semester addressing this issue. To begin the design process, everyone at the design studio experienced the scoping process first hand. Both architecture and interior design students participated in endoscopy in exchange for a high-definition video of their own vocal folds in motion.

"It was really interesting researching something that had nothing to do with architecture," said Brittany Dingeldein, student of UK College of Design. "Looking at diagrams and physical models we were able to make a connection to what was being ask from the department and further develop an educational toy to learn about the Larynx. Intertwining two very different subjects, medical and architecture, was awesome and difficult but end results were very rewarding."

Although a non-invasive camera was used to perform the examination some of the College of Design students were confronted with anxiety and a strong gag reflex. A few were unable to participate for endoscope.

This experience became the springboard to research and explore these topics further and design an educational model to serve the purpose of engaging a young child that is being scoped while at the same time use the model to educate on a topic concerning how the vocal folds work. This educational model could be a fun toy about the larynx (voice box) that is distracting, engaging a child to learn about his/her body, and teaching a child who is experiencing problems the correct way to use their voice to reduce vocal fold nodules, during voice therapy. Vocal nodules are one of the common voice disorders in children that are a result of incorrect / excessive voice use (screaming, cheering, shouting, etc.)

"This project blended ideas of medicine and education with the seemingly disparate field of architecture into an interesting and very fun experience," said Cat Wentworth, who was, at the time, a student participant from the UK College of Design.

Sixteen design students researched the natural anatomy of the larynx, its function, and its mechanical nature. After numerous discussions and lectures with Sarah and Dr. Patel, each student independently selected aspects of voice production, voice assessment, and treatment that best interested them, as a concept for their model. The lecture that Dr. Patel gave at Sarah's studio also convinced one student to quit smoking cold turkey after one slide that showed the ramifications of cigarette smoking on the vocal folds!

"After diagramming and performing many studies about the function and form of the human larynx, I was able to find a new way of designing that was incredibly beneficial to me and my classmates in understanding the correlation of architecture and the physical world," said Kendall Edward Latham, a student participant from the UK College of Design. "It was amazing that through the fusing of two seemingly different topics, my classmates and I were able to design diagrammatic toys that educated the user on specific functions of the Larynx."

The final review for the project showcased the student's model along with a storage case designed to protect and store their forms. The models beautifully illustrated various concepts of voice production, vocal fold movement, and voice therapy that are traditionally difficult to present to a child. Some of the models were interactive, where the child could stretch the vocal folds, indicating the mechanism of increase in length to generate a high pitch voice. Another model was in the form of a music box with series of stacked drawers, where a child could open each one, to see the different positions of the vocal fold movements, during voice production. Others illustrated the same concept in different forms like the butterfly, and a rattle in shape of an alligator, which would be of interest to young children. These models will be used in voice research and clinic to engage the child during endoscopic assessment, to illustrate how the voice works, and to demonstrate the concepts of easy resonant voice and hoarse voice during voice therapy.

For the design students the models also served to illustrate real world concepts that they would typically not be exposed to in the traditional course. Through this project the design students had the unique opportunity to perform medically correct illustration of anatomy and function of the larynx, perform diagram drawings to articulate the concept behind their model and how a doctor could use the model, and learn the difference between a diagram drawing versus an architectural drawing. The focus of this project served to get the student to hone in on a design concept and clearly articulate the goal, function, and approach of their process. This was also the first time most of them had to work with wood, plexiglass and plaster so the designers spent a good amount of time learning to work with different mediums that they were allowed to choose from. This is the first unique successful collaboration between the disciplines of architecture and speech pathology at UK, integrating science and architectural design.

What started off as a fun, mutual interdisciplinary exploration between a right brain and a left brain thinker, resulted in win-win collaboration between two seemingly different fields of the arts and the sciences, successfully integrating ideas and process to create new knowledge through different perspectives.

The students agreed to donate their work to the UK Clinical Voice Center and Vocal Physiology and Imaging Laboratory, for use in research involving endoscopy and in voice therapy.

“40+ Rethinking Design” celebrates the School of Interior Design

April 11, 2012   |  

The Student Center Theater was filled with over 150 attendees for the Interior Design Symposium, “40+ Rethinking Design,” on March 28 and 29. Students, faculty and design professionals gathered to celebrate the School of Interior Design’s 40th anniversary.

“40+ Rethinking Design” featured four speakers, who addressed the issues of how the field of interior design has changed and will continue to evolve. Lecturers included Prataap Patrose, Director of Boston’s Urban Design Department, who spoke about socially responsible design; Robin Guenther, Principal at Perkins+Will, who discussed elements of sustainable hospital design; Cindy Coleman, Strategic Planner at Gensler Chicago, who addressed workplace design; and Chris Collins, CEO and founder of Tipodean Technologies, who spoke about interactive, real-time design.

Patrose was the first to lecture and began by stating, “Design is really about problem solving, and we must think about design’s future differently.” The idea of problem solving and design as a process were main themes throughout the symposium, as each speaker addressed their own particular area of expertise.

Following each speaker was a panel discussion moderated by Eileen Jones, a Principal at Perkins+Will and alumnus of the College of Design. Response panels were comprised of professionals from varying fields related to the lecture discussions.

“We need to have a positive spirit and design professions create that spirit,” noted Mayor Jim Gray, who served as a panel respondent. He then added, “Inspired design, in every dimension, is all about problem solving. This ability and the competence of designers today are invaluable.”

The lectures and response discussions were followed by afternoon Think Tanks among presenters, respondents, faculty and School of Interior Design Advisory Board members. Key points from the four lectures were discussed, and ideas were inspired for the future of the School of Interior Design.

Interior Design students also had the opportunity to take part in a two-day design charrette after the morning lectures. Students created work that focused on clarifying the human interactions that are essential in the creation of a thriving living, learning and working environment on UK’s campus.

Ann Dickson, Director of the School of Interior Design, had this to say about the event: “The school could not be more pleased with the outcomes of the symposium. All four presentations and response panels were very rich discussions of issues shaping interior design professional practices today. The afternoon Think Tanks were equally fruitful discussions between faculty, presenters, respondents and School of Interior Design Advisory Board members focusing on the implications of the morning sessions for professional education. The symposium has clearly provided the school's educational platform as we move into the next period.”

Videos of the lectures are available online.

Students work in professional design firms during their Spring Break

March 23, 2012   |  

The University of Kentucky College of Design’s School of Architecture and School of Interior Design sent students to major design firms around the country during their Spring Break, introducing them to a variety of professional practices, and possible employers.

The School of Architecture’s Spring Break Practice Previews program placed students in several successful architectural offices, including Bureau Spectacular, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Kennedy + Violich, Morphosis (Los Angeles), Morphosis (New York), OMA (New York), SO-IL, Studio Gang, and Urban Lab. Throughout the week students were asked to execute short research assignments, sit in on staff or client meetings, visit construction sites, assist in concept design, help with working drawings, build models, and meet with partners of their host offices to discuss the firm's work.

"For my week of work at BUREAU SPECTACULAR I was responsible for working on 1" = 1' scale model of an installation piece to appear in a store front window in London this Summer,” said Alex Culler, a fourth year student in the School of Architecture. “The project is an occupied construction meant to play upon concepts of public display and introversion/extroversion. The social setting was an encouraging environment and the space is filled with work from the firm's past, providing a highly educational environment."

Katherine VanHoose, another fourth year student in the School of Architecture wrote, "As my first professional experience, I couldn't have asked for anything better. As a small firm, SO-IL genuinely cares about each and every person in their office, whether they've been there a year or a week. The environment was creative, fun, and hard working - which I've found yields good results. But above all, this experience was informative. I now feel better equipped to make informed decisions about my future in this profession."

Students in the School of Interior Design’s Shadowing Program gained practical experience and knowledge concerning the everyday workings of several design firms, including EOP Architects (Lexington), VeenendaalCave, Inc. (Atlanta), Gensler (Atlanta), Lisa Lynn Designs (Louisville), Perkins + Will (Chicago), Heery International (Orlando), and Luckett & Farley (Louisville).

“I had the pleasure of collaborating with many design professionals within Perkin+Will’s Branded Environment and Interior Design disciplines,” said Angela Russo, a fourth year student in the School of Interior Design. “I was able to participate in image researching, observe client presentations, contribute to branding solutions, visit current project sites, explore the materials library and receive helpful advice to strengthen my design portfolio. These experiences were very rewarding because I gained a new understanding of design and also formed many professional contacts. Perkins+Will was greatly supportive of me and made an effort to ensure I had a rewarding and diverse experience during my time there.”

