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College of Architecture, Planning and Design

APDesign Newsletter 8.22.11


Greetings from the Dean’s Office, in anticipation of your return to your Seaton home!

First of all, I hope the summer was restful, productive and rewarding. As a student of architecture, after a summer layoff from school, which most often included work in an office punctuated by heavy recreation, I was anxious to return to the fold of studio, to be surrounded by friends and challenged by professors. In a strange way, I found myself yearning to be challenged again as only professors truly can do. As a faculty member, I experience a similar emotion. Students are the reason we teach. They challenge us and enliven us through their ideas, freshness, drive, and desire to eclipse us. Please be assured that the administration and staff of the College are excited for your return as well!

This has been a very active summer in Seaton Hall. In addition to the normative offerings of summer classes and studios, we have engaged in numerous projects aimed at making Seaton a better place to work, teach, research, and study. First off, part of the Seaton basement has been prepared as a studio through the efforts of Assistant Professor Sam Zeller’s intersession class and completed by student workers working with Lance Klein. After years of lying fallow due to fire code restrictions this space, Studio 61, will finally be utilized for faculty and student activities. The remainder of the space, all of which has been used as storage for years, will be prepared for assigned uses in the coming months as time and resources allow, including more overflow space for the first year and a combined plot area for students from all of our departments. An added bonus is that the basement area is now connected by a hall to the stairway near the southeast entry off of Bosco Student Plaza.

Several offices have been relocated in an effort to better serve students and faculty. Please note that Lisa Last and Linda Rice are now in the new home of the Office of Student Services, Seaton 213. Seaton 212D now houses the Communications and Events Coordinator for the College, as well as the APDesign Store. In addition, the Budget and Fiscal Office is now located in Seaton 214. Please see the departmental offices for the location of faculty offices, as there have been several changes associated with retirement, promotions, and recent hires.

We welcome Professor Katherine Ankerson as the Head of the Department of Interior Architecture & Product Design, identified through an extensive national search conducted last year. Kathy has been in the office since July. I am sure you will find her a wonderful academic leader and design advocate as all of us have in her brief time here. In addition, Associate Professor Matt Knox began serving as Interim Head of the Department of Architecture on July 1, replacing Professor Peter Magyar at the helm while a national search is conducted. Matt’s knowledge of the department’s strengths will help in its continued transformation, building on the recent successful accreditation for a full six-year term!

We have new faculty in each department, including visitors and tenure track hires identified through extensive national searches. These hires were made possible in part by the recently implemented student fee across campus. In Architecture, we welcome Assistant Professor Michael Gibson this fall, and in the spring Assistant Professor John Neary. Adam Pfeifer is returning to teach in the structures sequence this year as well. Chris Fein returns as a Visiting Assistant Professor to teach fifth-year studio and programming. In Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning we welcome Dr. Anne Beamish, Assistant Professor; Assistant Professor Alpa Nawre; Dr. Judith Major, Professor; and Visiting Assistant Professor Gary Stith. Josh Cheek returns as an instructor in the department as well.  In Interior Architecture & Product Design, we welcome Assistant Professor David Richter-O’Connell. Will Yankey returns as a Visiting Assistant Professor, while Dean Emeritus Dennis Law returns to teach in the department. Please make an effort to meet and welcome our new faculty members in all departments.

We are fortunate to be joined by numerous new administrative personnel this year. Hopefully you have already met Lisa Shubert, Administrative Assistant in the Dean’s Office and Emily Vietti, our Communications and Events Coordinator, both of whom joined us in the spring. They are joined by Sharon Hartwich, Budget and Fiscal Officer for APDesign who began in late May, and Kari Lindeen, Senior Administrative Assistant in the Department of Architecture, who joined us this summer. Finally, Dede Brokesh joins the Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning as a professional landscape architect, providing faculty support for the department.

Significant purchases have been made the last year and a half aimed at bringing our technologies of production and research to a level expected of our renowned programs. Hopefully you are aware of the equipment additions to the shops in the College including a mobile heliodon, an additional laser cutter, metal working equipment such as welders, plasma cutters, sheet metal working devices and milling machines, numerous high-end hand tools and model making equipment, and a sand-blasting cabinet. These will soon be joined by the very significant addition of a state-of-the-art 5’ x 10’ working area CNC router due to arrive in the next couple of weeks! We will acquire additional production and research equipment in the coming year as we continue to build a foundation of advanced fabrication and digital production technologies in line with our design-research activities. Please know that these purchases were funded by student fees and the significant support of our friends and alumni.

