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Discover the I-CAVE, a new virtual reality system in development at FIU

The Department of Architecture’s Dr. Winifred Newman (Associate Professor and Director of Advanced Studies) is leading a team of seven FIU faculty members designing and developing a new Virtual Reality (VR) system on campus. The new instrument is called the I-CAVE (Integrated – Computer Augmented Virtual Environment). The FIU School of Architecture and School of Computing and Information Sciences recently finalized the location of the facility and made plans to move towards its completion.

The I-CAVE is a large room with wall-to-wall and floor LED flex-screens and a surround-sound system that creates an immersive virtual reality experience. The room, a 15-feet by 11-feet cube, tracks how a person moves within the space with a four-camera shutter-synchronized tracking system. This system eliminates the need for the equipment that is usually needed for movement tracking on other platforms, such as gloves or headgear.

icave_articlebodyimage“The I-CAVE enhances instructional technology in a number of ways,” said Dr. Newman. “First, using a total immersion environment as an instructional space offers new and exciting possibilities for all departments to incorporate animations, large-scale imagery, and virtual realities into their curriculum. Second, students will be able to propose their own projects for the I-CAVE, thus learning to plan, design and work through issues related to data visualization, basic computing skills, and information fusion. Third, CAVEs are dynamic instruments that require constant development and adjustment for research.”

The new facility will be available for use by FIU students and instructors across all disciplines. Dr. Newman said, “Student involvement with the I-CAVE will occur . . . as instructional space for courses, faculty-sponsored and student-generated research and creative projects, and for the development of skills necessary to run and maintain an active, immersive virtual reality instrument.” One of the team’s focuses is the ease and timeliness with which the I-CAVE can be operated. According to Dr. Newman, “this facility will offer state-of-the art imagery and user-friendly interaction so that students and faculty can develop projects quickly and with minimal start time.”

Currently, there are CAVE facilities located on most major research universities in the United States and abroad. This includes the Computer Graphics Group at Brown University, the Visualization Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire, the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Chicago, and the Calit2 at the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology.

The FIU I-CAVE will be only the second Virtual Reality environment built in the Florida university system, after the facility at the University of Central Florida.

The I-CAVE will be located on the FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, at the Engineering & Computer Science building. It will be designed, constructed, developed and maintained by FIU’s School of Architecture, School of Computing and Information Science, Department of Electrical Engineering, Instructional & Research Computing Center-High Performance Computing, and University Technology Services.

Dr. Newman and the FIU I-CAVE team were granted $502,489.00 for the project through the university’s Tech Fee. The team will be working with several industry partners in South Florida, California, and China to develop a way to field test equipment, look at alternatives, and develop practices as they finalize the design.

Below is the list of FIU faculty members involved in the development of the new I-CAVE.

Dr. Winifred Newman
College of Architecture + The Arts | School of Architecture

Dr. Scott Graham
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Mr. Eric S. Johnson
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Mr. Mike Kirgen
Division of Information Technology, Instructional & Research Computing Center-High Performance Computing

Dr. Shu-Ching Chen
School of Computing and Information Sciences

Dr. Nezih Pala
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mr. Steve Luis
School of Computing and Information Sciences

This article was written with the help of the FIU I-CAVE team.

The images in this article are provided by the FIU I-CAVE team.

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‘Indescribable thread(s),’ featuring two alumni, closes at Space Mountain

On August 15th, Indescribable Thread(s) will close at art space Space Mountain. The exhibition includes two FIU College of Architecture + The Arts alumni: Danny Gonzalez (BFA ’07) and Barbara Lamothe (BFA ’14).

The following statement about the exhibition is provided by the art space.

“~what~ links us together – or sets one apart – spontaneous instances that capture truth through vision – this show brings together 6 photographers from different stages in their careers. Seeming to approach their everyday with a sense of magic realism, underground scenes imbued with poetic weirdness, mystery, and sex.” (Source: Space Mountain)

Indescribable Thread(s) will close on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at Space Mountain: 8363 NE 2 Avenue, Miami, Florida. The space is open by appointment. For more information, call (786) 512-4706.

All images in this article are provided courtesy of Ivan Santiago.

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Nick Gilmore’s ‘Frame Out’ opens at 6th Street Container

Nick Gilmore, Master of Fine Arts candidate at The College of Architecture + The Arts, will open Frame Out on August 15th at 6th Street Container.

This solo exhibition by Gilmore is described in the following statement by the artist.

