Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Senior Studio Happenings

In this posting I would like to share what is happening in Professor Swenson’s senior urban design studio. We began the year studying Mississippi delta cities in preparation for our final project which focuses on Cairo, IL. I studied Little Rock, AR for the first project. The second project involved breaking up into teams and visiting delta cities. My team visited Cincinnati, OH and Louisville, KY. Now, our class is devoting our efforts to urban revitalization in Cairo.

We are working with the City of Cairo Planning Advisory Committee, the Vision 20/20 Committee and other stakeholders in our revitalization efforts. The Cairo Vision 20/20 Committee is striving for a “new and revitalized Cairo by the year 2020”. Our class is broken up into four teams. Team One is working on bringing the Cairo Junior High/Senior High students back to the vacated Junior High building in the center of town and renovating the facility to LEED Platinum status. Team One will also propose an adaptive reuse strategy for the current Junior High/Senior High building should the students move to the other building. Team Two is working on downtown revitalization and riverfront development including a marina. Team Three’s goal is to re-establish residential neighborhoods and give identity to the Cairo Historic District with preservation and infill housing strategies. Team Four will study adaptive reuse of the Southern Medical Center and CHESI Clinic facilities for senior citizens demonstrating LEED Platinum design.

Cairo, IL was once a healthy, vibrant city with a population of 15,000. It now contains about 3,000 residents. Many houses and buildings sit abandoned. Buildings are being condemned. Very few businesses remain open. Our class would like to reverse these trends and help Cairo became a healthy city again. We will build on the work of previous senior studios, and we will also build on the relationships that have been established with the citizens of Cairo as we strive for a new and revitalized Cairo by the year 2020.

--Ben Temperley, M. Arch. Student. Images in this article taken by the student.

Transparency in Buildings

While researching different ways to bring people into the hotel we have planned for studio, some things came to mind. What pulls people in? How can the building, as a whole, pull people in from the street? One major characteristic that drew my attention was a quote from Richard Rogers- "buildings which are full of light, light in weight and which are flexible......can [allow you to]read how the building is put together." Some examples are in building facades, exposed mechanical and structural systems, partial height partition walls, and screens, to name a few. The way each of these aspects helps show how a building works, and how it is able to withstand forces of nature, but also how even a floor plan layout can move people in and around spaces and bring people together -- all of these are aspects of transparency in buildings.

Recently in many "green" buildings, structure is exposed to avoid waste in materials. Where an acoustical drop ceiling used to be hung to cover mechanical systems and structure, now they are left exposed, as in our graduate studio. External stairs, escalators, elevators and moving sidewalks show onlookers how people move throughout the building. People can see the "guts" of a building and visually realize the work that goes into it. After seeing the size of some of the ductwork and mechanical equipment, they might even begin to realize the amount of power that is needed to run one of these systems. This "inside out" approach will help reduce materials, give texture to the building and draw people in by enticing them with a view of the inner workings.

There is a lot that goes into constructing a building. Why not celebrate this by exposing as much as possible? This will also allow for some pretty dramatic lighting as well as shadows in the evening.
--Robert Hildreth, M. Arch. Student

Fast Food Culture Shock!

Why do foreign visitors surprise American culture on first visiting time? Living
style seems to be the best answer. Americans have their traditional culture, fixed habits, and daily pace, so foreigners must try to respect and appreciate American culture.

What kind of differences between American culture and Taiwanese culture is most special? Diet habits. Americans do not like to eat much vegetable. When visitors come to America, they discover an interesting phenomenon: the fast-food industry.

It is difficult to draw a dividing line between fast food with American culture. McDonald’s, for example, has become not only a trademark of today’s world, but also a symbol of American cultural product.

Americans also like to put an amount of ice into their beverage. In Taiwanese healthy concept, this habit will disturb the circle of body’s blood circulation.

To compare this diet habit in Taiwan, people like to taste various vegetables, including cabbage, celery, snow bean, and so on. Taiwanese always focus their attention on health and exercise, so they care about what kind of nutrition they absorb into their body. More meat and fast food will invite more serious diseases and harmful substance into human being’s immune system.

Image above retrieved from http://www.appletreeblog.com/wp content/2008/07/david-fast-food.jpg

--Kang-Hsin Fan, M. Arch. Student from Taiwan

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Distinguished Alumni Lecture

Ms. Kelly Kealey-Mayton, above, presented the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Lecture for the School of Architecture on Monday, October 12. Ms. Kealey is a graduate of the school's fashion design program.

Kelly Kealey is the owner of Dance Sport Designs of Allen, Texas. Last year, she submitted the winning entry in the "Design a Dance" competition sponsored by Macy's for the song "Great Balls of Fire" on ABC-TV's "Dancing with the Stars." Ms. Kealey has been providing high level dance gowns for fifteen years. Examples of her work, shown below, have been on display for the last few weeks in the School of Architecture Gallery in Quigley Hall. Her design sketch and YouTube video of the dance are available.

