2017 AIA East Kentucky Scholarship Awarded
The 2017 AIA East Kentucky Scholarship (supported by matching grant funds from AIA National) was presented to Lauren Delventhal. Lauren shares her background below:
“I am a student at the University of Kentucky and I just gradated receiving my Bachelors of Arts in Architecture. Starting in the fall I am perusing my Masters of Architecture in Graduate school from the University of Kentucky as well. The College of Design has provided me with countless memories and opportunities. I have had the opportunity to work on projects that have stretched my understanding of what architecture means and the impact it can have.
This past semester I worked alongside five other students on a project based outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Due to the devastation caused by the recent earthquake, the orphanage occupied by twenty-seven girls was destroyed and they had to relocate to a much smaller residence. The team and I worked on developing a design for an addition and renovation. We traveled down to Haiti in late March for six days to assess the site conditions and meet the girls. Before the trip, we knew we were going to present our ideas and I thought a lot about how a typical set of architectural drawings and diagrams could translate to a much younger audience who spoke Creole. My partner and I put our design in Virtual Reality so the girls could visualize what their new home would look like. There were many great moments from the trip, but seeing them grinning from ear to ear looking into virtual reality glasses was by far my favorite.
I am continuing work on this project this summer and will continue throughout my graduate years. I am thankful for my professor, Bruce Swetnam, for exposing me to this project and for guiding our team through the design and travel. It is refreshing to see a project like this in the college. Through this experience I have learned the impact architecture can have on a community in stimulating the economy using local labor, using appropriate technologies to make their lives more comfortable, and not sacrificing the quality of design despite the conditions we are designing in.
In addition to this project, I have been a Student Ambassador for the College of Design. I have the opportunity to tell potential new students the reasons why I chose this program and what I’ve learned from being in architecture school. I have been able to explore different areas of design such as graphic design. I have two large-scale murals hanging in the new campus dorms because of a competition hosted by the College of Design. I have gained a diverse education merging together different areas of design. I have been challenged to explore what architecture can do for people and how it can improve their lives.
I am thankful for the support I have received from both the college and AIA allowing me to further my architectural education.”