Legacy – Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Legacy

LEGACY

The University of Oklahoma Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture is proud of its contributions to local communities and of the success of its alumni. Highlights of these contributions and successful alumni, as well as alumni quotes, are found below.

Architecture

ARCHITECTURE

Shaped by the legacy of renowned architect Bruce Goff, who was appointed chairman of the OU School of Architecture in 1947, the Division of Architecture’s approach to education was grounded in a sense of American individualism and industriousness rooted in local conditions. During the Goff era, the School’s educational goals shifted from the Beaux Arts model to a focus on developing imagination and creativity within its professional curriculum, a focus which fostered the American School movement and remains to this day. OU Architecture’s award-winning graduates include Angela Lee, principal of the global firm HKS; Brian Phillips, principal of Philadelphia firm ISA; and bridge architect, Donald MacDonald; among many others.

Construction Science

CONSTRUCTION SCIENCE

The Haskell and Irene Division of Construction Science started in 1983. Since then, the Division has earned a national reputation as one of the country’s best programs. The program’s success is due to talented, award-winning students (PDF), top faculty, dedicated alumni and the unparalleled support of the construction industry. Students from the Division consistently win awards in ASC Design-Build competitions and have also received awards in TEXO and DBIA competitions. Since its inception, the Construction Science program has maintained a close partnership with the construction industry, an extremely important element in providing top-quality graduates who are in great demand by employers.

Environmental Design

ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

The Environmental Design program at OU heavily emphasizes student collaboration with Oklahoma communities. Student actions include improving access to amenities in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, working with residents to generate ideas for improvements to a 50-year-old neighborhood in Oklahoma City, assisting in designing and implementing improvements to Norman’s Main Street and working with the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Cultural District Initiative and a local art gallery to redesign an outdoor stage and events area.

Interior Design

INTERIOR DESIGN

Although courses in interior design have been found at OU since the 1910s, a shift towards commercial and professional programs began in 1972 and culminated in 1986, with a Bachelor in Interior Design offered through the Division of Interior Design in the College of Architecture. Today, the Division offers professional graduate and undergraduate programs. Students of the Interior Design Division have been nationally recognized in competitions such as Steelcase NEXT, IDEC Student Design and IDEC Student Video competitions, and the Illuminating Engineering Society Dallas Chapter Student Lighting Design Competition.

Landscape Architecture

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

The Division of Landscape Architecture offers the only fully accredited MLA program in the State of Oklahoma. The Division boasts a 100% post-graduation job placement rate, and our alumni have been employed by such prestigious firms as the Office of James Burnett and the Portico Group. Since 2010, our students have placed six times among the best in the Urban Land Institute’s Hines Competition. Our students have also won the Come Alive Outside Design Challenge and been recognized as a finalist for the World Landscape Architecture Award.

Regional and City Planning

REGIONAL + CITY PLANNING

Founded in 1947, the Regional and City Planning program at the University of Oklahoma is one of the oldest city planning programs in the U.S. Our alumni have gone on to do amazing things—serving as Presidential Management Fellows, leading the American Planning Association, and directing planning in places like Chicago, Austin and Las Vegas. One of our alumni, Phil Hawes, even designed Biosphere 2 and has been a leader in sustainable design and development for over 40 years. The Division gives back to local communities through the creation of Comprehensive Plans for cities such as Enid, Mustang and Newcastle.

Urban Design

URBAN DESIGN

Students of the Division of Urban Design produce reports on topics ranging from child deserts, to economic development strategies to housing and transportation developments. Alumni include O.C. Walker, Executive Director of the Tulsa Development Authority; Delise Tomlinson, former Director of Downtown Development for the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Shane Fernandez, President of Southwest Operations at Nabholz Construction; and Cara Shimkus Hall, Principal, GH2 Architects.

“The support from faculty and staff was absolutely crucial to my success in school and thereafter. I express my deepest gratitude for the opportunity to have connected with people who are committed to helping students explore their own academic interests, supporting them through research and award applications, and helping them find financial aid and employment opportunities.”

-Adelle York
Architecture Alum
Graduate Student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design

“Each of my professors was incredibly knowledgeable and motivating. Other majors do not offer as individualized of help or provide the accessibility that the OU College of Architecture does. Furthermore, student competitions were a major success because they introduced students to the industry very early on. Most students left competitions with offers or with new contacts.”

