Posts tagged with "education":

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Andrés Jaque explores how school buildings can enact experimental pedagogy

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation have released their design for the Reggio School, a pilot project of the Reggio Center for Pedagogical Research and Innovation (CIIP Reggio) in Madrid. The school’s architectural environments are designed to foster the students' dire for exploration and inquiry. It is based on the experimental teaching methods of Loris Malaguzzi and parents in the Italian city of Reggio nell’Emilia, including self-directed education that gives students the opportunity to collectively experiment. The school building itself is meant to avoid standardization, instead offering students a layered, variable environment that challenges them to make decisions and react to changing conditions. The mixture of climates, situations, and regulations is expressed in the architecture so that students can be aware of the pedagogical model they are participating in. Younger students are located on the ground floor, while intermediate students comingle with water and soil tanks for an indoor forest. A greenhouse hovers above the trees that are surrounded by a ring of classrooms around the third floor.“This distribution of uses implies an ongoing maturity process," said architects said in a statement, "that is translated into the growing capacity of students to explore the school ecosystem on their own.” A 5,000-square-foot, 26-feet high gathering space will sit on the second floor, at the base of the "forest" in the empty space around the "roots" of an inner forest. It is a “cosmopolitical agora where vegetation, water, and soil frame a changing program of a gymnasium, art classroom, conference and events hall, and gathering space for school assemblies,” according to the designers. Processes such as the services, waste management, and storage are all expressed through the architecture, creating a didactic interface for the students and provokes discussion between students, teachers, and the building. Construction is expected to complete in fall 2020.
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The Independent School for the City embraces activism as an ideology for sustainable urban development

In treating the city with an acupuncture-like approach, Rotterdam’s new Independent School for the City combines small-scale and temporary projects with activism to counteract the effects of tabula rasa planning. Strategies and solutions like ice cream trucks and radio stations exemplify the school’s broad perspective on architecture and urban design. The school recently closed its inaugural year with an exhibition of ideas from its eight-day spring program “Borders are for Crossing” which investigated the visible and invisible borders that create physical, social, and economic divisions. Traditionally, the Netherlands holds tremendous collective confidence in its representative democracy, but corporatism and privatization are slowly but surely finding ways to nest in the country. This phenomenon is most widespread in cities—neighborhoods fall, revitalize themselves, land values rebound, and gentrification and inequality follow. As the school sees it, the pattern leads to more conservatism and only expands the need for an activist attitude in architecture and urbanism. The school’s brand of urbanism is exemplified in its home, the Schieblock building, a modernist office building in the heart of the city, which is also home to the school’s founders, Dutch planning and design practices Crimson Architectural Historians and ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles). The area around the Schieblock building had been grossly neglected,  but in 2009, amid the economic crisis, ZUS initiated a renovation of the building that secured six floors of central, flexible rental spaces for creative entrepreneurs. This act—taking a stake in the city—expresses the ideology that drives the Independent School’s agenda. This attitude grows from the credo of the school: independence. Rather than be obsessed with curricula and rankings, students are meant to be free to decide what topics are relevant and important to their fields. The school wants people to oscillate between craft, skill, and fields of knowledge, and wants to reimagine how topics are or could be related. Current research topics include migration, inequality, and climate change—though the school does not assert that these topics are original, new, or surprising. ZUS is now leading a studio and seminar summer program in New York City with Syracuse University titled “Gentrification Lab NYC.” Students will investigate architecture’s role and responsibility around issues of gentrification that revolve around economic, social, and political transformations. After three weeks of field research at the Fisher Center, Syracuse’s academic home base in the city,  students from that program will join the Independent School’s Climate Utopia summer program. Learning from both the U.S. and Europe will provide insight into how people have tried to adapt to their changing local conditions and how climate change, migration, and the need for housing form the critical triptych for the 21st century. The school will continue into the 2019–2020 academic year, offering 12-week and yearlong programs, workshops, and collective assignments. Additional programming includes “School’s Out,” a Friday night celebration open to the public featuring talks, films, drinks, food, and tunes. Previous visitors include Georgeen Theodore, Peter Barber, Dore van Duivenbode, Lesley Lokko, Dirk Sijmons, and Maria Lisogorskaya.

