The University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design
BYOF: Build Your Own Furniture projects celebrate the legacy of Victor Papanek
Basic Design Studies (BDS) and Interior Architecture (IA) students designed and fabricated furniture guided by the concepts of democratic design and sustainability found in the ideas of the late visionary industrial designer and KU professor Victor Papanek. Made of recyclable materials and inspired by designs in Papanek’s book Nomadic Furniture, the projects were showcased in the Edgar Heap of Birds Family Gallery in Chalmers Hall earlier this month.
Papanek was the J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture from 1981 until his death in 1998. Best known for his 1971 book Design for the Real World, Papanek has become a symbolic hero of 21st-century designers searching for ways to improve society and solve global issues. Viewed as an iconoclast by many of his contemporaries, the ecologically responsible and socially conscious design for which he advocated is now understood to be essential to design practice and the fate of the planet.
Remembering Professor Lou Michel
As a professor of architectural history at KU for 30 years, Lou Michel introduced hundreds of KU students to art, architecture, and historical perspectives through lectures that leveraged his unique ability to communicate scholarly expertise with quotable clarity and the thousands of photographs he captured around the world.
Michel’s legacy of educational impact at KU continued through his former colleagues and the students he mentored. After he retired from the architecture department in 2000, nearly 100 alumni and faculty members established a scholarship in his honor. In 2020, Class of 1979 architecture alumnus Scott Davies, honored his former professor with a $1 million gift commitment through the KU Endowment that established the Lou Michel Architecture Professorship in Design Theory.
Celebrating the KU Architecture & Design Alumni Awards
Last month, we were honored to welcome the 2022 class of Architecture & Design Alumni Award honorees back to campus for an evening of celebration, conversation, and connection.
Representing records of multidisciplinary innovation, industry leadership, and community advocacy, each of our 2022 Alumni Award winners exemplifies the best of what design can do and what designers can be.
Get to know the winners and see photos from the 2022 ceremony below:
Design lecturer works with KU Libraries to analyze and enhance design course
Visual Communication Design lecturer Sam Yates Meier collaborated with a team of KU librarians to redesign a history of design course and develop new opportunities for student engagement regardless of class size.
Alumni, students, and faculty awarded at AIA-Kansas conference
Excellence in Design Awards
Steve McDowell, President, CEO and Design Leader at BNIM, and ArcD Professional Advisory Board member
Digital-Analog Replication of Historic Grotesques
Amy Van de Riet, Keith Van de Riet, professors of architecture
Student Architectural Design Award
Jackson Bontty and Ashlyn Reece | Faculty: Dilshan Ossen, Jae Chang
🏅 See the complete 2023 AIA-Kansas Awards program here
PhD in Architecture graduate Doriane Meyer’s book, Bahian Recôncavo Plantations: Spaces of Power and Resistance, has been published by the University of North Carolina Press.
Doriane Meyer is a Brazilian architect, urban designer, and scholar focused on the social, political, and psychological dimensions of designed environments. Her main expertise is the analysis of the effects that African slavery left in the built environment, with an emphasis on the inequality embedded in contemporary architecture. Meyer was a postdoctoral associate at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University from 2022-2023 and is currently an assistant professor of architecture at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.
John C. Guenther was awarded the 2023 Sustainability Leadership Award from the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability.
John C. Guenther, FAIA, has produced a distinguished body of award-winning architectural projects that scale from a children’s clubhouse to the master plan of a city. As principal and partner at Mackey Mitchell Architects and in independent practice, he has established himself as a leading advocate for sustainable practice and has been instrumental in helping to end environmentally destructive practices allowed by the St. Louis County government. Guenther, a 2018 KU ArcD Distinguished Alumni Award honoree, has been recognized by the National Building Museum, and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Sarah Hirsch, associate principal at BNIM, has been named the firm’s Director of Technical Services.
Architecture department chairperson Hui Cai will be honored at Allen Fieldhouse during halftime of the KU men’s basketball game on December 5th.
Dr. Cai was selected for recognition by the KU Office of Research’s Salute to Faculty Excellence program, a partnership with KU Athletics and the Provost to recognize and reward outstanding faculty who demonstrate excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activity.
Dr. Cai’s current research focus is using a performance-driven and evidence-based design approach to analyze the relationship between culture, human behavior, and the physical environment, especially in healthcare settings and healthy communities.
Jeremy Shellhorn and Kent Spreckelmeyer were honored at KU’s inaugural University Teaching Awards.
Shellhorn with Chancellor Girod
Spreckelmeyer with Chancellor Girod
The awards event on November 7th brought together winners of all of KU's annual teaching awards. Learn more about the awards and the honorees: University Teaching Awards.
Industrial Design program director Betsy Barnhart is a finalist for the H.O.P.E. Award.
The H.O.P.E. (Honor for the Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award is the only KU award for teaching excellence bestowed exclusively by students.
Professor Barnhart’s educational practice is based on her extensive experience as an industrial design practitioner, bringing into the classroom real-world experiences, focusing on innovation and market disruption in consumer products and sporting goods through industry partnerships with companies like Stanley Black and Decker, Orvis, Zebco, and United Sports Brands.
3D modeling, digital fabrication, and handcraft come together in Guitar Fabrication Workshop
Acquiring the skills to make an electric guitar with traditional tools could take years to develop. KU Industrial Design (ID) students learn to create custom guitars in one semester by employing computer modeling and digital fabrication techniques. A functional electric guitar is the culminating project, but this studio course illuminates processes applicable to the design and manufacture of all types of products.
With the semester’s end quickly approaching, watch ArcD social media to see the completed guitars and projects from many more of our studios.
BECOME A FRIEND OF THE SCHOOL
Is there one thing you wish you knew when you were a student? Are there experiences that could have helped you navigate the transition from school to professional life?
Our Friends of the School program is a great way for alumni to enhance the educational experiences of current students. As a professional and a Jayhawk, your specific insights have the potential to make a huge impact. Through studio and portfolio reviews, career readiness and networking events, lectures and workshops, your insights can change the lives of students.
Interested? Let us know!
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