Using design skills learned in the studio, more than 50 students from across the college designed and built an education center for Knoxville’s urban farm.
The award-winning Beardsley Farm Education Center, a project of our design/build program, advances the urban farm’s mission of engaging the community through education, service and public outreach.
Students from all three schools in the college participated in the design and build of the Education Center, which included learning from a General Shale master mason how to lay brick to construct the classroom, office spaces, an amphitheater and other amenities for farm staff, volunteers, local residents and visitors to the farm.
From conception to construction, students collaborated with peers, professionals, and farm officials to create a public space that benefits the community. In recognition of this collaborative work, Architecture professors Jennifer Akerman and Bob French, who led the studios, received the national Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Collaborative Practice Award, which honors the best practices in community outreach programs that demonstrate collaboration to realize common objectives.
The Education Center also earned:
the 2017 Design Award of Excellence from the Tennessee AIA
the 2017 Brick in Architecture Award from the Brick Industry Association
the 2016 Honor Award from the East Tennessee AIA the organization’s 2016 People’s Choice Award and Member’s Choice award, decided by popular vote.
The project was a collaboration of our college, the City of Knoxville, the Public Building Authority, Elizabeth Eason Architects and Merit Construction. It benefited from the generous support of General Shale, the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Paulk + Co., Stonepeak Tile, Keene Building Products, Columbia Forest Products, Baird & Wilson and many others.
For 40 years, our design/build program has offered experience-learning opportunities to prepare students for careers in design. Through exploration, collaboration and mission-driven innovation, it applies design excellence, environmental performance and social responsibility to many challenges in the built environment to positively impact society.Founded in 1998, Beardsley Farm is an urban nonprofit community farm that produces food for local hunger relief organizations and shelters.