Board of Trustee members Richard Beard, Ann Duncan and Patrick Swygert became familiar with USF?s academic departments last Friday, including the School of Architecture.
Award-winning projects, architecture designs and goals for the school all helped the BOT members understand what the School of Architecture offers to the students and community.
?It?s a great opportunity to showcase the work our students do,? Stephen Schreiber, director for the School of Architecture, said.
BOT members toured the school to view projects students developed in the past and see what is planned for the school?s future.
The school restructured the curriculum during the past year to make it more accessible to students, Schreiber said. Schreiber said the new curriculum has caused enrollment in the School of Architecture to double with a 70 percent increase since last fall and 100 percent increase over the past two years.
?This is great news for us because our goal is to make the school more accessible and diverse,? Schreiber said.
One way the school has done that is by offering more courses at other USF campuses including the one in Sarasota.
Students in the school are working on a greenhouse design for the Botanical Gardens. Schreiber said the project is a workshop exercise for future development and drawings could be used later to raise funds and hire an architect.
?We are always looking for interesting projects for our students to be working on,? he said. ?Ideas for projects are always advanced to us from the community.?
Trustee Patrick Swygert, president of Howard University, said it is important that the faculty forges a bond with the community.
?We have a large university and a large urban area,? Swygert said. ?We need to be people partners and get involved.?
The West Bartow project, designed by Trent Green, assistant professor for the School of Architecture, recently won the American Planning Association Award.
Kyle Campbell, director for Community Design and Research, said the project was a community design plan for Bartow and parts of the design will be used when renovations to the city are made. Campbell said when working on community design projects, cameras are given to citizens so they can take pictures of what they like and dislike in their community. Students look at the pictures so they can make plans to replace what residents dislike.
?All of the projects have community involvement,? he said.
Another project, the Watershed Atlas, a system that informs people on how rain is stored in rivers, lakes and oceans, won the National Geographic Award. The completed project allows citizens to get information about water resources from any region in Florida from the Web site, .
Award-winning projects such as these are developed in the School of Architecture?s research center program that involves real-world projects. Students and faculty members are involved with the planning and designing.
Projects developed in this program have the potential to be developed similar to the design but not exactly, Campbell said.
?The components of the design, however, go into it,? he said.
Laura Lake, a graduate design student, said when selecting projects that are real-world scenarios, students have to be realistic with their designs.
?Get creative, and then pull those creative strings into the project, but do it realistically,? Lake said.
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