“The exhibition title refers to the construction industry term for building the skeleton of a structure (“to frame out”), and aims to call attention to the frames of the works on display, which are constructed of Dade County Pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa). Named for its exclusivity to this region, this old growth native species was the construction material of choice in South Florida until the end of the 1940s, when it was harvested to the brink of extinction. To this day it is unmatched in strength of resistance both to rotting and termites. This project utilizes Dade County Pine I salvaged while renovating my 1926 house, located only a few blocks from this exhibition. Presented both in its originally constructed form and retooled into new objects, this Dade County Pine asks us to remember the history of our built environment; it also suggests the entanglement of consumption and necessity.”

Frame Out will open on Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 7PM at 6th Street Container: 1155 (rear) SW 6 Street, Miami, FL 33130.

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Janine King invited to participate in Future Vision 2014

Janine King, Chair of FIU Interior Architecture and Associate Professor, has been invited to join the Council for Interior Design Accreditation’s (CIDA) Future Vision 2014.

From the CIDA website: “The Council for Interior Design Accreditation Board of Directors has invited visionaries to partner in establishing priorities for the future of interior design higher education. Chosen for their well-informed, broad perspective, a diverse group of nominated thought leaders will join the Board of Directors at CIDA’s Future Vision session in November 2014. Hosted by Steelcase, the goal of Future Vision is to describe factors that will have the greatest influence on interior design in order to establish educational priorities for entry-level practitioners in 2017 and beyond.”

The following individuals will participate in Future Vision 2014.

Interior design practice
Collin Burry, Principal, Gensler, San Francisco, CA (CIDA Board)
Julianna Catlin, Principal, Catlin Design, Jacksonville, FL
Heather Robertson Corrigan, President, Robertson MacLean Design Limited, Dartmouth, NS (CIDA Board)
Raphael Paul diTommaso, Principal, diTommaso & Colaku, New York, NY
Benjamin Fuglevand, Associate, Callison Architects, Seattle, WA
Sari Graven, Principal, J&S Collaborative, Seattle, WA (CIDA Board)
Carol Jones, Principal, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., Vancouver, BC (CIDA Board)
Melissa Mizell, Senior Associate Designer, Gensler, San Francisco, CA
Christina Oliver, Principal, Oliver Interiors, LLC, Newton, MA
Heidi Painchaud, Managing Principal, B+H Architects, Toronto, ON
Adam Stover, Principal, Populous, Kansas City, MO

Interior design education
Katherine Ankerson, Department Head, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Tilanka Chandrasekera, Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Pamela Evans, Interior Design Director, Kent State University, Kent, OH (CIDA Board)
Janine King, Interior Architecture Department Chair, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Thomas Kong, Associate Professor, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Jane Kucko, Associate Dean for University Programs, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX (CIDA Board)
Carl Matthews, Interior Design Program Director, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR (CIDA Board)
Dorothy Stern, Professor, Algonquin College, Ottawa, ON

Industry and related disciplines
Tom Carlisle, Apple Campus 2 Design, Apple, Cupertino, CA
Michael R. Gibson, Associate Professor, University of North Texas, Denton, TX (AIGA Design Education Council)
Jan Johnson, Vice President Design and Workplace Resources, Allsteel, Chicago, IL (CIDA Board)
Alex Serriere, Principal, CTO, Director of Research, TEECOM, Oakland, CA
Mark Strauss, President, Interior Design Media, New York, NY (CIDA Board)

Professor King has over fifteen years experience in teaching and administration, and has headed FIU’s Interior Architecture Department since 2003. She is a licensed Interior Designer in the state of Florida and holds an NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certificate. She earned her Master of Interior Architecture Degree from the University of Oregon and has won numerous awards for her teaching, research, and service. Her research is motivated by a desire to enhance the quality of people’s lives through the production of safe, healthy, useful, and inspirational interior environments.  Aimed at improving the depth and quality of the design process, her work focuses on developing and evaluating new procedures and methods that improve designers’ ability to solve complex problems. This work ranges from a series of funded projects developing, implementing, and evaluating participatory design methods to projects involving innovative instructional methods directed toward complex problem solving. Her work has resulted in book chapters, journal articles, and conference presentations.

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Festival of the Trees Kickoff on Wednesday, August 20th!

The Festival of the Trees Kickoff event will take place next Wednesday, August 20th! Join us at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and meet-up with FIU Interior Architecture’s extended family of designers, students, alumni, and industry representatives. This event will be hosted in preparation for the bigger event to come in November 2014, the Festival of the Trees.