BuildingsNY 2019

EXPERIENCE THE FULL BUILDINGS LIFECYCLE

BuildingsNY is sponsored by ABO (Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York), CHIP (Community Housing Improvement Program), The AIA, NYARM, ASHRAE LI, and a host of other industry supporters. BuildingsNY is the single source, full product life-cycle solution to safely and cost-effectively operate your buildings with a unique combination of an exhibition, no-cost accredited education, partnership opportunities, and networking events.  

WHAT WILL YOU FIND AT BUILDINGSNY

  • 5,500 + Building industry professionals
  • 300+ suppliers
  • 35,000 square feet of event space offering state-of-the-art innovation technologies, goods and services to reduce costs for your building
  • Industry leaders and subject matter experts offering the opportunity to share their extensive knowledge with new codes & industry trends
  • Free accredited education
  • MORE innovation & technology, goods and services
  • MORE State-of-the-Art product launches than ever before
Learn More

WHAT'S IN STORE FOR 2019

  • All education sessions will be moved to the show floor, creating three Learning Theaters.
  • Updated Advisory Council consisting of building professionals who shape the industry.
  • New partnerships with a wide range of media, as well as strengthening the relationships with current supporters.
  • Back by popular demand! Tech Tank Pavilion will feature new buildings technologies. Source the next big product or service that can revolutionize building operations as we know it.
  • Unlimited access to the complimentary Lead Retrieval App, which allows you to easily collect, qualify & download the contact details of the customers you meet at BuildingsNY.
  • Education Sessions for 2019 will focus on profitability, compliance and managerial excellence. You'll leave with a fresh perspective on how to solve problems, increase efficiencies, unlock saving and keep your buildings at their peak.
  • Attorney Advice Center: Powered by NYARM – During 15-minute intervals, attorneys and attendees will meet one-on-one focusing on important areas of practice (April 2 and April 3, 2019 | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.| Located at Booth #231
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University of Miami School of Architecture completes its new concrete studio

The University of Miami School of Architecture has added a concrete home for design research and collaboration to the institution’s Coral Gables campus. Designed by Arquitectonica, the 20,000-square-foot Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio features a new digital fabrication lab and ample collaborative space. It’s the first construction completed on the site in the past decade. The project broke ground in October 2015 and opened to students this fall semester. Located on the edge of the campus, the stark structure stands out among a swath of palm trees and nearby boxy buildings. Though it may look dramatic, its design centers on a simple geometry, according to Arquitectonica principal Raymond Fort. It’s a single, oversized shed featuring two main materials and a southern sloping edge that blocks harsh sunlight while aligning the building with Southern Florida’s modernist architectural style. “Even though the forms appear to be expressive, we wanted to keep it as simple as we could with the components of the architecture visible,” he said. “The 25-foot cantilever curves at the bottom to address the portico of the nearby Perez Architecture Center, designed by Leon Krier, which is the center of the architecture campus.” From the exterior, Arquitectonica’s dynamic design studio looks sleek and shaded. But inside, loads of daylight seep into the structure through glass window walls, and an exposed ceiling showcasing the building’s mechanical elements gives away its structure. The open plan studio is designed around a 25-foot square module that allows up to 120 students to rearrange workstations as they see fit. For private meetings, juried critiques, and seminars, students can utilize scattered cubes with glass walls or curtains running through the center of the nave-like space.  Showing off the structure’s core through a transparent layout was a deliberate design decision—one that was lauded by both the students and the university administration. Previously, students were confined to cramped studio space within the old, Marion Manly–designed buildings, which were originally built to house returning veterans from World War II. Arquitectonica envisioned a modern and industrial open plan for the Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio to directly fix the spatial constraints architecture students faced within the old facilities. While each of the school’s buildings features one-of-a-kind designs, none brought together studio space under a single roof. “It complements the school’s constellation of buildings that constitute a campus-within-the-campus,” said Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury in a statement. “The vast studio space designed to enhance co-creation and the digital fabrication lab, among several other features, are welcome additions to our beloved historic and award-winning facilities.” Not only was the structure designed to elevate the students’ daily experience, it was built to serve as a teaching tool by showcasing the basics of modern design, construction, and sustainability. It can operate during the day without any artificial light thanks to the 18-foot-high hurricane resistant glass panels and remain cool at night due to the large envelope of thin concrete covering the interior. These materials ensure the project will remain durable for years to come. An official dedication ceremony for the Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio, named after the late father of Coastal Construction CEO and President Tom Murphy, Jr., will be held on November 29.
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Dutch activists launch new school for urbanism and migration