In line with our advances on the equipment front, I am very pleased to announce that President Kirk Schulz and Provost April Mason have provided funding for the implementation of the APDesign Design/Build Initiative. This funding, and the commitment of Vice President of Finance and Administration Bruce Shubert to replace the condemned spaces of Seaton Court, sets the table for us to establish a sustained world-class design/build program in the College, working from our past successes in this arena. The faculty and administration of the College will be working this year to structure our efforts in alignment with resources and our curricula. I know we all look forward to getting this underway!

Finally, in spite of the economic woes of our country, and the uncertainty residing in the design industry, we received record financial support in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design this year. Through our efforts, shepherded by our Director of Development Bruce Broce, we raised over $1.5 million this year. These monies fund scholarships, studio travel, equipment purchases, faculty-led initiatives, research, and progress toward a campaign for the revitalization of our Seaton complex. On top of this direct financial support, our alumni and friends donated thousands of hours and other in-kind support to the betterment of our programs. As you encounter our alumni this year, either here or away, be sure to thank them for their commitment to our College.

Please know that I am proud of the ongoing accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. These cumulative achievements are the underpinning of our storied reputation of excellence and are testaments to the power of design thinking!

Again, welcome back!




Computer and Networking Services and their new Audio Visual Resource Center would like to announce a few new items that are available for checkout at the beginning of the fall semester, along with all the other equipment that was available through the Krider Center. We recently purchased a new Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera with 13 megapixels for use by faculty and students. Along with this, we have purchased a remote timer for the purpose of being able to do time-lapse videos. We also have purchased a small portable photography studio, perfect for photographing small architectural models and product design prototypes, which will also be available for checkout. Please let your students know that this is available to them. See CNS website for instructions and info on checkout. 


Faculty and staff, please don’t forget the Welcome Back Celebration at 6 p.m. this Thursday, August 25, at the Lazy T Ranch. For more information, contact Lisa Shubert. 


All Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning students will spend the first few days of the fall semester drawing up creative ways to produce food on the Kansas State University campus. The students are participating in Design Days 2011: onelunch on August 22-24.

Design Days, now in its third year, was created to bring together students from the Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning department in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design to use their skills and creativity to address current planning and design issues in a collaborative effort.

The task will be an interdisciplinary one, as students from the Urban Agriculture class also will participate. Rhonda Janke, associate professor of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, will advise the students in cooperation with the Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning faculty.

“We want to bring to light timely issues that students might face in their professional careers,” said Jeremy Merrill, graduate student in Environmental Design and Planning. “Design Days also promotes team building, gives students an additional opportunity to design, and is a great introduction to the culture of design for our new, incoming students.”

First the students will determine if it is possible to grow enough food to feed everyone on campus a single meal. Then they will break into teams to explore at how that food production could be accomplished on the K-State campus. Teams of students will design plans for specific areas of campus. 

“The groups will have limited resources, such as water or money, and we want to work within the parameters of the Campus Master Plan,” Merrill said. “We want each group to design a realistic plan that potentially could be implemented in the future.”

The students’ work will be exhibited on the first floor of the east wing of Seaton Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, August 24. The exhibition is free and the public is welcome to attend. 


Dr. Anne Beamish, Assistant Professor, joins us from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was the Creative Director of ArchNet and Lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She is the author of the Stanford Press book Learning from Work: Designing Organizations for Learning and Communication. Anne’s scholarship is focused on the history of urban technology and infrastructure, social and spatial aspects of technology and the design of online environments for collaboration, learning and communication. She will co-teach Research Methods this Fall and assist in developing Professional Internship possibilities for Regional and Community Planning students.

Assistant Professor Alpa Nawre is joining our department after completing her Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design degree. Alpa is a licensed architect in India and a LEED Accredited Professional who has practiced with AECOM in Abu Dhabi, MESA Design Group in Dallas and Shaheer Associates in New Delhi. Her scholarship is focused on the intersection of landscape architecture and urban design in the Asia. This fall she will assist multiple design studios to integrate digital media in design studies.

Dr. Judith Major comes to the LA/RCP department as a full Professor from the University of Kansas where she was a tenured faculty member. Her scholarship includes the MIT Press book To Live in the New World: A.J. Downing  and American Landscape Gardening. Judith is completing a second text, The Evolution of a Landscape Critic: Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer. She will teach an Environmental Design Studies fall studio and co-teach Landscape Architecture History.

Assistant Professor Gary Stith will continue his appointment in the department, teaching Urban Design and Preservation Theory. Gary most recently served as the Deputy Director of the Department of General Services for Planning and Development in Montgomery County, Maryland. He managed the $400 million redevelopment of downtown Silver Spring, Maryland that resulted in $1.2 billion in public and private investment.

