KCAD Master of Architecture Program Leaves Mark on 2023 AIA Grand Rapids Honor Awards

Posted December 12, 2023 in Alumni, Student, Master of Architecture

Students and recent graduates from the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University Master of Architecture program were among those recognized in a celebration of West Michigan’s most exemplary architectural work at this year’s American Institute of Architects (AIA) Grand Rapids Chapter Honor Awards. 

The annual program highlights excellence in architecture throughout the region to promote the value of thoughtful, high-quality, community-focused design—three qualities that are at the core of the KCAD M.Arch curriculum. 

"Our program is based on the premise that, as designers, we have a lot to learn from the individuals and communities that interact with our projects,” said Associate Professor and Master of Architecture Program Chair Dr. Michael McCulloch. “At the same time, those communities have a lot to gain from taking part in the design process. Our students understand that a successful design process is always a two-way street."

A trio of people posing for a photo in front of a black backdrop2023 KCAD Master of Architecture graduate Hayden Prillwitz (middle) with AIA Grand Rapids President Steven Romkema (left) and KCAD M.Arch Program Chair Dr. Michael McCulloch (right) at the 2023 AIA Grand Rapids Honor Awards (credit: Kristina Bird, Bird + Bird Studio)

2023 graduate Hayden Prillwitz was chosen as the M.Arch program’s 2023 recipient of the AIA Medal for Academic Excellence in recognition of her extraordinary academic achievement. Throughout her time in the program, Prillwitz developed a reputation as a hard worker who went the extra mile to ensure clear visual communication of complex ideas. She also cultivated a thoughtful approach to issues of sustainability, always considering the long-term trajectory of environmental change and how present-day designs and policies affect future generations. 

Prillwitz is currently an architectural designer with Grand Rapids-based firm Pure Architects. Prior to graduating, she held an internship with another local firm, Tower Pinkster, and was the lead architectural design intern for a collaborative project between the KCAD M.Arch program and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund Partnership that envisioned how rural pharmacies could be redesigned to be stronger and more supportive elements of their surrounding communities. 

A trio of people posing in front of a black backdrop2023 KCAD Master of Architecture graduate Hayden Prillwitz (middle) with AIA Grand Rapids President Steven Romkema (left) and KCAD M.Arch Program Chair Dr. Michael McCulloch (right) at the 2023 AIA Grand Rapids Honor Awards (credit: Kristina Bird, Bird + Bird Studio)

Fellow 2023 graduate Imane Hocini received the Student Project Award for The Eco-Oasis of Ghardaia, a bold vision to establish a precedent for sustainable urban design in the middle of the Algerian Sahara Desert. Hocini’s project blends affordable housing with hotels, spaces for cultural and social exchange, a date processing plant, recreational opportunities, and a large-scale solar farm, all while looking to the past to help foster a sustainable future. 

She incorporated climate-resilient architectural practices from the region dating back to the 11th century: locating structures in proximity so they can help shade each other; adding architectural elements known as windcatchers to building exteriors to create cross-ventilation and passive cooling; and utilizing large overhangs, thick walls, and fewer, smaller windows to facilitate better thermal insulation. 

“This project is a perfect example of how balancing the progressive qualities of universal architecture with the environmental and humanitarian aspects of local architecture can elevate quality of life and lay the groundwork for a new architectural identity in Algeria,” Hocini says. 

Current students Kyle Sutton and Ian Wardowski were both chosen to receive the 2023 AIA Grand Rapids Scholarship. 

A trio of people posing for a photo in front of a black backdropKCAD Master of Architecture students Kyle Sutton (left) and Ian Wardowski (right) with AIA Grand Rapids President Steven Romkema (middle) at the 2023 AIA Grand Rapids Honor Awards (credit: Kristina Bird, Bird + Bird Studio)

Sutton was selected for his strong community leadership and academic excellence. He first started his career as a civil engineer before pivoting and returning to school to pursue architecture. He is currently in his final year in the M.Arch program and is working as an Architectural Intern at Integrated Architecture.

Wardowski was recognized for his outstanding academic record and continuing leadership in the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) professional organization. Ian holds his B.S. in Architecture and Sustainability from Ferris State University and is in his final year of the KCAD M.Arch program. He has previously worked as an Architectural Intern at Mathison | Mathison Architects.  

KCAD in the News!

We love to share stories about how our students, alumni, faculty and staff are moving the needle. Please take a moment and tell us yours by filling out the KCAD News submission form!

Feed

 Subscribe to the feed