Contributed by:
Andrew Barnes
AIA

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The Students Spoke, We Listened

On March 17th, eight students from the UTA School of Architecture presented to the professional community at AIA Dallas.

The most recent YG5MK (You've Got Five Minutes Kid) Edition featuring studends from the UTA School of Architecture brought us a mixture of experimental work and very real community involvement. They were encouraged to present an idea or concept that they felt passionate about, often linked to a studio project they had undertaken. It was a connection of the academic and professional worlds that rarely happens. Eduardo Castaneda, the AIAS president at UTA and one of the presenters, thanked the participating students for “stepping up” and engaging with the professional community. While the prospect of presenting in front of a group of professionals and potential employers was no doubt nerve-wracking, the students’ well prepared presentations carried them through with ease.

One presentation in particular was a call to action for practicing architects to get involved and support Freedom by Design. This is a student group which largely builds ramps to give wheelchair-bound individuals the ability to get out of their homes. This group is seeking practicing architects to mentor and provide guidance as well as to extend the group’s activities beyond ramp-building. This is a group which makes a difference in people’s lives; if you are interested in participating, please email Igor Draskovic.

During the Q&A sessions, AIA members and attendees directly engaged with the students, asking questions and providing feedback for future study. There was a genuine interest from the practicing architects to learn what types of projects students are undertaking at UTA. Many of these students will be looking for employment in the coming months. With the commitment to and understanding of our community that was displayed by all of the students, I believe they will find great success here in the DFW area.