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Welcome to the Official Blog of the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


UT College of Architecture and Design Kicks Off Spring Lecture Series

Internationally recognized architects and designers will present their work this semester at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as part of the Robert B. Church III Memorial Lecture Series.

The lecture series is composed of exhibitions, presentations and films. The series, which is free and open to the public, provides opportunities to gain insight to the works and ideas occurring in the architecture and design disciplines today.

All lecture series activities will be held at the UT Art and Architecture Building, 1715 Volunteer Blvd. Lectures will begin at 5:30 p.m. and films will be shown at 8 p.m. in the McCarty Auditorium. The exhibitions will be featured in the Ewing Gallery and Gallery 103.

Webcasts of the lectures are also available at http://utk.edu/go/qc.

Attending or viewing the lectures can contribute towards maintaining and gaining architecture licensure. Professionals in the design fields are eligible to receive continuing education credits from the American Institute of Architects. Students may receive supplemental experience hours in the Intern Development Program of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

The semester lineup includes:


Jan. 28: Kai-Uwe Bergmann is head of business development and a partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a New York and Copenhagen based firm. He brings his expertise to work around the globe, including to completed projects in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. He is a registered architect in the US, UK and Denmark.

March 4: Volkan Alkanoglu of Volkan Alkanoglu Design, who uses narrative and storytelling in his award-winning design work as seen in projects located in the United Kingdom, Germany and the U.S. Alkanoglu presently teaches at Georgia Tech.

March 11: Peter Waldman, professor of architecture at the University of Virginia. A celebrated educator, Waldman has taught, in addition to UVa, at Harvard, Princeton, Rice and the University of Cincinnati. He has won both the Distinguished Professor Award and the Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

April 8: Billie Tsien, who will be the college's General Shale Lecturer. With numerous awards for both residential and commercial architecture, Tsien has taught at Harvard, Yale and Parsons, among other institutions. Her practice, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, recently won the 2013 Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.

April 15: Francisco Mangado, the acclaimed Spanish architect of Estudio Francisco Mangado. His approach to architecture considers the context and meaning of space in relationship to service and dialogue.


Jan. 14 – Feb. 1: Bjarke Ingels Group: Yes is More, Gallery 103
Feb. 4 – Mar. 1: Spatial Pedagogy: a History of the College of Architecture and Design, Gallery 103
Mar 4. – Mar. 22: Volkan Alkanoglu Design, Gallery 103
Apr. 1 – Apr. 26: Cardinal Points | Odd Fellows Cemetery, Gallery 103


Jan. 23:  "Drive" (2011) by Nicolas Winding Refn
Feb. 13: "Harold and Maude" (1971) by Hal Ashby
Feb. 27: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964) by Stanley Kubrick
Mar. 20: “Damn Yankees” (1958) by George Abbott and Stanley Donen
Apr. 3: "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) by Victor Fleming 
Apr. 17:  “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” (2012) by Matthews Akers and Jeff Dupre

C O N T A C T S:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713, kroeder@utk.edu)

Images courtesy of BIG

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AIA East Tennessee Design Awards

Every fall, the American Institute of Architects East Tennessee Chapter selects the top design projects completed by members of their community.

This year's awards were vetted by a jury composed of Dennis Cussack (SRG Partnership, Portland BNIM), Laura Lesniewski (Kansas City Bohlin Cywinski Jackson), David Murray (Philadelphia Coxe Group, Seattle), and Hugh Hockberg. They were charged in choosing projects based on five criteria:

  • Functional innovation
  • Community asset and context
  • Craftsmanship 
  • Sustainability
  • Clarity of design idea

Awards of merit were granted to eight projects, including to the renovation of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's most iconic building - Ayres Hall. The project, which after its completion was named the first LEED building on campus, was undertaken by Ross/Fowler, PC and Architects Weeks Ambrose McDonald, Inc. 

Students and faculty of the UT College of Architecture and Design were also honored by AIAETN. Assistant Professor Katherine Ambroziak's Odd Fellows Cemetery and Potters Field Rehabilitation Project was given an award of merit.