The Festival of the Trees is a fundraising event coordinated by FIU Interior Architecture and its advisory board. Each year, Festival of the Trees Sponsors underwrite designers who design and build their unique holiday creations and donate them to the event. The ‘trees’ are then displayed and auctioned at the gala opening held at Coral Gables Museum. The lucky winning bidders take these extraordinary creations and use them for holiday decorations in either their homes or offices. South Florida’s architecture and design community demonstrates its support for quality interior architecture education by both their participation in the creation of the trees and their attendance at the event. This holiday extravaganza has raised over $100,000 in funds that benefit FIU’s Interior Architecture Department and its talented students.

The Festival of the Trees Kickoff event will take place on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 6:30PM at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: 2525 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL 33134. RSVP to Zinaida Hirlemann at zhirlema@fiu.edu. A $10 donation at the door is suggested.

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CARTA Faculty and Miami Artist, Finalists in Wynwood Gateway Park Competition

Assistant Professor Nick Gelpi, FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design Chair Roberto Rovira, and Jim Drain (artist and 2005 Bâloise Art Prize recipient) make up one of the eleven team finalists in the Dawntown Wynwood Gateway Park Competition. Selected out of a pool of 238 international submissions, the inter-disciplinary team (Gelpi the architect, Rovira the landscape architect, and Drain the public artist) are the only finalists based in Miami.

The competition seeks the design of an urban park and garden in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. The following description is provided by Dawntown:

The competition was conceived by neighborhood visionary and Metro 1 President and CEO, Tony Cho, in partnership with DawnTown, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting architecture in Miami and AIA Miami, the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects, with the goal of creating a dynamic 14,000-square-foot space that offers the local community, visitors and tourists a place to come together and enjoy the neighborhood in a public environment. It is located at 2825 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. (Source: http://dawntown.org/wynwood/)

The finalists selected for the competition are:

The Miami-based, independent team consisting of artist Jim Drain, architect Nick Gelpi, and landscape architect Roberto Rovira
 AGENCY Architecture LLC from New York City, New York
Aranda/Lasch from New York City, New York
Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu  /  SO-IL from Brooklyn, New York
stpmj from Brooklyn, New York
Meyer + Silberberg – Land Architects from Berkeley, California
SFA from Madrid, Spain
Colour: Urban Design Limited from London, England
Wayward Plants from London, England
AZC – Atelier Zundel Cristea from Paris, France
ONZ Architects from Ankara, Turkey

The eleven finalists for the competition were selected by an esteemed panel of expert judges that included:

Enrique Norten – Founding Principal, TEN Arquitectos
Terrance Riley – Principal, Keenan/Riley
Raymond Jungles, ASLA – FASLA, PLA, Founding Principal of Raymond Jungles, Inc.
Allan Shulman FAIA, Principal, Shulman + Associates
James Russell, FAIA, architecture critic and journalist
Andrew Frey – Development Manager, Codina Group
Tony Cho – CEO and Founder, Metro 1
Moderator: Joachim Perez, Executive Director of DawnTown
Former Director of Miami Art Museum and Museum of Modern Art
Founder, DawnTown

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MONAD Studio’s work published in Italian journal ‘Architetti’

The work of MONAD Studio/Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg has been published in the Italian journal Architetti.

The tenth issue of the journal, entitled Complexity and Sustainability in the Project, was written by Gabriella Padovano and Cesare Blasi from the Politecnico di Milano and features four architectural practices: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Xefirotarch (Hernan Diaz Alonso), Tom Wiscombe Architecture, and MONAD Studio.

Architetti covers MONAD Studio’s Wolfsonian Satellite Pavilion, Miami. The text below is a description of the project written by Padovano and Blasi:

Founded in 2002 by Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg, MONAD Studio is a design research practice with focus on spatial perception related to rhythmic affect, with explorations ranging from the scale of urban plans to buildings, and from landscape to installations and product design. MONAD Studio’s designs highlight the range and complexity of sensations involved in constructing rhythmic ensembles. The activity that results from intense digital design is not only revealed through structural or programmatic constraints but take a much more important presence in the articulation of the topology of buildings. The work of MONAD Studio has been published and exhibited. Eric Goldemberg is currently the Digital Design Coordinator and Full-Time Professor at Florida International University. Veronica Zalcberg taught design studios at Columbia University and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

MONAD Studio was founded by The College of Architecture + The Arts’ Eric Goldemberg, Associate Professor, and Veronica Zalcberg, architect.

The featured image is provided courtesy of MONAD Studio/Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg.

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Kim Moore, MFA Candidate recognized with FIU students by Florida Chapter ASLA

Masters of Fine Arts candidate Kim Moore will be awarded by the Florida Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects (FLASLA), for a statewide, blind-juried competition hosted by the society. She was a member of two FIU student projects, one of which will be awarded an Award of Honor and the other, an Award of Merit. On Friday, July 25th, Moore and the other FIU students will be given their awards by FLASLA at its 2014 Awards Gala, which will be held at the Key Largo Ocean Reef Club.

FLASLA Award of Honor
Project Title: Interweaving Wet /Land
Students:
Gregory Gonzalez, Diego Justiniano, Daniela Menendez, Santiago Olarte, Andrew Pereda (FIU LA + EUD) Monica Ospina (FIU Environmental Studies)
Paola Davalos, Natalia Duque (FIU Civil Engineering)
Kim Moore (FIU Art + Art History)
Faculty Advisor: Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)

FLASLA Award of Merit
Project Title
: Reciprocating Landscapes: Wet, Dry, and In Between
Students:
Gregory Gonzalez, Diego Justiniano, Daniela Menendez, Santiago Olarte, Andrew Pereda (FIU LA + EUD) Monica Ospina (FIU Environmental Studies)
Paola Davalos, Natalia Duque (FIU Civil Engineering)
Kim Moore (FIU Art + Art History)
Faculty Advisor: Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)

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Spring 2014 FIU Architecture Folio Released!

Our issue of FIU Architecture Folio, Spring 2014 highlights some of the semester’s accomplishments made by students, faculty, and alumni of the FIU Department of Architecture. The Folio can be viewed by The College of Architecture + The Arts family and those beyond the College and University!

To view the FIU Architecture Folio, Spring 2014 issue, click here!

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Alumna Lisette Boosooboy teaches Summer Course

Ranked as the 4th best interior design graduate program in the South by DesignIntelligence, the FIU Department of Interior Architecture is passionate about design and explores its countless contributions to society, through the work done by our faculty and students. This Summer, Lisette Boosooboy, LEED AP (FIU BA in Interior Design ’05, MIA ’13) transformed from alumna to both former student and faculty member of the Department. She decided to join the Department’s creative, dedicated designers by teaching the course Construction Documents of Interior Architecture. She returned to the classroom to be on the other side of the curriculum, offering students her expertise and talents in the field.

Returning to FIU to teach was a bit of a change for the alumna. “It is a bit daunting at first,” she said, “but when you realize that this is part of what you have been doing for the last nine years, and you know the information, it becomes a challenge that you can handle.”

Boosooboy is a Designer at M.C. Harry & Associates, and has been since September 2005. She said that FIU Interior Architecture prepared her for her professional experiences at the firm. “The FIU Interior Architecture Department has an amazing faculty that prepares its students to think about design in an [exploratory] method,” said Boosooboy. “[I]t challenges the intellect in a logical as well as a creative manner….There are an infinite number of skills that one possessses upon graduating from FIU, but being able to astutely give a reason behind one’s design choices and effectively communicate that to a client or a team is invaluable.”

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CARTA, UNTITLED, and Vagabond launch new lecture series, FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS

The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts has partnered with Helmut Schuster (owner of Gallery Schuster in Berlin, Miami, and Potsdam), Jeff Lawson of UNTITLED Art Fair, and Avra Jain of The Vagabond Hotel to provide a four-part, community-based lecture series called FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS. The lecture series – which will occur on the third Mondays of the months from August to November – will culminate in a CARTA exhibition, curated by Helmut Schuster, at UNTITLED during December’s Art Basel-Miami Beach week.

Terry Riley – architect, former Director of the Miami Art Museum, and former Philip Johnson Chief Curator of The Museum of Modern Art – will be the first keynote speaker of the FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS on Monday, August 18th at the grand re-opening of The Vagabond Hotel. CARTA will provide innovative, “pop-up” cultural activities throughout the hotel that showcase the talents of the College’s faculty, students, staff, and alumni. This will include – but will not be limited to – live music, video and multimedia installations, interactive art, design exhibitions, dance, and staged readings.

The FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS: Terry Riley lecture will occur on Monday, August 18th at the Vagabond Hotel: 7301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33138.

FIU UNTITLED ART TALKS are co-sponsored by UNTITLED, produced by Schuster Galleries, and hosted at the Vagabond Hotel.

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‘Omnibus,’ Alumni Show on Comic Book/Graphic Storytelling at GC Gallery

Omnibus, an exhibition on comic book and graphic communication, is on display at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery. The show features a group of FIU Bachelor of Arts alumni, and it invites current FIU students to add their own work to the exhibition.

Gretchen Scharnagl, Full-Time Instructor of The College of Architecture + the Arts (Art + Art History Department) and the Honors College reached out to the FIU comic book community to propose an exhibit of this genre of work.  She discussed it with past students and alumni from her own comic book classes and students from other drawing classes. Scharnagl was approached with the opportunity to launch an exhibition at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery. Alumnus Eric Gonzalez (BFA ’11) decided to take up the responsibility of organizing the exhibition.

Omnibus features a collection of short narratives bound together in a large tome,” said Eric Gonzalez (BFA ’11), who is organizing the show. “Each piece tells a small story and while not necessarily directly linked to one another, they branch off and take the viewer/reader into new and different territories.”

The artists featured in Omnibus are:

Alex Rocky Ferrer (BFA ’10)
Carlos Folgar (BFA ’10)
Eric Gonzalez (BFA ’11)
Wen-Ju Chien (BFA ’11)
Oliver Perez (BFA ’11)
Jorge Palomino (BFA ’12)
Oliver Guido (BFA ’12)
Stephanie Cuffel

Current students are welcomed to participate in the working days at the exhibition, and hang their own artwork in the show. The exhibition is open to new works on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1PM to 7PM.

Omnibus will have its closing reception on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at the FIU Graham Center Art Gallery: 11200 SW 8 Street, GC 215, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, Miami, FL 33199.

The header image is an artwork by Alex Rocky Ferrer (BFA ’10). The images in this article are provided courtesy of Eric Gonzalez.

OMNIBUS FLYER

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Faculty and Students Awarded for Work at 1310 Gallery

Associate Professor Pip Brant and MFA candidates Gardner Cole Miller and Yasmin Khalaf are three of six artists awarded for their work in The Triumph of Detritus at 1310 Gallery. Prominent guest judges from local arts establishments visited the exhibition and voted for the top artists. Chosen among the 30 artists in the exhibition, Brant and Miller tied for first place and Khalaf was awarded second place. Each of them received a trophy and a cash prize.

The Triumph of Detritus is curated by Lisa Rockford, tenured Assistant Professor at Broward College, a resident artist at Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, and a founding member of 1310 Gallery. She described the exhibition with the following statement:  “[The Triumph of Detritus is] a group exhibition of artists that morph raw, found, and unexpected debris into works of splendor. Visceral materials are combined with exquisite embellishment, transforming castoffs into captivating works of beauty.” (Source: Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts)

The Triumph of Detritus also included the work of Master of Fine Arts candidate Joe Locke and alumna Kerry Phillips (BFA ’00).

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Pip Brant and Mary Larsen in new exhibition at Juan Ruiz Gallery

The College of Architecture + The Arts’s Pip Brant, Associate Professor and alumna Mary Larsen (BFA ’12) will be featured in Short Story, which opens at the Juan Ruiz Gallery on Thursday, July 24th.

Short Story includes eleven Miami-based artists curated by aritst Rubén Torres Llorca. The name of the exhibition comes from the small format of all pieces in the show. Each piece has its own short story told by its respective artist.

The following artists are featured in Short Story:

Esteban Blanco
Pip Brant
Carol K. Brown
Randy Burman
Liliam Dominguez
Kathleen Hudspeth
Mary Larsen
Rogelio Lopez Marin
Rafael Lopez Ramos
Ruben Torres-Llorca
Lucy de la Vega

Short Story will open on Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at the Juan Ruiz Gallery: 301 NW 28 Street, Miami, FL 33127. Free and open to the public.

As a part of Short Story, a concert will be hosted by the Juan Ruiz Gallery on Saturday, August 9th. The following description of the concert is from the gallery’s press release.

Juan Ruiz Gallery is pleased to present as part of ‘our Short Stories’ exhibition a collaborative interdisciplinary piece by Artists Ruben Torres Llorca, Rogelio Lopez Marin (Gory) and musical group The Similar Prisoners.

The piece titled ‘My World Keeps Falling’ is a limited edition of 5 one of a kind art boxes, containing inside them 10 original illustrations each corresponding to each of the songs on the “My World Keeps Falling” album by The Similar Prisoners. Each one of the boxes will have a unique cover art on see thru acrylic.