The students who participated in the School of Interior Design’s Shadowing Program will discuss their spring break experiences in Peace Gallery, Funkhouser Building on April 20, at 1:00 p.m.

The College of Design would like to thank all of the participating offices for hosting our students. We look forward to building these relationships over the years and expanding this program.

Students prepare for an international exhibition in the Netherlands

March 16, 2012   |   School, Students

University of Kentucky College of Design (UK/CoD) architecture students have been preparing their work for exhibition in the prestigious 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), April thru August 2012.

This year’s Biennale, titled “Making City,” addresses the future of cities: “In just a few decades cities will contain 80% of the world’s population, 90% of global economic wealth and cover less than 3% of the earth’s surface. Given this trend, cities must rethink the way they govern, plan and design.”

UK/CoD’s entry for the IABR, “Kentucky River Cities: Paducah, Henderson,” proposes “Making City” projects for two Kentucky cities located on the Ohio River, Henderson and Paducah.

The Henderson Project proposes a redevelopment of the Henderson Municipal Power Plant (HMPL#1), a decommissioned coal fired power plant located on the Ohio river, in the heart of Henderson, KY. By re-functionalizing HMPL#1 and bringing new public amenities to the site, the project is intended to revitalize Henderson’s waterfront and have a positive effect on the region’s business, tourism, and urban fabric.

Architecture graduate student, Brian Richter, has been building a large scale, and highly complex three-dimensional model of HMPL#1, “When I began building the model I was unaware of the complexity and precision that would be involved. Although I have access to digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers, CNC Routers, and laser cutters, the amount of hand finishing involved in the model is compounded by the limitations of each respective machine. Nonetheless, the process has been intense and difficult, but also extremely enjoyable. Having the opportunity and the means to create a model of this magnitude has been incredible. With the help and guidance of my professor, Martin Summers, I am proud to be a part of something special for the school, the city of Henderson, and Kentucky.“

The Paducah Project took on the tremendous challenge of developing a one hundred and fifty year plan for Kentucky's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PDGP), one of the most contaminated top-secret sites in the United States. As the point of origin for all fissile materials bound for both energy and defense during the last sixty years, the site now finds itself with a five-mile long heterogeneous plume of contaminants running beneath it.

The PGDP once provided ten thousand high-paying jobs, which have diminished over the years and will soon be eliminated upon the plants closure. Rather than see these numerous problems as cause for the region’s demise, the students looked at the problem as the solution. The studio proposed a new economy generated by the complex process of cleaning up the site.

To promote this kind of undertaking, students in the Paducah Project developed a scale model of the site’s geographical features, its subsurface conditions, and the plume of contaminants. The model will be used as a tool to provoke conversation and debate among scientists and the public, with the hope of stimulating progress toward cleaning the ground contaminations, enabling a regeneration of the site and region.

Architecture graduate student, Joe O’Toole describes the process of building this highly complex model, “The fascinating challenge presented by this model was the precision required to combine multiple materials that are fabricated on multiple machines. We used laser cutting, 3-axis milling and water jetting, to manipulate high density tooling board, sheet aluminum, sheet plywood, aluminum tubing, acrylite and plexiglas. The model is also under-lit with small LED lights. All these materials had to come together with the smallest possible tolerance to fit with the other components. The complexity that went into creating this model was a great challenge, but was also a tremendous learning experience.”

Assistant Professor Gary Rohrbacher, who has led the Paducah Project, discusses the work his students have put toward the IABR exhibition, “Students have been working hard for over a year now, they're focused on the work because they believe in it, and because they want to share their discovery that at least sometimes the solution lies directly within the problem. They also know that the prospects for successful real-world outcomes increase radically through distributed and networked collaboration and interaction.”

The Lexington community attended the 6th Annual HP Symposium, “New Voices, Current Needs”

March 9, 2012   |   School

Students, historic preservation professionals, and the Lexington community attended the sixth annual historic preservation symposium, "New Voices, Current Needs," on March 1 and 2, at the Lexington History Museum. The symposium explored how historic preservation can address the needs of underserved communities, and help correct modern and historical injustices.

Tom Eblen, reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, described the event: "The discussion was fascinating, because it went well beyond professional and academic concerns. It dealt with broad social and psychological questions that have made headlines throughout Kentucky for decades. How do we balance culture and business, economy and quality of life, property rights and heritage? What is worth preserving? Whose culture gets preserved and whose doesn't?” Read the rest of his column here.

