Kent State University highlights 10 projects for architecture students

Design School Offers: Communal living spaces that exhibit human-like characteristics were included in Dezeen’s latest school rendering by students at Kent State University.

It also includes a building facade that mimics the illusions created by the kaleidoscope and a building informed by the environment of its location.


institution: Kent State University
school: College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Courses: Undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture
the teachers: Sung Ho Kim, Ivan Bernal, Matthew Hutchinson, Jean Jaminet, Jonathan McGillis, Andrew Economous Miller, Ibrahim Bustinci, Nick Savelia and John Yoder

School statement:

“The architecture programs at Kent State University are committed to providing a transformative architectural education that pursues experimental and creative design thinking.

“The programs prepare innovative architects and leaders in society by empowering graduates with the passion, skills, craftsmanship and experience to envision the future of the built environment.

“The following projects offer different levels across different years in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, covering design topics related to sustainability, spatial and programmatic complexity, urban design, technology, systems integration and representation.

“We believe in exposing our students to contemporary theoretical issues and advanced technical skills as well as social and cultural context to create an integrated platform for scholarship, design excellence, and constructive discourse in the architectural discipline.”


Missoni Check Style Criticism by Andrew Aronsky

“Missoni Check Pattern Critique explores the relationship between tectonics and textile production, both complicated by computation and virtual modes of display through digital image making.

“Textureal considerations create contrasts between the scale of detail and the scale of the object, resulting in central differences between fabric patterns, tectonic expression and associated physical effects.

“Here, the architecture explores the scale and projection of the depiction of the body throughout the building.”

student: Andrew Aronsky
turn: Design studio for the second year
private teacher: Jean Jaminet


Cultural Park in Kent, Ohio by Dylan Lara

“The Cultural Park in Kent, Ohio, uses the well-established concepts of object-within-object and object-over-object.

“It aims to reconsider the part-to-part and part-to-whole relationships between the interior envelope and the building as well as the negotiations of building context and site, using volumetric and organizational hinges.

“Using site, mass and interior as ‘objective’ intellectual spatial tools and media, the studio investigates the ‘objectivity’ and ‘objectivity’ of space through user experience on multiple levels.”

student: Dylan Lara
turn: Design studio for the third year
private teacher: Ibrahim Boustinchi


One Note by Curt R. Roscoe

“Observate One is an observation tower consisting of three interlocking truss tower structures.

“Beginning with the inner core tower located underground, the core tower extends vertically above the other two buildings – the result is a series of three towers that appear to extend toward the sky.

“This project explores the idea that architectural image culture is expanding and that complex visualization systems such as virtual reality, 3D scanning and texture mapping are gradually replacing the traditional trope of line drawings in architectural education.”

student: Curt R. Roscoe
turn: Graduate Design Studio II
private teacher: John Yoder


Volume Comment by Logan Ali

“Hanging the volume is a provocation to create a new public reference and experience. To achieve this, two of the existing structures at ground level were ‘cut down’ – joined together and suspended from a new mass.

“The material and tectonic strategy between the existing volumes and the new structure underscores the suspense. The sweeping gesture at ground level allows the surrounding urban fabric to extend under and through the project, connecting it to its context.”

student: Logan Ali
turn: Design studio for the fourth year
private teacher: Matthew Hutchinson


Kaleidoscope by Olivia Newbrough and Josie Estlock

“Kaleidscope is a multi-use building that explores the movements that occur in the façade as users walk through the external circulation space.

“As you walk through this space, you can see through the three layers of the facade fabric, allowing you to observe different colors and moments like a kaleidoscope.

“You may see different views of the structure, colors and surrounding location when you walk in. Due to the layers of transparency, you may experience a different effect depending on where you are in the building.

“From street level, the layers of the façade tend to become more opaque, meaning those within the units and circulation space have a much more transparent building envelope than someone on the street.

“It becomes difficult to determine the number of floors of the building from the street level as the building appears to be a large mass due to the opacity.”

students: Olivia Newbrough and Josie Estlock
turn: Integrated design studio
private teacher: Jonathan McGillis


Vivarium by Ryan Coberly

“The Vivarium consists of multiple manipulated programs of ‘bubbles’ connected by a green corridor that simulates the site environment. A section model is a physical manifestation of a basin or geode.