The boxes also contain a 24kt gold cd copy of the aforementioned album in mini LP format. What makes this piece truly unique is that it will be the first collaboration between these two artists that were part of the now mythical 1981 Cuban exhibition Volumen Uno, as there’ll be an original Gory photo (c–print) included in each box. To top it off on Saturday July 12th the gallery will have The Similar Prisoners performing live, the ultimate companion piece for these gorgeous one of a kind art boxes.

The images in this article are provided courtesy of the Juan Ruiz Gallery.

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Short Story Invite - Juan Ruiz Gallery

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Peta-Gaye Walker (MIA ’14) acquires full-time position at Touzet Studio

The role of internships in preparing our students for professional practice cannot be understated. Here is a great example of a student moving from internship to full-time position. College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Peta-Gaye Walker (MIA ’14) acquired a full-time position at Touzet Studio upon graduating from Florida International University.

Touzet Studio is a full-service architecture, interior design and planning firm, with its well-known commercial projects involving GAP, Michigan Avenue Retail, and 3711 NE 2nd Avenue. In January 2014, Touzet Studio hired Petas an intern working as their Material Librarian. “I found out later through my supervisor,” said Walker, “that it was because of my reputation as a diligent student, enthusiasm for FIU, professionalism, and knowledge about materials and relationships with vendors and other professionals in the industry that the company e-mailed me and offered me an internship position.” Walker said that, at the time, the duties of the internship were overwhelming, but she realized that the experience and information she gained was invaluable. “The Studio focused on teaching each designer as if they were project managers, and I got a chance to see all the minor and major details I may not have seen otherwise.”

Walker’s supervisor, Kate Healy (Senior Interior Designer at Touzet Studio), became her mentor for her Masters thesis, a mixed-used project entitled “The White Elephant Culinary Resource Center & Food Bank.” After attending Walker’s thesis presentation, Healy offered Walker a full-time position as Design Assistant.

“Peta has been as asset to me since she started,” said Healy. “She has a positive, outgoing personality which is always appreciated. Initially, when she started, she was finishing her Thesis project, and though I know how time consuming that can be, she was still very dependable and able to help with impending studio deadlines. I have appreciated Peta’s desire to learn and ask questions. When something is left unclear she makes sure to clarify the intent and understand the task fully. It’s refreshing to have someone who can work both on Interiors and be a help to our architectural team when needed. She’s an asset, and I hope she will be with us for a long time!”

Walker says that her education at FIU prepared her well for her professional experience at Touzet Studio. “The teachers prepared me,” she said. “[T]hey…were honest and open about the reality of our industry.  They didn’t sugarcoat anything, and no matter how high they raised the bar, they provided us with tools [with which] to reach that bar and achieve our goals.” Walker appreciates the support she received from FIU Interior Architecture faculty. “[I]t made a world of difference to have people who believe in you as a designer.”

Walker acquired her BA in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. She has been an Administrative Assistant at Hazen & Sawyer, PC., a Logistical Assistant at FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), and a Design Assistant at CESI, INC. During her time at FIU, Walker was FIU Interior Architecture’s Graduate Assistant for the Online Resource Material Library. She also ran her own unofficial fraternity called “Mama Peta,” for which she is still the caretaker and through which she has created relationships with both her class and undergraduates. Walker, additionally, was the Festival of the Trees Auctioneer from 2011 to 2013. She said she is proud to have been part of this fundraising campaign for education on interior architecture. She said, “…[T]o be a part of making such an event a success is very dear to me and important. FIU has become very important to me and I have learned a lot and want to give back.”

The department would like to thank all of the firms that provide this valuable opportunity of internships to our students. These successful partnerships between the university and the professional world helps strengthen the profession and build new leaders in the discipline.

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Interior Architecture Masters candidates pass LEED Exam!

In an effort to support the sustainable professional development of its students, the FIU Interior Architecture Department now offers reimbursement to students who successfully pass the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate Exam.  Each year, LEED Achievement Awards will be given to a selected number of students who apply for the award and pass the exam.  Award funding is made possible by money raised by the annual Festival of the Trees event.

The FIU Interior Architecture Department would like to congratulate the following Master of Interior Architecture candidates for passing the LEED Green Associate Exam!

Esteban Alvarez

Estefany Intriago

Maria Baena

Michelle Baez

Rebecca Hendrickson

Scheherezade Marles

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Students, semi-finalists for Miami Herald design entrepreneurship challenge

Tom Pupo and Daisy Nodal, Masters of Art in Architecture candidates became semi-finalists in The Miami Herald‘s 16th annual Business Plan Challenge. Their project Moonlighter joined a pool of 29 semi-finalists, after almost 200 projects were submitted.