Douglas Appler, the Helen Edwards Abell Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation, describes how the symposium addressed the needs of underserved communities, "If the history of a particular group is wiped from the landscape, its past can't be explored or recognized to the same degree as that of another group whose history is left in place and remains standing. Historic Preservation once focused very narrowly on the stories of wealthy individuals, on grand architecture, and on presenting an uncritical view of history. Fortunately, preservationists today are doing a better job of using the built environment to present a more complete account of the past."

"New Voices, Current Needs" featured four speakers including Ned Kaufman, educator and founder of Place Matters; educator Alicestyne Turley; archaeological policy scholar; Thomas F. King, an expert on archaeological policy and cultural resource management law; and Stanley Lowe, president of the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Preservation Services. Videos of the lectures are available online.

The symposium was organized by the Historic Preservation Graduate Organization, and was sponsored by:

University of Kentucky College of Design
Edie Bingham
Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation
Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc.
Morgan Worldwide Consultants
University of Kentucky Student Activities Board
Clyde Carpenter
Dan Rowland
Joyce and William Skinner
Robert Magrish
Ann Early Sutherland
Kennedy’s Bookstore

Ribbon Cutting Marks Completion of First HBEER Home

January 28, 2012   |   Faculty, School, Students

Video courtesy of Research Communications at the University of Kentucky.

By Whitney Hale, Carla Blanton

A ribbon cutting was held for the first prototype from the University of Kentucky's Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) initiative with local, state and federal dignitaries on January 27 in an established residential area near downtown Monticello, Ky.

HBEER is a partnership between the UK College of Design, the Center for Applied Energy Research at UK, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) and the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).

The multi-year project was initiated in the fall of 2009 and directly responds to the impact the current economic downturn has had on the houseboat manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth. More than 50 students and faculty at the college's School of Architecture were responsible for researching and developing initial models of energy-efficient, affordable housing that could be produced by the region's houseboat manufacturers.

Today, HBEER is creating green jobs and bringing back to work some of the 575 skilled workers and 1,000 related jobs that were lost in the houseboat manufacturing and marine industries due to the economy.

"This project meets a multitude of needs in our region, by putting families back to work, providing energy-efficient housing, increasing the demand for Kentucky-made products, and creating a hands-on learning experience in the classroom," Congressman Hal Rogers said. "Additionally, it highlights the great success we can achieve when partners join resources for the benefit of families across the state."

A potential buyer has nearly completed the steps to qualify for affordable, permanent financing. In this applicant driven process, the home may be occupied as soon as the financing is arranged.

"The opportunities are endless for creating safe, energy-efficient, affordable homes while adding good-paying jobs to the local economy and promoting Kentucky products," said KHIC President and CEO Jerry Rickett. "We are proud to be partners with the University of Kentucky and local employers to make this vision a reality."

Highlights of the HBEER project include:

  • Estimated energy costs at current rates are expected to be about $1.65 per day, which is one-half to one-sixth of energy bills for other housing alternatives.
  • More than 80 percent of the home value is derived from products made in Kentucky and Kentucky labor, which further increases the jobs created or saved.
  • When the partnership began in 2009, Stardust Cruisers had 12 full-time employees and 12 contract workers. It now has 56 full-time employees, including six who are dedicated to the HBEER project. As a result of this project, Stardust also has improved the energy efficiency of its houseboats and is one of the few houseboat manufacturers exporting new products.
  • The second HBEER prototype was delivered to rural Whitley County last month, has been set on its foundation and should be completed by the end of February.
  • The next phase of the HBEER project will include a prototype for multifamily housing as well as classroom space for schools as an energy efficient and more durable alternative to portable classrooms. In addition, the space will be flooded with natural lighting, which studies show improves learning.
  • "The transfer of knowledge and expertise gained during the HBEER project traces the path of an arc leading directly from design research conducted at the University of Kentucky to design products meant to address important energy and economic needs of communities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond,” said UK College of Design Dean Michael Speaks.

Other attendees at the ribbon cutting included UK President Eli Capilouto, Appalachian Regional Commission Co-Chair Earl Gohl, U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director Tom Fern and Monticello Mayor Jeffrey Edwards.

HBEER has received financing from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Kentucky Department of Local Government and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation and UK.

