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Teaching Collaborative Skills Through an Interdisciplinary Design Competition

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Development of Collaborative Skills in Construction Education

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Page Numbers

26.1470.1 - 26.1470.10



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Paper Authors


Michele M. Herrmann Esq. Mississippi State University

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Michele M. Herrmann, Esq. is an Assistant Professor in Building Construction Science at Mississippi State University focusing on construction law. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Design from Clemson University and her Juris Doctor from New York Law School, where she worked at the Center for New York City Law. Ms. Herrmann is a member of the New York State Bar.

Prior to joining the BCS faculty, she taught beginning design studios at the State University of New York at Delhi and has experience in real estate and land use law.

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Lyndsey N. Miller Allied ASID, IDEC

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Lyndsey Miller is an interior designer originally from Biloxi, Mississippi. She holds a B.S. in Interior Design and an M.S. in Architecture, both from Mississippi State University. Lyndsey works on a wide range of projects domestically and has also designed large-scale retail facilities internationally as a part of a team at tvsdesign in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, she joined the faculty of the Interior Design Program at Mississippi State University. Concurrently, she has worked closely with a local developer designing a variety of projects, including retail, restaurants, office spaces and condominiums. Miller has a wide range of expertise including interior and exterior planning, design development and computer-generated visualization. A primary focus of her research is the implementation of Autodesk Revit and related technology in the design process as a facilitator of integrated project delivery.

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Alexis Gregory Mississippi State University

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Alexis Gregory is a registered architect and assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University. She has earned a master of science in Architecture with a concentration in women’s studies and history from Clemson University, as well as a bachelor of architecture from Virginia Tech. Her professional experience includes professional licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia and ten years working in various architecture firms in Washington, D.C. During this time, she worked on a variety of architectural project types such as residential, corporate interiors, shopping centers, grocery stores, speculative office buildings, environmental/sustainable design and nonprofit architecture. Her teaching and research interests include construction technology and making, design/build, low-cost/low-income housing and architecture, community design and diversity in architecture.

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J. Suzanne Powney Mississippi State University, Department of Art,

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Suzanne Powney is a graphic designer and letterpress printer. She has been teaching letterpress since 2002 at various institutions including the Museum of Printing History in Houston, Texas, University of Houston, and Mississippi State University where she is currently an assistant professor in graphic design. She is the owner and proprietor of Blackdog Letterpress since 2004. She earned her MFA in Graphic Communications in 2011 from University of Houston.

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Teaching Collaborative Skills Through an Interdisciplinary Design CompetitionAs educators we recognize the importance of preparing students for the interdisciplinarycollaboration they will face in their professional careers. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is theemerging project delivery method of the time and is often accompanied by the use of BuildingInformation Modeling (BIM). Construction management programs across the nation haveadapted to the changing industry needs and trends by incorporating IPD and BIM into existingcourses or creating new courses. Although educating students about the differences between IPDand other more traditional project delivery methods is seemingly straightforward, teaching thecollaborative skills needed for IPD is difficult, especially when students lack the discipline-specific expertise upon which IPD relies. These educational challenges make the relationshipbetween industry and academia of utmost importance.This paper will explain the process and outcome of the fourth year of an annual, industry-sponsored design competition. The competition is intended to foster interdisciplinarycollaboration among students in their fourth year of study, students who will soon be entering thejob market. During the two-week competition, students from architecture, construction, graphicdesign and interior design work in groups to prepare a proposal addressing the needs of a client.The competition concludes with student presentations and the selection and ranking of the topthree teams by the industry sponsor.Qualitative and quantitative data was collected from the students in the form of an online surveycompleted at the outset and conclusion of the competition. The surveys are used to measure thestudents’ knowledge and perception of IPD, and how that knowledge and perception changedthroughout the collaborative competition. The paper will also include an overview of the threeprior years of the competition as a reflection of lessons learned and improvements made to thecompetition format to improve student outcomes.

Herrmann, M. M., & Miller, L. N., & Gregory, A., & Powney, J. S. (2015, June), Teaching Collaborative Skills Through an Interdisciplinary Design Competition Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24807

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