Ms. Kealey's design are the highest level of couture design available. She drapes every design by hand and individually places beads and other decorative elements onto each dress. Last year, she also designed the Sony Ericsson Z750 purple cell phone dress used in advertising for the phone. The ad was used by Sony Ericsson worldwide.

In her October 12 talk in Browne Auditorium on campus, Ms. Kealey spoke to the students about her journey after college to her present career in Texas. She encouraged students to pursue their dreams and talked to them about the importance of staying positive and networking with other SIU alums.

The School of Architecture was very pleased to honor Kelly Kealey-Mayton as this year's Distinguished Alumni! The Fashion Design and Merchandising programs at SIUC have approximately 100 students earning the Bachelor of Science degree on the Carbondale campus.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Healthcare Architecture

Healthcare architecture is something that is frowned upon by many of the professors here at SIU. And why shouldn’t it be shunned in a school setting? Hospital design adheres to more codes than most professional architects care to learn, they’re too sterile to really get “down and dirty” in designing, and they’re associated with so many negative feelings already, why put students through a project that’s not any fun?

These are all valid points. Yes, there are lots of codes, yes they must be somewhat sterile, and yes, they have negative connotations. But wait, why are we here? Most students are asked that the first year they’re here, and most all of us give that same canned response “to improve something blah blah blah”. Alright, so let’s learn some codes. Being able to adhere to these “so restrictive” codes will not only make us better designers, but set us apart from other graduates entering the workforce.
“But they’re so sterile.” Yeah, they’re sterile, but that doesn’t mean white walls and padded rooms. Hospitals today are opening their windows, planting healing gardens and making use of daylight in a way that hospitals have never seen. And with environmental design so prominent, daylighting, natural ventilation and “greenery” are all making a huge “comeback” (for lack of a better word).
“But hospitals are just boxes of negative space.” Again, you’re right. But, going back to day one, aren’t we, as designers, challenging ourselves to improve spaces, to make them more enjoyable? Then why aren’t we doing it?

I was talking to some of the other grads about this same topic, and they response was that hospitals were bland, that they don’t give you the opportunity to design. There’s a trend in hospital design that notices that there’s not much difference on the patient side of things between a hospital and a hotel. Anyone reading this can think of multiples of awesome hotels, why not hospitals?

We’re here to learn to design so we can solve problems later on. The fact that this project type is actively avoided proves to me that it has problems. Can we do anything about it?
-- Jason Epley, M. Arch. student

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The "New" Library

The ARC / ID Library has MOVED!...

… And moved back. Some of you might know that over the summer, out library was moved into the gallery space. Well, long story short, we’re back in room 104 with a big facelift! Along with our redesign, we have a lot of other things planned for this coming school year.

Among the new things, a blog dedicated to the library. Here, we can show you what’s new in the library, and suggest books that might help you in studio. Also, we’re finally making all of our books and magazines searchable online! – kind of. Due to feasibility, among other things, we can’t make them searchable like Morris Library. So, we’re in the process of getting our own SIU email address, which will make it possible for you to ask us in real-time if we have something in stock.

We’re excited about the new things happening down here, and we hope you are too. Come on in and check out the “new” space!
--Jason Epley, M. Arch. student and library coordinator

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Path to Graduate Study in Architecture

My path to architecture school has not been a traditional one as this is a career change. I already went through college once at the University of Iowa earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and clinical laboratory sciences. After graduation I was hired as a medical technologist in the Quad Cities where I worked for five years in a hospital laboratory. Not completely satisfied, I decided upon a new career path. My mother was an art teacher and my father was a civil engineer. They passed on to me an artistic and a technical side. I thought to myself, “What career would better suit me?” I decided that architecture would be a good fit because it requires many skills that range from artistic to technical.

Next, I searched the internet for schools in Illinois that had master’s degree programs in architecture. Southern Illinois University appeared to be the best fit, so I applied and was accepted. My wife and I moved to Carbondale and purchased a house. I pictured myself buying a drafting table and learning hand drafting─at least in the beginning. I even asked Professor Norm Lach about where to purchase a drafting table before classes began. He clued me in that I probably didn’t need a drafting table because I would be drafting on a computer. I came in having very limited computer skills, but the training here brought me up to speed in programs such as AutoCAD, Revit, Corel Draw, etc.

The curriculum here is challenging, but the instruction is good. I have taken advantage of office hours and tutors for classes such as Structures I and II. Fellow students are also helpful when I have questions. For graduates with a degree in something other than architecture, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is a good choice if you want to pursue a Master’s in Architecture. Plus, Southern Illinois is a beautiful area with many lakes and parks, and the peaches are great!
-- Ben Temperley, M. Arch. Student

Thesis Proposal: A New School of Architecture at SIUC

Architects are often influenced by their past and present surroundings when designing a project. In order to have the best solution to a given problem, the environment must be conducive to different design approaches through exploration and research. Giving students a facility that encourages group collaboration and a firm foundation for their studies would allow them the opportunity to form their own view of the architecture field from their experiences here at Southern Illinois University.