KHIC was formed in 1968 to stimulate growth and create employment opportunities in a nine-county region of Southeastern Kentucky. In 2003, KHIC expanded the service area to 22 counties, including Bell, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, McCreary, Owsley, Perry, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne and Whitley. The organization's mission is to provide and retain employment opportunities in the region through sound investments and management assistance.

Created by the 1972 Kentucky General Assembly, KHC is a self-supporting, public corporation administratively attached to the state's Finance and Administration Cabinet. A portion of KHC's funds are derived from the interest earned through the sale of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. As the state housing finance agency, KHC is committed to lead Kentucky in providing safe, quality, affordable housing.

Elodie Nourrigat, founder of N+B Architects, is teaching the Louisville Water Company Studio

January 25, 2012   |   Faculty, School

Elodie Nourrigat, founder of N+B Architects, has moved from her home in Montpellier, France to live in Lexington and teach the Spring 2012 Louisville Water Company Studio.

The Louisville Water Company Studio will develop proposals for a new Water Education Center and Museum for the Louisville Water Company on their historic water tower property on Zorn Avenue. The water company hopes to use these new facilities to share its history and provide information about the relation of water to energy, technology and health.

The studio is following up on the work of a Fall 2011 workshop led by Freek Persyn, founder of 51N4E. His workshop developed several scenarios to enlarge the scope of the proposed Water Education Center, in order to address its potential as a catalyst for social and urban transformation.

Nourrigat's firm, N+B Architects, was invited to design the French Pavilion for the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale. That same year she won the "Europe 40 under 40," the honor recognizes Europe’s emerging young architects and designers and is organized by the European Centre for Art Design and Urban Studies. Currently, N+B Architects is collaborating with Hitoshi Abe to develop a masterplan for the University Montpelier South of France’s campus. Their goal is to develop a distributed network based upon environmental, mental and social ecologies for “A Campus Lived for a Sensory City”.

Nourrigat established the annual Festival of Lively Architecture in 2006. Each year ten young architects and a university are invited to design an installation in the private courtyards of Montpellier, France. The public is then invited to explore Montpellier's private courtyards and experience the lively installations.

UK/CoD professors Michael McKay, Liz Swanson, and Angie Co have both participated in the Festiival of Lively Architecture. View Michael McKay, Liz Swanson’s and Angie Co’s installation.

Aaron Betsky will give a series of public lectures about contemporary architecture and theory

January 6, 2012   |   School

Aaron Betsky, Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, will give a series of six public lectures titled, “Where We Are Now,” that will explore current issues in contemporary architecture.

Betsky describes the series: “The diversity of what we call architecture today is astonishing. From barely viable blobs to piles of sticks in the woods, and from instant cities to pop up stores, architecture encompasses an amazing range of scales, techniques, degrees of reality, and styles. These lectures will look at the immediate past as well as the present to survey and make sense of Postmodernism and its aftermath.“ All of the lectures will be posted online here.

All lectures will take place in Pence 209 starting at 7pm. One AIA LU credit is available for each lecture.

  • January 11 - Introduction: Modernism, Postmodernism, Blobism, Reuse: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going 
  • February 1 - Postmodernism: A Closer look; from Complexity & Contradiction to Classicism
  • February 29 - Postmodernism into Deconstructivism: Things Fall Apart
  • March 28 - The Netherlands: Project-Based Working
  • April 11 - Machines and Networks
  • April 23 - Hunting And Gathering: Reuse and Collage: The Case Against Buildings

Aaron Betsky is an architect, critic, curator, educator, lecturer, and writer on architecture and design, who since August 2006 has been the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum. From 2001 to 2006 Betsky served as director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Although Betsky was born in Missoula, Montana, USA, he grew up in The Netherlands. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History, the Arts and Letters (1979) and a M.Arch. (1983). He then taught at the University of Cincinnati from 1983 to 1985 and worked as a designer for Frank Gehry and Hodgetts & Fung. From 1995-2001 Betsky was Curator of Architecture, Design and Digital Projects at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art before moving back to The Netherlands.

Betsky has written numerous monographs on the work of late 20th century architects, including I.M. Pei, UN Studio, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc., Zaha Hadid and MVRDV, as well as treatises on aesthetics, psychology and human sexuality as they pertain to aspects of architecture, and is one of the main contributors to a spatial interpretation of Queer theory.

Betsky was named the director of the 11th Exhibition of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2008.