Students named as contributors to the project team: Jason Stark, Kathryn Thompson Greer and Micah Antanaitis from the graduate architecture program; David Dalton from the graduate landscape architecture program; and Claire Craven and Michael Housely from the undergraduate architecture program. Faculty members Matt Hall and Brad Collett are also cited as contributing designers to the project -  a master plan that focuses on the cemetery design of Potters Field and Odd Fellows. The project seeks to better integrate the community and landscape to the cemeteries .

Several merit winning projects were also completed by UT Architecture and Design alumni, including:

Cafeteria at the Morrison PreK-8 School

East Tennessee Children's Hospital Lobby and Waiting Area by BARBER McMURRY architects










Additionally, one honor award and two awards of excellence were given this year. All were named to projects completed by UT alumni. 

Barrier Island House by Sanders Space Architecture, LLCKnoxville Station Transit Center, Intermodal Associate Architects, Bullock Smith & Partners, and McCarty Holsaple McCartyThree Rivers Market by Studio Four

Images and content provided by Kelly L. Headden, AIA, President of AIA East Tennessee. 


Happy Birthday Le Corbusier! 

On October 6, in 1887 Charles-Édouard Jeanneret was born. Happy Birthday Le Corbusier! Le Corbusier is a celebrated architect, innovator, painter, and self-promoter who needs no introduction. Instead I would like to share a story about an unsuspected encounter that I had with his work this summer.

This summer I was fortunate enough to get a very close look at a kitchen from Le Corbusier’s Unité d'Habitation. The kitchen was being restored to its original condition for a major exhibition of Le Corbusier’s work, which will be here in the US, in the near future.  Upon first sight I was a little let down by the carpentry work, which did not meet the standard I expected. My experience of Le Corbusier’s architectural work had been limited to digital and print representation of colorless, formal, structures.  

What I haven’t stated is that I was viewing the kitchen from the perspective of the wall it was attached to. With enthusiastic curiosity, and permission, I walked around and entered the kitchen. I struck up a conversation with the conservator who explained that the Unité d'Habitation was such a large undertaking that no one fabricator could construct all the elements of the kitchens. Subsequently each kitchen was slightly different. That was the explanation for the makeshift elements I had recognized holding it all together on the backside.  

The entry to the kitchen was very narrow, and I remember the interior as a tight square space. The materials consisted of glass, painted plywood, hardwood, and stainless steel. I was struck by the efficiency with which the kitchen was arranged. There were more cabinets in Le Corbusier’s kitchen than I had in my kitchen, which is twice the size.  I could reach every one without moving and all of the handles were warm and comfortable. The counter space was ample, once again beating out my compact kitchen of twice the size. A cleverly placed electric outlet caught my eye, and I realized the careful attention to the details that had been achieved. I was inspired by the utility and comfort the square space provided.  I marveled at the tenacity Le Corbusier must have exhibited in order to impose his vision with the multiple contractors utilized in the project.  With a new and unexpected appreciation of Le Corbusier’s work, I exited the kitchen.

Now with my penultimate semester of graduate school well under way I find myself striving for the thoughtfulness and intensity I discovered in Le Corbusier’s kitchen. It was rewarding to see Le Corbusier’s design work first hand after studying it. Not simply to understand the design work in general, but to understand how to see as an architect.

James L. Wines, Graduate Architecture Student, October, 5th 2012


Landscape Architecture Students in Spain and Portugal

Landscape Architecture students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, embarked on a 16-day mini-term to Spain and Portugal in May 2012. Touring its famous landscapes and gardens, here are images of their adventures. 

To read narratives of the students' experiences while abroad, check-out Angelike Angelopoulos' blog, "Spain + Portugal: A trip through 'Glorious Gardens.'"


UT Solar-Powered House Seen by One Million Visitors at Recent Smithsonian Exhibit

Living Light, UT’s solar-powered house, stood on the National Mall in the shadow of some of the nation’s most recognizable architecture as an exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which concluded earlier this month.