A new school in Rotterdam will teach students to think critically about the links between urbanism and migration. Announced last month, the Independent School for the City will offer post-graduate students the chance to "celebrate complexity and contradiction in cities, and defend it against the forces that are making everything the same," according to Michelle Provoost, co-founder of Crimson Architectural Historians which is spearheading the new educational outlet. The school is a joint-venture between Crimson Architectural Historians, Dutch-based activist-architects Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS), and DeDependance, a platform for city culture and debate in Rotterdam. Its pedagogy draws from Crimson’s and ZUS’s critical, activist approach to the city that seeks to effect real change by blurring the lines between critique and practice, as well as research and policy, and by initiating incremental change rather than large-scale city planning projects. The school builds on the belief that architectural, economic, spatial, and social strategies for the city should be based on real, first-hand empirical research into the city. Research methods will include filmmaking, journalism, history, art, graphic design, gaming, fieldwork, traveling, planning, finance, and architecture. The school will be located in Rotterdam but will be connected to an international network of cities, schools, offices, and companies. Initial course offerings include a series of masterclasses with professionals from various fields such as architect and exhibition designers Herman Kossman, urban sociologist Arnold Reijndorp, as well as designers Edith Gruson, and Gerard Hadders. Students will also learn from architect-filmmaker Jord Den Hollander and leaders from DeDependance. The first year’s topic of investigation will be migration, a subject that builds on the ongoing Crimson project City of Comings and Goings. After an initial three-month period of skill-development, the students will spend a semester abroad, expanding their research and testing their strategies in Shenzhen, Ghana, or Kiev. On their return, they will present their research in designs, strategies, or stories. The school will collaborate with CANactions in Ukraine, the Strelka Institute in Moscow, as well as ZUS and Syracuse University in New York. Special lecturers include Olly WainrightUrban Think Tank's Alfredo BrillembourgAssemble's Maria LisogorskayaPeter Barber, and Ghanaian architect/novelist Lesley Lokko.
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Moskow Linn Architects transforms a Vermont farm into an architecture school