Students in the Delft Studio developed entries for the International Concrete Design Competition

December 23, 2011   |   School, Students

Students in the Fall '11 Deflt Travel Studio developed competition entries for the 5th International Concrete Design Competition for Students, a bi-annual competition that promotes innovative uses for concrete. Two students from the competition will be selected and invited, along with laureates from five European partners, to participate in a workshop in Rotterdam in late August 2012.

During the studio students explored the properties of ultra high performance concretes (UHPC) and developed several innovative applications for its use, including: UHPC roads and bike paths, solar concentration façade systems, a water purification pavilion, shelving systems for the display of merchandise, concrete light fixtures, and concrete fabric for use in clothing design.

The International Concrete Design Competition for Students is a biennial ideas and design competition for students in architecture, engineering, design and affiliated disciplines. It is organized and funded by a consortium of European cement and concrete associations. The aim of the competition is to promote innovative use of concrete as a material and technology. Students are invited to push a material’s potential to 'realize' ideas. The choice of a design topic or program is open and can range from building details to large structures, landscape projects or building complexes.

Siebe Bakker, architect, founder and director of bureaubakker, a firm that facilitates cross-disciplinary exchanges between various industries and educational institutions, taught the fall travel studio. Gregor Zimmerman, CEO of Gtecz, Kassel, Germany; and Ad van der Kouwe of Manifesta, Rotterdam provided additional instruction in materials, software and graphic design.

Historic Preservation Studio Proposes Art Trail for Northern Kentucky

December 15, 2011   |   Faculty, School, Students

Project Credits:

University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Historic Preservation

Students at the University of Kentucky Historic Preservation Program unveiled plans for the "Northern Kentucky Historic Art Spaces Trail" earlier this week at Circus Mojo, a clown school housed in a historic former theater in Ludlow, Ky. Under the direction of Douglas Appler, the Helen Edwards Abell Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation, the studio identified several historic buildings being used as art spaces in several cities along the Ohio River and developed a trail of the sites to help encourage tourism and economic development in the region.

The studio is part of the UK/CoD ‘River Cities’ project, which has partnered with the development corporation Catalytic Development Funding Corporation; Vision 2015, a Northern Kentucky nonprofit; and Culture Now, a Suprastudio project organized by Thom Mayne at UCLA. Culture Now is an effort to understand the role of culture as an agent of change in America’s mid-sized struggling cities

The studio identified 47 historic buildings that are currently being used as art spaces in the necklace of historic river cities located south of Cincinnati on the Ohio River, including: Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Fort Thomas.

Each student in the studio chose three of the buildings and carried out documentary research, sifting through tax records, city directories, historic maps and other sources to develop a history for each of the spaces. To supplement their research, and to understand the current social context surrounding these historic structures, the students interviewed the buildings’ current owners or tenants using the spaces. The interviews helped to shed light on the relationship between the historic space and its modern use, on the role of the arts in the redevelopment of the Northern Kentucky region, and to draw attention to opportunities for new partnerships, programs, and activities that might improve the ability of the arts to act as an agent of change in this region.

After evaluating this information the students proposed a “Northern Kentucky Historic Art Spaces Trail.” Douglas Appler explains how this proposal would benefit the Northern Kentucky region: "The objective of the project is to change the way people think about Northern Kentucky, its arts community and its historic building stock. Viewed in isolation from each other, no single city featured in the proposal carries quite enough weight to make people think of Northern Kentucky as an arts hub, or as a center for creative activity. But when the cities are framed together as a group, it becomes clear that the region actually presents an unusually wide range of opportunities to experience the arts, and to do so in some fascinating historic spaces. But you only see that if you look at the region as a whole, rather than at its component parts."

Paul Miller, the former Ringling Brothers clown and owner of Circus Mojo, was excited by how the arts trail proposal has created partnerships that will benefit his business and his community, “The Northern Kentucky community straddles a lot of places, and is often lumped in with Cincinnati. This project has already brought needed attention to Circus Mojo, from civic leaders and other business owners, and I think it has a lot of potential to really help the arts in this community thrive.”

