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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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