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Students Receive National Honors

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We are privileged to have an amazing group of students in our school, and while the faculty get to see that demonstrated in the classrooms and studios all the time, it's wonderful to see their talent and skill acknowledged by peer audiences beyond the campus. I hope you'll feel the same pride that we feel in these stories of success.
David Hinson


Students are Honored at Annual ASLA Design Awards

Honor Award—Student Community Service—Peacock Place in Montgomery, AL—Auburn University—Xue Hao, MLA ‘13, received an ASLA Student Award of Honor for Community Design & Service at the Alabama-Mississippi Association of Landscape Architecture Twin States Conference in Perdido Beach, AL, on April 12. The Award of Honor is the highest student design award given by the ASLA.

Gary Sharp, City of Montgomery, AL, Community Development, commented that Xue Hao’s design entitled, Rugged Sidewalk and Famous People Wall, will “further our community development initiatives, which commemorate events, places and people of historical significance. Elements of her plan will be utilized for redevelopment of the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Civil Rights Trail; and components of her designs will help attract tourist and encourage additional commerce in a redeveloping community.”

Xue Hao’s work is part of the 2012 Spring LAND 6330 Studio IV taught by Charlene LeBleu, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture which focused on the Peacock Place neighborhood of Montgomery. Sited along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Civil Rights Trail, Peacock Place, an African‐American community, was once a vibrant neighborhood that hosted civil rights leader Martin Luther King to speak at local churches. The community was severed in 1965 by U.S. Interstate 65 and U.S. Interstate 85 crossing the community, but its spirit was never destroyed. Today, Peacock Place supports a remnant population and the community is ripe for design activism and multi‐cultural education. This pro bono project involves the planning and design of ecologically and culturally sensitive interventions within existing community infrastructure to form a new plaza that will provide history and respite for civil rights trail walkers.

Merit Award—Student Collaboration— Rain Works Challenge—Auburn University

The Campus Rain Works Collaborative Teamteam consisted of landscape architecture students—Maria Hines, Dale Speetjens, Pratisha Shakya, Chen Fan and Xue Hao; architecture students—Brad Green & Cynthia Baker; Jaron Benett, Building Science and Amanda Meder, Horticulture earned this award for their design proposal sited along the buried stream of Parkerson Mill Creek. The students’ plan    proposes to daylight a hidden natural resource. Parkerson Mill Creek was once an ecologically diverse riparian corridor that flowed through the Auburn University campus. The first segment of the stream was hidden when the first football stadium was constructed on top of it in the 1930’s. Today, 75% of the stream that flows through campus under buildings and parking decks buried in pipe. With a new campus focus on sustainability, the creek is crying out for design activism to daylight it and return its ecological function.

This pro bono project involves the planning and redesign of ecologically and culturally sensitive interventions within existing campus infrastructure to form a new type of parking area next to the creek, remove Parker Hall and Allison Hall to daylight the section of creek that flows under these classroom buildings, and provide for Low Impact Development (LID) demonstration sites that will offer hands on an educational experience to students in many programs including landscape architecture.

Faculty/ staff mentors for the project were: Darren Olsen, Building Science; Amy Wright, Horticulture; Paul Zorr, Architecture; Charlene LeBleu, Landscape Architecture and Stephen Everett, Auburn University Campus Planning.

Interior Architecture Student Team Wins Innovator’s Jury Award in AIAS Competition

Fourth year interior architecture students Jeffrey Bak, Chloe Schultz and Sean Flaharty won the Innovator’s Jury Award in the 2013 American Institute of Architecture Students’ Reinventing HOME© Student Design Competition. Their design, “Sun and Stone: A Case for Spatial Sequencing through Thermal Variation,” addressed the challenge of designing innovative homes and workplaces for those who live and work in long-term care settings. Christian Dagg, interior architecture program chair in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, was the team advisor.

For the complete press release go to

Architecture Student’s Letterpress Project in Samford University Exhibition

“Wanderlust,” a letterpress project created by Kyle Wherry, a fourth-year architecture student, has been chosen for exhibition in the “.918 Letterpress Ephemera Show” at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, October 18 through November 29. Out of 548 entries, Wherry’s was one of the 129 chosen to be part of the show. It will be published in the exhibition catalog and become part of the permanent collection at Samford University. Wherry created “Wanderlust,” an accordion fold book, in a Letterpress Course that was taught this past summer by Robert Finkel, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design. This course was supported in part by a Breeden Grant from the Biggio Center. For more information, go to

APLA Students Win Multiple ALAPA Awards

The Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association's Award Committee selected Asma Shaikh for the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Planning Student, an award identifying a planning student for an outstanding paper or project while enrolled as full time planning student. The award criteria focused on the project's innovativeness, quality of writing, graphics and analysis of presented materials, effectiveness of the work being implemented and comprehensiveness.

The paper was written by Shaikh and titled, "Parking Utilization Study of a University Town- Case of Village Mall" Shaikh was nominated by Dr. Sweta Byahut as Asma undertook the study along with another team member as part of Dr. Byahut's  Sustainable Transportation Planning class at Auburn University where Asma Shaikh is a completing her Masters in Community Planning. The project was done in conjunction with the ongoing "Renew Opelika Road Project" being undertaken by the City of Auburn. This complimentary study is useful in identifying the extent of existing underutilized land that has future development potential, and focuses on the Village Mall at the intersection of East University Drive and Opelika Road.  This area has been identified by the Auburn Comprehensive Plan as a neighborhood center, indicating immense potential for the intersection to grow, and in turn, providing many opportunities for mixed-use development in the future.