Every summer from 2011 to 2017, Keith Moskow and Robert Linn of Boston-based Moskow Linn Architects brought a group of seven-to-ten architecture students to Constable Farm, a 117-acre plot in the small riverside town of Norwich, Vermont, in order to build a new structure in just a week. The project was part of an intensive design-build studio they called Studio North. Partner Keith Moskow said that for him, the project was a chance for the class to “get out of the office and get dirty building.” He went on to say, “For many students this was their first time holding a hammer, even though in studios, they might be designing very large buildings.” Architectural education focuses on the theories and studio practice of design, use, implementation, restoration, and other principles of the field, but rarely does it engage with what it is actually like to build the buildings that students design. One of the interesting—and perhaps risky—aspects of the project was the lack of preplanning. Unlike the typical architecture project, builders have to “make decisions along the way” in a more old-school fashion. The building process itself was the design process. The Vermont projects were built from a standard kit of parts—2-by-4 planks, metal fasteners, fiberglass sheets, and timber collected on-site. However, each structure was surprisingly different, showing the wide range of projects made possible from relatively simple means. When discussing the challenges and specificities of building in rural areas, Moskow noted that “the challenges aren’t different [from building in suburban or urban locales]; it’s about trying to adapt your structure to the specific environment it’s in.” While building on this Vermont property may have run its course—lest these structures overrun it—Moskow and Linn hope that this isn’t the end of the project or working with students, both of which they deeply enjoy. Plans are in the works for the next iteration of Studio North to get started soon. Chicken Chapel The inaugural 2011 project was the Chicken Chapel, a translucent fiberglass-wrapped chicken coop with maple sapling branches as cladding and an elegant, elliptical nesting box within. Rolling Pig Pen Students built a mobile pig pen with an expressive winged roof in the project's second year. The rolling construction of the pen allows it to move across the property, permitting the cultivation and fertilization of different areas by the pigs, a very natural and old-school solution to farming and growing. Birch Pavilion A birch pavilion was built in 2013, the program’s third year. The minimal structure is composed of a platform with walls of spaced birch trees, harvested on-site. The pavilion is set on a hill in the midst of a birch forest, offering expansive views of the surrounding landscape, including nearby Mount Ascutney. It has been used for family gatherings, memorial services, and even the occasional yoga class. Sugar Shack Participants constructed a self-cannibalizing sugar shack of sorts in 2014. The shack’s walls were built out of logs from timber felled on the property, which can be re-used as kindling and replaced with newly cut logs. Woodland Retreat Moskow, Linn, and the students built a woodland retreat in 2015, a tripartite structure for “glamping.” There are two timber structures with fiberglass steeples. One is a multilevel sleeping structure, and the other is an open-air space with a specially constructed table and chairs. In between is a gathering area with a deck, firepit, and bench. Viewing Structure The group built one of their more visually audacious projects—a finned viewing structure—in 2016. The structure is essentially an inhabitable trailer-mounted camera, with a pinhole on one side and a more open space that serves as the entryway on the other. The spines of the structure were partly a happy accident of the design-build process. Initial strapping that was meant to come down was so striking that, rather than remove it, the Studio North participants opted to repeat it across the structure for visual effect. Mobile Sauna The last project, completed in 2017, was a mobile sauna comprising two rooms: one a cedar box with a wood-fired boiler, the other a translucent fiberglass-wrapped cool-down space. The sauna is putting its wheels to use, roaming from location to location and providing much-needed relaxation.
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Yale is set to renovate the landmark Peabody Museum of Natural History

Yale University is slated to renovate and expand one of its oldest campus institutions, the Peabody Museum of Natural History on Science Hill. Thanks in part to a just-announced $160-million donation from philanthropist and Yale alumnus Edward P. Bass, the project will be the first major update the landmark museum has received in 93 years. The master plan, conceived by Centerbrook Architects and Planners, marks one of the boldest and most thoughtful endeavors the university has taken on in recent years. After well over a decade of planning, the project will yield 50 percent more exhibition space for the museum and improve storage for its on-site collection of over 13 million artifacts. It will also include the addition of a new, four-story infill structure that will connect the neighboring Environmental Science Center. The sky-lit, glass-enclosed connector will give students seamless access into the museum, where Centerbrook will create more modern spaces for research and study. One of Yale’s main goals for the addition, said Centerbrook’s principal Mark Simon, was to complement the timeless architecture of the original Peabody building, a three-story, French Gothic Revival, sandstone structure by renowned campus architect Charles Klauder. Using fritted glass and bronze-colored aluminum framing, the cathedral-like tower will bring a contemporary edge to the aged institution. “The Peabody community wanted to maintain a family resemblance or identity throughout the new and old structures,” said Simon. “It’s always tricky to do something that’s up-to-date but connects well with the historic fabric, but we’re all very pleased with this design.” The building out of the glass tower will be done in the initial phases of construction, Simon said. After that, the renovation of the museum’s existing spaces can begin. So far, a timeline for construction hasn’t been announced as Yale is currently strategizing on how to safely remove portions of the Peabody’s collection to a facility on its West Campus. Both the museum, as well as the other science buildings being updated during the project, will remain open throughout construction to students, faculty, and the 130,000 visitors—which includes 25,000 regional school children—who visit the Peabody each year. Other elements of the master plan include creating new classrooms, labs, and learning spaces for collections-based teaching and scientific exploration. The museum, founded in 1866, has been home to some of the most important discoveries in history and Yale hopes the renovation will help carry on the Peabody’s legacy of advancement in the industry. “As one of Yale’s greatest resources, this museum will provide hands-on learning for students across various undergraduate programs,” said Simon, “and allow them to engage in the processes of the museum itself from research and restoration, to designing exhibits and presenting their work in the galleries.” Centerbrook is one of Yale’s long-time partners. The local firm has completed 12 projects for the university from Kroon Hall, which they designed in collaboration with Hopkins Architects, to the Child Study Center, the renovated and expanded Reese Stadium—home of the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse programs—as well as an addition to the historic Yale Bowl. While Simon has worked extensively on many of these buildings, the Peabody renovation is a game-changer for the firm. “We are over the moon that this is finally coming to fruition,” he said. “Each year we spend on it, it seems more and more important to do. It’s more than just another university museum upgrade. You get a sense that this project will not only have a major impact on education at Yale, but on the world at large.”
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AN picks the best of the fall's East Coast architecture school lectures