Moonlighter “is a tech cafe and lounge that allows local designers, entrepreneurs and the public to co-create, prototype and retail new products,” as described by Pupo and Nodal. The project started in “Designing Models” (LAA6936), a Special Topics Landscape Architecture course taught by George Valdes and Adrian von der Osten, Adjunct Faculty. Pupo said that “Designing Models” aligned perfectly with the business timeline he and Nodal had for the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge. Taking the course instilled in them more confidence regarding the development of Moonlighter. “Valdes and von der Osten were able to effectively bridge the gap between our training in the design process and the iterative process of entrepreneurship,” said Pupo. “In architecture, we are taught to think systematically, so this class just empowers you to apply that method to entrepreneurship, as well as every aspect of your life.”

“Essentially, the objective [of the course] is to expose design students to the practice-based concepts of entrepreneurship,” said Valdes and von der Osten. “There’s a lot of applicable overlap with the skill-set and strategic/conceptual thinking the students gain in the studio environment and the start-up world, and we encourage them to explore that. Ultimately we want future Landscape Architects and Architects to have a macro level understanding of the way technology-driven fields are innovating through business models and methodologies so that they can begin to innovate in the same way in what we see as a very stagnant industry, with respect towards business development.”

Currently, Moonlighter is undergoing review and certification with SCORE and SBA Miami for its business plan financials. Later this year, Pupo and Nodal will be securing funding and a location for the project, which has involved Pupo and Nodal in the critical thinking and skills behind design entrepreneurship.

“[Design entrepreneurship is] critical,” said Valdes and von der Osten. “The concepts and methodologies that start-up founders tackle on a day to day basis can help designers think through their work in a focused, systematic way that considers not just the stakeholders involved in any given product/project, but also the flows of value that ultimately influence design and development.”

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LA+EUD Students Receive 4 Florida Chapter ASLA Awards

Students from the FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design Program  received two Honor and two Merit awards from the statewide, blind-juried, annual competition hosted by the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FLASLA).  The students will accept their awards on July 25, during the FLASLA 2014 Awards Gala, which will be held at the Key Largo Ocean Reef Club. FIU’s Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design program prepares its students for research and practice in the analysis, planning, design, and management of the natural and built environment of tropical and subtropical landscapes. The award-winning projects and student contributors are:
FLASLA Award of Honor
Project Title: Interweaving Wet /Land
Students: Gregory Gonzalez, Diego Justiniano, Daniela Menendez, Santiago Olarte, Andrew Pereda (FIU LA + EUD) Monica Ospina (FIU Environmental Studies), Paola Davalos, Natalia Duque (FIU Civil Engineering), Kim Moore (FIU Art + Art History)
Faculty Advisor
: Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)
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FLASLA Award of Honor
Project Title: Surficial Gradients | Taking Measures across Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico
Student: 
Chris Cabezas (FIU LA)
Faculty Advisors:  
Roberto Rovira, Chair (FIU LA + EUD), Gianno Feoli, Adjunct Professor (FIU LA + EUD), Scott Bishop, Associate Critic and 2013 Cejas Scholar (StossLU)
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FLASLA Award of Merit
Project TitleReciprocating Landscapes: Wet, Dry, and In Between
Students:  Gregory Gonzalez, Diego Justiniano, Daniela Menendez, Santiago Olarte, Andrew Pereda (FIU LA + EUD) Monica Ospina (FIU Environmental Studies), Paola Davalos, Natalia Duque (FIU Civil Engineering), Kim Moore (FIU Art + Art History)
Faculty Advisor
: Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)
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​FLASLA Award of Merit
Project TitleSurface: Campus Green as Stormwater Treatment Laboratory
Students: Vanessa L. Alvarado, Alfredo Moran, Leah Davis, Maria Lopez, Ryan Holmes, Kenia Medina (FIU LA + EUD),  Woby Lang (FIU Sustainability Studies), Andres McEwan (FIU Environmental Engineering), Alberto Zuniga (FIU Civil Engineering)
Faculty Advisor:
 Ebru Özer, Assistant Professor (FIU LA + EUD)

 

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CARTA Faculty and Miami Artist, Finalists in Wynwood Gateway Park Competition

Associate Professor and Chair Roberto Rovira, Assistant Professor Nick Gelpi (FIU Department of Architecture), and Jim Drain (artist and 2005 Bâloise Art Prize recipient) are one team out of eleven finalists in the Dawntown Wynwood Gateway Park Competition. Selected out of a pool of 238 international submissions, Rovira, Gelpi, and Drain make up the only Miami-based team in the diverse group of finalists. They also represent an interdisciplinary team with Rovira being a landscape architect, Gelpi, an architect, and Drain, a public artist.

