AIAS and Kawneer “School of Tomorrow” Student Design Competition Winners Selected

February 24, 2011

Students of Architecture and Design Use Creativity and Skills to
Design Plan for Modern School Using Architectural Aluminum Building

WASHINGTON & NORCROSS, Ga.–The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and Kawneer
Company, Inc., an Alcoa business, announced today the winners of the
“Schools of Tomorrow” student design competition. The Kawneer-sponsored
competition, now in its fifth year, challenged students to learn about
architectural aluminum building products and systems in the design of a
modern and creative school for students ranging from kindergarten to
sixth grade. Ball State University’s Susan Butts was awarded first place
and $2500 for “Propel Elementary School.”

The competition received more than 200 entries from nearly 300 students
of architecture across 16 countries. Participants were required to
research, highlight and respond to the unique aspects of designing an
attractive and modern elementary school that will serve the needs of its
community for years to come. Competition objectives also include
developing an understanding of materials and techniques that can help
earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification
points while creating a bright and fun atmosphere for learning.

Submissions were evaluated by a jury comprised of architectural experts
with experience in designing educational facilities. They were assessed
based on ingenuity and originality, as well as appropriate use of
sustainable products and design clarity. Jurors included: Russell A.
Davidson, AIA; James Determan, AIA; and Scott E. Powell, AIA, LEED AP.
In discussing the selection criteria, Determan noted, “The winning
designs have successfully incorporated Kawneer’s products using
sustainable strategy such as daylighting to make innovative learning
environments, creating inspiring spaces and using the building as a
teaching tool.”

Prizes were awarded as follows:

Susan Butts – Ball State University, “Propel Elementary School”
Place ($2500)
With Seattle as its setting, Butts’ school was
designed as an extension of Seattle’s Lake Union Park to influence
holistic learning experiences to its community and students. It was
inspired by the city’s vibrant history, natural spirit and progressive

Nate Boykin – Clemson University, “FORMative Interaction”
Place ($1500)
In his design, Boykin wanted “to transform [the
school] experience from a child’s perspective and at the same time offer
teachers versatility with their spaces. If teachers only have one way to
teach- only one type of student can learn. A variety of spaces mean a
variety of interactions that can meet every type of student need.”

Tang Heng Quanh and Mario Christian Lavorato – University of Toronto,
“The Hive: Alternative Learning Center”

Third Place ($750)
and Lavorato stated that they felt “schools were too stratified and
tended to stifle social interaction between students of differing grades
or classes, specifically between youngest and eldest.” Their design was
intended to give students a sense of belonging and reduce the anxiety
associated with age, grade or class divide.

The Jury awarded Honorable Mentions ($500) to Jansel Irarragorry
(University of Central Florida, “Unparalleled”), Gregor Schuller
(Technische Universität Cottbus, “Montessori-Primary School
Schwarzheide”) and Chris Simmons and Melissa Klemeyer (Ball State
University, “A Living School”).

Winning entries may be viewed at
and will be published in the Spring 2011 issue of Crit: Journal of
the AIAS
. In addition, they will be displayed at the AIAS FORUM 2011
in Phoenix, Arizona from December 29, 2011 – January 1, 2012. For more
information on AIAS, please visit
To learn more about Kawneer, please visit

About the AIAS

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is an
independent, nonprofit, student-run organization dedicated to providing
unmatched programs, information, and resources on issues critical to
architectural education. The mission of the AIAS is to promote
excellence in architectural education, training, and practice; to foster
an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; to enrich
communities in a spirit of collaboration; and to organize students and
combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture.

About Kawneer

With more than 100 years of innovation and experience, Kawneer North
America is headquartered in Norcross, GA, and is the leading
manufacturer of architectural aluminum products and systems for the
commercial construction industry. Kawneer is part of Alcoa’s global
Building and Construction Systems (BCS) business unit. Alcoa BCS
manufactures and markets architectural systems and products in North
America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Alcoa is the world’s leading
producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and
alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry.
For more information on Kawneer or its products, please visit