May 16-22 2003
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IN THIS ISSUE
Bond, Morse, Terry win 2003 Sullivan Awards
Advocate for diversity leads by example
Finals factoids
Music major creates programs for local schools

Tragedy spurs Muslim student’s effort to bring understanding

Finding history among the trees
Community through architecture
Moving toward a more inclusive environment
Jobe leads with faith, activism
Exploring vast worlds with Harrison Awards
Harvey blends work, study with passion for civic participation
Designing women sow success
Merging technology, music and art
From one-room school to athletic field
Persistence pays for Ukrainian student
Swimmer sets her eyes on Olympic event
Firefighting ideal job for Jefferson Scholar
Pruett’s ready to deploy, but not to leave her kids
Cancer survivor helps others
Community through architecture
The project team discusses construction details. Clockwise from left: Andrew Burdick, John Barr, Kelly Howard, Kate Thatcher, Barrett Eastwood, Benjamin Petrick and Brian Tabolt. Team member Kevin Riddle is not pictured.
Photo by Jane Ford
The project team discusses construction details. Clockwise from left: Andrew Burdick, John Barr, Kelly Howard, Kate Thatcher, Barrett Eastwood, Benjamin Petrick and Brian Tabolt. Team member Kevin Riddle is not pictured.

By Jane Ford

For Andrew Eben Burdick, architecture is about creating community.

Throughout his six years at U.Va., as both an undergraduate and graduate student, Burdick reached beyond the Architecture School to improve student life on Grounds by putting theory into practice.

A recently completed project on the second floor of Newcomb Hall highlights years of persistence and hard work. It also demonstrates Burdick’s desire for architecture students to share their talents with the larger community.

The combination of tables, chairs and benches, designed and built as a class project by eight architecture students, creates an inviting space for informal meetings by student groups. The location is a popular place for groups to set up card tables to recruit members, promote activities and raise funds.

The completed project is actually a sculpture, fusing steel and wood. The team paid careful attention to the materials themselves — what people will touch, see and feel.

It is both utilitarian and aesthetic, said Burdick.

William L. Ashby, director of Newcomb Hall and associate dean of students, said, “It has been a wonderful experience for us at Newcomb Hall. It fits into the University’s philosophy of student involvement in all levels of activity, from conception to execution.”

Although the installation is small in scale, Burdick sees it as a model for larger projects where architecture students can contribute to creating community on Grounds.

“It’s a lesson in how to make communities for design and non-design students,” said Burdick, who contributed to several projects over the years. With other students, he was involved in a grassroots effort, spearheaded by fourth-year Steven Reinemund, to advance the idea of a university center. That project is now in the University’s six-year construction plans.

At the Architecture School, Burdick and others designed and built an outdoor terrace where students meet and classes convene.

Projects like these go beyond creating community at U.Va, Burdick said. Many graduates will go on to hold positions in business where they will make architectural design decisions. If they understand the process, they will be able to foster community-building for their organizations.

Burdick is especially proud that a larger project is already on the drawing boards — five Architecture School students are designing the concept for a Diversity Outreach Center in Newcomb Hall. The space will provide a spot for relaxation, gatherings, cultural events and an outreach resource center.

As Burdick leaves the University, he recalls something he wrote for an introductory architecture course: Architecture is the most humanistic of arts; it is the form of art which heightens our experience on a daily basis.

 


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