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Architecture’s Points of Pride


  • National Ranking
  • In a new “Most Hired From” ranking this year, Iowa State University’s architecture program ranked fifth in a cohort headed by Cornell University. ISU’s undergraduate architecture program is ranked 23rd nationally for 2018-2019 among accredited undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S.  These rankings group programs by size (number of graduates) and are highly competitive.
  • Design/Build Outreach
    • Second-year students in the spring 2018 design studios designed, built and installed “Prisma,” a 1,300-square-foot structure at Reiman Gardens for its “Forces of Nature” kinetic art exhibition, which runs April 28 through Nov. 3.
    • Students in the “Fabricating Potentials” interdisciplinary spring 2018 option studio used advanced computational methods to design, fabricate and install “Bluestem,” a permanent installation at the Iowa Arboretum.
  • Venice Biennale
    The ISU Department of Architecture hosted a workshop and colloquium at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. This is the third time Iowa State architecture students and faculty have been invited to participate in the Biennale Architettura.


  • Hospitality Design Awards
    Architecture students were part of two Iowa State teams who were finalists in the 2018 national Hospitality Design Awards competition. Graduate student Shawn Barron and senior Matt Lechowicz were honored for “The Isthmus.” Seniors Nolan Christensen and Lucas Confalonieri, together with interior design senior Kyla Peterson, were recognized for “Rainforest Hotel and Spa.” Both teams developed their projects in the fall 2017 Panama Integrative Design Studio taught by Morrill Professor Thomas Leslie, the Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture, and Lee Cagley, professor and chair of the interior design department.
  • National Conference on Undergraduate Research
    Architecture senior Alexander Blum presented “Landscape, Architecture, and Spirituality at the Remote Monastic Communities of Mount Athos” at the 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Central Oklahoma. The interdisciplinary team of Kaylinn Taggart, senior in architecture and community and regional planning; Zach Thielen, senior in architecture, and Laura Michaelson, senior in mechanical engineering, presented “A Mobile Diagnostics Lab for Interdisciplinary Climate Research.”
  • Research in the Capitol
    Two interdisciplinary teams involving Bachelor of Architecture students shared their work at the 2018 Research in the Capitol, an annual undergraduate research event held at the State Capitol in Des Moines. Architecture senior Matt Lechowicz, community and regional planning junior James Weatherly and agriculture and society senior Hannah Fisher presented “Quality of Life in Iowa’s Thriving Small Towns.” Taggart, Thielen and Michaelson also presented “A Mobile Diagnostics Lab for Interdisciplinary Climate Research” at this event.


  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant
    Associate Professor Kimberly Zarecor, director of the Interdisciplinary Design program, leads an interdisciplinary research team that received a $100,000 National Science Foundation Smart & Connected Communities planning grant to study “shrink-smart” communities in Iowa and develop tools to help all small and shrinking communities plan for population loss and mitigate its negative effects.
  • AIA College of Fellows
    Morrill Professor Thomas Leslie, FAIA, FAAR, the Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture, will be invested in the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows at the 2018 Conference on Architecture in New York City.
  • Innovation in Masonry Award
    A team of four architecture faculty and staff won the International Masonry Institute’s Joan B. Calambokidis Innovation in Masonry Competition in the Young Architects & Engineers category. Assistant Professors Shelby Doyle and Nick Senske, Lecturer Leslie Forehand and Computation + Construction Lab Associate Erin Hunt, who is a 2017 graduate of the BArch program, won the award for “Mashrabiya 2.0,” a 3D-printed ceramic facade that can be integrated into a building’s mechanical system to control light, airflow and privacy while offering evaporative cooling.
  • AIA Iowa Educator Award
    Associate Professor Ulrike Passe, director of the ISU Center for Building Energy Research, received the 2017 Educator Award from the Iowa chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
  • Public Sculpture
    Lecturer Reinaldo Correa won a competition sponsored by the Marion (Iowa) Arts Council to create a focal entry point to the 188-acre park. His “Prairie Revival” public sculpture was installed in August 2017 and dedicated in November 2017.
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