NCARB Awards $75,000 to Three Architecture Programs

Architecture Programs at Florida Atlantic University, Kansas State University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will each receive a $25,000 NCARB Award.

Providence, RI—Three architecture programs, located at Florida Atlantic University, Kansas State University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, have been selected as 2013 NCARB Award recipients for developing innovative curricula that merge practice and education. Earlier today, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced the recipients at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Administrators Conference.

The NCARB Award supports initiatives that will have a long-term impact on students, faculty, and curriculum. It is designed to help schools implement new programs that bridge the gap between practice and education in a classroom, seminar, or studio setting.

“The caliber of this year’s proposals reflects the academy’s commitment to innovation and addressing real-world scenarios,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “The fact that two of the winning proposals involve partnerships with both practitioners and manufacturers demonstrates the truly collaborative nature of the architecture profession.”

2013 NCARB Award Recipients

Program: Florida Atlantic University, School of Architecture—Fort Lauderdale, FL
“Interdisciplinary Collaboration on Prototyping for Responsive Kinetic Design”
Total Award: $25,000

By forming a partnership with an architecture firm and a manufacturer, students will develop environmentally reactive materials that improve energy efficiency and enhance users’ well-being. Students from multidisciplinary backgrounds will refine their design and research skills through a series of lectures, workshops, manufacturer-led reviews, rapid prototyping, testing and experimentation, full-scale model assembly, and public exhibits. By linking emerging professionals and practitioners with manufacturers, this proposal has the potential to transform how architects collaborate with industry allies.

Program: Kansas State University, College of Architecture, Planning & Design—Manhattan, KS
“Designing for Performance: Research and Innovation in Building Envelopes”
Total Award: $25,000

This project seeks to explore the relationship between research and practice by joining forces with a leading manufacturer of envelope systems. In a studio setting, students, aided by a team of practitioners, will use computer analysis and instrumented mockups to develop, test, and integrate building skins that can reduce energy use. By applying environmental and building physics knowledge to the design process, this course will tackle real world problems associated with building performance. More importantly, the project reveals that architects have the capacity to become leaders in advancing sustainability.

Program: University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History—Amherst, MA
“Voices from the Field: From Design Concept to Reality”
Total Award: $25,000

Through a series of bi-weekly site tours and firm visits, this seminar will expose students to the nuances of the construction process—knowledge typically attained after graduation. By examining active projects throughout the region, students will learn about the relationship between concept and technical design, develop an understanding of construction sequences, and become familiar with the architect’s role in construction administration. During site visits, students will also get the chance to compare documentation to projects in construction. This seminar exemplifies the way architecture students of the future should integrate construction needs into the design process.

Honorable Mentions:

The NCARB Award Jury recognized two additional programs that demonstrated a commitment to uniquely integrating practice and education.

Program: Roger Williams University, School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation—Bristol, RI
“Designing Health Stations for Primary Care and Healthful Living”

This collaborative proposal combined the expertise of students, practitioners, state policymakers, and healthcare providers to establish a network of local “health stations.” Through an environmental design research course and accompanying studio course, students would gain insight into the complexities of developing healthcare facilities.

Program: The University of Kansas, School of Architecture, Design & Planning—Lawrence, KS
“Integrating Specialized Knowledge: a ‘Mini’ MOOC Pilot”

Capitalizing on the growing popularity of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), this project proposed to offer low-cost access to quality education to students and emerging professionals. Through a free, six-week online course, viewers would gain access to an on-campus workshop, student project reviews, site visits, and practitioner lectures.

Award Jury:

The 2013 NCARB Award Jury rigorously and impartially evaluated proposals against a published set of criteria. The jury was comprised of eight architects who volunteered extensive time and expertise to fulfill their charge. Led by Hans R. Hoffman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, chair of the 2013 NCARB Award Jury, members included: Terry Allers, AIA, NCARB, Fort Dodge, IA; David M. Biagi, NCARB, Lexington, KY; Andrew T. Malanowski, NCARB, Milwaukee, WI; Mark R. McKechnie, AIA, Medford, OR; Bert L. Mijares Jr., AIA, El Paso, TX; Wendy Ornelas, FAIA, Manhattan, KS; and Megan Katherine Schoch, Seattle, WA.

Award Jury members with any connection or potential conflict of interest abstained from voting on that school’s proposal.

NCARB Commitment to Architectural Education:

Since 2001, the Council has supported the integration of practice and education by awarding more than $875,000 to schools through the NCARB Prize (2001-2011) and the NCARB Award (2006-present; known as the NCARB Grant until 2012). These funds have reached 58 schools—representing more than a third of all NAAB-accredited degree programs.

Learn more about the NCARB Award by visiting



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 and Canada.