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University of Minnesota: The Latest Architecture and News

Lecture Series: UMN Catalyst Week 2016

Architecture as Catalyst is an annual week-long event, bringing new ideas, conversations, and expertise to the school by inviting guests from around the world to run experimental workshops with graduate students and give public lectures on their work. Each year, the week before spring break, first and second year graduate architecture students engage with the guests and host faculty in intensive five-day workshops, each focused around a unique set of ideas and techniques.

AD Architecture School Guide: University of Minnesota

For most schools, receiving an M.Arch requires 2 to 3 years, and, according to NCARB, IDP towards licensure takes an average of slightly over 5 years, excluding the time to take the exams themselves.

The University of Minnesota School of Architecture is offering two degrees that will significantly reduce IDP requirements—pending approval by NCARB— and thus reduce the time it takes to attain one’s architecture license. Two M.S. programs, an M.S. in Architecture Research Practices and an M.S. in Architecture Metropolitan Design are designed as additional year-long degrees attained while students pursue their M.Arch’s. Even better, both are structured to not only help students attain up to 930 IDP hours toward completing the degree, but to defray tuition while doing it.

Student Thesis Project Turns Bus Into Tiny House

Like many architecture students, Hank Butitta was frustrated. Frustrated that the projects he and his fellow classmates were painstakingly, time-consumingly crafting at architecture school resulted—almost always—in nothing.  But Hank Butitta, unlike many architecture students, decided that, for his thesis, he would buy an old school bus and turn it into a flexible living space. The result: a 225 square foot mobile home—complete with reclaimed gym flooring and dimmable LED mood lighting. 

On his website (www.hankboughtabus.com), Butitta says, “This project was a way to show how building a small structure with simple detailing can be more valuable than drawing a complex project that is theoretical and poorly understood.” Since the project (which was envisioned with a nod to the tiny house movement) was picked up by the media last week, fans and commenters have flooded the site, asking Hank how he resolved certain problems and where he sourced the materials.

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13th Annual Structures for Inclusion Conference

The thirteenth annual Structures for Inclusion conference (SFI-13) will be held March 23-24 at the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis Campus. The conference is preceded by the Public Interest Design Institute, a training program sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, that will be held at the same location on March 21-22. These are two major events that help compose the inaugural Public Interest Design Week, March 19-24.

Update: Imagine the Mississippi

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Spirit Island Void Interior

A few days ago, we shared a sampling of projects from the Imagine the Mississippi initiative, where a group of undergraduate students from the University of Minnesota have tackled the challenge of re-inventing the character of the waterfront. While the proposals we previously featured include a new pool/aquarium combination and a spot to experience the waterfall up close and personal, today’s featured proposals offer four new visions for the Mississippi.

Check out five more proposals after the break.