Some of the elements in this region the students uncovered that contributed to the development of this proposal include:

  • Kentucky State Route 8 runs roughly parallel to the Ohio River, linking the cities and passing through some of their most historic neighborhoods. Current plans for the region continue this historical trend of connecting along the river in the form of the Riverfront Commons proposal, being developed by Southbank Partners and the Vision 2015 Catalytic Fund. This proposal would create a traffic-free cycling and pedestrian route along the banks of the Ohio, thereby improving connectivity among the region’s cities.
  • The complex mix of social forces that allowed parts of these cities to retain so much of their historic fabric throughout the 20th century also left the region with commercial and residential building stock that is of high quality, that is affordable, and that is well suited to the needs of the growing segment of the population that is choosing to commit to an urban lifestyle.
  • This region also has a surprisingly high number of organizations and businesses dedicated to the fine and performing arts. These run the gamut from large organizations and businesses with deep historical roots, such as the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center and the Madison Theater, to smaller, newer, businesses and organizations such as Sigra Gallery, The BLDG, or the Monmouth Theater. They also include instructional spaces such as Circus Mojo, the Baker Hunt Art Center and the Children’s Art Academy.

To date UK College of Design has already initiated projects in two "river cities." In Henderson, the college has worked with the nonprofit, River City Renaissance, and with the city and county to redevelop HMPL#1 (Henderson Municipal Power and Light Plant No. 1), a retired coal fired power plant built in the late 1950s. And in Paducah, the college is currently working with the city, the city port authority, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to speculate about future uses for the DOE's uranium enrichment facility in Paducah (the only one in the U.S.), which plans to halt operation in the next 10 years.

The “River Cities” project has received international attention and will be included as a “CounterSite” in the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), April thru August 2012.

Participating students in the studio include:

Angelene Hoffert
Kathy Martinolich
Sarah Rozniak
Jenn Nash
Whitney Schieltz
Emily Skinner

Fall 2011 Final Reviews

December 9, 2011   |   Faculty, School, Students

After many hectic hours and sleepless nights UK/CoD students presented their work to faculty, peers, and guest jurors for their final reviews. A number of the studios presented work that is having a tremendous impact on communities in Kentucky and around the world, including:

  • Michael McKay's JAPAN STudio responded to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that inundated the northeastern coast of Japan. To assist with rebuilding efforts the studio proposed a temporary resource center / info box on two specific sites in the devastated region. These ‘temporary’ structure help rebuilding efforts by being one of the first structures built in devastated areas.
  • The Northern Kentucky River Cities Project, which includes two studios; an architecture studio taught by Martin Summers, and a historic preservation studio taught by Douglas Appler, explored development opportunities in a string of Northern Kentucky river cities; Bromley, Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton.
  • Gary Rohrbacher’s Manhattan Redux graduate research and design studio is considering the site of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in Paducah, Kentucky. The studio has constructed physical models of toxic ground concentrations present at the site, proposed a hundred-year strategy for the environmental, economic, and spatial evolution of the plant - and the Paducah region, and proposed possible futures for the enormous buildings present on the site.
  • The Houseboat to Energy Efficient Housing (HBEER) studio addresses two important concerns; low-cost housing and energy efficiency. The studio is also working to retool and redirect Kentucky's houseboat manufacturing industry, which has been decimated by the recent economic downturn.
  • Lindsey Guinther's interior design studio has completed a project for the firm, Hilferty and Associates. The students assisted with the interior design for the new Great Lakes Maritime Museum to be built in Toledo, Ohio. The goal of the Great Lakes Maritime Museum is to preserve and exhibit the history of the Great Lakes.

Congratulations to all of the students in the College of Design for your hard work and dedication.

Retirement Celebration raises funds for the Terry Rothgeb Scholarship Endowment

December 5, 2011   |   Alumni, Faculty, School

Project Credits: Students, alumni, and faculty

University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Interior Design

Friends, colleagues, faculty, and students celebrated Terry Rothgeb's career, life and retirement at a dinner on Friday, December 2 at the University of Kentucky Hilary J. Boone Center. 

During the dinner several guest speakers reminisced about Terry's career, teaching style, and his incredible ability to remember details about their studio, classmates, and what they were wearing the first time he met them. Students shared stories about his provocative teaching style, and how would never provide them with a direct answer to their questions. Alumni shared how pivotal Terry was in helping them begin their careers. And, Terry's colleagues celebrated his ability to create an environment of esprit de corps, the faculty road trips he organized, and his incredible influence on the profession of interior design. Some of the speakers included:

Robin Lambert – Class of 2012 - Fourth year Interior Design Student
Renee Conde – Class of 2007 - Corporate Image & Design Associate – Alltech
Chris Estes – Class of 1991 - Interior Design Principal – EOP Architects
Lu Ann Homes – Class of 1979 – Senior Business Development Manager – Haworth
Ann Dickson – Director of the School of Interior Design – University of Kentucky

The event was also organized to raise funds for the Terry Rothgeb Scholarship Endowment making it the largest of its kind in the School of Interior Design. If you would like to contribute to the endowment please follow this link.

