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Department of Architecture

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Our students and faculty are actively engaged in a wide range of endeavors that seek new knowledge, solve problems in new ways, increase building performance, or work on creative projects that pursue excellence in design, art and craft.

Service Learning Projects

The Department of Architecture at Kansas State University lends support and encouragement to service learning project opportunities through the Master of Architecture program. Students are able to form professional and personal relationships with the communities they work with through these ventures. The department strives to seek out service learning projects in efforts to lend a hand in communities where it is needed, while still granting students a one of a kind educational experience.

Professor Gary Coates

  • Sustainable Manhattan 2050, Manhattan, Kansas (spring 2011)
  • Flint Hills Technical College projects (2010-2011)
    • Net-zero school in Emporia
    • Jones Center Organic and Edible Landscape
    • Abiquiu Inn, Abiquiu, New Mexico (fall 2012)

Assistant Professor Michael Gibson

  • Wooden screen project at the Falling Water in Pennsylvania organized through Miami University (summer 2012)
  • Pavilion at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center in Topeka (summer 2012)

 Associate Professor Nathan Howe

  • FluidSCAPE international competition winner for Seger Park's water spray feature Philadelphia, PA  (2012-present)
  • SpiderLace exhibited in the Powerhouse Museum of Science and Design, Sydney, Australia (fall 2011-13)
  • Lotus Chair - entry in the Battery Park Chair Competition (2013)
  • Bali Marina Research Centre - Competition entry (2010)
  • V.E.I.L.S - Variant Exposure Intelligent Light Screen - Student Design Build for the Dean's office window (Spring 2010)
  • Dripple - Parametric designed and fabricated cloud form (Spring 2009) More information on these projects.


small town studio logo

Small Town Studio 

The Small Town Studio was begun in 2012 by Associate Professor Todd Gabbard. Its goal is to engage rural communities across Kansas with student-generated design and visualization services. The Studio's goal serves two constituencies. Small rural towns are in general relatively underserved contexts for design services; architects, designers, and planners, however, are often integral to fostering community vitalization. Architecture students, as nascent design professionals, benefit from exposure to real-world dynamics such as community and client interactions, consensus building, and project management skills. In short, many small towns are eager for an infusions of new ideas, and design students gain valuable experience in applying their design efforts in these contexts. The Small Town Studio provides these two constituencies a mutually supportive connection. A third group, design and construction professionals, will take the lead on implementation of projects the community and students have identified. (more)

The Small Town Studio Kansas Projects

  • Eureka Studio on Main Street, Eureka, Kansas (2012-13)
  • Gallery M, an art exhibition space on Third Street, Eureka, Kansas (2013-14)
  • Eureka Spring Park Pavilion, Eureka, Kansas (fall 2014)
  • Eureka Mural on Main Street, Eureka, Kansas (2018)
  • Also including projects in:
    • Cuba
    • Pittsburg
    • Colby
    • Jamestown
    • Blue Rapids

Bunk bed project

Design + Make Studio

el dorado inc is a Kansas City-based critical practice focused on conceptually driven, expertly crafted architecture at all scales of work, with all types of clients and in all locations.  After seventeen years of practice a loosely structured, collaboratively sustained approach to design has evolved. At the core of it is a hands-on dimension that involves taking responsibility for ideas through making – ranging from fabricating key components of a project in-house to taking on the role of general contractor. This experience-based, design-never-stops, living mindset is our pedagogical basis for teaching ADS 7/8 students, students in their transitional year between academia and the beginning of their working careers. In short, the studio explores certain ways of working and ways of thinking that they feel are essential for the creation of exceptional architecture. (more)

el dorado inc. Design+Make Studio Projects

  • Volland Arts and Humanities Residency (2018)
  • Waldo Duplex (2017)
  • Preston Outdoor Education Station (2016)
  • Camp Daisy Hindman Shower Facilities (2015)
  • Redbox desk project (fall 2014)
  • JoCo project (2014-15)
  • Flint Hills Pool Trellis
  • Roof_Ground_Water (2014)
  • Hardesty Renaissance Mobile Office (2013-14)
  • reStart Housing Community Room
  • Girl Scouts Camp Assessment
  • Camp Daisy Cabin Prototype for Girl Scouts of America (2012-13)
  • Camp Daisy Bath House for Girl Scouts of America (2012-2014)
  • KAIC Fiber Department
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum Pavilion
  • Camp Prairie Schooner Bunk Beds for Girl Scouts of America (2012-13)
  • Alma Hotel, Alma, Kansas
  • Goodnow Cabin, Manhattan, Kansas

Cool Skins Studio

Assistant Professor Michael Gibson's Cool Skins fifth year studio is a collaboration with A. Zahner Co. and BNIM Architects out of Kansas City. The studio is expanding on research begun in early 2013 involving light-weight ventilated building skins and revealing new findings about how light-weight cladding systems can be designed to reduce cooling loads. During the studio, students developed new lines of research inquiry within this topic while working with specialists at A. Zahner Co., investigating the intersection between geometry, physics, material science, advanced fabrication technology, building assembly detailing and construction, and a range of simulation and analysis tools.

Professor Gibson was awarded $25,000 in research funding by NCARB for this innovative project promoting student-professional-industry collaboration. (more)


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Department of Architecture | College of Architecture, Planning & Design
1088 Seaton Hall | Manhattan KS 66506-2902 | 785-532-5953 | architecture@ksu.edu