Winning teams announced for senior studio | Urban Life: Self + Society

Final review and competition

Winners of the BS Arch final review and competition, celebrating innovative work in comprehensive studio. Photo by Douglas McCallum.

Winners of the BS Arch final review and competition, with members of the jury and several studio faculty members, celebrate innovative work in comprehensive studio. Photo by Douglas McCallum.

Published December 18, 2019

Four teams of senior BSArch students were recognized for their proposals during the senior competition final review. The fall studio, led by Annette LeCuyer, Omar Khan, Joyce Hwang, and Erkin Ozay, is the last design studio in the BS Arch curriculum, when students tackle integrated architectural design - a synthesis of concept and construct addressing design strategy, program, site, construction, and technology.

The final review and competition, held in the Hayes Hall Atrium Gallery, is a celebration of the hard work the students have invested and progress they have achieved in their design education.

It’s a celebration of the work of all of the seniors, marking the culmination of the undergraduate studio sequence.

- Annette LeCuyer

The studio focuses on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society. In order to emphasize this negotiation and to prepare students for collaboration in practice, the class worked in teams of two for the entire semester. Each team designed a mixed-use scheme that included residential units and a public or semi-public program of the team’s choosing, which was developed to ‘charge’ the conceptual strategy of the project. In this way, each team shaped the project to reflect their interests and to grapple with a current social, economic or cultural issue, resulting in a diverse range of proposals.

For the final review, all work is pinned up - with no identifying names - in the gallery of the Hayes Hall Atrium Gallery for evaluation by a jury of renowned architects. In the first stage of the competition review, jurors review the work without students present and then select a handful of schemes for public presentation by the students during the second stage of the review. Each presentation is followed by juror questions and comments on the student schemes. 

The competition enables students to develop their work to a high level for presentation to a distinguished panel of external jurors.

- Annette LeCuyer, professor of architecture and director of senior studio

Professor Korydon Smith, chair of the Department of Architecture, commended the students for their work: "The competition illustrates the dedication, enthusiasm, and skill of our students - a celebratory cap to their undergraduate education. Because of the accomplishments of all student teams, the jurors had a difficult task of determining the honorees. All students should be proud of not only what they’ve accomplished this semester but their work throughout their undergraduate careers."

Joint first prize winners

Autumn Bender and Marissa Hayden stand in front of models of their building.

Streetwise, proposed by Marissa Hayden and Autumn Bender, seeks to create a safer environment for children in urban areas. During non-school hours, 1 in 5 New York City children are left unattended due to undesirable living conditions or the effect of parent or guardian's long working hours. Streetwise addresses this issue by offering free recreational programs to the public, shifting children off the streets and into a safer environment. The programs are available through a co-op system; educators of all kinds are incentivized to live and teach, utilizing underused skills and giving back to the community. 

Kaetlyn Hanlin and Mira Shami stand in front of models of their building.

Photo by Douglas McCallum

COMMENCE, proposed by Mira Shami and Kaetlyn Hanlin, is a mixed-use housing project that supports immigrants of all statuses, including international students and professors, and refugees, by partnering with community members in Queens. Commence utilizes Queens’ strong collective efficacy to provide a combination of legal, academic, and emotional assistance to tenants living in shared-lease apartments through volunteer aid. The students believe utilizing the community in this housing project could help break the often daunting and confusing task of relocating to another country and would give people a strong sense of cultural identity while adjusting to their new life in the United States.

Joint runners-up

Autumn Bender and Marissa Hayden stand in front of models of their building.

Photo by Douglas McCallum

Cocoon, proposed by Austin Wyles and Kendall Roman, provides housing for individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Using the Autism ASPECTSS Design Index as guidelines, this project integrates the ASD community with the surrounding neighborhood, while creating spaces that make living with Autism easier and more comfortable.

Autumn Bender and Marissa Hayden stand in front of models of their building.

Cross-Pollinate, proposed by Tom Cleary and Jacob Barkan, integrates wildlife habitat with urban living. The scheme incorporates multiple communal on-floor and rooftop landscapes comprised of meadows with tall grasses and wildflowers, which total 160% of the site footprint. An independent serpentine structure allows cross ventilation and daylight from multiple angles, and is surrounded by views out to nature.

Jury members

David Allin.

David Allin is an Associate Principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro where he has led exhibition, performance and architecture projects since joining the studio in 2006. He is currently project director for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Collection and Research Centre in London, and the University of Toronto’s Centre for Civilization, Cultures and Cities. He was Project Designer for the The Shed, a kinetic building for visual and performing arts in NYC, and Project Director for The Bubble, an unrealized seasonal pneumatic structure for the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. He holds a B Arch from Cornell and an M Arch from Princeton and has taught studios at UB, Cooper Union, and Princeton

Emily Kutil.

Emily Kutil is the 2019 Reyner Banham Fellow at UB. She is a founding member of We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective, an interdisciplinary collaboration between community activists, academics, and designers mapping geographies of austerity in Detroit. She has practiced at architecture firms in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Los Angeles where she worked on an experimental water infrastructure project at Metabolic Studio.  She received a BS Arch from the University of Cincinnati and an M Arch from the University of Michigan. Her research at UB is focused on the history and future of water, land, power, and life in the Great Lakes Watershed.

Ann Lui.

Ann Lui is a founding partner of Future Firm in Chicago, which focuses on the role of architecture as an infrastructure for discourse. Previously, she practiced at SOM, Bureau Spectacular, and Morphosis. She was co-curator of “Dimensions of Citizenship,” the US exhibition at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale; assistant editor of OfficeUS Atlas (Lars Muller, 2015); and co-editor of Public Space? Lost and Found (MIT Press, 2017) on the role of architects and artists in the civic realm. She holds a B Arch from Cornell University and a Master of SMArchS in History, Theory and Criticism from MIT. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Georgeen Theodore.

Georgeen Theodore is founding partner of Interboro in New York City, an award-winning architecture and planning research office that works with public, private, and not-for-profit clients. She is an expert in coordinating complex urban projects that involve diverse stakeholders, infrastructures and ecosystems. She leads the international multi-disciplinary team engaged in post-Sandy rebuilding on Nassau County’s south shore.  She received a B Arch from Rice University and an M Arch in Urban Design from Harvard.  She is a Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design, where she directs the Master of Infrastructure Planning program.

Mason White.

Mason White is founding partner of Lateral Office in Toronto, which investigates architecture as a by-product of complex networks within ecology and culture, with particular focus on public infrastructures in northern and remote contexts. Among many awards received by Lateral Office are the Professional Prix de Rome from Canada Council for the Arts and Special Mention at the 2013 Venice Architecture Biennale for the project “Arctic Adaptations.” He received a B Arch from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and an M Arch from Harvard. He is an Associate Professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at University of Toronto and a founding editor of the journal Bracket.