Terry Rothgeb's bio

Terry D. Rothgeb was “creative by nature” in his youth. He enjoyed art and creativity in school and at sixteen designed a residence for his parents, which was built on the family homestead in Illinois. He went to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale to study design. R. Buckminister Fuller was on staff and provided the program with great visibility. After graduating from SIU and completing graduate work at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Rothgeb accepted a teaching position at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1973 Terry was hired by the University of Kentucky to teach in the Department of Housing and Interior Design. The chair of the department, Richard A. Rankin, and Dean Marjorie Stewart were instrumental in enticing Rothgeb away from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rothgeb moved through the ranks and served two, six-year terms as chair of the Department of Human Environment. He has experienced five Presidents and seven Deans in his UK career of thirty-eight years.

The design studios, especially the first year design classes, were always a favorite teaching assignment. That is where, as instructor, he could see results from students with limited skills, discovering and exploring the creative design process. Rothgeb covered all levels of studios in addition to graduate classes during his tenure. Study tours to various European countries were another rewarding aspect of teaching.

In addition to his UK responsibilities, Professor Rothgeb was a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Institute of Business Designers, Interior Design Educators Council, and served the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research on the Board of Visitors.

His professional work has included new construction and adaptive-use projects related to both commercial and residential environments. Terry has recieved many awards including the School of Interior Design Outstanding Faculty Award 2009, The School of Interior Design Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award 2008, and the American Society of Interior Designers Silver Award presented on ASID’s 25th Anniversary by the National President for outstanding leadership in the STEP Program 2005. Other honors include an ASID Roast, a Special Friend Award by the Lexington Housing Authority 1995, and the Teacher of the Year, presented by the ASID University of Kentucky Student Association, 1992. Additional recognition included being named to Outstanding Educators of America and commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Martha Layne Collins.

Terry is now ready to explore with creativity and vigor the next phase of his career.

UK/CoD has been invited to participate in Thom Mayne’s “Culture Now” project

November 9, 2011   |   School, Projects

The University of Kentucky College of Design has been invited to participate in the continuation of the “Culture Now” project, originally started as part of the SupraStudio at UCLA, run by Thom Mayne of Morphosis and assisted by Karen Lohrmann.

Other programs participating in the current “Culture Now” project include Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Syracuse, UCLA, Cornell, MIT, Penn, Michigan, Pratt, Rensselaer, and Rice.

Mayne’s “Culture Now” project is an investigation of the contemporary American condition in struggling midsize American cities through an immersive investigation into the intersection of public policy, urbanism, contemporary culture and its spatial manifestations. This study of social, political, and cultural evidence immediately extends the dialogue across disciplines and encompasses institutional and political models of the public.

The College of Design’s contribution to the “Culture Now” project is the Northern Kentucky River Cities Project, which includes two College of Design studios; an architecture studio taught by Martin Summers, and a historic preservation studio taught by the Helen Edwards Abell Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation, Douglas Appler. The studios will explore development opportunities in a string of Northern Kentucky river cities; Bromley, Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton.

The project began this fall with architecture students developing an overall planning study of the region and historic preservation students researching the region’s historic structures. In the spring semester the college will focus on developing a specific project.

Professor Martin Summers describes the Northern Kentucky River Cities Project: “We are exploring trajectories that define what makes a contemporary ‘city,’ and how those overlapping trajectories define our understanding of place. The research has focused on qualitative and quantitative information, cultural values, physical infrastructure and possible avenues of synthesis we discovered in Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The work attempts to situate the cities in the region, the country, and the interconnected global networks within which all development now takes place.

We are seeking generative ideas that find and occupy the seams of latent potentials and are working to synthesize conditions across the five cities. We desire to provoke a larger discussion about cities, their individuality and relationships, strength through alliances, and to find symbiotic opportunities that can propel the region forward in a way that maximizes the possibilities of their interconnectedness and networked potentials.”