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Symposium keynote speaker exemplifies 'Ut Prosim' through nonprofit architecture firm

February 15, 2016

House design
The GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital designed by the MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture firm. Keynote speaker Michael Murphy is the executive director of the firm. Image courtesy of MASS Design Group.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ biennial Research Symposium will kick off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 when keynote speaker Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group takes the stage in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

Murphy is the executive director of MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture firm that leverages buildings, as well as the design and construction process, to become engines for health, economic growth, and long-term sustainability.

“Although not a Virginia Tech alumnus, Michael and his team exemplify the Virginia Tech motto, Ut Prosim, That I May Serve. He does this at the global scale — ten countries and three continents — through the design of facilities to improve health and well-being, and have the greatest positive impact in the communities they serve,” said Jack Davis, Reynolds Metals Professor of Architecture and Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

Murphy’s lecture will explore opportunities for architects and designers to apply their skills for maximum impact and the role of architecture beyond the building itself, using examples from MASS Design Group’s projects around the world. The lecture is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, faculty from the college’s locations in Blacksburg and Alexandria, Virginia, will present their research. Faculty from the School of Architecture + Design, Myers-Lawson School of Construction, School of Public and International Affairs, and School of Visual Arts will give more than 50 presentations throughout the day. The complete schedule of presentations is available online, and interested members of the university and the community are welcome to attend.

“Through these symposia, we continue the college’s founding traditions of excellence in teaching, multidisciplinary research, scholarship, environmental sustainability and global engagement. These presentations are evidence of our faculty’s substantive impact nationally and internationally through their research,” said Davis. “I hope this event generates discussion, collaborations and future scholarship.”

Parking for the Moss Arts Center is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

For presentations on Feb. 25, free parking is available in Perry Street Lots and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road with a visitor’s pass. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Road, near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email Katie Gehrt or call 540-231-2108 during regular business hours at least five days prior to the event.

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