Currently the architecture facilities at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are lacking in facility resources for students. The students are unable to congregate and exchange ideas comfortably. Quigley Hall has been renovated many times to adapt to the growing needs of its users. However, after all of the rearranging, the building is still disorganized and does not give the students the proper environment to immerse themselves in design. With the addition of the architectural graduate program, new spaces are needed for the growing population of students. This proposal will discuss the proposal of a new facility dedicated to architecture students, interior design students, and industrial design students both at the undergraduate and graduate level.

In order to create a successful work environment for students and faculty, it needs to be understood what are essential tools is promoting successful design in a university setting The process of design education will be examined to determine which educational approaches are commonly used for a school of architecture. Higher education facilities and their impact on the university community will be discussed as well. This project will investigate other institutions that have a similar program and compare how issues were resolved surrounding their campus facilities and resources. Topics such as the facility’s relation to the existing campus and community, technology resources, green design initiatives, possibility for growth, student interaction, teaching styles, and schools of architectural thought will all be discussed.
-- Laura Widholm, M. Arch. Student

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shotgun Houses in Cairo

This summer, two students in the School of Architecture at SIUC spent the summer working on the restoration of a shotgun house in Cairo, Illinois. The students earned college credit in ARC 434: Historic Preservation this summer. Historic preservation is a course offered for several years by the SIUC School of Architecture.

The image above shows a shot of the house the students worked on this summer. A shotgun house is so named because it said that you could stand at the front door and shoot a shotgun out the back door without hitting anything the house. The front and rear doors as well as openings from room to room inside the house all align. This house type migrated up the Mississippi Delta from New Orleans throughout the 1800s and 1900s.

The students and sponsor Robert H. Swenson, along with some others, are interviewed in the video available at Flash River Safari.

Friday, October 9, 2009

SoA Lecture Series

The School of Architecture's annual lecture series kicked off last week with an excellent presentation by Mr. Jeff Kovel, AIA, an architect from Portland, Oregon. Mr. Kovel presented his talk "Serious Play" to students of the school. Many excellent images of his work were shown and students often commented on how excited there were to see the scope of projects and how creative Mr. Kovel is in his practice.

Mr. Kovel is shown above visiting the dome home of R. Buckminster Fuller here in Carbondale while he was in town. Professors Jon Daniel Davey and Shai Yeshayahu escorted Mr. Koval on the visit to the dome.

The School of Architecture lecture series is coordinated by Professor Peter Smith of the Interior Design program. It is funded with Fine Arts and Activities Fee Money paid by SIU students. Our next lecture is Monday, October 12 when Ms. Kelly Kealy of Dallas, TX will present the Distinguished Alumni Lecture.

Columbus, Indiana

“The purpose of Architecture is to shelter and enhance man’s life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence.” – Eero Saarinen

During the sophomore year of my undergrad studies at SIU, I was fortunate enough to travel with Professor Jon Davey’s history class to a city rich in architectural body and soul. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to re-visit this favorite city of mine—Columbus, Indiana. Unique is an understatement for this breath of fresh air. Columbus houses remarkable works done by renowned architects I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi and Eliel and Eero Saarinen, just to name a few, as well as beautiful glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly. Experienced guides from the Columbus Visitors Center lead daily interactive tours that showcase the broad range of historical and modern architecture and art within the city. I highly recommend touring this beautiful city, words cannot begin to describe the impression it has left on me!
--Jessica Iskrzycki, M. Arch. Student

The image above is from www.columbus.in.us and shows Dale Chihuly's "Yellow Neon Chandelier & Persians."

Studying in the USA

Why do foreign students study in United States? A valuable investment is the main reason. Foreign students can derive professional expertise and knowledge from America. Then, they will find a better paying job when returning to their countries, and they will harvest a high return for their money.

Moreover , they will sharpen their English as fluent English speakers. In today’s world, English is the universal language for everyone and every country. People who are equipped with English ability will work successfully in English countries.

Finally, foreign students will acquire various international experiences because American universities offer a cross-culture environment. For example, about 20% international students study in America, so academic programs and social activities will provide an understanding of each other’s cultures. Students are better prepared for working in many locations around the world.

Therefore, with these useful skills and purposes, studying in America is the best investment to broaden one’s horizon, to enlarge one’s international experiences and to be a fluent English speaker.

--Kang-Hsin Fan, M. Arch. Student from Taiwan

Thursday, October 8, 2009

School of Architecture Gallery

The School of Architecture opened its new gallery in Quigley Hall this summer! Graduates will remember the room as the senior studio. Seniors are now in the former junior studio. Juniors have a new studio on the second floor, sophomores have studio space on the third floor, and graduate students have a new studio on the first floor.