The ten-day event coincided with the 150th anniversaries of the US Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Act, which created land-grant universities. An estimated one million people saw the home and nearly 16,000 toured it during the festival.

The zero-energy home demonstrated the merits of solar-powered living when a large storm struck the nation’s capital on June 29, leaving thousands of residents without power and forcing the festival to close for a day.

Living Light maintained full-power during this time, producing twice the energy the house needed for all its normal day-to-day functions, such as powering its air conditioning, television, kitchen appliances, and lighting. Throughout its entire stay at the festival, the house was completely removed from the electrical grid and self-sustaining in all of its energy production.

The house was one of only seventeen projects selected to represent the nation’s land-grant universities at the Smithsonian festival.


Discover more about the house's visit to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival at its featured story here


Memento Vivere: UT Student Explores Italy's Architecture Through Summer Mini-Term

Christina Lulich, an architecture student of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, embarked on a tour of Italy this May through the College's mini-term course, "Photographing Florence." The nearly two-week adventure explored Florence, Rome, and Siena under the direction of lecturer Diane Fox

Describing the activities of the program, Fox said, "the course focused on the basic functions of the camera, relationships between photographer and subject, motion, composition and framing, point of view, and exposing for light and shadow."

She adds: "Could there be a more inspirational environment to begin the process of looking through the lens then Italy?"

Lulich seems to agree. Her beautifully written blog, Memento Vivere, shares some of her experiences as a student of the UT travel abroad program. Here she allows the College of Architecture and Design to share one of her many adventures - her visit to Rome. 

Christina Lulich, May 26, 2012:

Another early morning and long day of walking. We were eating breakfast downstairs by 7:30 and headed to the Colosseum less than an hour later. As our bus neared the Colosseum, I began to recognize places I’d learned about in my architecture history class this past semester, scattered amongst the ruins. I recognized the Temple of Saturn instantly, although I had forgotten it was even located in Rome. The Column of Trajan was easy to spot, but I’d already seen it the day before. The Arch of Constantine was noticeable from afar as well as the Colosseum next to it. When we later walked through the Roman Forum, I recognized the Basilica of Maxentius. The ability to recognize the ruins on the spot and remember some of their significance was amazing. My heart skipped a couple beats from just being in their presence and walking on the same ground that Romans walked during Jesus’s time.

The textures in the Colosseum struck me most. The brick, almost two thousand years old, was worn and weathered, cracking, chipped or broken. The structure was filled with rich stories of nautical battles, gladiator games, sweat beading down the faces of the spectators, death, entertainment, thievery, decay, deterioration, preservation, and education. The Colosseum walls are filled with large indentations and gaps where marble or other adornments were stolen or just relocated for other use. Much of the marble that embellished its structure was reused in the Vatican and in the homes of wealthy families. I mentally replaced what was stolen, laid wood flooring above the originally underground tunnels on the stadium’s bottom level, and filled the floor with sand. I unrolled canvas above parts of the stadium that received the most light from the sweltering sun above, and the crowds cheered around me.
The Roman Forum was similarly provoking, although everything there was in a further state of decay than the Colosseum. Seeing the ruins in person was awesome and hardly describable. There were broken pieces of marble columns scattered about the landscape, their details so worn that many edges were completely smooth. The Temple of Saturn was so much more real than the photos on my history flashcards. I realized as I studied the Forum that when I memorized everything, nothing was real. Each building was a figment of the past, a memory. When I stood in its presence, it was real. Walking through the Forum, we passed the Arch of Titus, the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Basilica of Maxentius, the Temple of Venus, and the Temple of Saturn, among other ruins I didn’t recognize.
Me and Emily at the Pantheon
From the Roman Forum, we walked to the Pantheon, stopping for lunch on the way. We walked past one of Mussolini’s homes and saw the balcony from which he gave the famous speech that brought Italy into World War 2.
The Pantheon was even more moving to me than anything else I’d seen that day. After having used the Pantheon as a sort of minor precedent for my final studio design this semester, there was much to gain from seeing it in person. It felt nothing like I could have imagined from the photos. The interior space was large and circular, the dome wide and tall. The oculus seemed disproportionately large. The square coffers in the dome started large at the dome’s base and gradually became smaller as they neared the huge oculus at the top. I’d never seen coffers so large. I can’t explain why the space was so awesome to stand in, but all I could think of throughout the experience was how badly I wanted to attend service there. My experience in the Pantheon remains superseded only by my experience walking within the Duomo dome. 
We passed through Piazza Navona briefly before heading back to the bus. The four hour bus ride back was a much needed break for my feet, which were blistering and cramping from walking for two days straight. My experience in Rome was incredible, but I will definitely have to return in the future. Two days is just not enough time to experience all that Rome has to offer.

