architecture

Solar Decathlon Team passes design milestones

Drury University and Crowder College continue to make headway on their Solar Decathlon project. The Decathlon is the U.S Department of Energy’s national competition challenging selected college teams to build solar-powered homes as a way of educating students and the public about the benefits and viability of renewable energy.

“The Solar Decathlon is an incubator for solar energy,” says Evan Melgren, a team member from Drury. “By tasking young and creative engineers to implement this technology, the Department of Energy is nurturing the possibilities presented by one of the most consumer-viable sources of renewable energy. By requiring the tech to be designed into a real home, they’re showing just how appealing the energy source is.”

About 10 members of the Solar Decathlon team traveled to California in January.

About 10 members of the Solar Decathlon team traveled to California in January.

Drury has partnered with Crowder College in Neosho, a state community college offering programs in renewable energy, to take a multi-disciplinary approach to design, build, and operate an off-the-grid home. There are about 50 Drury students with various majors involved in the project.

In recent weeks the team has gained professional feedback, created 3D models of its design and met numerous competition deadlines. One requirement was to generate a 63-page package of drawings displaying the house from every angle, including elevation drawings and the workings of the entire electrical system.

In January, a few members of the Crowder/Drury team traveled to Irvine, California – the site of the final showdown this October – for industry feedback on the project. Working professionals evaluated the project and had praise for the designs, especially the electrical schematics and the health and safety plans.

“I can’t say how fortunate we all felt that we were able to go to California and be in the presence of such forward thinking engineers and designers who really care about ecologically conscious design,” Melgren says. “The energy was like nothing else I’ve ever been a part of.”

They also had the opportunity to meet some of the other teams in the competition, including the likes of Yale, Vanderbilt and Missouri S&T.

“The biggest takeaway from Cali was the fact that it made the whole project feel a lot more real,” says Alaa Al-Radwan, a Drury team member. “Getting to meet the other teams and seeing everyone’s progress made us only want to work harder.”

Bird's eye view of the Shelter3 house.

Bird’s eye view of the ShelteR3 house.

With plans now finalized, the next major requirement is to build the house locally (it will be deconstructed, shipped to Irvine and rebuilt for the competition this fall). The construction will take place on the Crowder campus in Neosho, before the house is then deconstructed, shipped to Irvine and rebuilt on the competition site.

For more information about the Crowder/Drury Solar Decathlon project, including sponsorship and donor opportunities, visit shelter.drury.edu.

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

“Design Matters SGF” closing reception, panel discussion to be held Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 17, 2014 — Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and the Springfield Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will host a closing reception and panel discussion Thursday night for the “Design Matters SGF” exhibit, now on display at the C-Street Gallery. The exhibit recognizes exceptional architecture in the community.

The free reception runs from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20 at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial St. There will be a cash bar as well as food provided by That Lebanese Place.

The “Creative Conversation” panel discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. The panel represents a range of scales at which quality design is crucial — from the scale of infrastructure and large public projects to the scale of media and graphic design. The round-table discussion will raise questions about how design can help create a more dynamic, efficient and satisfying community life — and how business owners, developers and arts patrons can help foster these values through their commitment to design quality.

The panel will be moderated by Robert Weddle, professor and interim director at the Hammons School of Architecture. The panelists will include: Katie Canada, creative director and partner, Departika; Jonathan Gano, interim co-director of public works, City of Springfield; Nick Nelson, director, Springfield Art Museum; and Matt O’Reilly, owner, Green Circle Projects.

For more information, contact: Robert Weddle, interim director at the Hammons School of Architecture, (417) 873-7450 or rweddle@drury.edu.

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Founders of Freecell Architecture will speak at Drury Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 12, 2014 —The Hammons School of Architecture’s 2014-2015 Lecture Series continues at 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14 at in the HSA auditorium with a lecture by Lauren Crahan and John Hartmann of Freecell Architecture of New York.

In 1999, Crahan and Hartmann founded Freecell, a design and fabrication studio for furniture and exhibition design based in Brooklyn. Their work has been displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and in New York City at the Henry Urbach Architecture Gallery, Artists Space, the Van Alen Institute and the Architectural League of New York.

Crahan and Hartmann will speak as part of the HSA “Locating Design” series, which explores the practice of critically engaging sites through the act of design.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Hammons School of Architecture, visit drury.edu/architecture.