The gallery is dedicated to displaying the best work by students in the School of Architecture's programs: architecture, Master of Architecture, fashion design & merchandising, and interior design. It also hosts school events including graduation receptions, new student welcome parties, and many exhibits of work from those who present lectures in the school's annual lecture series.

Thank You, Rhea...

Rhea Williamson, long time receptionist/secretary for the School of Architecture, passed away October 1 at age 85. She retired from the school approximately three years ago. Everyone in the School of Architecture during her many years as receptionist will remember Rhea for her warm smile and for the candy dish she kept stocked on her desk for students! Rhea loved visits from our students. The candy dish is still there and is kept stocked for those times when students need a quick free snack.

Rhea Williamson will be greatly missed! She was loved by generations of students at SIUC!

Image above from John Dobbins' yard of an Encore Azalea now in bloom.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Libeskind to Design “City on Water” in Belgrade

Although it has its preliminary name, “City on Water”, city officials are looking at the project as an opportunity for a big investment in very center of the city of Belgrade and on the bank of the Danube River.

The master plan dictates a building of 2,200,000 square meters of business and residential areas, situated on land covering 96 hectares. The project includes not only new interesting skyscrapers but also Jan Gehl’s plan to revitalize the space within this city. Many green areas and parks will be added to the city, as well as major limitations on car traffic, so that pedestrians and cyclists could be given an advantage.

This common trend in today’s urbanism of bringing the people and cities closer to water would make Belgrade a favorable location for future investments and visits.

It is the first time these two architects are working together and that work has been done simultaneously on this project as one project. Collaboration has been very close so that everything has been included in the master plan that was suggested by both architects. This created development strategy, which is now a major vision for this project. 85 hectares of developed land and 11 developed on the water basin. The plan is divided between 30% for residential area, 30% for business area, with the remaining intended for green and water areas, roads and infrastructure.

The project will be carried out in phases. There will be five phases and they will be in five years length depending on needs and market. The future City on Water will be located on the right bank of the Danube River, in the place where Port of Belgrade is currently located. Besides residential and business facilities, there will also be cultural facilities, congress centre, school, nursery, and hotels.

The skyscraper, designed as a jewel in which two rivers, the Danube and the Sava, meet will be 250 meters tall. Everything is planned as a fusion of strategies of sustainable development, authentic Belgrade and Belgrade full of life. The project should employ around 100,000 people, out of which 45,000 would be newly employed labor.
-- Damir Sisirak, M. Arch. Student from Slovenia

Images from Studio Daniel Libeskind: Belgrade

Trump Tower Chicago -- One Student's Opinion

The Trump Tower in Chicago has residential, retail and hotel space, much of it unsold or waiting to be rented or leased. The riverfront walks are to be opend soon and hopefully the landscaping will follow, adding what could be the only highlight of this highly publicized building. It is the largest building to be built in North America since the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower). Even with its huge size, this new building adds little to the skyline because it doesn't make much of a statement. Its blue glass just reflects the buildings around it and in the evening can give off some nice colors from the setting sun. Yet it still can't compare to the Hancock, the Smurfit-Stone building, or the new Aqua building. These buildings make a bold statement and show you what they're made of. The Trump Tower has some setbacks to give it form and shape, but the building just looks like a Sketchup extrusion. From some vantage points it can look extremely fat and overbearing, while from others it can look slender, reaching for the sky. And an afterthought at the top is the antennae. It's out of scale and adds little to the buildings overall look and feel. There is some space on the terraces (green roofs) where there are plantings and concrete pavers for people to enjoy the outdoors. The only problem is that they are at such a height that the winds won't allow you to enjoy a conversation, a cigarette for those who smoke, or even the fresh air. The winds whip by so quickly that the plantings lay down flat on the pavers. Even the heavy concrete pavers had to be anchored down to keep them from blowing away. Overall this building optimizes the site and more attention was placed on the interiors and their materials than the exterior shapes and the way it could fit into the evolving Chicago skyline.
--Robert Hildreth, M. Arch. Student

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cash for Carbon?

This summer, the Obama administration launched its incentive program deemed “Cash for Clunkers”. The program took gas guzzling vehicles off the road and replaced them with more fuel efficient vehicles in an effort to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. As I parted ways with my ’96 Silhouette, I, along with 700,000 other Americans, looked to the future: the future with a more fuel efficient vehicle.

