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Commencement!

Today is a great day for Judson Archtecture! We celebrate our fifteenth anniversary with a graduating class of seniors and graduate students in commencement this morning. Last night we celebrated graduates through the annual graduation awards program. What a pleasure it is for the faculty to send these emerging professionals out into the culture to improve the health and wellness of their communities. Congratulations graduates, we are so proud of you!

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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!

Judson graduate students competed against students from the University of Minnesota and the University of Oregon in a recent student competition for green US housing. David Montoya and Philip Goestenkors earned second place in a competition for a new affordable green single family house in Proctor, MN as part of a USGBC MN chapter student competition. Their scheme was judged as practical and realizable for the $150K budget and realistic in terms of achieving a LEED for Homes certification. Heather Juhl and Kyle Mertensmeyer earned an honorable mention for their approach which used reclaimed quonset building materials and rammed earth construction in a showcase work of art with regional cues.

Montoya and Goestenkors scheme featuring basic building components and passive solar with ERV and radiant floor heating.

Juhl and Mertensmeyer approach featuring rammed earth construction and quonset materials recalling the dominant agricultural and railroad shipping context.

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JU Architecture Turns –> 15 <--

2012 Marks the 15th anniversary of the architecture program at Judson University. Accredited in 2004 by the NAAB, we are celebrating this year with a number of exciting events and ceremonies. March 15-16 marks the inaugural On Christ and Architecture symposium exploring the intersection of Christian faith and architecture. In late April, the program will graduate its 10th Master of Architecture class. This summer, the program will begin a study of the 5th year Post-Occupancy Evaluation of the LEED Gold Harm Weber Academic Center. In September, when school resumes for the fall, the program will host its second annual Fall Practice Symposium. Check back often to discover the exciting things underway at Judson University Department of Architecture.

JU architecture turns 15

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Oustanding New Faculty

The Department of Architecure welcomes two outstanding additions to the faculty at Judson University. Seasoned practitioner and multiple year adjunct studio professor, Sean Gallagher, joins the faculty in a full time tenure track position this fall. Professor Gallagher holds a M.Arch. from UIUC, and is well regarded in the Fox Valley region for his highly crafted custom residences. He is skated to deliver design studios and contributes to costruction technology and professional practice courses.

Internationally recognized designer and community design-construct expert, Jae Cha, joins the faculty after serving as an adjunct faculty and contributing to the deepening of design education quality at Judson. A graduate of Yale University, holding the M.Arch. degree, she brings a vision for community outreach and the community improvement potential of architecture.

Judson is excited about these new faculty and comment members. Both have a deep love of Christ and eagerly share their faith and work in the context of the evangelical Christian University setting that distinguishes Judson Univeristy from other architecture schools.

Our 2011 field study took us from Rome to Granada: from what might be called the capital of Christendom to cities in southern Spain known for a period in which there was a religious and political conviviality among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  I am especially grateful for Dr. Jhennifer Amundson’s leadership in taking us to these cities in Spain.

The architecture students investigated important examples of buildings, places, and cities: this field observation was facilitated by the use of pictorial and analytical drawing.  These students looked carefully at building type, the composition of facades, and meaningful ornament.  They considered the details that constitute a built environment that sustains the centuries old cultural environment of cities originating in the Roman Republic and thriving as modern cities in the present.

The fine art and graphic art students pursued their own work in media from drawing to watercolor to embroidery and subjects as a diverse as the figure (in galleries of sculpture to street performers) to landscape to patterns to typography.  Students with strong drawing skills set a very high standard for the entire group.

The sketchbooks of two students were noted for excellence: Margaret Garrison, fine art, and Eleanor Walter, architecture.  Our adjunct professor, Brian Mork, M.Arch.’11, set a challenging pace in the production of a prodigious, coherent, and excellent sketchbook of watercolors and drawings.

Recent Graduate and Study Tour Collaborating Faculty Member Brian Mork and Student Linda Romine

Observational drawing is easy enough to judge; more difficult, and perhaps more important, is the education gained from seeing the poverty in the rings round European cities to the unequaled quality of life observed in the public realm of the historic core of these same cities.  In group meetings, we reflected on the proximity of habitation in European cities but also the low density compared to our most successful cities: we asked ourselves, again and again, what in these marvelous built and visual environments is indispensable to human thriving.

Study Tour Class in Venice

This group was wonderful traveling company.  There are inevitably road bumps in a four-week long trip; there was flexibility and good-naturedness at these moments.  The work of the trip, not that it wasn’t mixed with plenty of fun and leisure time, was undertaken with seriousness.  We attended church services in Italian, English, and Spanish in liturgies familiar and not so.  There were culinary discoveries as diverse as that fact that gelato can be purchased in tubs to the taste of animal parts that are best left unnamed.  We mastered transportation systems ranging from national high speed rails, to local trains, to buses, to light rail, to the famous Venetian vaporetti.  And we walked, mostly up, probably 200 miles.

-Dr. Christopher Miller

Danny Nelson (B.A. 2010) placed 2nd in the State of Illinois, AIA student design competition. His project, Air Force Village Chapel, was acknowledged earlier this week as one of three finalists for the competition. Danny is currently an intern with Hobbs + Black in Ann Arbor, MI, prior to returning to Judson for his final year of graduate studies in 2011/12. Danny studied under Dr. David Ogoli and Professor Ian Hoffman during the semester which this project was completed.

Three board competition for the Air Force Village Chapel

Three board competition for the Air Force Village Chapel

Judson University is the only evangelical Christian institution in the United States with a professionally accredited M.Arch. degree program. Students choose Judson because of the Christian context, excellent faculty, a delightful 90-acre campus on the Fox River 40 miles from Chicago, and the opportunity to study architecture in one of the newest and greenest schools of architecture building in the United States. Judson University and the Department of Architecture are proud of the accomplishments of our students. Great job Danny!

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