The competition seeks the design of an urban park and garden in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. The following description is provided by Dawntown:

The competition was conceived by neighborhood visionary and Metro 1 President and CEO, Tony Cho, in partnership with DawnTown, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting architecture in Miami and AIA Miami, the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects, with the goal of creating a dynamic 14,000-square-foot space that offers the local community, visitors and tourists a place to come together and enjoy the neighborhood in a public environment. It is located at 2825 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. (Source: http://dawntown.org/wynwood/)

The finalists selected for the competition are:

The Miami-based, independent team consisting of artist Jim Drain, architect Nick Gelpi, and landscape architect Roberto Rovira
 AGENCY Architecture LLC from New York City, New York
Aranda/Lasch from New York City, New York
Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu  /  SO-ILfrom Brooklyn, New York
stpmj from Brooklyn, New York
Meyer + Silberberg – Land Architects from Berkeley, California
SFA fromMadrid, Spain
Colour: Urban Design Limited from London, England
Wayward Plants from London, England
AZC – Atelier Zundel Cristea from Paris, France
ONZ Architects from Ankara, Turkey

The eleven finalists for the competition were selected by an esteemed panel of expert judges that included:

Enrique Norten – Founding Principal, TEN Arquitectos
Terrance Riley – Principal, Keenan/Riley
Raymond Jungles, ASLA – FASLA, PLA, Founding Principal of Raymond Jungles, Inc.
Allan Shulman FAIA, Principal, Shulman + Associates
James Russell, FAIA, architecture critic and journalist
Andrew Frey – Development Manager, Codina Group
Tony Cho – CEO and Founder, Metro 1
Moderator: Joachim Perez, Executive Director of DawnTown
Former Director of Miami Art Museum and Museum of Modern Art
Founder, DawnTown

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Welcome to FIU Landscape Architecture + Environmental & Urban Design!

As of July 2014, the FIU Department of Landscape Architecture will be known as the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design (LA+EUD).

“The words ‘Environment’ and ‘Urbanism’ communicate our focus and our program’s recognized body of work, curriculum, scholarship, research and creative activity,” said Roberto Rovira, Chair.

Since its founding in 1986, the department has capitalized on the Miami and South Florida context to explore important issues affecting cities and environments. It has focused on the tropical and subtropical regions of the world whose global relevance Rovira is quick to point out by noting that 3 billion of the world’s 7 billion people currently live in these regions, and how this number is projected to double by 2100.  “The fastest growth is taking place in developing countries, and the majority will happen in cities and places like Miami and Latin America, where our department has focused a lot of its energy and intellectual capital,” he stated.

Students in the program typically explore environmental, ecological and urban issues, and are asked to design public spaces, infrastructure and urban plans to address industrial reclamation, environmental mitigation, ecotourism, open space, sea level rise and many other issues at the center of the relationship between human beings and their surroundings.  As the two-time winner of the most prestigious international student awards program sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects (the ASLA Design Award of Excellence and the Design Honor Award), FIU projects routinely combine landscape architecture, environment and urban design to propose innovative design solutions.  Those projects specifically dealt with the redesign of an urban waterfront in the city of Colón, Panama, and a proposed park and an outdoor museum at Miami’s western edge, where the city and the natural environments come together.

Faculty research and creative work often centers on important issues surrounding ecology, design, sustainability, and urban resilience, and is regularly recognized through grants, exhibits, books and journal publications.  LA+EUD’s faculty members have won numerous international and national competitions, and their recognition includes five professional awards from the ASLA and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), one national teaching award from the Council for Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), and two Research/Practice awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

Faculty and student work with a focus on environment and urbanism has also been recognized by the Van Alen Institute (VAI), the Graham Foundation (GF), the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), the European Landscape Biennial (ELB), and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF).

“Environmental and urban design form the core of  the program’s mission, and like the discipline of landscape architecture itself, our curriculum spans from the micro to the macro scales and operates at the intersection of human beings and the natural world,” indicated Rovira.

The Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design’s MLA degree (Masters of Landscape Architecture) is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

 

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