The deal appeared to be all around great, but one question still came to mind: Am I really helping out the environment? The burning of gasoline and diesel in a vehicle produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, which in turn, alters the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon credits can be purchased at $28 a ton to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint, but when comparing the efficiency of the plan to the cost needed to extinguish emissions, $500 a ton would be needed to cover the cost of destroying the existing car and manufacturing a new one. By replacing the used vehicles with gas conservative ones, consumers save money, but now have greater potential to take advantage of their low fuel bill and begin driving more. In this “efficiency paradox” the overall cost of energy plummets and the earth isn’t any better off than it was before. A smart thing to consider: additional taxes on gas. Within recent years when gas prices have skyrocketed, people stayed off the road. An addition of new taxes would limit the number of people on the road and collect extra money for the formation of green programs.
Americans need their vehicles, but Americans need the planet more.
--Jessica Iskrzycki, M. Arch. student

In Graduate Studio

A few weeks ago the graduate students embarked on their first project of the semester. The professors teaching the class are Stewart Wessel and Thomas McPeek. The project is for a local winery located near Carlyle, Illinois and the students traveled to meet the potential client August 26. The clients, Doug and Jodie Palm, have a passion for winemaking and have already produced wine from their first crop last year. They expect to expand their business to include a few more acres of vines as well as an entertaining facility to host guests and eventually banquets. Currently the couple and their two kids live on the property but eventually plan on finding other accommodations.

Doug Palm gave a detailed vision of what he imagines the winery will be in the next five or ten years. He has divided it into three stages. The first stage includes remodeling his basement to have its own exterior entrance in order to have wine tastings for the public. In addition, Palm would like to have gathering spaces for guests both indoors and outdoors. In the second stage of the development, the current house on the property would become a tasting hall and small restaurant facility to accommodate 100-150 guests. Also the outdoor dining area would be enlarged to take advantage of the spectacular views. With more guests coming to the winery, the production facilities would also have to grow significantly. In the third stage, a banquet facility that could entertain up to 500 guests would be added to the property.

The Palms did not seem discouraged by the fact that there are competing wineries in the area. In fact, they were excited to be considered part of the southern Illinois 'wine trail' and believe having wineries nearby will bring in more business. Doug and Jodie Palm were very enthusiastic during the meeting with the students. They know what they personally have in mind but would like to see the students' visions.

--Laura Widholm, M. Arch. Student

School of Architecture Lecture Series

The School of Architecture at SIUC is pleased to announce the lecture schedule for Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. Visit our Lecture Series web page for details.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

International Potluck 2009

After finishing my work with no waste of time I headed towards the Alumni Lounge of Student Recreational Center around 6 P.M. last Thursday (September 10th) for a special event in town, there was potluck and in addition, it was International Potluck organized by International Students and Scholars (ISS).

With a bunch of people from different countries gathered together for diverse food and fun, the environment turned out to be a very amusing and pleasurable. People from different countries participated in it including Nepal, India, Japan, China and many more. Each country’s people prepared some food which was a specialty and traditional in their own country and served to the people from different parts of the world. People were seen talking about foods so curiously and some were even seen serving to their own friends who were still waiting in queue to have the food. Some type of foods served by different countries were “Chana Curry” with “Bitten Rice” by Nepalese, “Fried Rice” by Indians, “Sushi” by Japanese, “Chicken” by Srilankan, and so on. The Program was sponsored by ISS with some amount of funds to buy stuffs for each participating country.

Everybody was invited to this event and more than expected came. People had to wait a little longer to get to the food table! But, everyone seemed to be enjoying very much despite of long wait. With the video of International Festival 2008, projected on one side and with really delicious food in front, it was apparent that everyone was busy enjoying the moment. Though the program was scheduled for up to 8 P.M., Dinner program was over by around 7:30 P.M. and after that people just enjoyed talking, music and some dance.

At the end of the day, the event was a success and I personally feel that it was a nice moment to remember in future from SIUC which I enjoyed a lot. Thanks to International Students and Scholars (ISS), and these type of programs of bringing peoples from different countries together should be promoted.
-- Namrata Shrestha, M. Arch. Student from Nepal

The Green Debate

To be, or not to be… Green.
This is a topic that has been bothering me for awhile, and I thought I’d make a post on the blog to get other people’s opinions on it. Being “Green”, “Sustainable”, “Smart” are all buzzwords lately, and for as many words as there are for it, there are ideas on how to “be,” whether it’s good environmental design, or the use of “smart technology.” I guess this is more geared to smart technology, ranging from solar panels to computerized building systems, as I hope that good environmental design should always at least be considered. I’ve heard time and time again in crits that “the technology just isn’t there yet”, or “let’s just wait until technology gets better.” These are just a couple of quotes from practicing architects. As up and coming architects whose jobs will be to specify the use, or gently urge our clients to use these technologies, we need to decide for ourselves if the benefits outweigh the costs. As the generation that has been given the job of “saving the planet,” do we just “wait for technology to get better” or do we use these technologies knowing that they won’t pay off, but maybe it will push technology just a little bit further with each project? Sure, the cost effective answer is to wait -- wait until technology gets better and cheaper. The problem is that this same answer was used 30-40 years ago during the energy crisis of the 70s. We waited. Not until technology got better, or cheaper, but until the problem got worse. So, do we wait? Do we hope that the problem goes away for the next 40 years until our kids are old enough to be faced with the problem? I took a little bit more biased position than I intended, but I want to hear other thoughts. Are there good reasons to wait?
--Jason Epley, M. Arch. Student

Deep in the Heart of Texas!

