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College of Architecture, Planning and Design




College of Architecture, Planning & Design
Kansas State University
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Manhattan KS 66506-2902

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News - 2012

Apdesign Professor Named Director Of Kansas City Design Center
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

MANHATTAN—Vladimir Krstic, professor of architecture at Kansas State University, has been named director of the Kansas City Design Center. Located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, the Kansas City Design Center is a nationally recognized partnership of civic leaders, professional designers, and the architecture and planning programs at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.

Krstic has taught at KCDC since 2009 and was named interim director a year and a half ago. He has been teaching in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design since 1988.

John Gaunt, dean of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning at the University of Kansas said, "He (Krstic) is a deeply committed and experienced educator dedicated to exploring urban potentials in Kansas City and to furthering the education of students from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University through this 'urban laboratory' of the Kansas City Design Center."

The Kansas City Design Center supports educational initiatives that help build public awareness of the factors that influence the character of the public realm. KCDC also works to strengthen the educational experience of future design practitioners by engaging university faculty and students with the issues facing Kansas City's built environment. The educational programs are built around a resident urban design studio, through which faculty and students form partnerships with local client groups to develop design concepts and implementation proposals addressing major architectural, urban design and urban planning issues throughout metropolitan Kansas City.

"I am very enthusiastic about becoming the director of KCDC," Krstic said. "It will allow me to continue to build the program in a more focused and deliberate way. KCDC is an important outreach and service-learning component of both the K-State and KU professional curricula, which gives students a unique, immersive urban design study experience. I believe that the KCDC program has already become a well-respected academic institution in the city and the region for its capacity to engage on critical urban design issues and produce constructive contributions to the ongoing professional and civic dialogue on the improvement of the urban environment. I intend to work, in collaboration with the faculty and administrators of both universities, to elevate its academic stature on the national level and develop KCDC into a unique hub for urban design studies."

Source: Vladimir Krstic, 816-421-5232, vkrstic@k-state.edu;
Dean Tim de Noble, 785-532-5950, tdenoble@k-state.edu; and
Dean John Gaunt, 785-864-3114, jgaunt@ku.edu

News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu

Cuban Architect, Professor To Visit K-State
Monday, April 16th, 2012

MANHATTAN—Professors Katrina Lewis (Department of Interior Architecture and Product Design) and Jeffrey Smith (Department of Geography) are collaborating to establish research connections in Cuba.

Professor and architect Mabel Matamoros will be on campus from April 17 to May 5 to meet with faculty and students in several departments and campus organizations for discussions on a variety of cultural and architectural topics.

Matamoros is being brought to campus with assistance from the College of Architecture, Planning & Design; the Department of Geography; the Office of International Programs; the Department of Modern Languages and Alianza.

Matamoros, who teaches at the Jose Antonio Echevarria Polytechnic Institute in Havana, is coming to K-State to help incorporate global perspectives into classes in interior architecture and geography and to give lectures and lead discussions on Cuban architecture and society.

The main lecture will be at 4 p.m. Monday, April 23, in the Little Theatre at the K-State Student Union. The lecture, "An Overview of Cuba Today" is free and open to the public.

Sources: Katrina M. Lewis, 785-532-5992, katrina@k-state.edu and
Jeffrey Smith, 785-532-3412, jssmith7@k-state.edu

News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu


Matthew Knox Named Architecture Department Head After International Search
Monday, April 9, 2012

MANHATTAN—Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.

After conducting an international search for their department head opening, current Interim Department Head Matthew Knox, AIA, was selected to lead the Architecture Department into the future.

"Matt has been on a trajectory to be a superb leader for his colleagues for quite some time," said Dean Tim de Noble, College of Architecture, Planning & Design. "His dedication to the Department of Architecture and to the College is evident in the excellent work he has done as a faculty member, while serving as interim department head, and prior to that as an associate department head. Matt's leadership, evidenced through his willingness to build on the traditional strengths of the department, as we as his collaborative spirit will help us continue to craft a unique and potent course for professional design education at Kansas State University."

Knox has been on the Architecture faculty for more than 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia.

"I've worked with Matt Knox in his role as interim department head over the last year, and he has been fantastic to work with," said Rohn Grotenhuis of 360 Architects in Kansas City, chair of the Department of Architecture's Professional Advisory Board. "He has already made some positive changes and has had great ideas. I'm happy we get to keep working with Matt. He has already shown that he has the potential to be an effective and innovative department head."

Prior to serving as interim department head, Knox was the associate department head. He is a licensed architect whose architectural design studio students have won multiple regional and national competitions. In addition to teaching studio, he has taught a wide range of courses including building construction, architectural theory and digital applications in architecture. He also has taught in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design's Italian study program.

Knox's research is focused on using digital visualization tools, such as 3D modeling, animation and film techniques, to study the visual and perceptual relationships between architecture and landscape historically and in new projects. He has published papers and lectured widely about the work, and many of the films done in collaboration with his students have been shown at national and international animation conferences.

"I can't say enough what an honor it is to have this opportunity at the No. 5 graduate architecture program in the country," said Knox. "We have amazingly bright and hard-working students and a dedicated and passionate faculty in a dynamic and supportive interdisciplinary College. We are in a great position to continue improving our program, promoting mutual connections with the profession and engaging our students in service to the K-State community and beyond.”

