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Graduate Winter Intensives

The graduate students recently completed the first offering of a winter intensive program of study aimed at bolstering their areas of concentration. With concentrations in sustainable design and traditional architecture and urbanism, the winter intensive program sought to sharpen affinity areas in addition to the core curriculum. Students worked together, one group at Judson with Professor Robin Randall and Dr. David Ogoli, and the other in Washington, D.C., with Architect Michael Watkins, on projects intended to drill down into content areas of interest to the students. The program continues to revise and improve mentoring in the areas of concentration that are most compelling to the graduate students as they prepare for professional practice.

Snapshots of student testimonials for each of the two programs follows:

To design any building in a mere four days is a challenge. To design that building with the highest measure of sustainability in mind seemed a feat beyond imagining. This was the challenge posed to the students of in the Sustainable Design concentration of the M.Arch. program at Judson. On the banks of the Fox River, design a Net Zero Energy, Net Zero Water, Zero Pollutant, and Net Zero Site Impact building. This building was to adhere to the Living Building Challenge 2.0 standard as much as possible, with specialized aspects designed by each student. Our experience was greatly fulfilling, stretching our personal boundaries as we sought efficiency and energy production in the midst of a group project. The final design product emerged from a confluence of ideas, with multiple hands sketching, erasing, revising, and correcting. This project forced us to examine the bones of the Living Building Challenge document, and how these ideas could be interpreted in different circumstances. We went through the phases of site design, landscaping, program-oriented architectural formation, building-integrated energy production, structural design, and water collection/remediation. Having just returned from a month-long break, this experience seemed to “restart” the creative juices that had begun to settle over our Christmas holiday.

-Loren Johnson, SD Concentration

For five days in mid-January, the Traditional Architecture and Urbanism students from Judson University were immersed in a study of practical application of their education under the direction of Washington, D.C. architect Mike Watkins. The visit was centered around three components:  office visits, drawing exercises, and reviews of fall semester work. The group also visited a wide variety of offices specializing in an array of building types and project sizes. Connections were made both through Mike Watkin’s network of area architects and planners as well as through alumni who were working in many of the offices. The group presented the fall semester studio master plan for the southwest quadrant to the District of Columbia Office of Planning and the Office of Historic Preservation.  The response was overwhelmingly favorable.  The experience alone of presenting work before a panel of professionals who review such proposals often was invaluable for the students. Another component of study was that of small-scale detail design for the purpose of understanding human scale and one’s ability to relate to detail in building design.  The students visited three locations where they were asked to do an analytique study of the components of the building that were designed to appeal to viewers from a variety of distances.

– Hilary S. Jackson, TAU concentration

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New Year – New Thrill at Judson!

This is a great time of the year. Every thing is new. Optimism is high. We are looking forward to a great spring. Here is a sampling of the goings on at Judson Architecture: a NAAB accreditation visit; third year and graduate elective studios; awesome super specialized electives in acoustics, energy, Chicago history, and digital fabrication; comprehensive and integrative design works; second annual James Didier On Christ and Architecture Symposium; guest architect lecturers; Cyndi Zarris (mom away from mom); planning for study abroad. The list goes on and on. What a great time at Judson University!

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Why Judson for Architecture School?

There are 150+ professional architecture programs in the US, and remarkably, at 30,000 feet they all look more or less the same. But Judson is different than every other school in five significant ways.

1) Faith-based context for architecture studies. Judson is the only evangelical Christian context in the US to study architecture. There is literally  no other context like Judson in the US.

2) Cross-over 4 + 2 M.Arch. degree. Judson is the only program in the country that rearranges the stale conventional education/practicum order for a fresh, unique and competitive experience. There are multiple routes to professional practice in architecture, and they typically consist of professional education + three years of internship. Judson is the only program in the US that requires a full year of professional internship experience between the undergraduate and graduate degrees. We are convinced that our graduates are both liberally educated, professionally exposed to practice, and intellectually mature in the discipline of architecture. The creative rearrangement of the education/practicum combination is one-of-a-kind in contemporary architecture education.

3) Judson is a small program, comparatively speaking, and students have more tutorial experiences. We aren’t a 1000 student program, and you aren’t just a number. By the time you are into your third year, you will have had each of our professors at least once, and by the time you have graduated with the M.Arch, you will have studied under several faculty, several times. We believe that a tight-knit group of highly qualified faculty, often in one-to-one tutorial situations, results in an exceptionally educated architect. It resembles the guild more than the industrialized model of collegiate education in the US.

4) Judson is a great experiment in post-secondary Christian education in contemporary American culture. While our culture struggles to sort out the great issues of our time, one thing is clear, critical thinking and ethics will characterize future professional leaders. The value of a liberal arts education with a focus on design thinking has never been greater. We are not surprised that 20,000 students each year indicate an interest in studying architecture in a private Christian school. We are blessed to be able to provide such a setting.

5) The Weber Center is a LEED Gold learning environment for architecture education. We don’t study every other school in the US that closely, but we are pretty sure that we are one of only a handful of schools within a super-green building. It’s not just green hype, the Weber Center is the real deal. Just check out all of the energy efficient and green design strategies employed by this remarkable learning laboratory design by Professor C. Alan Short of Cambridge University.

Visit Judson University this spring to experience for yourself this remarkable program in architecture education. It is proudly, and boldly, one-of-a-kind. Attend our summer high school design studies workshop if you are just now beginning your search for architecture school.

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