Craig Barton tapped as The Design School director

April 23, 2012

After successfully completing an extensive international search, Kwang-Wu Kim, dean and director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, announced the appointment of Craig Barton as director of The Design School and professor.

Barton, a designer and urban expert, currently is associate professor of architecture and former chair of the University of Virginia’s Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Barton brings an impressive record of academic and public service leadership to The Design School director’s position and begins his new role on Aug. 1, 2012. Barton replaces Darren Petrucci, who is stepping down from the director’s position to return to the faculty and pursue his architectural practice and urban research. Petrucci will continue as the SunCor Professor of Architecture and coorinator of The Design School’s urban design program. Download Full Image

“Craig Barton’s vision for the future of design education and his deep engagement with community and place are highly compelling,” said Kwang-Wu Kim. “I believe that under his leadership, The Design School will build upon its many successes and achieve yet higher levels of excellence and innovation.”

Barton, a Connecticut native, said that The Design School’s faculty and its reputation as an innovative, multi-disciplinary, top-ranking program, in addition to Arizona State University’s status as the nation’s largest public research university, attracted him to the Southwest.

“I am excited to have been invited to join The Design School’s distinguished community of designers, scholars and students,” Barton said. “I am impressed by the school’s commitment to a public design agenda which addresses the local and global challenges of environment, energy, information and urbanization. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to continue to build innovative models of collaborative design practice which enhance the public realm and improve the quality of the built environment.”

As the new director of The Design School, Barton will lead the largest professional design school in the region with its more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students. The Design School is composed of architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and visual communication design. Its interior design and industrial design programs are ranked among the nation’s top 10 by DesignIntelligence and its graduate architecture program ranks third in the 13-state western region. Its three-year old master’s of landscape architecture program was recently accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board.

The school’s collaborative structure and its location within the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts which comprises not only The Design School, but also the schools of art, dance, music, theatre and film, and arts, media and engineering, along with the ASU Art Museum, were equally compelling, according to Barton.

“During Professor Barton's campus visit, it was amazing how fast he was able to develop a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship with the faculty and students in The Design School. He is clearly the leader we need to further advance the school,” said Michael Underhill, executive dean for the Herberger Institute, professor of architecture and chairman of the search committee.

In addition to a long list of academic and civic awards and grants, Barton was editor of the anthology, "Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Architecture and Race," Princeton Architecture Press. He has contributed to a range of anthologies including the "City of Memory, Row: Trajectories Through the Shotgun House" and the recently published "Writing Urbanism."

Barton embraces The Design School’s role as a community partner charged with the responsibility to educate all future leaders to enhance the quality of life of the citizens and public realms of this rapidly urbanizing city.

“I think it’s important as an institution engaged in the greater world that The Design School provide the next generation of community leaders across the university with access to our curriculum and research education so that they will become as conversant in the language of design as they are in the language of history, calculus or literature,’’ Barton said.

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ASU team to represent US in worldwide student technology competition

April 23, 2012

Four ASU students have won a place in the premiere international student technology competition by taking first place, April 23, in the U.S. Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup in Seattle.

Their team, named FlashFood, earned a trip to the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia in July. FlashFood Imagine Cup Winners Download Full Image

The students also earned $18,000 to support their venture to apply new technologies in developing and coordinating a real-time food-recovery and distribution system. It uses Web applications and smart phones to help local communities prevent food waste and deliver fresh food to people in need.

The first-place finish also brings a $10,000 donation to ASU.  

Team members are senior biomedical engineering major Eric Lehnhardt, senior materials science and engineering major Katelyn Keberle, senior computer science major Steven Hernandez and senior marketing and sustainability major Jake Ervin.

In Australia, they will compete against student teams from about 70 other countries.

Hundreds of student teams from around the county vied for spots in the Imagine Cup U.S. Finals. Ten teams, including FlashFood, were selected to compete in the Software Design category of the U.S. Finals. Twelve other  teams were finalists in the Game Design category.

It’s the second year in a row that an ASU student team won the Software Design category in the U.S. Finals. Team Note-Taker developed a portable custom-designed camera connected to a pen-and-multitouch Tablet PC that aids students with visual impairments in takes notes in classes.

Team Note-Taker then won second place in the category in the Worldwide Finals in New York City.

FlashFood’s effort has evolved from projects developed in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program in ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.  EPICS director Richard Filley is FlashFood’s faculty adviser.

The team is forming a network of restaurants and banquet halls to donate leftover and surplus food to local community centers and churches for distribution to families and individuals.

The mobile-phone application will help manage the food pickup and distribution system. The app would be used for communications between the providers, collectors, distributors and recipients of the food.

The Imagine Cup competition challenges student to use technology in efforts to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. The Imagine began in 2003 with about 1,000 students working with various teams. By last year, more than 358,000 students from 183 countries and regions around the world participated on teams trying to move through the stages of the competition.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering