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K-State Today

January 29, 2024

Architecture department celebrates 25th Bowman Design Forum

Submitted by Thomas Jackson

The architecture department in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, or APDesign at Kansas State University hosted the 25th Bowman Design Forum on Jan. 17.

Six nominees from Architectural Design Studio 3 showcased their outstanding work from the fall semester of their third year. Sponsored by BBN Architects since 1999, the forum is a platform that recognizes excellence in architectural design.

The highlight of this year's event was the presentation of design solutions for the Center for Kaw River Culture, a project devoted to celebrating the rich historical and contemporary culture of Native American Nations along the Kaw, or Kansas, River. Situated along the south shore of the river in downtown Topeka, the project aimed to reconnect the city with the river, offering extensive benefits and acknowledging the river's significance to First Nations.

"The center was all about uncovering the layers of truth buried beneath and behind the protective levee constructed after the 1951 flood," said Todd Gabbard, coordinator of third-year architectural studios. "Topeka is one of the few cities that has a major river running through it without an active waterfront. Reconnecting the city with the river will have extensive benefits. The Kaw remains vital and sacred to the First Nations as well, which directly informed student design."

Esteemed practitioners from BBN Architects, alongside honored guest juror Carol Ross Barney, founder, and design principal of Ross Barney Architects in Chicago, comprised the jury that evaluated the students' projects. Barney, a renowned figure in architecture, earned the AIA Gold Medal in 2023.

The following students were recognized for their outstanding contributions, receiving a total of $4,500 in prizes:

  • Ethan Edington, Lyndon: $1,500 Honor Award, studio of Kory Beighle, assistant professor. 
  • Nick Ouverson, Lenexa: $1,000 Special Merit Award, studio of Bruce Johnson, visiting assistant professor. 
  • Carter Grothusen, Wichita: $500 Merit Award, studio of Todd Gabbard, associate professor.
  • Diego Ortiz, Lee's Summit, Missouri: $500 Merit Award, studio of Adriana Molina, visiting assistant professor.
  • Josie Schubert, Summerfield, Illinois: $500 Merit Award, studio of Reese Greenlee, assistant professor.
  • Jacob White, Belvue: $500 Merit Award, studio of Zhan Chen, assistant professor. 

Beighle commended Edington's exceptional dedication and ability to craft a narrative that immersed the audience in the design. Edington's work demonstrated a well-developed approach to architectural aspects while also expressing sensitivity to the diverse communities the design aimed to unite.