Source: Tim de Noble, 785-532-5950, tdenoble@k-state.edu; and Matthew Knox, 785-532-5953, mknox@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu



Belanger Receives Excellence In Design Studio Teaching Award
Friday, March 30, 2012

MANHATTAN—Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture Blake Belanger received the 2012 Excellence in Design Studio Teaching at the Junior Level award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture at the annual meeting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on March 29. The award recognizes a faculty member's "ability to direct design studio projects that demonstrate outstanding quality and/or emphasize the critical thinking, creative process."

Among the students contributing to Belanger's nomination was fourth-year Landscape Architecture student Elise Fagan. She believes that Belanger's "contagious passion of landscape architecture, urban design and academia drives his students to excellence while laying the foundations for our individual growth." She credits so much of her "design process, thought process, problem solving skills and leadership skills to Blake's teaching, advising and mentoring."

"I am honored to receive this recognition, and proud to contribute to our program's national visibility," Belanger said. "This award speaks to our faculty's ongoing commitment to teaching excellence and preparing our graduates for professional practice. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support and mentoring, as well as to our students for their unwavering commitment to excellence."

Professor and Head Stephanie Rolley noted that the national prominence of this award reflects the high quality of studio instruction that Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning values. Her nomination letter said, "Professor Belanger inspires his students by modeling the type of practical professionalism combined with forward-thinking creative work that is needed in the practice of landscape architecture. The transformative experience he provides students in his classes is evident in the quality of work they produce."

Belanger received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Michigan State University in 1995 and a dual Master of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design degree from the University of Colorado, Denver, in 2006. He joined the Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional & Community Planning in 2007. He was the 2010 Kansas State University Mary Jarvis Emerging Faculty of Distinction in Landscape Architecture and was awarded a K-State Academic Excellence award with colleagues in support of a collaborative studio in 2011.

Source: Blake Belanger, 785-532-1096, belanger@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu


Jani Snags 2012 Idec Book Award For ‘Diversity In Design'
Thursday, March 29, 2012

MANHATTAN—"Diversity in Design: Perspectives from the Non-Western World," a book penned by Associate Professor of Interior Architecture & Product Design Vibhavari Jani received top honors at the Interior Design Educators Council annual conference.

According to IDEC, the annual Book Award recognizes and honors significant books that exhibit excellence in addressing the issues of the interior design profession including practice, scholarship and education. IDEC gives out one award each year, and according to Interior Architecture & Product Design Head Katherine Ankerson, the competition is stiff and the attention on this book is particularly timely.

"In the midst of dynamic growth and change within the interior design profession, educational resources specific to designing interiors, helping educators bring their students to an understanding of the interwoven complexities and diverse influences resulting from geography, culture, history, religion and available materials are crucial," Ankerson said. "The study of Western culture, especially from a Eurocentric perspective has been the norm in most architectural and interior design programs. Professor Jani's book is poised to play a significant role in educating our students to be global citizens, respectful of both Western and non-Western cultures and prepared to face a world increasingly dependent upon an understanding of non-Western cultures."

Jani got the idea for the book while undertaking a research project to understand how educators are incorporating non-Western design into their teaching. Jani said through her research she realized that many educators were not providing non-Western precedents for their students because the information was not readily available. While presenting her research at a conference, a publisher offered her the opportunity to create a resource guide on non-Western design."I wanted students to learn and understand how climate, religion, culture and social traditions all have influence on how built form is shaped," Jani said. "I proposed that we work with native scholars who specialize in their own countries' design traditions to develop an authentic book on non-Western design traditions.

"We strategically selected the seven countries to highlight—India, China, Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Algeria and Nigeria—based on their contributions in the development of world architecture and design, their population and economic growth, and their current design needs. Some of these countries, India and China especially, are places where our students could be finding jobs over the next several decades, so there's a need to understand the people, their diverse cultures, and their design traditions to do work in those places."

Source: Vibhavari Jani, 785-532-5992, vjani@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu

Architect Annie Chu To Present Work In 'SLOW Motion'
Thursday, January 19, 2012

MANHATTA—Annie Chu, founding principal of the award-winning firm Chu+Gooding Architects in Los Angeles, California, will be delivering APDesign's annual diversity lecture at 4:30 p.m. Monday, January 23, 2012, in the Little Theatre in the K-State Student Union. Chu's lecture is titled "Slow Motion" and is free and open to the public.

Chu received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 1983 and a Master of Science in Building Design from Columbia University in 1989. She trained for 12 years with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York and Franklin D. Israel in Los Angeles before starting her firm in 1996. Annie received the prestigious Skidmore Owings Merrill Fellowship to study Mayan and Incan architecture in Central and South America.

Annie has been a dedicated educator since 1990 in architecture and design colleges across the United States such as New York Institute of Technology, Parsons, University of Texas at Austin, SCI-Arc, Art Center College of Design, Arizona State University, UCLA, and USC. Currently Annie is serving as an associate professor of interior architecture at Woodbury University. She is the past chair of the National AIA Interior Architecture committee and of the AIA California Council Design Awards committee. Annie is currently serving as an editorial board member of the AIA California Council’s journal, arcCA (Architecture California), and as a mayor-appointed Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the city of Los Angeles, promoting design in the public built environment and support for the arts throughout the city.

Chu+Gooding Architects focuses on projects for arts-related and higher education clients, including arts organizations such as MoCA, Hammer Museum, the Getty Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu