School of Architecture & Design announces Distinguished Alumni Awards

Posted on Sep 12, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Marvin Hall

Mahesh Daas, dean of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design (Arc/D), and the school’s Dean’s Advisory Board have announced the names of Arc/D’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards. They are furniture designer Wendell Castle, designer and community planner Silvia Vargas, and architect Jim Walters.

In addition, the Young Architect-Designer Award honors architects and designers who graduated from KU less than a decade ago who have already demonstrated leadership and significant contributions to their profession. Those recipients are architects Justin Cratty and Kenneth Simmons.

A jury chose the winners from nominations, submitted by Arc/D alumni and friends, which detailed the nominees’ accomplishments in leadership, public service and their professional achievements. The awards framework was developed by the Alumni Experience Committee of the Dean’s Advisory Board.

“Among our 11,000 alumni there are innumerable people whose achievements are extraordinary,” Daas said. “And our honorees’ accomplishments personify our vision to be ‘the pioneering force for global impact through design.’”

The awards will be given at Arc/D’s Fly High Banquet on Oct. 27. That celebration follows the school’s second annual Alumni Symposium, a daylong campus event when alumni will make presentations on the theme of “The 12,000 Who Transform.”

Learn more about the award recipients in the school’s news release.

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Empowering teams key to firm’s success

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Kansas City Networking series event at Dimensional Innovations

The second installment of the Kansas City Networking series took place Tuesday, October 13th, at Dimensional Innovations, an award-winning design, brand strategy and fabrication firm in Overland Park.

More than 40 Jayhawks, including a handful of current students, were treated to a tour of the company’s modern facility before the program. Mahesh Daas, dean of KU’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning, conducted a roundtable discussion with Dimensional Innovations’ CEO, Tucker Trotter, f ’97, and sports practice director, Justin Wood, c’93, who shared how their experiences led to their current roles and discussed the unusual structure of the company.

“It’s not a top-down leadership style,” explained Wood. “Our design teams, we’ve broken them into individual small pods. There’s not a single design director that oversees everybody, other than Tucker providing high-level leadership and guidance. The creative directors run very autonomously. We have these teams that get to build mini-businesses within themselves.”

Watch our short video below to hear more from the event. Click here to learn more about the first event in the Kansas City networking series, and stay tuned for news about future events.

–Dan Storey

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