Architecture students to contribute to K-State Olathe

July 29, 2010

OLATHE, Kan. - As the architecture program at K-State undergoes a new chapter in its history, some of its students will have the opportunity to design for the newest addition to K-State: the Olathe campus.

In the past, students could pursue a bachelor's degree in Architecture at K-State. However, the stringent curriculum mandated that students do graduate-level work to earn that degree. Recently, the department made a change to give students credit for all that work. The program has been redesigned so that during the five and a half year program students will earn a master's degree in Interior Architecture & Product Design.

With K-State Olathe's first building, the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute, scheduled for completion in February 2011, students in the classes of K-State Interior Architecture & Product Design Department under professors Allan Hastings and Steve Davidson will have a chance to design areas of furniture for different spaces and actually see those designs come to fruition. This project is a component of a studio sponsorship with 360 Architecture.

The classes will visit the construction site to get a better idea of the layout, and they will hear from Dan Richardson, CEO of K-State Olathe; Marvin Manlove, president at 360 Architecture; and a representative of the Arts Advisory Committee of K-State Olathe about the storylines of this new campus.

According to Manlove, there are five big-picture ideals on which the campus is based.

The first involves the Johnson Country Education and Research Triangle (JCERT) tax, which highlights a residential commitment to education and the role of research in industry. It also shows cooperation between K-State and the University of Kansas, which will receive cuts of the tax revenue for its Phase I Clinical Trials Facility at its med school and for the Edwards Campus.

The second points out that this campus is K-State's first real presence in Johnson County – a "stake in the ground for the purple flag to wave with some pride" – as Manlove, a K-State alumnus, says.

The third addresses the curriculum – what is going on inside the building involving animal health and food safety and security.

The fourth involves the building itself. Because K-State Olathe is primarily supported by JCERT money – versus typical public funding – it had the opportunity to utilize a design-build process instead of the traditional method.

The fifth is the overarching theme of "innovation." Wrapped up in this are the sustainable aspects of campus as well as the way the campus is funded – again, primarily by JCERT money.

With these ideals in mind, K-State students will receive an opportunity to get real-world experience in their field, going through all the steps a real architect does and designing for a client instead of a curriculum.

- By Ashley Dunkak -