With summer coming to a close, it’s back to school for many architecture students. The start of the semester also marks the beginning of the fall lecture circuit, a highlight of architectural education in the U.S. and a chance for young designers to learn from the field's most influential people. This season's crop yields an array of thinkers and designers from a variety of fields, from cinematography to tech, and tackles questions about how architecture and architects can take on the challenges of today's turbulent political climate. Traditional bold-faced names are often eschewed in favor of younger provocative talents reshaping the profession. But lectures aren't only for academics. Many are free and open to the public, so we’re surveying the schedules of several schools on the East Coast and hand selecting certain events you won’t want to miss—even if your student days are long gone. Put these nights on your calendars now before the season ends.   Yale University YSOA Anab Jain, co-founder and director of Superflux "Other Worlds Are Possible" Thursday, September 6 Georgeen Theodore and Tobias Armborst, Interboro Partners "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!" Thursday, September 20 Omar Gandhi "Defining a Process" Thursday, September 27 Columbia University GSAAP Evan Sharp, co-founder of Pinterest Friday, September 7 Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, co-founders of Neri&Hu Monday, October 8 Elizabeth Timme and Helen Leung, co-founders of LA-Más November 8 Cornell University AAP Virginia San Fratello: Printing Architecture Wednesday, September 26 Eyal Weizman: Forensic Architecture: Counter Investigations Wednesday, October 10 Dorte Mandrup: Conditions Wednesday, November 7 University of Pennsylvania School of Design Designing the Political Landscape: Activism + Design in the Trump Era Thursday, August 30 Jennifer Newsom & Tom Carruthers, Dream the Combine Wednesday, September 12 Donna Graves: Learning from LGBTQ Places: Thoughts on Heritage and Preservation Tuesday, September 25 Harvard University GSD Hannah Beachler, Black Panther production designer, with Jacqueline Stewart Thursday, October 4 Christopher Hawthorne, L.A. Chief Design Officer Tuesday, October 9 Sou Fujimoto Wednesday, October 11 A few universities haven’t publicly posted their fall lecture series yet so stay tuned as we update this page. Also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Architect’s Newspaper in print for our September calendar of events and lectures to check out throughout the country.
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Dichroic glass turns a curtainwall into a shimmering veil

Portland-based studio OFFICE 52 Architecture designed the new 109,000-square-foot interdisciplinary Nano-Bio-Energy Technologies Building at Carnegie Mellon University with a glass facade that plays with form, texture, and color. The skin that lines the north wing of the Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall features a range of vibrant materials: dichroic glass, clear and frosted glass layers, and a micro-thin layer of metal oxide created by a process that echoes the nanotechnology work taking place in the facility. “It all has to do with photons, which is essentially light. We wanted to give the building a timeless quality in terms of the custom nanotechnology-inspired frit motif juxtaposed by the dichroic glass,” said Michelle LaFoe, principal of OFFICE 52.

