SoA Assistant Professor Chris Trumble has been awarded the 2013 Educator of the Year Award from AIA Arizona.

By recognizing an outstanding educator with this award, AIA Arizona acknowledges the fundamental importance of education in advancing the art and science of design and the impact great teachers have in improving the quality of our environment. As an AIA Educator Award winner myself, I appreciate the importance and gravity of this honor as well as its value in bringing together the practicing and academic communities.

Chris trains our students for practice; he is a passionate and demanding teacher not content with mere competence. He inspires, and sometimes drives, his students to excellence and in so doing, passes on his love for practice. Because he is devoted to rigor and knows that great architecture only emerges when the mundane is taken to an extreme, he builds this devotion to quality into the fabric of his pedagogy.

Chris's highly innovative structures pedagogy makes curriculum visceral: students learn about structural principles, as well as the formula for their estimation, by building and breaking structures in the materials lab. He and his studio students deliver real projects manifesting real value to our community. Projects, like the bus shelters, are of much higher design and practical utility than otherwise happens; projects, like the playground, simply would not happen under normal market/institutional systems. And in the course of a semester students receive the practical experience of delivering actual projects to actual clients; are subjected to actual project criteria, actual budgets, and the vagaries of actual clients; and learn to collaborate by bringing forward the best skills of each individual, rather than every student doing the same tasks. As in professional practice, these projects emerge from the group as a team, not from the will of a directing teacher.

There is no question that Professor Trumble is influencing and changing lives in ways that directly contribute to the effective training of good architects. I confidently forecast that we will see Trumble’s former students changing the profession and the world for the better, because they are doing that now as students.

It is not far-fetched to say that Trumble and his students make the world a better place through design. This impact is social as well as aesthetic. Together, teacher and students impact individual lives as well as the community: and what better way is there for architecture students to learn the ethical and civic dimensions of our profession?

Please join us in celebrating Chris's dedication to excellence in architectural education and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved honor.

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 8:45am