Iowa State University Awarded $25,000 NCARB Prize Grand Prize

14 April 2009

Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) recently awarded Iowa State University’s Department of Architecture, College of Design, the $25,000 grand prize of the 2009 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy.

Jury chair and former NCARB President, Robert E. Luke, AIA, made the formal announcement at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual Meeting in Portland, OR. Luke also announced four additional NCARB Prize recipients that will each receive $7,500. In his presentation at the ACSA Annual Meeting awards ceremony in late March, Luke noted that the NCARB Prize jury reviewed 35 submissions for the NCARB Prize from 29 architecture programs before making its selections.

“In the eight years since the NCARB Prize Program was established, NCARB has awarded nearly $500,000 to further the Council’s goal of supporting and strengthening the integration of practice with education,” said Luke. “All of this year’s prize recipients demonstrated innovative ways to bring the academy and architectural profession together in programs that provide academic credit.”

Iowa State University ’s submission, “The Bridge Studio,” was honored for the creative way it integrated non-faculty practicing architects into the program. In this upper level studio, students worked in collaborative teams with interns from local firms, consulting practitioners, and a range of building industry professionals to develop projects for organizations and communities not normally served by the design professions. Students had direct access to the firms’ resources and staff. The project, which was directed by Lecturer Nadia M. Anderson, provided an opportunity for students to learn through a variety of activities, such as by presenting ideas, negotiating with clients, and working with various building professionals.

Members of the 2009 NCARB Prize jury noted that “one of the unique ideas of the project was to use interns as ‘bridges’ between the academy and the profession. The project’s strength is its process, which serves as a model of effective integration of practice and education that can be adopted by other schools. ‘The Bridge Studio’ demonstrates effective continuity from education to internship to practice.”

The 2009 NCARB Prize jury honored four additional programs, each of which received a $7,500 monetary award, for their creative initiatives that merged the practice of architecture with the education of future architects.

Ball State University, Department of Architecture
“Straw-Bale Eco Center”
The Straw-Bale Eco Center was designed, documented, and constructed by interdisciplinary groups of Ball State students, working with a range of architects and industry professionals. This hands-on project, directed by Timothy Gray, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Professor of Architecture, and John Motloch, Professor of Landscape Architecture, directly exposed students to a variety of critical and tangible professional issues, including materials, codes, marketing, funding, and communication. The jury noted that the project was “remarkable for the number of professionals it involved with students” and that it “serves as a timely model of integrating education and the profession, and for teaching and continued learning by students, practitioners, and the community.”

Boston Architectural College
“BIM Connections – A Scaffold for Change in Design Education and Practice”
The “BIM Connections” project is an excellent example of collaboration between the academy and practice. Len Charney, Head of Practice, and Andreas Savvides, Director of Practice Alliances, were the directors of this project, which involved a series of semester-long case studies that focused on the influence that Building Information Modeling (BIM) is having on the practice of architecture. The jury noted that the project’s “iterative process between the academy and architects strengthened the relationship between the college and the practice community” and that “the collaboration between students and architects enabled a better understanding of ways in which architecture education, internship, and practice are changing in response to BIM.”

University of Detroit-Mercy, School of Architecture
“St. Joseph Rebuild Center”
Students had the opportunity to work with architects, construction professionals, and non-profit organization to develop a comprehensive approach of responding to the needs of the homeless in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Daniel Pitera, Director/Assistant Professor, and Brandon Becker, Lecturer, were the directors for the “St. Joseph Rebuild Center” project. The jury was impressed with the way in which students collaborated with architects on all aspects of the project, from the initial client meeting to ribbon cutting.

University of Kansas, School of Architecture and Urban Planning
“Sustainable Prototype”
“Sustainable Prototype,” directed by Dan Rockhill, J. L. Constant Professor of Architecture, is the final design studio for University of Kansas graduate students seeking a professional Master of Architecture. In 2008, students worked with architects and faculty to design and build the first community building to open in Greensburg, KS, after a tornado destroyed the town. The jury felt that the project “speaks to the integration of practice and education, and also demonstrates the consciousness and responsibility that results from the collaboration of students with architects and allied professionals.”

2009 NCARB Prize Jury
The 2009 NCARB Prize jury was comprised of members of NCARB’s Practice Education Committee and academic representatives (department heads or chairs) of architecture programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Due to last-minute cancellations, academic representatives from only four of the six NCARB regions were in attendance. Academic members of the jury included the chair of the Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, the institution that received the 2008 NCARB Grand Prize, and representative from three other NCARB Regions, nominated by NCARB’s regional directors.

Academic representatives:

  • Jack Davis, FAIA, LEED AP, Dean and Reynolds Metal Professor, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (NCARB Region 2)
  • Robert W. McKinney, AIA, Professor and Director, School of Architecture + Design, University of Louisiana at Lafayette (NCARB Region 3)
  • Michael J. Buono, AIA, Professor and Director, Hammons School of Architecture, Drury University (NCARB Region 4)
  • Judith Sheine, RA, Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture, College of Environmental Design, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (NCARB Region 6)

Committee members:

  • Robert E. Luke, AIA, Committee Chair, (Mississippi), NCARB President, 2007
  • Joseph L. Bynum, AIA (Alabama)
  • Paul D. Edmeades, AIA (Maryland)
  • Jeffrey Huberman, FAIA, (North Carolina)
  • Melinda Pearson, FAIA (Nebraska)
  • Andrew W. Prescott, AIA, NCARB 1st Vice President/President-elect
  • Peter Steffian, FAIA, (Massachusetts), NCARB President, 2001

NCARB Prize Program
The NCARB Prize was initiated in 2001 in response to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s report, Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice. As envisioned by Peter Steffian, FAIA, who served as Council president in 2001, the NCARB Prize program was designed to encourage, reward, and showcase diverse programs and activities that wholly integrate practice and education in an academic setting. In 2011, the NCARB Prize program will mark its 10th year of recognizing NAAB-accredited programs and NAAB-accredited candidate programs that significantly merge practice and education.

Currently, there are 117 NAAB-accredited programs and seven NAAB-accredited candidate programs eligible for the NCARB Prize. All are encouraged to enter one or more programs that meet the NCARB Prize criteria of integrating the practice of architecture with the education of future architects in creative ways. Submissions for the 2010 NCARB Prize must be received by NCARB no earlier than Tuesday, January 5, 2010, and no later than Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 5:00 PM EST. To learn more about the NCARB Prize and the 2009 NCARB Prize recipients, click here.

NCARB Grant Program
NCARB launched the NCARB Grant program in 2006 after recognizing the need to assist schools in creating new and innovative programs that merge education and practice. A separate funding venture from the NCARB Prize, NCARB Grants provide seed money to support academic activities that will have a long-term, on-going impact on the integration of practice and education. Each academic year NCARB awards up to a total of $10,000 through one, two, or three grants to NAAB-accredited programs and NAAB-accredited candidate programs. Schools interested in applying for the 2009 NCARB Grant should submit their proposal electronically to no earlier than Tuesday, September 22, 2009 and no later than Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 5:00 p.m. EDT. Visit the NCARB Prize section of the Council web site for more information, detailed instructions, and a downloadable application.


The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


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