November 2019 Alumni and Friends Newsletter
I hope you’re enjoying all the beauty and bounty that fall has to offer! It really is an exciting time of year here at the University of Idaho, not just because of the display of color outside but because of the special bounty of energy on campus.
And speaking of bounty, I have good news to share this month, a number of kudos to hand out and a very serious topic to discuss. But first, I want to talk a little about a recent opportunity I had to travel to China with architecture associate professor Xiao Hu and architecture program head Randy Teal.
For two weeks, we visited universities and spent time with our alumni and former and future visiting scholars. We visited programs in architecture, art, interior design, landscape architecture, environmental design and planning, and learned we have more in common than we have differences. We made connections and sought innovative ways to enhance collaborations between our university and theirs. We’re already looking at new joint programs this summer and have researchers and faculty who are interested in learning more about what we have to offer. These opportunities are worth exploring, and I look forward to seeing them expand in the future. I want to thank Xiao Hu for his thoughtful planning and implementation of the visit.
For all the wonderful work being done by our Vandal Family on and off campus, and all the exciting opportunities on the horizon, there are some issues that we will continue to have to work on as a university. U of I is facing significant budget challenges that must be addressed in a thoughtful, deliberate way. We must elevate our institution to be the very best it can be, and to do that, we must work together to put our university back on solid financial footing, as we have done for the College of Art and Architecture in the past few years.
We have big goals, so we must take firm action now to deliver on our top priorities of supporting student success, ensuring excellence across our research and creative activity and being a champion of our programs, the college and the university. Though we have a long road ahead of us, I’m happy to share that we continue to have incredible stories to tell; lives continue to be changed and discoveries made here.
One experience I’m particularly excited to share took place this fall as a number of our architecture students traveled to Notsé, Togo to create a conceptual design for a sustainable girls’ school. The students partnered with S H E | Style Her Empowered, a non-profit founded by a U of I alumna to create education and employment opportunities for women in Togo, where girls receive an average of three years of education over the course of their lifetimes.
To design a school that fits the needs of the girls living in Notsé, the students, led by Professor Anne Marshall, met with local women, teachers and children. They also visited potential site locations identified for the construction of the school where they gathered measurements, analyzed site conditions, evaluated nearby construction projects and identified local materials for construction. It was a transformational learning experience for our students and also a life-changing one. And what a significant way for the Vandal Family to make a broader global impact. The students are currently working to refine their designs, which will be reviewed by a design jury in December. Check out the video to learn more about their experience.
I look forward to seeing the incredible work of our students and the college moving forward, and to sharing more wonderful stories like those mentioned here with you in the future. I also encourage you to share your own U of I breakthrough story to show the world just how impactful the Vandal Experience can be. Until then, thank you, as always for your support.
Shauna Corry, Ph.D.
College of Art and Architecture
- Ruminate: BFA Senior Exhibition, on display at the Ridenbaugh Art Gallery until Tuesday, Dec. 3.
- Boise Design Day, 4-6 p.m. Mountain time, Wednesday Dec. 4, Boise High School.
Boise Design Day is a free event that offers high school students in the Boise metro area a chance to explore life as an emerging designer at U of I. Please help us spread the word to any students you know in Boise!
- indieDwell and neUdesign Presentation, 5:30 p.m. Mountain time, Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Idaho Water Center in Boise.
- Prichard Invitational Benefit Auction. The exhibit opens on Friday, Dec. 20, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, culminating in a live auction event.
Don Brigham is a professional landscape architect in Lewiston, an alum of the Landscape Architecture program and an adjunct faculty member. Don recently made a gift to the program, which will go directly to support a landscape architecture student, or students, in their pursuit of a professional development activity. We’d like to thank Don for his gift and continued support.
Last month, Dave Gottwald, assistant professor in Art and Design, gave a guest lecture at Utah State University in their Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) department at the invitation of Benjamin George, assistant professor. The LAEP Speaker Series discusses the design of places and systems that shape our world. Dave’s talk, “The Disneyland Effect: Theming and Experiential Placemaking for the Built Environment and Beyond,” was an overview of his growing body of research in the theming of consumer spaces and the genealogy and taxonomy of thematic design. The talk was to a standing-room only audience of 200 and was enthusiastically received, especially by senior faculty, and he has already been invited back by the department.
Dave also visited a junior year studio during his campus stay and provided insightful critique on group projects under the direction of Professor George, which were entered in Disney’s 2019 Imaginations competition. Dave and Benjamin are currently collaborating on a paper presentation for the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, as well as on a journal article about liminal and transitional zones in themed landscapes.
Check it out!
Have you seen the university’s latest commercial? If not, you can view it here. It’s really fun and I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as we do.