This past week graduate students as well as the senior interior design studio took a trip down south to Texas. The agenda included Dallas and Austin as the cities of interest. Our upcoming project (a boutique hotel) is situated in Dallas so we were able to do detailed site studies as well as check out the local architecture. We headed to the Stockyards in Dallas, checked out a W Hotel, toured the new Cowboys football stadium (shown above), and enjoyed the Kimball Art Museum. We were also given a fantastic tour of the architecture firm HKS. After two days in Dallas we were off to Austin for two more office visits with Noack Little Architects and Interior Design and PageSouthernlandPage. Each firm was vastly different in scale and management opening our eyes to the different avenues we have when choosing employment opportunities. Another one of the exciting points of the visit to Austin was checking out the University of Texas architecture program. which is the largest in the nation. We headed home Saturday evening to regroup and now we’re back to designing!

--Laura Stock, M. Arch. Student

More images from Texas:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer 2009 Graduate Studio

This past summer the third class of graduate architecture students began their pursuit of the Master of Architecture degree! The class is currently working and putting in the extra hours to ensure the NAAB accreditation for the Master of Architecture program. The class of 15 graduate students took Architecture 550: Regional Architecture Studio. The classes were divided into two section taught by Dr. Michael Brazley and Professor Robert Swenson. Each section had a different project, Dr. Brazley’s section focused on a hi-rise mixed-use design located in either Chicago, IL or Louisville, KY. Professor Swenson’s class focused on a math, science and fine arts academy to service the areas of Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Western Missouri.

Professor Robert Swenson’s section took a few field trips this semester. The goal of the these trips were to visit the Illinois Math and Science Academy (Aurora, Il), Arkansas Math and Science Academy( Hot Springs, AR), and Brehm Preparatory School( Carbondale, IL). This gave the students an idea of the project they faced for the semester. The trip also included visits to the William Clinton Presidential Library (Little Rock, AR), the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio River (Cairo, IL), trips to study the areas of Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Southesast Missouri, and individual travel to student’s respective sites.

Dr. Brazley’s class traveled to Chicago, IL this summer. They spent a few days visiting, studying, and scrutinizing, sites in Chicago. They then proceeded to choose a site based on each students individual decision on which site offered the best solution to their design problem. While in Chicago they also visited a few Chicago firms. This gives the students a perspective of how the practice of architecture is implemented. Often times students can become blind to the “real world” practice of architecture while they are immersed and engulfed into their respective semester projects. All of this summer’s Studio Projects are displayed in Quigley Hall on the 1st floor for the next few weeks. Feel free to come in and take a look at what the students are up to!

--Jason Kubichan, M. Arch. Student

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saluki Seniors Take First Place!

Congratulations to Maria Vera's section of Architecture 452 (Senior Studio) for receiving a first place award in the Rouse Detroit Competition! Rouse Detroit is a competition to solicit ideas to reinvent the city of Detroit, Michigan.

The SIU students submitted their work from spring senior studio. They designed a renovation for an existing high school in Detroit incorporating steel from nearby recycling efforts in the automotive industry and many other green technologies and ideas. The design is visible at the top of the right column on the link above. It is labeled SoIL.

Among the team members who worked on the design were Matthew Jackson and Kang-Hsin Fan, both of whom are continuing their education in the Master of Architecture program at SIUC. Congratulations to Professor Vera and her class!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to the Class of 2009! From the left in the image above are Garrett Lunsford, Alan Knepp, Matthew Pica, Ryan Keutzer, Matthew Highlander, Garret Lukens, and Assistant Professor Craig Anz. Graduation was held on Saturday, August 8 in Shryock Auditorium.

A reception for the graduates and their families and friends was given in Quigley 119, the new School of Architecture Gallery. Each student displayed work completed for the design thesis portion of the Master of Architecture program. Approximately 52 attended the reception.

The Master of Architecture program at SIUC is a 15-month, 42-credit program designed to be completed by students who have earned a pre-professional degree in architecture. The program begins in June of one year and is complete in August of the following year. Some students choose to spend longer than 15 months on campus completing the program.

For the 2009-2010 school year, 21 students have been admitted to the Master of Architecture program and 12 continuing students are nearing completion of their programs. Thanks to Professor Bob Swenson for the photograph!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Italy in Stonework

2007 SIU architecture graduate Cassandra Grey is working on the restoration of the ca. 1910 Ratliffe Residence in Pikeville, KY. Cassandra works for Summit Engineering in Kentucky.

In the image of the house above, did you notice the stone shaped like Italy that is worked into the masonry? The detail image helps it stand out. The stone mason immigrated to the area from Italy and as a mark of his work, he shaped and placed Italy stones into his work.

The image below is from a church in nearby Whitesburg, KY. Can you find Italy in the stonework here?