Arch of Constantine


  Temple of Saturn Roman Forum
Column Ruins of Roman Forum
 PantheonPantheon coffering and oculus Pantheon Interior; Raphael's Tomb is in One of the ApsesInteresting Porch Space in Rome  Basilica of Maxentius


Relevance Starts Here: A Path Towards Student Loan Exemption

Brent Castro, recent graduate of the UT, Knoxville, School of Architecture, is the National Vice President Elect of the American Institute of Architecture Students

By Brent Castro -- Throughout my years as an active member of the American Institute of Architecture Students, I have been truly humbled to be surrounded by hundreds of my peers within the academy who are doing more for their education by being a part of the AIAS than just focusing on the studio process. As collective group, we are allowing the AIAS to become a part of our learning processes. 

I am proud to say that the AIAS is not just resume filler for our members. Instead we are using it as a catalyst for growth as designers and stewards of the built environment. By being strong leaders we communicate a vision of diligent service to causes outside ourselves. Such leadership, if practiced correctly will positively affect our culture and the communities that we will live and work within.

I don’t doubt that a few of us initially dreamt of becoming world renowned architects. However, over time my personal definition of renowned has changed. There is a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stating, "Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service." The imperative actor service is why this organization stands and it is why we are here. The AIAS will always be here to serve this student population by acting as a strong voice for members as they in turn are voices speaking out on behalf of their student bodies and communities.


The organizations commitment to introspection has allowed us to continually check the actions that we take–making sure that they serve this student population to the fullest. The AIAS is not accustomed to stagnation. We move, we change, we improve and these actions are imperative. The architects and scholars we idolize would not have us simply continue accepting the norm in regards to our work. They would have us question our moves and further those arguments. The same principle applies to our organization.


I am well informed about the great challenges that our profession faces domestically and across the world, therefore I feel strongly this is a pivotal time for furthering our objectives and taking intelligent, well informed steps forward with Freedom by Design, civic engagement, advocacy and greater involvement with the profession and

our own education. We must remain a strong and relevant resource for our members as students and emerging professionals. These objectives are essential for the AIAS to become more relevant as a national

organization in addition to fostering and sustaining connections within the global design community.


What does relevance mean for architecture students? We live in a world of economic angst, social inequality, and joblessness, all overshadowed by the threat of ecological demise. Our politicians find difficulty in reaching consensus while our dependency on oil remains headstrong and all the while graduates struggle to begin careers. We are all but immune to recurring words like “recession” and “disaster”. In this context our creative and analytical education and passion for the world we build for future generations make architecture students particularly relevant.


Relevance comes naturally to members of the AIAS: we are leaders within our schools, examples in our communities and voices in a global level that can -- and have -- made difference. - Nick Mancusi and Laura Meador- CritBorderless 


These differences can be seen through thecharge to mandate paid internships for students and through the continued support of the AIAS’s initiated studio culture movement where living documents outline the path towards a successful studio environment between students and their educators.


As we all know, students are faced with ever-increasing tuition rates for our education and because of this a major priority of the American Institute of Architecture Students this year has been the pursuit of Student Loan Forgiveness and rallying the support of our endeavor to expand our advocacy efforts. We have reached out to our collateral partners [AIA, ACSA, NCARB and NAAB] and have asked for their support with much success. The federal loan exemptions/deferment already exists for graduates of law, medicine and education and it is a great injustice towards our profession and to our graduating students that this option is not available to those of whom want to join the military, work for anon-profit or practice in a pro-bono manner.


