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Summer Architecture Camp!!

Each summer, the department of architecture hosts a week-long architecture discovery workshop. Students live on campus for a week in July, experiencing design studio, touring Chicago firms and museums, eating in the cafeteria and sleeping in the dorms. Students come from all over the US to learn more about careers in architecture and design related fields. It is a great way to complement your high school curriculum and get a taste of architecture school. We would love to have you join us at one of only a few Christian architecture schools in the country with a professional, accredited M.Arch. Judson is one of a kind, you belong here!!!

Study architecture at a Christian University for a week this summer!!!

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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!

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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.

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

Kyle Mertensmeyer, a 2011 M.Arch graduate, has recently moved to Shanghai to work in the international design firm Gensler. Already an accomplished practitioner, working previously with the Phoenix firm Swaback Partners, Kyle distinguished himself in graduate school at Judson by placing second in the Chicago AIA graduate student competition earlier this year, and earning an honorable mention with teammate Heather Juhl for a USGBC MN Chapter housing competition.

He reports in the first week of his new gig in China, he was given leadership responsibility for a tall building design project and is slated to be in a leadership post for a new project firing up in the next couple weeks.

Judson University prepares students to be leaders in their field. A meaningful, faith-based context allows students to develop their gifts in design, technology, history and theory to their fullest potential. Kyle exemplifies this Judson distinctive, and the faculty are extremely proud of him and wish him the best.

(Elgin, IL – August 2, 2011) The Department of Architecture at Judson University cordially invites Chicago area businesses and architects to join them for their first ever architectural symposium on Thursday, September 8 through Friday, September 9.

This inaugural event, which will focus on architecture and urbanism in China, will begin with a keynote address from Gordon Gill of Chicago-based firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects, on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Gill’s address is free of admission and open to the public.

Friday’s proceedings, beginning at 8:30 a.m., will feature lectures from experts such as Dr. Linan Liu of the Beijing University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and architects from Chicago-based firms including Professor Thomas Kong of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Luke Lueng of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLC; Travis Soberg of Goettsch Partners, Inc.; Clark Baurer of McBride Kelley Baurer Architects; and Paul Sterner of the Chicago based firm Oculus Architecture, Inc.

Dr. Jhennifer Amundson, Judson professor of architectural history and theory, and Judson’s Architecture Department Chair, Keelan Kaiser, will also lead lectures. Those who wish to attend Friday’s lectures may register online at a cost of $50 per person.

Both Thursday and Friday’s lectures will be held in Judson’s Herrick Chapel. A closing reception will be held in the Draewell Gallery of the Harm A. Weber Academic Center, a LEED Gold Certified building that houses the Judson University School of Art, Design and Architecture and the university’s Benjamin P. Browne Library. The gallery will feature student work from the architecture programs at Judson University and Beijing University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Guided tours of the Weber Center will be conducted for guests. Refreshments will also be served.

The fall symposium will be the first in a bi-annual series open to Judson’s architecture students along with Chicago-area businesses, architects, city planners and those interested in working and serving the architectural and manufacturing industries worldwide.

“The university is making concerted efforts to expand international relations and exchanges,” says Judson Architecture Department Chair Keelan Kaiser. Kaiser has visited China twice in the past two years for the university, as well as for the National Architectural Accrediting Board, for which he currently serves as president-elect.

This first symposium will examine contemporary architectural practice in China and what opportunities exist for engagement with Chinese culture and building disciplines, a result of recently developed ties between Judson’s Department of Architecture and the Beijing University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Kaiser visited the school this past May to lecture on high performance building design in the United States and invited BUCEA Dean Linan Liu to visit Judson this coming fall. Dean Liu’s five-day visit to the university will coincide with the September event.

Future symposia will have other areas of focus related to practice issues, and will include local practitioners as guests, says Kaiser. The Spring 2012 Symposium will focus on more missional themes, specifically through an evangelical and Christian worldview as it relates to architecture.

To register for the September Symposium, please visit arch.judsonu.edu/symposium.

Bethany D. Suckrow
Staff Writer, Social Media Manager, ’09 Alumna
Communications Team, External Relations
Judson University

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

Today Judson hosted many students and their families for a preview of university life at Judson University. A day-long event, students heard from the Dean as well as Department Chair, Keelan Kaiser, about the benefits of attending Judson University for the professional degree program in Architecture. One of the only locations in the U.S. offering an M.Arch. degree in the context of a faith-based institution, Judson is a unique place to study architecture, and nurture professional aspirations in architecture.

Dean Sartor and visitors to Judson University for SoADA Preview Day
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