Iowa State architecture students travel to Kansas City


One of the many prefabricated houses that students on the Kansas City trip visited

Jacob Stewart

Seventy-six College of Design and architecture students recently returned from a trip to Kansas City, Mo.

From Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, sophomore students visited — among other historic and architecturally important sites — the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kansas City Central Library. 

Adam Hermann, sophomore in architecture, attended the trip and had a great time exploring the beautiful museums and learned a lot from the trip.

“We evaluated and sketched landscape details of the museum’s grounds and how the landscape connected to the surrounding museum,” Hermann said. “We also went inside where they had Egyptian and European artifacts such as a mummy and a mounted knight.”

The students traveled to Lawrence, Kan., where they stopped to see the University of Kansas and some prefabricated housing projects. Saturday they visited a variety of prefabricated houses and evaluated what worked and what didn’t within the houses themselves.

They also spent time in Union Station, focusing on the large spaces and how they affected the acoustics. Associate professor of architecture Mickael Muecke demonstrated this by emitting a series of high-pitched noises that caused the public to stand and stare at a group of students singing a wide variety of extremely loud notes.

Later that day they went to the Kemper Museum and explored the Marc Swanson exhibit as well as “Hot and Cold: Abstractions from Nature.”

“We take architecture students on one major field trip every semester,” said Karen Bermann, associate professor of architecture. “The trips become longer and more distant as the student advances through the curriculum. This first trip is Kansas City, while later on they may go to New York or Los Angeles.”

She also believes the trips are immensely useful, and it’s important to see new places and cultures, eat new foods and meet new people. The trips are funded by student fees, but traveling in large groups, Bermann said, saves a lot of money.