Federal student loan forgiveness is an obvious answer to many of the challenges our profession and economic future faces. AIA President Jeffrey Potter, FAIA, is onboard to help advocate within the national government and commended these efforts and foresight.


As you all know, The AIAS represents the collective voice of architecture students. AIAS members have expressed a desire to use their voice to make a difference, and to be more relevant. In response, the AIAS Board of Directors has initiated an Advocacy taskforce. Our pursuit of the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness is a multiple-year process that requires assistance from all students of architecture.


To make a solid case to US legislators, the AIAS needs qualitative and quantitative data. The AIAS will produce a video that shows the importance of Architects to society.



We need your help! Please submit a short1-2 minute video of yourself answering the following three questions:

§  What is an Architect?

§  Why do Architects matter?

§  Describe a world without Architects. 

Please upload your video here: www.aias.org/videoupload. Please include a cover sheet with your name, chapter name, and year in school.


This is your chance to use your voice and be more relevant as an architecture student. Use this opportunity to help us shape a better future for you. Together, we can show this country our passion for architecture and service to those affected by the built environment. To move forward we have to be able give back. If we continue to be critical of the norm while never staying stagnant in our efforts we will see success.


Originally printed in stud. magazine, vol. II, ed. III. May 2012. A publication of the AIAS Chapter of the UT, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design. 


UT Alumna Named to American Society of Interior Designers College of Fellows

BJ Miller ('85) has been inducted into the American Society of Interior Designers College of Fellows. She is one of four to receive this achievement, the organization's highest honor. 

The title of Fellow is given in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to the Society, the profession, and the interior design industry.

The 2012 Class of Fellows will be honored on June 11, 2012 at the Society’s annual awards ceremony held at NeoCon. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design will also be hosting an alumni reception at NeoCon that evening. 

Miller has been an active member of the UTKCoAD community for many years. She is a lecturer in the UT Interior Design Program, as well as the coordinator of its Designing for Health and Wellness Lecture Series. Her service as a member and leader of the College's Board of Advisors has been influential in promoting excellence in interior design practice at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

For more than 25 years, BJ Miller has been promoting the profession of interior design through her practice, service to ASID, and academic endeavors. Founder and president of The Vision Group Studiosand founder and managing partner of Urban Redevelopment Alliance in east Tennessee, Miller’s work centers on outcome-based, human-centric design goals. Her practice focuses on promoting ageless living and creating generative space in the development, design and identity of senior living and health environments. To engage others in her design philosophy, she developed a graduate program with a concentration in health design through the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design and created a multidisciplinary course on designing environments for health.

By Kiki Roeder 


Sustainable Design: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, New Norris House in Twenty Slides

Twice a year, the Office of the Provost hosts a  Mic/Nite, a “Pecha-Kucha Powered” social gathering focusing on the work of UT faculty and staff.

Architecture professors Tricia Stuth and Robert French tackle two-years of research in 20 slides. Here is "New Norris House - A Sustainable Dwelling in the 21st Century."


Student Portfolios Published in Acclaimed Reference Book

Design students of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are featured in Harold Linton's Portfolio Design.

According to the publisher's website, Portfolio Design "has been the standard reference for students and young professionals in architecture, urban planning, landscape, and interior design who want to make the best impression possible in their applications for undergraduate and graduate school admissions, design grants, competitions, or in a job interview."

Said Diane Fox, lecturer of the UT College of Architecture and Design, who has taught the college's presentation design class for many years: "Harold Linton's Portfolio Design has been the standard reference for students and professionals in architecture, urban planning, landscape, and interior design for over a decade."

"Now, with the fourth edition, the book will be out at the end of April and includes several portfolios from the College of Architecture and Design's Presentation Design class."

Some pages of the book are available fore viewing, see here. Of particular note is UT School of Architecture student Micheal Clapp, who's portfolio is featured at the end of this sampling. 

For more information, or to purchase the book, please visit here


By: Kiki Roeder, Communications and Outreach, the UT College of Architecture and Design