LAWRENCE — The American Institute of Architects in Kansas (AIA Kansas) awarded a team of University of Kansas Department of Architecture faculty members the 2020 AIA Kansas Honor Award for Unbuilt Design for their Sydney Alternative Housing Ideas project. The team consisted of professors Joe Colistra, Nilou Vakil, Gregory Crichlow and Casey Franklin.
The project used research from the KU School of Architecture & Design’s Institute for Smart Cities to develop a housing unit that could also serve as a medical device. The house would use a variety of technologies such as floor sensors to monitor residents and deliver that data to caretakers.
“The main idea was… to try to densify the main thoroughfare. We brought smart, dense housing and mass transit to the central business district (in Sydney),” Colistra said.
According to their website, “AIA Kansas Architectural Design Awards recognize outstanding architecture from the state of Kansas. The focus of these awards is to encourage and recognize excellence in architecture; elevate public awareness for architecture; and to recognize the architects, consultants, contractors and owners whose work brings excellence to the built environment.”
"We are honored to be recognized by AIA Kansas for our team’s work on the Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge for the city of Sydney, Australia,” said Vakil, the project spokesperson. “Sydney, similar to many metropolitan cities, is seeking solutions to affordable housing, growth, transportation and connectivity challenges. The KU team… offered innovative ideas to tackle these challenges from the angle of urban design, architecture, transportation, human behavior and data collection. Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge selected our team to collaborate with the city of Sydney and its citizens to refine these solutions for their 2030 Strategic Plan.”
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Photos clockwise, from top left: Gregory Crichlow, Joe Colistra, Nilou Vakil and Casey Franklin, School of Architecture & Design faculty members.