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Mid-Missouri Architects Join Critique for MU Senior Thesis Projects
by Robbie Price

The Senior Thesis Studio Final Review was held on Thursday, May 8th at Stanley Hall in an open critique format with faculty, former students, members of the MU Advisory Board and local architects providing their professional input and experiential advice.  The thesis projects presented by the seniors were design problems of their own choice.  Some remained local in their vision with architectural and interior design solutions for urban infill, public performance centers and alternatives for existing structures.  Others ran farther afield and postulated designs from St. Louis parkways, the ski slopes of Colorado, to overseas hotels and spas.  It was an eclectic mix of projects and the seniors responded with personal insight, daring and thoughtfulness.  It was heartening to see how each marshaled their talent, some with breezy sketches, others with models, either by hand or in 3D, to describe their vision.  Some struggled with the basics of architectural presentation drawings while others soared and broke through their perceived limitations with a true personal style.  It was a wonderful display of the budding ambition a young designer possesses and how malleable their vision is at this stage; so reminiscent of our own time in studio.  Each of us can no doubt remember how we felt back then when we stumbled, forgot a key section or had a particularly prescient dialogue from a visiting critic.  It made a difference for some continuing down this path or taking an early exit

AIA Mid-Missouri has a unique opportunity to participate in MUís Architectural Studies program and an underlying responsibility to advise and assist these students, grooming them to become, someday, our next group of professionals and peers.  We have much to give.  And the students respond to our input and are challenged by our differing opinions and expertise.  This is what they want and need to see.  How do real architects look, speak, relate, think and act?  We are the role models and thus, need to be present in their education.  I applaud those of our membership who attended this past week.  And I urge others to join their ranks and fulfill this unmet obligation to our next generation.  It is a great way to share your experience and passion with students who crave the input and inspired by your example.  You will find the benefit derived from this interaction to be most satisfying.  And there is no better place than right here at MU School of Architectural Studies to start making a difference, for both you and our students.