Here's a hint -- do not look for just one stone. This Italy is made of seven stones and it's on the lower right below the plaque.
Thanks to Cassandra for sending the images!
If you are an SIU architecture graduate, we'd love to hear from you! JDobbins

Heritage Conservation Network

Several SIU students are spending their summer restoring a shotgun house in historic Cairo, Illinois. Read the story in the Heritage Conservation Newsletter. Architecture student Toni Lettiere is shown scraping paint on the porch in the lower image in the newsletter.

Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, Cairo has a rich historical tradition. In 2005, Stace England released an album dedicated to songs that tell the story of Cairo. You can hear it at Emusic.com. Read the National Public Radio story by Rachel Jones to learn more about Cairo's history.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Concrete Project

Tuesday, April 28 was a busy day in the Quigley courtyard! ARC 362 (Structures II) students were busy pouring their concrete beams for testing next week. Professor Robert H. Swenson has taught this course for many years and includes hands-on learning activities for the students.

Athena Sandravelis (L) and Shane Healey (R) have built their forms, placed the tension reinforcing, and are ready to begin the pouring of the concrete.

Here is a closer view of the beam design.

After allowing the concrete to cure for seven days, the students will load their beam designs and test them to determine how strong their creations are.

Students Yuko Aoki and Andrew Bevis work on their beam design. Talk about an international project! Yuko is from Japan and Andrew was raised right here in Jackson County, Illinois!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Masonry Day at SIUC

The Illinois Masonry Institute recently presented Masonry Days at the SIUC campus. Students from the School of Architecture learned a great deal about masonry construction and were given the opporunity to lay brick under the instruction of masonry professionals. Robin Morrow England, a junior in architecture, is seen at the right being shown how to place brick.

Junior Derrick Wildes has buttered his brick and seems to be considering his next move very carefully. For many students, this was the first time they had been this up close and personal with masonry products.

The event was arranged by Professor Norm Lach. As you may be able to tell by the images, it turned out to be one of our cold spring days instead of our legendary warm spring days in Carbondale.

The day ended with Masonry Jeopardy inside the Student Center Auditorium. Although Norm's Home Boys scored well with those double jeopardy questions they luckily kept finding, the Blue Falcons ended up dominating the event. Students from the winning team received gift cards to Best Buy.

Fun in Studio!

Junior Dan Corte enjoys a McGangbang in studio. The McGangbang, invented at Daytona Beach, Florida, is a combination of a double cheeseburger and the spicy McChicken sandwich from McDonald's. Place the entire chicken sandwich between the cheeseburger's patties, open wide, and enojy! Perhaps we should place defibrillators in studio, just in case?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Where on Earth?

How well do you know your architectural geography? Where on Earth?: The Architect's Guide to the World by ABC Arcade gives you the chance to find out! You'll see a famous work of architecture and then click the map of the world to locate it. Speed and accuracy are scored and you must meet the minimum points required to advance to the next level. Give it a try!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring in Carbondale!

Daffodils Spring is beginning to arrive in Carbondale! This image of daffodils in full bloom is from the front yard of Associate Professor John K. Dobbins. There are 65 blossoms in this group of daffodils.

Construction Tour: The View Baptist Church

A regular feature of Building Technology courses at SIUC is a site visit. This spring, ARC 342: Building Technology III (Steel), visited the construction site of The View Baptist Church in Carbondale, Illinois.

The church was designed by Architect Thad Heckman of DesignWorks in Carbondale. Mr. Heckman teaches one of the three lab sections of ARC 342 this spring. The 18,000 sf church building replaces the original First Baptist Church in downtown Carbondale. Those familiar with the building know it as the large stone Romanesque Revival building with the rose windows. As you can see in the image above, Mr. Heckman paid homage to the original church design in the forms used for the new church.

The spire on the northwest corner of the building points toward the original location of First Baptist in downtown Carbondale. The new church building is located on South Giant City Road. The original stained glass windows of the church have been transplanted and used in the new building, as shown in the image below.

The sanctuary of the new church is tuned to the acoustics of the human voice. The SIUC School of Music will present a choir performance in June in the sanctuary.

Thanks to Thad Heckman for arranging and guiding ARC 342 students through the church!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Architect Magazine posts videos of items related to the profession of architecture. Currently, they are featuring thisyear's P/A Award winning projects. This year's winning projects are quite varied, ranging from a Drive-in and Park by Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith to the 90-story Al Sharq tower by SOM in Saudi Arabia. Check out all the projects and the web site!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Time to Test the Structures!

An annual highlight of Architecture 362: Structures II is the testing of the wood structures designed and built by students. Working in teams of two, students must construct a support that spans a 4'-0" circle and that carries 150# of bricks. Doesn't sound so hard, does it? Well, the challenge is that only one 2x4 may be used to design the structure. In the image above, Adam Burant and Brandon Garnett have loaded their structure with a point load. Below, they are weighing their structure. Bonus points were available for the team with the lightest structure that survived the loading.

In addition to surviving the bricks placed as a point load, the structure was also loaded with the same weight as a uniform load. Several students' structures survived both loads, and in some cases, also survived having the students themselves stand on their structure!

