Bold Ideas Generate Big Experiences: Meet UT Architecture Student Marion Forbes

Oct. 25, 2013

From the stage to gallery walls, Knoxville to Helsinki, School of Architecture senior Marion Forbes has fully embraced the University of Tennessee experience.

Photography by Chad Greene - ChadCRG ImagesRaised in Maryville, Tennessee, a half hour drive from the UT Knoxville Campus, Marion “developed a love for the University of Tennessee at a young age,” she says. “In fact, my two passions — architecture and music — were nurtured here.” It was through her visits to campus as part of the Knoxville Youth Symphony, Marion says, that she “began to take notice of the beautiful and varied buildings on campus — and dream of one day designing my own.”

Set to graduate in spring 2014 with a bachelor of architecture and a minor in music performance, Marion can look back at her experiences and see accomplishment, adventure, and fun. An active member of the American Institute of Architecture Students – one of the most accomplished and dynamic collegiate AIAS chapters in the country – Marion has ventured to conferences, performed for her peers, and planned events.

She has also traveled as part of her architecture studies: “One of my favorite UT experiences was studying abroad in Finland. During my stay, I was able to experience a thriving culture, attend history classes held in the city streets, and visit many buildings I have studied in school.” The design work she produced there – “Omakuva: A process in self-discovery” – won her the Hnedak Bobo Global Design Scholarship Award, which helped with the expenses of her travel.

At UT, Marion has been encouraged to pursue her passions. Granted the opportunity to study the relationship between music and architecture through independent study during the spring 2013 semester, her work, “Sound Dislocation” is now the subject of an exhibit, which opens October 25 at the Gallery 1010 in downtown Knoxville.  The exhibit explores “the formal relationship between music composition and spatial narrative,” and is a sound installation that abstracts “sound and music with visual means of representation in architectural form.”

Marion says: “I look back in amazement at the incredible opportunities made available to me at UT — many because of generous alumni who chose to invest in my classmates and me. With all that I’ve learned and experienced at UT, I feel prepared for a successful future and am excited to work in the design field.”

Marion thanks those who have allowed students like her to explore their “passions and big ideas for the future.” As #BigOrangeGive Week approaches, November 4, Marion, serving as the college’s student giving ambassador, encourages others to remember that giving has “a lifelong effect on current and future students.”

Learn more about the opportunities and experiences of UT Architecture students at the program’s website.