Students Joshua Vickers and Nick Vansyoc received the 2013 Alabama Chapter of American Planning Association Student Team Award for their Peacock Place Revitalization Project. Joshua and Nick are earning dual degrees in architecture and community planning and the project was a product of work developed out of coursework from both programs in the fall of 2012.

After thorough analysis of the existing condition of the community, Joshua and Nick made a series of proposals to revitalize Peacock Place through careful orchestration of social and economical highlights (new vehicular and pedestrian connections; housing proposals, business revival opportunities). Their project carries the sense of hope and urgency for other impoverished and neglected urban areas, not just in Montgomery.

The result of their work created a wonderful blueprint for other communities to follow and was well received by the City of Montgomery, Alabama. Prof. Magdalena Garmaz, who nominated Vickers and Vansyoc, noted that “Their passionate and thorough investigation of the remnants of once vibrant African-American community is an example of academic exercise that can clearly translate into actionable project.”   Other faculty advisors included Prof. Rebecca Retzlaff and Prof. John Pittari.

Three CPLN students,Valecia WilsonXibei Song andChen Fan, won 2nd prize in the Alabama American Planning Association's (ALAPA) Student Competition in May of 2013 for "Understanding the City of Montgomery," posters developed from work generated in Prof. Jay Mittal's Fall 2012 Urban Economics Class.

ID&C Students Receive 2013 Holland Prize Awards

Ivan Vanchevand Doug Bacon, students in the Master of Integrated Design and Construction program earned an Honorable Mention for their entry, “Auburn Oaks and Toomer’s Corner”, in the 2013 Leicester B. Holland Prize: A Single Sheet Measured Design Competition.   

In 2011, the National Park Service established the Holland Prize as a new competition for architects and artists to create a single sheet drawing that attempts to capture the essence of historic sites. “Drawings from the hands of skilled craftsmen are valuable tools when it comes to the protection of America's treasured historic structures," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "They are a permanent record of our nation's built environment, created with the precision needed to restore or repair these places of our past. This competition will reinvigorate this specialty and encourage the development of the talents it requires." ( The competition and prize were named for Leicester B. Holland (1882-1952), the co-founder of the Historic American Building Survey program and head of the Fine Arts Division of the Library of Congress.

 Vanchev and Bacon developed their entry via an  independent study directed by Prof. Rebecca Retzlaff. Their drawing will be put in the Library of Congress and will be available on the National Park Service website as part of the Historic America Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER). 

It’s a Three-peat!  APLA’s NOMA Student Team Wins First Place for Third Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture student team has won the National Organization of Minority Architects’ 2013 Student Design Competition that this year took place in Indianapolis, IN at the NOMA Annual Conference, October 3‒5, 2013. The design competition was set in an Indianapolis neighborhood, and students were challenged to design a carbon neutral, mixed use transit-oriented development that would be a “community connector” and “community incubator.”  Auburn’s entry, “Catalytic,” took first place among ten schools competing.

Margaret Fletcher, assistant professor and one of the team’s faculty advisors says, “The students were very eager to begin the visual communications effort early in the process. The solution this year was based on large-scale urban strategies involving the entire city of Indianapolis, to mid-scale urban strategies involving key points along the transportation lines, to smaller-scale effective solutions at the neighborhood level. In order to convey the variety of scaled solutions, it required the students to pay strict attention to the manner in which their ideas were organized and represented.”

“The team couldn't visit the site this year; so, they spent two weeks researching the site and its history," says Kevin Moore, assistant professor and also a team faculty advisor. “The students proposed a similar density of housing and industry that once existed in the neighborhood, but they proposed to build the future around renewable energy, clean industry and community-centered business and education.”

The panel of judges in this year’s competition included architects, urban planners and community leaders who responded to the students’ plan to recuperate Indianapolis's industrial past to build a productive future. They noted that the Auburn students had synthesized their research into a comprehensive approach that fits the neighborhood. “In a neat trick, the proposal is small—a collection of buildings—at the same time that it is monumental—an extensive solar and water collecting roof.  So, the structure defers to its residential neighbors but announces a civic event in the city,” explains Moore.

NOMA student team leader Tina Maceri explains further, “All the students worked hard, each using their skill-sets as part of the team. An important characteristic of this team is that it included representation from most APLA programs, including Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Community Planning, the Foundation Studio and even Rural Studio.”
Faculty advisor Margaret Fletcher added, “It should be noted that this year the students were able to complete an astonishing amount of work through sheer dedication to the project team and their determination to present a profound solution to the community of Indianapolis.  All of the faculty advisors were repeatedly impressed with the way this particular group of students organized themselves and worked together through a demanding production schedule to achieve the richness of the project solution.”

Team members are Tina Maceri, Alex Therrien, Cordetrus Johnson, Jason Groomes, Yubei Hu, Taiwei Wang, Torrance Wong, Valecia Wilson, Sarah Curry, Claudia Paz-Melendez, Jack Mok, George Criminale, and Byung Choe. APLA faculty advisors Kevin Moore, Margaret Fletcher, Dr. Carla Jackson Bell, and Nathan Foust supported the team.

“This is the third year that our Auburn NOMA students have participated in this competition and the third year that they’ve won it,” says Bell, who is the NOMA advisor. “I am very proud of the caliber of students we have enrolled, and the fact that our College of Architecture, Design and Construction minority student percentage has rapidly increased each year.” The CADC currently has twenty-eight active NOMA members.

For more information about NOMA, please go to To learn more about the NOMA 2013 Student Design Competition, go to:'s/2013%20conf%20docs/2013%20NOMA%20Award%20Winners-Student%20Design%20Comp.pdf.

To view the winning proposals, please visit:'s/2013%20conf%20docs/2013%20NOMA%20Award%20Winners-Student%20Design%20Comp.pdf