Community Engagement

Community Engagement is a major part of the mission of the Department of Architecture and the University of Memphis.  It is the policy in the Department that every design studio in the Master of Architecture degree program and every design studio in the undergraduate degree programs has at least one project per semester with a community partner.  In each of these, the partner must be actively engaged including meeting with students and participating in design juries. Often, multiple sections of design studios are integrated so that each community partner (and the students) has the advantage of at least two faculty members involved. This collaborative model exposes students to a more realistic, practice-based situation similar to what they will find in the professional workplace after graduation.

Community Partners


Community Engagement Partners (past several years)

TERRA Demonstration House (LEED Platinum):
At least 50 community partners, especially the Henry Turley Company, City of Memphis, MLGW, and DPC Construction, were involved in this over the seven semesters of design and construction and several have continued to work with us on post-occupancy monitoring.

Government Partnerships:
Clean Memphis;Downtown Memphis Commission; Memphis City Beautiful Commission; Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development; Memphis Fire Department; Memphis Housing Authority; Memphis Parks Commission; Memphis Public Library and Information Center; Memphis VA Hospital; Shelby County Criminal Court Office; Shelby County Trustee's Office; Town of Arlington, TN; City of Chattanooga, TN; City of Covington, TN; Town of Henning, TN; Town of Lakeland, TN; City of Millington, TN; City of Jonesboro, AR; City of Marianna, AR; City of West Memphis, AR; Town of Edmondson, AR; City of Youngstown, OH; White Station High School; Whitehaven High School.

Non-profit Community Partners:
Ballet on Wheels and Bravo Academy; Barth House; Boy Scout Troop 34; Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis; BRIDGES USA; Chattanooga RiverCity Corporation; Chucalissa Archaeological Museum and C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa; City South Ventures and French Fort; Community Lift and Soulsville USA; Credo Institute; Crosstown Arts; Dixon Gallery and Gardens; Door of Hope; Edge District Neighborhood Association; William Eggleston Museum; Inspire Café; Madison Avenue Alliance with the Visible Music School and Downtown Elementary School; Memphis Arts Park; Memphis Friendship Foundation with Heartsong Church and Memphis Islamic Center; Memphis LGBT Center; Memphis Medical District Collaborative; Memphis Regional Design Center; Midtown Memphis Development Corporation with the Madison Heights Neighborhood; Mid-South Coliseum Coalition; Mississippi River Greenbelt Tennessee; Pilgrim House Hostel; Rondout Boating Club in New York; SkateLife Memphis; South Main Neighborhood Association; South Memphis Alliance; South Memphis Renaissance Collaborative and St. Andrew AME Church; St Anne Church and School; Temple Israel, Memphis Islamic Center, Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee; Theatre Memphis; Victorian Village, Inc; Women Loving Themselves First (shelter for abused women); United Housing, Inc.; Urban Land Institute Rose Fellowship with EDGE and Memphis Mayor's Office.

Design+Build Studios:
  Boys and Girls Club Camp Phoenix; Carpenter Art Garden (American Institute of Architecture Students); Edge Triangle Park; Tipton County Writer's Retreat; UNDC Streetscape.

21CD Residence; 85 Union Café; Bryce Corporation; Inspire Café; Midtown Residence; Fischer and Associates Chisca Hotel Renovation (Restaurant); Hoot+Louise (Retail Store); South Main Seismic Retrofit Demonstration Project.

National/International Competitions with Students Winning Awards / Invited Competitions:
National Organization of Minority Architects Atlanta; National Organization of Minority Architects Boston; Volkswagen AG Bridge Competition; Interior and Sources "I Like Design" Competition; PAVE Student Design Competition Store Planning Design Category for Bonobos; Playable 10 International Design Competition / Playable Art in Downtown Atlanta; Tilt-Up Concrete Association Sustainable Coffee Shop Competition.

Projects with the University Neighborhoods Development Corporation (UNDC) or within the University Area:
Davis Park Revitalization Project; Department of Architecture and University of Memphis Green Fee Prototype Recycling Zone; FedEx Institute of Technology Projects; FedEx Institute of Technology Ventures Lab; Mason YMCA Concept Plans; UNDC Banner Competition; UNDC Central Avenue Design Guidelines; UNDC East Buntyn Neighborhood Association Single-Family Housing; UNDC Highland Street Design Guidelines; UNDC Highland Street District Plan; UNDC Lifestyle Center Single-Family Housing with Poag + McEwen; UNDC Living-Learning Communities for Private Developer; UNDC Normal Station Neighborhood Association Madison Cemetery Project; UNDC Red Acres Gateways Project; University of Memphis Alumni Center; University of Memphis Faculty Club; University of Memphis Music Building; University of Memphis Park Avenue Campus Master Plan; University of Memphis Design Competitions ("Place of Gathering + Celebration" | "People ● Buses ● Bicycles" | "A Vision for a Twenty-First Century University: Rethinking the Entry to the Administration Building").