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Entries in alumni (7)


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. 


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 


Recent UT Architecture Graduates Receive International Attention for Design Work

Recent graduates of the School of Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Caitlin Turski and Andrew Ruff (2011) received an honorable mention in the international call to design the AIDS Memorial Park in New York City. The pair, who recently founded the studio, NT21, competed against architects and planners from around the world.

The competition, in conjunction with Architizer and Architectural Record, was chaired by Michael Arad, the designer of the National September 11 Memorial. Its jurors, who included the chief curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art and the deputy editor for Architectural Record, selected the winning design, three runners-up, and 11 honorable mentions.

There were 475 entries submitted from across 26 U.S. states and 32 countries.

“We feel that our experience at the UT CoAD was the critical factor,” said Andrew Ruff. “Our professors, especially those who challenged us to discover our own artistic consciences, played a particularly special role in our development as designers.”

The competition’s goal was to produce design ideas for a memorial park to honor New York City’s 100,000-plus men, women and children who have died from AIDS. It hopes to also recognize the ongoing crisis.

Entries were evaluated based upon the proposed park’s functionality as a recreational space and its commemorative narrative.

“Our transition from the intensity of the academic studio into the realm of architectural speculation has been a natural evolution of our interests and modus operandi," said Ruff and Turski, jointly, of their preparation as designers. “The culture of our studio, in addition to close relationships developed with a wide range of faculty, created an incredible environment of experimental design and rigorous research.”

Turski and Ruff AIDS Memorial Design

The duo also recently claimed first prize in the alumni segment of the MAX_minimum Design Competition held annually by the UT College of Architecture and Design. Their work won over projects submitted by alumni from graduating classes ranging from 1978 to 2011.

Ruff received the Henry Adams American Institute of Architects Medal in 2011, an honor granted by AIA to the top ranking graduating students in each architecture program nationwide. Turski claimed the Certificate of Merit, tying as the second highest ranking student of the 2011 graduating class.

In addition to their design pursuits with NT21, Turski is presently pursuing a post-professional Master of Architecture at McGill University, with Ruff working as an intern architect in Atlanta at the large, international firm TVSDesign.

To learn more about the AIDS Memorial Design Competition, please visithttp://aidsmemorialpark.org/.

Turksi and Ruff’s entry may be seen above, or at their website, http://www.nt21studio.com/.


C O N T A C T :

Image Rights: Andrew Ruff and Caitlin Turski

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


Architecture Alumnus Returns to UT, Knoxville, with Exhibition at Gallery 103

Justin Brown, class of 2002, is slated to visit the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design next Monday at 5:45 p.m. to discuss his exhibit, "Bookmatch or Slipmatch,"  which will be on display from February 20 - March 09 in Gallery 103 of the Art + Architecture Building.

The exhibition will feature handcrafted products that demonstrate Brown, and his collaborative partner, Brian Green's dedication to woodworking, handcrafted design, and use of natural materials. 

Brown's visit from Birmingham, Alabama, where he and Green have a product design company, offers students, faculty, and visitors insights into his firm's processes for the design and manufacture of useful, everyday objects, and furniture.  Examples of the duo's work may be seen at http://brownandgreen.us.

"Bookmatch or Slipmatch" is a part of the Spring 2011-12 Robert B. Church III Memorial Lecture Series, an annual event that presents notable practitioners, from around the globe, who offer unique perspectives found in contemporary architecture and design practice.

Additional information about the Church Lecture Series may be learned at http://www.arch.utk.edu/lecture_series/current_church.shtml


UT, Knoxville, Alumnus Named Fellow of American Institute of Architects

Alumnus Keith Boswell, class of 1980, was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. This is a major professional recognition for architects.

This honor is only granted to those, according to AIA, "who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level while achieving a standard level of excellence." Nomination categories range from promoted aesthetic and practical excellence to advancement of living standards through architectural practice to using the profession as a vehicle to serve society.

Boswell is one of only 105 members elevated to this honor this year. Of the 80,000 members who account for AIA, world-wide, only about 3,000 have been distinguished with a fellowship or honorary fellowship. 

Boswell graduated with his bachelor of architecture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is now the technical director of architecture at the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), one of the largest architecture firms in the world. 

Through his career, Boswell has completed technically complex building systems around the world, principally in Asia. His expertise includes museums, government projects, international and domestic airport terminals, and high-rise office buildings. 

He has brought his depth of professional experience and knowledge to the UT, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design, where he has served on its advisory board for many years. In this role, Boswell has actively voiced to the college community about trends in research and professional practice found in architecture and related fields. 

To learn more about happenings at the UT, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design, please visit our news page at http://www.arch.utk.edu/news/index.shtml



New Endowment Inspired by Architecture Alumnus Creates Opportunities to Recruit Outstanding Faculty

Motivated by her son's passion and tenacity, Libba Wall (UTK ’59) honored James “Jimmy” Dudley (UTK Architecture ’86), as well as faculty and students of the College of Architecture and Design by establishing an endowment  through the Chancellor's Faculty Salary Support Challenge.

“This gift honors the compassion and capabilities of great faculty, who foster a spirit of curiosity among students, " said Scott Wall, director of architecture. "There is nothing else remotely like this in the school." 

Full details about the gift and how it will impact the UT, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design are available here.