Josh Cheek will continue his role as an instructor in the department, teaching a EDS I studio and assisting with Design Implementation. Josh most recently practiced with 40North in Kansas City. He is designed and installed MATLAB, a materials library for landscape architecture students. 

Dea (Dede) Brokesh, landscape architect, joins the LA/RCP Department staff to provide faculty support. A licensed landscape architect, a LEED Accredited Professional and an Accredited Green Roof Professional, Dede has extensive experience with stormwater best management practices.

Assistant Professor Michael Gibson is joining the Architecture Department from Ball State University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Miami University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Michael is LEED AP and has extensive professional experience. He will be teaching ADS 5 in the fall and will be teaching Environmental Systems in Architecture 2 in the spring. His research focuses on technology and environmental design including prefabricated construction strategies.

Adam Pfeifer returns as an instructor in the Department of Architecture to teach Structural Systems in Architecture 3 and 4. Adam holds a M ARCH from Kansas State University with practice experience in Kansas City, Hays, and Las Vegas.

David Richter-O’Connell joins the Department of Interior Architecture and Product Design after completing an M.F.A. in Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison.  David has years of experience as an industrial designer for Kohler Company, in the Plumbing Group, the Kitchen Cabinetry group as well as in Advanced Concept Development for the company. He will co-teach product design as well as the ENVD studio.  David’s scholarship is centered on the history of human behavior and socio-cultural, architectural and technological evolution as it relates to the design of homes, specific rooms, housewares, and built environments.

Will Yankey joins the Department of Interior Architecture and Product Design faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the year.  A 2007 IAPD graduate, Will gained professional experience with M2 Studio, Inc. in Dallas, Texas, an architectural visualization firm that creates high-end, photo-realistic images of planned and existing architectural projects, where he was a project manager and 3D artist. Will has been LEED-NC certified since 2009. He will co-teach design studio and will teach the Microcomputers course.

Chris Fein returns as a Visiting Assistant Professor to teach fifth-year studio and programming. Chris comes to us from practice in Chicago and Kansas City. He is also an alumnus of our College and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.  


We have some spaces in APDesign that are available for studio crits, seminars, class discussions, etc. In Seaton Court we have SC212 (which can be scheduled through the Dean’s Office); and in Seaton there is S104 (scheduled through the Dean’s Office), S305 (scheduled through the LA/RCP office); and as soon as we get the ‘old’ overflow space cleaned out in the basement, S001 will be available to use (scheduled through the Dean’s Office.) S011 now has Homasote on the south wall so it can be used for pin-ups. SC212, S305, and S104 all have laptops and projectors. If one is needed in S001, a COW would need to be checked out from CNS. 


Are you aware that Weigel Library has a Web page? It is http://www.lib.k-state.edu/branches/arch/.

Here is a quick tour:

HOURS — shows up-to-date hours of operation for Weigel seven days a week.

NEW BOOKS — is a title listing of recent Weigel acquisitions. The link, “Click here for more titles,” will enable you to subscribe to this listing and others through RSS feeds providing new K-State Libraries’ titles every week.

DATABASES — is your portal to all the databases available through K-State Libraries.

SUBJECT GUIDES — will be replaced with LibGuides. Watch for that change.

STACKS GUIDE — provides way-finding assistance in Weigel.

Results of the LibQual survey taken in spring 2011 indicated an area needing major improvement for K-State Libraries as a whole was offering “a library website enabling me to locate information on my own.”

Weigel’s staff recognizes that need, has placed it high on our to-do list and is excited about the challenge to provide you with easily accessible and useful information. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.


Professor Susanne Siepl-Coates recently completed the Kansas Health Foundation Fellows program. Offered through the Wichita-based Kansas Leadership Center, the program aims to further leadership skills and training to create positive change in Kansas organizations and communities. Now in its seventh year, the goal of this year’s Fellows program was specifically targeted to affect change in the area of healthy community design.


Please join Professor Jani and the Dean’s Office for an informational meeting regarding the U.S.-Indian Institutional Partnership Grant. The program’s goals are to encourage mutual understanding, facilitate reform, foster economic development, and engage civil society through academic cooperation with Indian post-secondary educational institutions. The due date for the submission of the $250,000 three-year grant is Oct. 15, 2011.

The meeting will be in Seaton 204 at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, August 25. If you think you may be interested, please join us. Our hope is to find other interested faculty to participate in the grant.