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Solar Decathlon team sets sights on 2015 national competition, fundraising

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2014 — The race is on for the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team. In less than a year, the student-led team of more than 50 undergraduates will be in Irvine, Calif., competing against groups from Yale, Vanderbilt, Missouri S&T and more in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015.

The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, engineer, market and construct solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. While all teams will be building homes that are “green,” the Crowder-Drury team has self-imposed the additional challenge of making its home disaster resilient following the devastation of the 2011 Joplin tornado.

The Department of Energy requires teams to take a multi-disciplinary approach, which has drawn students from a variety of majors. Students from Crowder College’s Alternative Energy Program have teamed up with peers at Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture for the concept and design phases. They’re joined by business, communication and art students who are tasked with helping market the project. The team’s website is now live.

Team seeks funding

The team has also secured several crucial gifts and in-kind donations to help make the project a reality. While the Dept. of Energy provides a stipend for some aspects of the competition, the teams themselves need to raise approximately $250,000 for materials and construction, as well as transportation of the team and house itself to California. Right now, the Crowder-Drury total is approximately $115,000, or about 46 percent of the overall goal.

Major gifts so far include:

  • Springfield-based transportation company TCSI Transland, Inc., has donated the use of three semi-trucks to haul the materials to California – a value of approximately $24,000. TCSI CEO Mark Walker ’79 is a Drury University alumnus and has participated in four Solar Decathlons in the past.
  • An anonymous gift of $20,000.
  • Community Bank and Trust in Neosho has donated $10,000.
  • Drury’s Student Government Association has directed $30,000 for use by the team.

“The Solar Decathlon is one of the best forms of applied learning I’ve seen,” says TCSI Transland CEO Walker. “It also increases public awareness of the importance and practicality of using renewable natural resources in public housing. All of us at Transland are excited about the responsibility of safely transporting the Crowder-Drury Team house to Irvine.”

Those interested in supporting the project with a gift or in-kind donation can contact Traci Sooter, associate professor of architecture, at (417) 873-7416.

The public can follow updates from the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the shelter.drury.edu.

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Area architecture featured in November exhibit at Drury on C-Street Gallery

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 4, 2014 — Exceptional architecture in the Springfield area, as recognized by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, will be featured Nov. 7 through 22  at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial St.

The exhibit is titled “Design Matters SGF” and it will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7. The reception will include live music by the Drury Jazz Combo, a cash bar and food by Café Cusco. Viewing hours at the gallery after the opening reception will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays, November 8 and 22.

Every two years the Springfield Chapter of the AIA holds a reception and design awards program to recognize exceptional architecture in the community. Promoting the role and value of exceptional architecture to the public is part of AIA Springfield’s mission. A jury of architectural professionals and a separate public jury choose the honorees.

The 2014 professional jury was headed by Carlos Jiménez, a distinguished Architect and Professor at Rice University. The public jury consisted of Nancy Chickaraishi, Drury Hammons School of Architecture;  Jonathan Gano, City of Springfield Public Works; Nick Nelson, Springfield Art Museum Director; Chris Rozier, Chamber of Commerce; Ryan Allison, Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Jason Graf, Crowdit, Inc.

A closing reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, and will feature a Creative Conversation focusing on advancing design in the Springfield area. The facilitator will be Robert Weddle, Professor and Interim Director at Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture.

The exhibition is presented by AIA Springfield, the Hammons School of Architecture and the Drury on C-Street Gallery. For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/DruryCStreet.

Photo Credit: Dewey Short Visitor Center in Branson, by Mike Hughes Architects

Photo Credit: Dewey Short Visitor Center in Branson, by Mike Hughes Architects

Media Contacts: Leah Hamilton – Director, Arts Administration program | Office: (417) 873-6359 | Email: lhamilton@drury.edu, and Bruce Adib-Yazdi, AIA – Design & Construction Manager, The Vecino Group | Cell: (417) 848-6001 | Email: bruce@vecinogroup.com 

About Drury on C-Street

The Drury on C-Street Project is an initiative by Drury University, in partnership with other local organizations, to establish a Drury Center on Commercial Street. This center includes an art gallery, a business resource center, space for weaving looms, architecture classroom, and a multi-use area for additional classes and seminars. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is a professional, student-run gallery featuring emerging and established artists. The Gallery aims to inspire and enrich the community through a diverse, quality experience; and strives to create and maintain strong local partnerships.

