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Cal Lewis, architecture, (515) 294-2665
Heather Sauer, design communications, (515) 294-9289
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- Two faculty members in Iowa State University's architecture department are among 26 nationwide to receive awards for 2003 from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

Assistant Professor Tom Leslie is one of three to receive the ACSA/AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students) New Faculty Teaching Award. The award recognizes demonstrated excellence in teaching performance during the formative years of an architectural teaching career.

Assistant Professor Karen Bermann received the "Journal of Architectural Education" Best Design Article Award. Her article, "Pre-Architecture Studio: The Pattern Project," was published in the May 2002 issue of the journal.

The awards will be presented March 15 during the 2003 ACSA annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.

Leslie's teaching focuses on the integration of technology, theory and design in both studio and lecture/seminar courses. As coordinator of the architecture department's fourth-year design studio, Leslie has helped transform it into a dedicated, comprehensive design course with the addition of technical and objective requirements. Leslie also has authored two new courses. The first, Physics and Form, looks at the historical relationship between assembly, performance and design in architecture. The second, Integrated Design Workshop, provides refresher lectures in building technology while offering students a process that develops technical and objective aspects of studio projects.

Leslie joined the Iowa State faculty in 2000 after working seven years as an architect for Sir Norman Foster and Partners, London and San Francisco. He earned his master's of architecture from Columbia University, New York City, in 1992.

Bermann's award-winning journal article describes a project, involving writing, drawing and three-dimensional construction, that she employs in the first-year design studio. Students analyze a common household tool to the point that it becomes intimately familiar, yet less familiar the longer it is analyzed. The project culminates in drawings and constructions that describe the tool. The technique embraces the strategy of "making strange," or defamiliarization, as a way to sharpen powers of vision and intellect. It also explores the idea that analysis and invention are "a linked pair, a couple of reciprocal forces that, worked together, constitute a creative methodology," Bermann said.

Bermann joined the department's faculty in 1997 and serves a coordinator of the pre-architecture program. She earned her master's of fine art from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991.

ACSA is a nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. More than 250 schools are members, representing over 5,300 faculty.


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