Architecture 362 is taught by Associate Professor Bob Swenson, who took the images used here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Town Square: Highland, Illinois

This image shows the thesis project of Matt Highlander, a graduate student in the Master of Architecture program at SIUC. This image is a poster session image created to describe the project. Thesis projects are completed in the summer semester. Click the image to enlarge it for better viewing. In his words:

"My architectural thesis revolves around the Town Square. In today's society, one of the many problems that urban planners have is urban sprawl. Many towns no longer have a center where people can meet and city functions can be held in an outdoor space. Instead, new buildings pop up on the outskirts of town annd draw away from what was once the city square.
My project site is in Highland, Illinois. Highland has an excellent town square but it is lacking something that can sustain it as a primary destination for the town. It is my belief that a mixed-use residential building would be a great asset to the square and create a landmark for the town. "
In the graduate architecture program at SIUC, students complete a thesis related to the upper Mississippi River delta region. Each thesis project is selected by the student and proposed to the faculty. The graduate student then forms a committee of 3-5 faculty members to serve as critics of the project while the student completes the work.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Adventures in Architecture

If you receive Ovation TV, the channel devoted to the arts, watch for Adventures in Architecture hosted by Dan Cruickshank. The series airs weekdays at 4:00 and 5:00 pm (Central US time). There are few television shows devoted exclusively to the subject of architecture. True, some home improvement shows have segments on architecture from time-to-time, but few series are solely devoted to engaging the audience in the discussion of architecture. Adventures in Architecture is such a series.

Ovation TV runs many shows that feature architecture. Visit their programs page and click the link "architecture" to see a complete listing of what's upcoming on the network. Currently scheduled shows include Daniel Libeskind: The Making of an Architect, Visions of Space: Antoni Gaudi, and Renzo Piano: Piece by Piece, to name a few.

Back to Adventures in Architecture, the show originally aired on BBC2 in spring of 2008. Wikipedia offers a listing of the eight episodes and shows the architecture visited in each show. Dan Cruickshank is an architectural historian with a specialty in Georgian buildings. He has published several books on the subject.

Adventures in Architecture is recommended viewing for all students of architecture, including those who may not be formally seeking an education as an architect!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Functional Bench

This project was also created by junior studio last fall. The bench is made of cardboard panels and is designed to be functional as a place to sit as well as store items in its many compartments. This project was created in Professor Stewart Wessel's junior studio in Fall 2008.

Recycled Benches

The lecture hall lobby area at Quigley 140B received new seating courtesy of the fall junior studio last semester! The seats are made from repurposed cans stacked into cubes and covered with a clear plastic layer to form a solid seat.

These seats were designed in Professor Stewart Wessel's junior design class in Fall 2008.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

School of Architecture Wordle

Wordle: SIU Architecture

The image shown above was created using the Wordle web site. With the Wordle web site, you enter words, copy text, or use web pages to have the applet generate a graphic image for you. Give it a try!

Flying Colors - The Tension Canopy

This junior studio project resulted in the very colorful awning shown in this image. This was suspended by cables over the walkway on the north side of Quigley Hall where it was in full view of the kids who use the playground for the Child Development Laboratory at SIUC.

Walking below the awning was, indeed, a very colorful experience. This was the intention of the designers. The bright colors, moving in the breezes, really excited the kids and caught the attention of a photographer from the regional newspaper, The Southern Illinoisan.

The project seen here was created by Andrew Malinowski, David Oliva, and Greg Perkins in Professor Stewart Wessel's studio.

Got Bags?

Got Bags? In the fall semester, one junior studio explored creative uses of a variety of materials. The project entitled, "Got Bags?" used thousands of plastic shopping bags to create the giant web you see in the image above. SIU alumns will recognize the east entrance to Quigley Hall as the home of the Got Bags? sculpture.

The bags were suspended on wires to form the base to the web. They looped over the top of the covered walkway leading to the building entrance.

This project was created by Toni Lettiere, Jim Schmidt, and Joshua Wolf in Professor Stewart Wessel's studio.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Campus Images

To SIU graduates, the image of the Paul and Virginia fountain is one of the icons of the campus. Located on the Old Main Mall on campus - well, from spring to fall, anway - the fountain was a gift from the class of 1887. Wouldn't it be nice if every graduating class presented something to the campus to stand as a memorial to having been there?

The Paul & Virginia Fountain was featured on Michael Feldman's "Whad'Ya Know?" radio program on June 1, 2002 when the show was broadcast live from Shryock Auditorium, just steps away from the fountain on campus. Listen to the quiz in hour two of the show for the story.

If you heard the broadcast back in 2002, you may remember Bubba, the star of the quiz. Yes, there was a Bubba randomly selected when he called in to play the quiz from southern Illinois. Can you imagine that? Well, as we southerners know, a real Bubba, like the one who called in that day, knows his stuff. He aced the quiz and charmed the radio and live audiences along the way!