Campus News

UK College of Design Expands Into Louisville With New Architecture Studio

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photo of Portland street scene - Louisville
photo of Portland mural - Louisville
photo of David Biagi, President Capilouto, Dean Mitzi Vernon, Gill Hollland, Mayor Fischer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2017) In partnership with the City of Louisville and Portland Investment Initiative (Pii), the College of Design at the University of Kentucky will host its first satellite studio in West Louisville beginning with the fall 2017 semester.

After meeting with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Pii founder Gill Holland in spring 2016, Dean Mitzi Vernon set the wheels in motion for the inaugural “studio away” experience that immerses UK’s School of Architecture students in a targeted yet underdeveloped community.

"At the University of Kentucky, we know that working in partnership is the best way to transform communities and fulfill our commitment to the Commonwealth,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “This studio leverages the talent of our faculty and students with the infrastructure to engage in this discipline and with the Portland community. It is a demonstration of the ‘power of we,’ that will continue to propel this institution to be among the very best in the country and world.”

Having this in situ perspective allows students to physically work in the environment while engaging with the residents, community organizations and other key groups to address the needs of the area.

“For the students, they have the upfront opportunity to develop skills needed to make a positive difference in the lives of the people within a community,” Dean Vernon said. “Working in the Portland neighborhood for the semester will allow students to see the full scope of the area and have a true and lasting impact.”

Currently titled Studio Louisville, this is just the first iteration of this pop-up studio approach, which will be led by Associate Professor David Biagi. Future plans are to migrate to new cities with a need for community transformation and to incorporate the college’s other programs in the efforts.

Thanks to the College of Design’s Brown Forman Visiting Chair Endowment, the studio will be able to sponsor a keynote chair for each year of the studio. For this inaugural year, Jeanne Gang and her office, Studio Gang, has been named the recipient.

Holland and Pii are providing studio space in the Portland neighborhood, and there will be a major kick-off event and public lecture for the community later this September. Please visit http://design.uky.edu for complete details as they develop.

“In Louisville, design matters. We know that the built environment influences the well-being of our residents, and we strive to create and preserve architecture that makes a lasting impression on our streets and neighborhoods,” Mayor Fischer said. “The addition of UK’s College of Design satellite studio is a perfect complement to the hard work being done at the University of Louisville’s Urban and Public Affairs Department, and I look forward to seeing the collaboration that can happen when these two historic state universities elevate the conversation around architecture and design in the city.”

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue