Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: May 10, 2001: Architecture
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

Auberjonois to Give Keynote Address

New Building for Posner Fine Arts

New Science Labs for Doherty Hall

Honorary Degrees

Student Speaker Nitya Venkataraman

Commencement Weekend at a Glance

Commencement Ceremonies and Receptions

Professors Earn Top Academic Distinction

William Mullins a "Scientists Scientist"

Timothy Burritt Dies in Motorcycle Crash

India Honors Reddy

H&SS Outstanding Service Awards

Architecture Aims to Unify "Allied Fields"

Am I Who I Am? Art Exhibit to Open

East Campus Garage to Install Pay-as-You-Park

Art Students Collaborate

Stephen Schwartz Attends ACS Dinner

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Architecture Outreach Program Aims to Unify "Allied Fields" of Building Industry
Symposium on Pittsburgh Region Set for Next Fall

Architecture Prominent Pittsburgh architect Lucian Caste (A 1950) and members of the building industry and the School of Architecture have drawn up plans that will mutually benefit architecture and engineering students, building professionals and the Pittsburgh region.

No, the plans don't call for a new Fallingwater or a Ponte Vecchio over the Mon, but for a new outreach program that aims to unify what Caste calls the "allied fields."

"When we say 'allied fields' we mean all those various and diverse persons involved in the vast building industry- architects, engineers, developers, contractors, lawyers, insurance/bonding entities, mortgage bankers, specialty contractors, labor and government officials, faculty and students," said Caste, an emeritus life trustee of Carnegie Mellon.

"The allied fields are those dynamic persons who create, design, develop and build the fabric of the Pittsburgh region."

Caste said he's always felt that a "disparity" exists between professionals in the allied fields and this outreach effort aims to break down those barriers for the betterment and advancement of the region at a time when the design and building industry is flourishing.

"We need to be able to talk with each other," he said. "We need to be part of a cohesive family. We should think together, plan together and work together to make Pittsburgh a sustainable and livable region."

The outreach program, called "Cornerstones, The Center for Architectural Development and Building," was established last September. Today, about 35 prominent and prestigious leaders in their respective fields have become charter members and members of the organization's board of directors.

Caste is president of Cornerstones, and Richard DeYoung, president of W.T.W. Architects, and Ray Steeb, general manager of Turner Construction, are vice presidents. Arthur Schwotzer of Crossgates Inc. is treasurer and Dean Mosites of Mosites Construction is secretary.

Vivian Loftness, head of Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture, said Cornerstones will help "open doors for students to a wide range of professional roles and careers" through scholarships, mentorships and internships and will provide a forum where industry professionals can network and improve projects.

Caste and Loftness said the organization will have an educational thrust directed toward lectures, workshops, discussions and seminars regarding building issues for students and professionals. An educational program is also being developed with the Civil and Environmental Engineering departments at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.

Loftness has proposed a seminar course for students at Carnegie Mellon and Pitt on "Issues in Development, Design and Construction."

Cornerstones will sponsor its first public symposium, "Symposium 2001-Advancing the Pittsburgh Region, Collaborate and Thrive, Urban Challenge in the New Economy," on Oct. 24.

"The main thrust of the symposium will be to review and focus on where the Pittsburgh region is today," Caste said. "It will be like receiving a report card. Where are we today? What are we doing right and where are our deficiencies?

"Then we want to form an implementable agenda. Take our report card and turn that into action items, practical solutions," he said.

Caste said part of this symposium and future symposiums will be dedicated to actual case studies developed by Carnegie Mellon students in the Urban Design Lab, a course taught by Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies David Lewis and Associate Professor Luis Rico. The lab teaches students about urban analysis and research, urban design and how growth and change affects neighborhoods.

In the past, students in the Urban Design Lab have studied Pittsburgh area communities, such as East Liberty, Lawrenceville, Mt. Lebanon, Oakland, South Side and the Hill District, and have made recommendations regarding growth and the difficulties identified by each area's community development board.

"We take a community or neighborhood and work with the citizens to get a feel for what it's like to work with real people on real problems," Lewis said.

"We meet with the citizens and talk with the business people. We work with (each area's) department of planning and make recommendations. Many of our student designs have been put into place by these communities," he said.

Lewis praised Cornerstones for providing networking opportunities for allied field professionals as well as students.

"Many of our students do not remain architects," Lewis said. "Some become developers or urban designers. This program gives students the equipment to make choices. I think that's where Cornerstones will be most helpful."

Caste said there are about 140 schools of architecture in the country, but only one-the University of Southern California-has a program similar to Cornerstones.

Bruce Gerson

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