-Jonathan Healey
Construction Science Alum
Senior Project Engineer at Balfour Beatty Construction

“Coming into the graduate program in landscape architecture, I had a number of years of experience working in the field with plants and constructing landscapes. The professors within the program expanded my knowledge base in amazing ways. My training in horticulture gave way to larger ecological systems thinking. My practical experience was strengthened through rigorous technical training.”

-Brent Wall
Landscape Architecture Alum
Director of LAUD Studio: Landscape Architecture + Urban Design

“The collaboration between construction science majors, interior design majors and city planning provided me with a solid foundation to work well across multiple departments.”

-Gabe Sevigny
Environmental Design Alum
Assistant Director for the City of Moore, OK

“The OU Gibbs College of Architecture allowed me to better understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration in relation to design methodologies. Learning from others and engaging with my peers has allowed me incredible insight and helped me in my approach to innovative design. Networking and creating relationships with industry professionals have assisted me in finding my current job.”

-Sara Ketabi
Interior Design Alum
Interior Design Associate at Bockus Payne Architecture

“The local and regional community-based projects created an exciting, fast-paced learning environment that was both interesting and engaging …It is a true testament to the program to see how many Urban Design Studio projects have morphed seamlessly in to the fabric of our city today.”

-Sarah Gould
Urban Design Alum
Owner of KKT Architects

“I came to OU as a Fulbright Scholar from Russia to pursue a degree in Regional and City Planning… After my first semester, I was offered a Graduate Fellow position at the Institute for Quality Communities… At IQC I developed a strong interest in and honed my skills in placemaking and urban design by helping implement the projects to assist the speakers at the biannual Placemaking Conference.”

-Anna Siprikova
Regional + City Planning Alum
Senior Program Associate at Global Designing Cities Initiative, National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

“My experiences at the OU College of Architecture are foundational to my career thus far as an architect, and now again as an emerging educator. Particularly notable are the opportunities for leadership roles both within the architecture student body and the College at large. The ability to mobilize diverse groups of actors–people, material, capital, etc.–to affect real change is given a place within the College.”

-Khoi Nguyen
Architecture Alum
Partner at Future Projects

“The best experiences I had while in the College of Architecture were my two study abroad trips…I spent 3 weeks in Lusaka, Zambia as a member of a mixed team of architects, landscape architects, and city planning students working on a master plan for temporary and permanent school campuses…My second study abroad trip was a bicycling and garden tour of Europe with Dr. Tom Woodfin. This trip was an amazing cap to my time in the College of Architecture and really reinforced my love of bicycle infrastructure and design.”

-Shelby Templin
Regional + City Planning Alum
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

“Having courses that industry professionals helped develop [and] the continuous cycle of improving courses as the industry changes contributed to my success.”

-Lynnsee Boyse
Construction Science Alum
Project Manager at JE Dunn Construction

“As a student in landscape architecture I was working and collaborating with students in Architecture and Regional and City Planning, as well as Landscape Architecture students who came from various backgrounds. This was a valuable benefit because it mimics the professional setting I’m in today– collaborating across disciplines, learning from others, and working as a team.”

-Shane Friese
Landscape Architecture Alum
Landscape Architect and Project Manager at Freese and Nichols, Inc.

“Prior to attending graduate school, I found my interest in urbanism through the interdisciplinary and collaborative classes that the College of Architecture offered. With very encouraging support from my professors, I could engage in topics outside the boundaries of interior design that touched on architecture, landscape, construction, graphic design, and community planning.”

-Shelly Zhu
Interior Design Alum
Senior Designer at CallisonRTKL

“Attending the OU Urban Design Studio in Tulsa allowed me the ability to pursue a master’s degree in Architectural Urban Studies while working full-time. With its strong relationships with the City and other local organizations, I was able to gain hands-on experience working on community-based projects that had a lasting impact while making valuable connections in my professional field.”

-Daniel Sperle
Urban Design Alum
Executive Director of Tulsa Bike Share

“Professors and staff are very kind, communicable and approachable. Classmates helped me, and we learned from each other. Since I had a different study plan and wanted to graduate early, everyone in the College helped me find a way to make that happen. I am an international student from another country, but OU made me feel at home and supported me from different aspects.”

-Hejun Wen
Landscape Architecture Alum
Landscape Designer at TBG Partners

“One of the biggest advantages the OU CoA offers for students and recent graduates is the connection to local municipalities and employers. My internship with a local private company lead to a full-time position which I would have not known about if not for the faculty.”

-Mark W. Zitzow
Regional + City Planning Alum
Urban Planner at Johnson & Associates, Inc.

Top