In effect, Scott Hall’s curtain wall creates spaces that glow with light that has passed through the glass layers and has diffused into a plethora of colors—from warm amber to cool grape to saturated cyan, depending on the wavelength of the light beam. Lending the building an aura of luminance, a rainbow of color changes transpires throughout the day according to the angle the sun moves through the glass. These qualities are created by Schott AG fins—vertical in Narima Orange and horizontal in Narima Blue|Gold. Both are laminated between Vitro Starphire low-iron glass using DuPont’s SentryGlas laminate, a clever combination paired with a custom frit that allows birds (who naturally have a tetrachromatic visual system with a heightened color perception) to see the color in the dichroic glass. Together, the dichroic fin colors and the ceramic glass frit’s printed pattern with a custom subtle gray is what the birds see, ultimately functioning as a safety feature.

The structure is one of the first research-grade clean facilities in the country to be certified LEED Gold, a feat that both partners attribute to the collaborating engineers and fabricators: “Innovation was most easily achieved when we worked together to fabricate custom fins. Collaborating with the engineers (Arup) and the dichroic glass manufacturer (Schott AG) is an example of collaboration to get the best use of the best products,” said Isaac Campbell, principal at OFFICE 52.

Design Architect: OFFICE 52 Architecture

Location: Pittsburgh

Architect of Record: Stantec

Structural/MEP: Arup

LEED Consultant: evolveEA

Curtain Wall Glass Manufacturer: Viracon

Curtain Wall: United Architectural Metals

Dichroic glass fins:  Schott AG

Fabricator: Triview Glass

Installer: D-M Products, Inc.

Insulated glass units fabricator and manufacturer:  Viracon

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Here are some scholarships and resources for women in architecture

It's no secret that architecture has a diversity problem. Though roughly half of architecture grads are women, women make up only 14 percent of those employed in the architecture and engineering occupations, according to a 2016 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (and those in the field still average salaries that are 20 percent less than their male counterparts). While some things are changing as the industry opens its eyes to the wide variety of professionals in the design industries, it's undeniable that still more needs to be done. In celebration of International Women's Day, we've rounded up a list of resources to help support and connect women in architecture, design, and related fields. Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation Founded in 2002 by famed architect Beverly Willis, this organization seeks to increase awareness of women architects throughout history with projects like the Pioneering Women of American Architecture website, while also fostering the next generation of industry voices through initiatives like the Emerging Leaders Program and the Built By Women event series. National Organization of Minority Architects NOMA works to promote diversity in all aspects of the design professions, through community engagement and professional development, with the goal of minimizing the effects of racism in the field. Check with local chapters for opportunities geared toward women minorities in the design professions, including networking meet-ups and lecture series. ArchiteXX This independent, unaffiliated organization for women in architecture, composed of academics and practitioners, seeks to transform the architecture profession by "bridging the academy and practice." Every month, ArchiteXX sends out a list of resources and opportunities specifically of interest to women in academia and practice. Those interested can sign up through their website. Architects Foundation The Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship, which was named in honor late founder of the firm Payette and founder of the AIA's Women's Leadership Summit, is an annual $10,000 award for a woman entering their third year of undergraduate study or beyond. In addition, each recipient is paired with a senior-level mentor from Payette, to help her grow her professional network. AIA While many local AIA chapters offer their own resources for women, the nationwide, Women's Leadership Summit has grown from a grassroots movement to a national phenomenon as the biannual program prepares to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with the 2019 edition. American Planning Association Foundation The American Planning Association Foundation's Judith McManus Price Scholarship offers awards to women, African American, Hispanic, and Native American students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program approved by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), with plans to work in the public sector and demonstrated financial need. Scholarships range from $2,000 and $5,000, and application forms will be available in early April for 2018 applications. Association for Women in Architecture + Design AWA+D is a group dedicated to promoting the education and careers of women in the fields of architecture and design. They offer a variety of resources, including foundation offering a fellowship program that grants a women with 10-plus years design experience in Southern California the funding to produce a significant work of publishing or research. National Organization of Women in Construction Each year, the professional organization awards some $25,000 in scholarships (ranging from $500 to $2,500) for undergraduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA in construction-related fields. Houzz Scholarship Program The online design community offers twice-yearly student awards, including the Women in Architecture Scholarship. The $2,500 prize is open to female students studying architecture or architectural engineering with the goal of working in the residential sphere. American Association of University Women With roots dating back to 1881, the AAUW offers a variety of programs promoting education and equity for women and girls. The Selected Professions Fellowships offers grants for those pursuing fields where women's participation has historically been low, including architecture and engineering. What are your favorite resources for women in architecture? Spread the word in the comments. And there's still time to have your voice heard in the AIA 2018 Equity in Design Survey. The online survey closes March 16.
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UT Austin hires experts on border communities and environmental justice

