Great Smoky Mountains Studio

Students from Architecture, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture used the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a classroom as they learned to understand what’s below the earth before designing above it.

This unique studio was led by the 2018-2019 BarberMcMurry Professor Billie Faircloth, partner at KieranTimberlake.  Students in the studio studied the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest and its relationship with the river, National Forest and lakes that surround it. Their research took them into the national park for overnight camping trips, sessions with park officials and investigation of the history of the land and the composition of the land, itself.

In the end, the students established design proposals for three separate sites, including a Center for Ecological Interpretation and Land Use History, a companion extraction landscape and material processing site.

“The studio was fully immersed in a design challenge that aimed to redefine the relationship between architecture, construction, ecology and land use change over time. This was an ambitious, timely and pressing challenge, one that provided insight into a necessary future for architectural practice and its practitioners. The students were fully committed to testing new methods, new knowledge, and new vocabulary as they pushed the limits of our design agency.”

Billie Faircloth, 2018-2019 UT BarberMcMurry Professor, Partner in KieranTimberlake

As the UT BarberMcMurry Professor, Faircloth taught the interdisciplinary design studio during the fall 2018 semester. Facilitating the studio was Scottie McDaniel, adjunct assistant professor of our School of Landscape Architecture, and shaping the discourse was Stephanie Carlisle, environmental researcher at KieranTimberlake and lecturer in Urban Ecology at PennDesign.

Since 2013, the BarberMcMurry Endowed Professorship has promoted design excellence through teaching by an internationally recognized architect.

The professorship is the result of a $1 million endowment given by Blanche Barber and architects at BarberMcMurry Architects, an East Tennessee architecture and design firm. Previous BarberMcMurry professors have included Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks + Scarpa in Los Angeles in 2013 and Wendell Burnette of Wendell Burnette Architects in Phoenix in 2015.