“The exterior is a soft, curved form that when taken apart reveals spaces that come to life through the use of various colours, textures and botanical details.

“When the corridor meets the completely transparent exterior glass, the separation between inside and outside becomes blurred.

“The manufacturing process involved experimenting with glass, resin, acrylic and other materials to understand how they function as lenses that obscure the view from the inside out.

“In doing so, lenses are not limited to their inherent use as a single viewport, but can now serve as a crafted piece of furniture that can be occupied within a space.”

student: Ryan Coberly
turn: Design studio for the third year
private teacher: Ivan Bernal


Transitional Housing for the Mission District by Logan West and Logan Ali

“This project reconfigures the essence of the building to spatially support social infrastructures and emphasize collective infrastructure building.

“Without compromising the efficiency of basic infrastructure and means of egress, this project envisions the center as a social concentrator where shared facilities serve the transitional housing complex.

“The feeling of social isolation is a common psychological burden for those facing homelessness. The design emphasizes the shared spatial conditions that are arranged within the confines of the site as urban objects.

“They contain shared social spaces – each core influencing the organization of disparate residential blocks and their cyclic grid that frames the large urban rooms.”

students: Logan West and Logan Ali
turn: Integrated design studio
private teacher: Nick Savley


Building for Collective Living by Trevor Rodgers

Building for Collective Living is a collection of architectural details from a variety of popular architectural media and magazine sources that have been simplified and assembled by a group of collective living members.

“These details are examples of contemporary design with an emphasis on timber framing and concrete masonry unit (CMU) construction.

“The performance of a building envelope using these details is generally ineffective as a working facade system, affecting the way natural light filters into the building.

“Perspective plans and perspective sections explore aspects of a house by showing states of materiality, construction techniques, and spatial conditions that have varying degrees of effectiveness and function.”

student: Trevor Rodgers
turn: Graduate Design Studio II
private teacher: Andrew Economous Miller


Piece, Board and Glue by Tim Geraint and Joseph Norman

Chunk, Panel and Glue analyzes the materiality of condemned houses in Warren, Ohio, USA, at three scales, investigating house reassembly and the relationship between scales of disassembly.

“This assumption led to the creation of different levels of deconstruction called piece, plate, and glue. The piece consists of pieces cut from wire along a secular grid, the plate is composed of planar 8-by-8-inch pieces, and the glue consists of deconstruction on the smallest scale,” down to the buttons. “.

“Speculations about how these scales might communicate created unique spaces between privatized ‘lots’ and more open public spaces through new structures and ‘panels’.

“These defined spaces allowed the ‘glue’ to be negotiated between the two defined spaces, providing shared and privatized spaces for residents throughout the neighborhoods as well as a bridge system.

“These systems were then used to influence how we view the way spaces interact with their occupants and how spaces impact their mental health.

“This rebuilt cohousing community looks to address the social, economic and environmental influences that play a role in mental health today.”

students: Tim Gernt and Joseph Norman
turn: Design studio for the third year
private teacher: Andrew Economous Miller


Shaping Society by Justin Leavell and Dominic Holliday

“Community Shaping explores the use of anthropomorphic shapes and spaces to create a diverse social framework with a participatory lifestyle.

“The use of legs, bodies and hats as narrative characters gives residents a sense of shared identity with the audience. As these shapes move into the site, they distort and intersect.”

“This allows users to participate within multiple characters that serve as places of rest, gathering or entertainment. The combination of shapes and sub-figures of characters creates open social spaces at the edge of the street that extend into the site and facilitate different collective lives.

“The building uses a three-on-one construction strategy to prioritize ground shaping as well as the flexibility of organization that comes from timber framing.

“Vertical circulation, variable refrigerant flow (VRF), heating and cooling, plumbing, and roof run the gamut of characters – these characters provide a sense of identity and privacy for residents.

“The characters’ ‘legs’ reinforce a sense of community within the grocery store and the general public, while the ‘hats’ create a sense of exclusivity within the community.”

students: Justin Leavell and Dominic Holiday
turn: Integrated design studio
private teacher: Nick Savley

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Kent State University. Find out more about Dezeen’s partnership content here.

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