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSoA) has announced two new teaching hires as part of the school's ongoing Race and Gender in the Built Environment Initiative. Edna Ledesma has joined as a teaching fellow for the next academic year and Miriam Solis will begin a tenure-track position in the Fall of 2018. This announcement comes on the heels of the university naming Michelle Addington as dean of the school earlier this year, though the initiative pre-dates her tenure at the school. UTSoA is a leader among architecture schools when it comes to diversity, having originated several internal commissions and programs as far back as 2008 to address the growing calls for equitable representation in academia. The school in recent years has announced new academic tracks in Latin American Architecture and expanded the offerings of its Community and Regional Planning program, one of the most robust programs of its kind. In many cases, it is not simply a matter of who the school is hiring, but also what research those scholars bring into the fold and how they contribute to a heterogenous learning environment. Ledesma, who holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Science from Texas A&M University and has two previous graduate degrees in design, focuses on issues related to border communities and the cultural landscape of immigrant populations in Texas. Ledesma’s research formally began in 2013 when she organized a series of design engagements called “dialogos” in the South Texas city of Brownsville. Her work seeks to bridge the gap between communities and city governments to help define the design agency of traditionally under-represented groups. Ledesma noted that she was drawn to this fellowship because of UTSoA’s distinct interdisciplinary approach to design and research, which often allows for cross-pollination among the school's academic programs. Solis will enter her professorship next year with a PhD in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley after completing a Switzer Fellowship for her work in environmental planning. Her research focuses on social and environmental justice related to the development of urban infrastructures, an area of research that she has contributed to through her years of experience in California. One of Solis’ ongoing projects concerns the equitable redevelopment of San Francisco’s wastewater system which has historically negatively impacted African American communities.
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Tezuka Architects wins 2017 Moriyama RAIC International Prize

At Fuji Kindergarten, designed by Tezuka Architects, children enter an oval-shaped building with an open-air rooftop playground, with trees entering into classrooms and virtually no division between play and learning spaces, between the indoor or outdoors. On Tuesday, the firm was awarded the Moriyama RAIC International Prize for this project in a ceremony held in Toronto. The Moriyama RAIC International Prize recognizes one architect, team of architects, or architect-led collaboration for a single work of architecture that is deemed as a transformative and inspirational contribution to society, and comes with a monetary prize of $100,000. The work must embrace humanistic values of social justice, respect, equality and inclusiveness within the community.   Tezuka Architects, a husband-and-wife practice based out of Tokyo, Japan have been previously recognized for their people-centered designs. The firm was chosen from a shortlist including BIG, John Wardle Architects and NADAAA, and Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. 

Located in the suburbs of Tokyo, Fuji Kindergarten is a single-story oval-shaped building 183 meters in circumference, with the roof serving as a playground. Three enormous trees were incorporated into the building, soaring through the classrooms and up to the roof, encouraging children to climb, with protective nets installed to catch them. A network of staircases, slides and skylights joins the two levels, making the roof accessible and inviting. Designed for 600 students, the building encourages community and social interaction. The interior classrooms are interconnected, partitioned only with movable furniture. Noise flows freely through the school, outside to inside, challenging the norm of quiet learning spaces so common in kindergartens (a condition which often makes children nervous and uncomfortable). Throughout most of the year, all the sliding doors are open, harmonizing the outdoor and indoor, a common theme in Tezuka Architects' work.