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NEWS RELEASE

02-27-02

Contacts:
Lynn Paxson, Design, (515) 294-4026
Robert Findlay, Design, (515) 294-8254
Heather Sauer, Design, (515) 294-9289
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


ISU DESIGN PROF HONORED FOR NATIVE AMERICAN PROGRAM

AMES, Iowa--Lynn Paxson, assistant professor of architecture at Iowa State University, has been nationally recognized for developing a series of courses that explore Native American cultures and environments.

Paxson has been awarded the Robert R. Taylor Program Development Certificate of Recognition from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The Taylor award recognizes curriculum development leading to a greater awareness and understanding by students of the contributions of under-represented groups in architecture and design.

Paxson has helped diversify the architecture curriculum in Iowa State's College of Design by expanding and developing classes on Native American architectural topics. These classes are part of Iowa State's American Indian Studies program. Begun in 1997, the American Indian Architecture curriculum includes annual elective seminars on Native American architecture and material culture, and studio classes at reservation communities in the Midwest and New Mexico.

The American Indian Architecture curriculum provides students with an introductory survey of the history of Native American architecture, primarily North American. Upper-level studio classes have focused on national parks as educational and sacred places and on the development of cultural parks and museums for various Midwestern tribal groups. Many of these courses are open to students in other disciplines, and many participants have gone on to do their diploma projects on topics related to Native American design and culture.

Paxson also has been instrumental in incorporating presentations on Native American architecture and environmental design issues in Iowa State's long-standing Symposium on the American Indian. She is a member of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers.

"It is very nice to be recognized personally and to have the curriculum recognized," Paxson said. "These kinds of topics often seem marginalized. When I was in college, no one mentioned the history or impact of native architecture. I would like to see this material become mainstream."

ACSA is a nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. Paxson will be honored at the 90th ACSA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, April 11-14.



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