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Drury grad heads to Oxford for three-year research fellowship

From Nixa to Drury to Oxford, Ashley Maher is an example of how a liberal arts education can open unexpected doors.

The Nixa native graduated from Drury in 2008 with a degree in English and creative writing. But she began as architecture major. She was then able to combine her interests in architecture and literature while earning a Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation looks at the influence of modern architecture on 20th century British authors, many of which worked as contributors or editors for architectural journals. This fall she will begin a three-year Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford University.

Maher was interested in studying architecture from the time she was in the third grade, and Drury’s architecture program was one of the major reasons Maher decided to attend Drury.

AshleyMaher

“I liked math, art history, and the fine arts and my father manages a lumber and hardware store, so I had some early exposure to the building industry,” she says. “I also took a couple of drafting classes in high school. I found the architecture classes I took at Drury interesting, but I felt that a change of major might be in order when I realized my favorite part about the classes was writing the analysis papers.”

Maher appreciated how her instructors at Drury made themselves available to continue discussing topics raised in class during their office hours. Several faculty members were great sources of advice as she began her own academic career. She also had the opportunity to study abroad in the U.K. where she conducted research at the archives of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

“Studying abroad in London gave me a better understanding of British politics and culture, which fanned my interest in 20th century British literature,” Maher says. “I’m looking forward to digging into the literary archives at the British Library and other locations around the U.K. when I move to Oxford in September.”

The Oxford fellowship is extremely competitive and is typically awarded to those approaching the end of their doctoral research. Maher will use the fellowship primarily to expand her Ph.D. dissertation into a book and to start her next research project. She will teach classes as well as participate in seminars and other programs across the university.

Maher and her husband David Ruvolo, are excited to start their journey in London as newlyweds.

“As for the charm of Oxford, the university has wonderful archives and academic resources,” Maher said. “I look forward to interacting with and learning from the scholars working there who are further along in their careers than I am.”

After Maher completes her three-year Junior Research Fellowship, she hopes to find a position as an assistant professor either in the United States or London.

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Story by Colombe Iyeza, Drury marketing & communication office intern. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

 

Two architecture alumni recognized as emerging leaders by the AIA

SPRINGFIELD, MO., July 2, 2014 — The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the industry’s leading professional membership organization, has recognized two Drury University Hammons School of Architecture alumni as young leaders in the field.

Evelyn Lee and Jason Dale Pierce were among the 18 recipients of the 2014 Young Architects Award for outstanding leadership and contributions to the architecture profession. They formally received the award in front of their peers at the AIA National Convention in Chicago last week. Lee and Pierce were the only awardees from the same undergraduate university. There are more than 120 accredited architecture programs nationwide.

Shani Barel Photography

Lee, a 2002 graduate, was involved in the AIA student group while she was at Drury and feels she was well-prepared when she entered the architecture profession.

“Drury gave me a well-rounded experience for my career, which was great because I help a lot of different clients,” Lee said. “My involvement with the Drury AIAS chapter definitely contributed to my involvement later on with AIA, too.”

Lee currently works for MKThink, an architecture firm in San Francisco. Lee has also been consistently involved in volunteer leadership service throughout her career and has held elected leadership positions at the AIA on local, regional and national boards. She is the youngest person to serve on AIA National’s Executive Committee. Lee’s work has been published in multiple media outlets, and “has driven the profession in a more environmentally, economically, and socially responsible direction,” according to the AIA.

Jason Pierce

Pierce graduated from Drury in 2000 and currently works in the St. Louis office of architecture firm HOK. Pierce started a Young Architect Forum (YAF) chapter at AIA St. Louis, eventually becoming the YAF liaison for the Central States. He currently serves on the board of AIA St. Louis and is a member of the advisory group of the AIA National Practice Management Knowledge Community.

“This important national recognition for Evelyn and Jason is evidence of something we’ve known for some time: Hammons School of Architecture graduates have a talent for leadership — which often gives them advantages as they progress through their professional lives,” says Dr. Robert Weddle, interim director of the Hammons School.

Established in 1984, the Hammons School of Architecture is an accredited five-year professional degree program offering a Master of Architecture degree. The required architecture courses are integrated with the liberal arts curriculum of the university, which prepares students for a professional architectural practice within the broadest possible educational context.

VIDEO: Profiles each of the 2014 Young Architects, and presentation of awards at the AIA national conference.

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Studying abroad helps architecture grad gain global perspective

Not many 23-year-olds can say they’ve travelled the world, have a master’s degree and had multiple internships during their college career. Wil Toedtmann can. He graduated Drury this month with a degree in architecture and a minor in Design Arts and Global Studies.

The Hermann, Missouri, native became interested in architecture in high school when he would sketch buildings on his notes during class. He came to Drury for the five-year Master of Architecture program.

During those years, Toedtmann counts his travel abroad opportunities as some of his biggest learning experiences. In total, he visited seven countries, including China, Italy, Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom.

Toedtmann1

“Studying abroad was such a life changing experience and I not only learned about other cultures, but I also learned a lot about myself and what my values were,” Toedtmann says. “It really changed my whole perspective on life. I think traveling is one of the best ways to learn and it really gives you a global perspective.”

This past spring break, Toedtmann and two other Drury students traveled to China to present their fifth year urban design projects to the Suzhou Industrial Park Design & Research Institute. The projects focused on the anticipated future growth of an area west of Shanghai, and looked at redevelopment strategies addressing issues of sustainability, culture and population density.

“One of professors was actually born in Beijing, which made the trip even better because it was like having a personal tour guide,” Toedtmann says. “I was really glad he came with us because he showed us authentic Chinese cuisine, which was great!”

Aside from his study abroad travels, Toedtmann also appreciates the networking opportunities Drury has provided him. Because of a Drury connection, Toedtmann was able to spend a week in New York City working with Daniel Libeskind, one of the world’s most well-known architects. Another Drury connection helped him secure a part-time job at Casey Architecture, where he works today. He hopes to move to a large city in the future.

“I honestly feel like Drury couldn’t have done any more to better prepare me for the field of architecture,” Toedtmann says. “I am not only grateful for the degree and education I received, but more importantly, I am grateful for all the relationships that were created through my experiences and the opportunities that molded me into the person I am today.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, an English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Drury University Team Selected to Compete in 2015 Solar Decathlon

Students from across Drury University and Crowder College have been selected to compete in the 2015 Solar Decathlon against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, including Yale and Stanford and Missouri University of Science & Technology.

The race is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which announced the 20 invited collegiate teams this afternoon. The competition will take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

UPDATE: View the Crowder/Drury team’s website at shelter.drury.edu.

Drury is partnering with Crowder College in Neosho to form a team. The Department of Energy selects the teams based on an application process. The complete list of schools to compete can be found at www.solardecathlon.gov.

The teams now begin a two-year process to design and build solar-powered, highly efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation and design excellence. The teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them in the fall of 2015 at the competition site in California.

True to Drury’s commitment to the liberal arts, students from all areas of study will be able to take part in the team. The formal application was made possible through a partnership between the Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture, the Breech School of Business Administration and the Department of Communication.

“This is an interdisciplinary project,” said Traci Sooter, Director of the Design/Build Program at the Hammons School of Architecture. “It will be open to students of all majors and it’s an incredible opportunity for our students. We’re looking for leaders. We need people who will step up and be great partners in the project. There’s marketing to do, web design, writing, and more. We have lots of room on the team, and we welcome all students of diverse backgrounds.”

Crowder College, a two-year school, has twice before participated in the Solar Decathlon, and has a strong program for solar technology and innovative construction technology, Sooter says. Applicants are now required to have an accredited architecture school, and following Drury’s ongoing efforts in the rebuilding of Joplin, Mo., after the May 2011 tornado, a bond was formed between the two schools, Sooter says.

Sponsors will be needed for the project. Sooter says the community can help the Solar Decathlon team both with both financial support and in-kind support, such as donations of building materials, interior finishing and transportation of the materials to California.

Drury’s Design/Build Program designs and builds projects for communities and agencies in need. In addition to multiple projects in the Joplin area following the 2011 tornado, the program participated in four episodes of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and numerous other projects.

For more information, contact Traci Sooter, Associate Professor of Architecture, at (417) 873-7416 or (417) 234-6405.

Smart Mob builds butterfly garden in Joplin

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