faculty spotlight

Architecture professors team up with LTU to help nonprofits

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Architecture professors from Grand Rapids Community College and Lawrence Technological University will team up to share how they’ve used their expertise to help nonprofit organizations.

Scott Shall, chairman of Lawrence Technological University’s Department of Architecture, and David Dye, a professor in GRCC’s Department of Mechanical and Architecture Design, will talk about “Practiced Learning” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in the auditorium of GRCC’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE.

Shall is founding director of the nonprofit International Design Clinic, which performs much-needed design work with communities in need around the world. Since it was founded in 2006, the IDC has completed more than a dozen projects on four continents, including: an urban tent for the homeless made of reclaimed water bottles, a school system based upon the vending architectures of Bolivia that is tailored to meet the needs of the street children of La Paz, and a $2 water filtration system.

Dye, who has taught architecture classes at GRCC for 15 years, will discuss his work with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. For the past five years, students in his Sustainable Residential Design class have worked with the nonprofit organization to design houses. Last fall, one of the student designs was built for Habitat by GRCC’s Residential Construction Class.

“Working with a knowledgeable client such as Habitat challenges our students to design sustainable homes,” Dye said.

During the Oct. 14 presentation, Dye and Shall also will talk about LTU’s Integrated Design Studio, offered in conjunction with GRCC’s architectural design associate degree. This partnership allows a student who completes the Integrated Design Studio program and the architectural design associate degree at GRCC to enter Lawrence Tech as a junior to complete that school’s Master of Architecture program.

“In five-plus years, a student can start an architecture program at Grand Rapids Community College and complete a Master of Architecture degree at Lawrence Tech – an excellent opportunity,” Dye said.