Ball State architecture students had a challenge: Design historically compatible, low-rise, affordable housing prototypes for the Lincoln Park Neighborhood in Columbus, Indiana, a city famous for its architecture. Oh, and by the way, do it in five weeks.

By participating in the first National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) Student Design Competition, our students got a national audience for their work. Ball State was one of only four schools nationwide funded by NCMA to stage a regional competition.

Jared Burt of Eaton, Indiana, took first place in the architecture category and shared the top honor in landscape architecture with Andrew Glass of Richmond, Indiana. Burt traveled to Boston to make a presentation at NCMA’s annual meeting in July 2007.

The experience taught Burt real-world lessons such as being efficient with design and materials.

“Ball State, the College of Architecture and Planning specifically, has really opened my eyes and given me opportunities to learn about and see different environments,” said Burt, who plans to graduate in the fall of 2008.

“Architecture is something that really cannot be learned by only reading books. To truly understand it, you must experience it, whether it’s designing something yourself, visiting existing structures, or researching and analyzing someone else's work. Ball State recognizes this and integrates all three into our curriculum.”

In addition to providing immersive learning opportunities, the project was part of Building Better Communities, an initiative to foster economic development and improve the quality of life throughout Indiana.

Related Links:

College of Architecture and Planning

Department of Architecture

Department of Landscape Architecture

Immersive Learning