Texas Architect Jan/Feb 2007: Spaces for Learning
Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other editorial content largely written by AIA members in Texas. That collective participation was the basis of Texas Architect’s recognition by the national AIA with a 2010 Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement.
texas architect 12 1/2 2007 the Dallas program included studio reviews at the offices of host firm Good Fulton & Farrell architects. team members amy cho, richard Gilliland and Nolan Bradshaw par- ticipated in the design of a master plan for part of Deep ellum east of the downtown. dr aw in g by n ort H k eer agool NEWS l u b b o c k Recognized with one of six 2006 NCARB Prizes for excellence and innovation in bringing together architectural education and practice, Texas Tech University College of Architecture’s “Practicum + Studio” offers students the extraordinary opportunity to work side-by-side with architects in three cities. The college’s location in Lubbock (pop. 200,000) presents a challenge when address- ing the option for professional experience for the nearly 875 students admitted into the vari- ous architectural programs offered, and as the profession changes, so does the necessity for practicum experience prior to graduation. In 2001, the Practicum + Studio Program was de- veloped in Dallas as a response to this challenge and out of a commitment to the College’s mission “to educate students for future design practice and to advance knowledge of the discipline for the benefit of society.” In 2004, the program was expanded to Houston, and to El Paso in 2005. A partnership is created between participating firms and the college, whereby firms agree to meet particular standards of education within the context of the professional experience, while students work 35 hours per week in addition to participating in an active design studio inte- grating projects that impact the urban context. The program was selected for the 2006 NCARB Prize from a field of 33 entries nation- wide. Celebrating its five-year milestone, the NCARB Prize recognizes the most innovative faculty efforts to link practice and education Education Meets Practice in Tech’s ‘Practicum + Studio’ in a studio setting. The jury is composed of NCARB’s Practice Education Commit- tee and six deans (or department heads or chairs) of accredited architectural pro- grams. In announc- ing the award to Texas Tech, the board noted that “prize jurors were pleased to rec- ognize the long-term, successful way in which the university developed and sus- tained a program of integrating practice and education in response to their context.” In the spring of 2006, the Dallas Practicum graduate urban design studio integrated the old and new as it developed a master plan for an extended area of Deep Ellum seeking ways to connect to the Baylor Medical Center and Fair Park. In addition, the student teams worked to develop a recommended mixed-use for the redevelopment of the historic Dr. Pepper plant building. The studio host firm, Good Fulton & Farrell Architects, recommended the project as an opportunity for the students to learn about the urban context through a design problem that would engage the firm and its clients, E2M Partners and the Jim Lake Companies. Involvement by the profession within the context of the design studio creates an extraor- dinary learning environment for the students, as well as critical connections that bridge the profession with education. In addition, partner- ships developed through the studio projects af- ford opportunities for greater involvement with city officials and community organizations. “The students were able to peel back the layers of complexity, truly seeking solutions to factors and forces beyond the four corners of the property,” Herb Goodman of E2M Partners said in describing the students’ participation. “From this vantage point, the student teams were able to synthesize a vast amount of factors that are very ‘real world’ and will significantly impact the ultimate success or failure of this project.” Students viewed their experience as equally significant. “We were viewed as more than just students in a class, but as active participants within a complex project,” said Lauren Cortinaz. “Our teams were able to develop promising solutions to existing professional problems. Meeting with the people directly involved in decision making for the City of Dallas gave us all a better understanding of the necessary steps we, in the field of architecture, must take in order to ensure a design solution that best suits a community’s needs.” In the summer of 2004, the Houston Practi- cum + Studio began, with the faculty again addressing the challenge for establishing an innovative and valuable practicum experience. The Houston program focuses on creating a studio learning environment that is integrated with the profession, building a stronger rela- tionship with the profession and the college through collaboration, and providing a studio project to allow a unique academic experience houston’s intermodal center and Multimodal terminal was the focus of the summer semester’s program. houston team members North Keeragool, taylor currell, and crisol Negron conceived the solution for the future facility. pHoto by M a rya l ice torres - M acdo n a l d