One of the many goals of the School of Architecture is to reach out into the community and make a difference. We strive to find places in our local, regional and international communities where our vision of craft, visualization and stewardship can affect the most positive outcome. In this section you will find a selection of such ongoing projects designed not only to serve the community, but also to inspire visitors with the drive to become active within their own communities as well.
MSU Architecture Slideshow


  • Khumbu Climbing School: Through collaboration between the School of Architecture and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, SoA students designed the Khumbu Climbing School in Phortse, Nepal, under Associate Professor Michael Everts’ direction and in consultation with Bob Mechels, a LEED accredited professional with Dowling and Sandholm Architects. The collaboration was challenged to design a building which was culturally sensitive, environmentally sustainable and nurturing the opportunity for Sherpas to learn safe climbing skills and foster a passion for Alpinism. By creating a physical place for the gathering of climbers and community, the project strives to share the impossible immensity of the Himalayan Mountains. The students’ design was approved this fall and Everts traveled with several graduate students (see MSU website blog to the ground breaking in the beginning of November 2009. The project has been helping Montana State University’s School of Architecture to spearhead the education outreach and design research efforts underway in the school.
  • Morocco: In May, 2010, Adjunct Assistant Professor Bill Rea and seven MSU students traveled to Morocco to work with on the renovation of the Igherm in Zawiya Ahansal, a remote area of Morocco's central High Atlas Mountains. This is the second year that MSU architecture students have worked with SoA alumna Chloe Erickson to help villagers complete the project. 

State and Region

  • Hyalite: A group of architecture students at Montana State University will be putting on the finishing touches on the design for a picnic pavilion that was built last summer and fall near the popular Hyalite Reservoir Dam. The pavilion, which is a joint project of the MSU School of Architecture, the U.S. Forest Service and the Gallatin Empire Lions Club, is located at the Hyalite Day Use Picnic Area at the parking lot on the west side of Hyalite Reservoir Dam. The students designed a simple, modern 20-foot by 50-foot structure made of stone, steel and timber with a corrugated steel roof. Assistant Professor Bruce Wrightsman said flexibility has been the keyword for the design which will accommodate groups of varied sizes ranging from a few to more than 60 people. It includes two cooking areas and a warming area. The pavilion is designed for public use including private groups and occasions. Students will now work with the Forest Service on the ‘vision’ for the site and contributing to the site design for the ‘new’ area.
  • Gallatin Valley: In cooperation with the Sonoran Institute and the Lincoln Institute (Maryland), the School of Architecture has entered into a collaboration to determine appropriate land uses to maximize density and preserve natural amenities in the Gallatin Valley Master Plan. School of Architecture professor Ralph Johnson is leading the SoA contribution with several graduate students.
  • Yellowstone N.P.: In a collaborative effort with Bozeman architecture firm, JLF & Associates, a second design charrette took place in Yellowstone National Park in September. Architects from nationally and internationally renowned firms and architectural illustrators participated  with students and faculty.


  • CDC Projects: In its 33rd year, the Community Design Center continues to serve the people of Montana by reaching to non-profit organizations and government agencies to provide visioning, planning, and conceptual design. The CDC fosters a collaborative interdisciplinary community/university partnership approach that serves the people of Montana in research and design of the built environment. Fourth year Architecture students participate in the Center’s activities while learning to manage their own projects and determine appropriate design proposals, research methods and production schedules with the assistance of the faculty advisors. Recent projects included a retired living community in Ennis, MT, downtown visioning for Choteau, MT, graphics for the Unified Development Ordinance in Bozeman, and the Irving Elementary School greenhouse in Bozeman.
  • Integrated Design Lab: The Integrated Design Lab, now in its fifth year, assists Montana architects and engineers with leading edge strategies to help design high performance buildings. The IDL is funded by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance of which Northwestern Energy is the Montana contributor. 
    Adjunct Assistant Professor Angie Keesee conducted a session on livable streets for the fall class of the Memphis Regional Design Center‘s Urban Design 101. This annual program examines "the transformative impact that innovative physical planning and design of the 'public realm' can have on the quality of contemporary urban life." Urban Design 101 was created to introduce local leaders to emerging design concepts. Adjunct Assistant Professor Keesee’s session on livable streets discussed issues from the view of both the architect and the civil engineer. References included Kevin Lynch, Allan Jacobs and the ITE/CNU guides to walkable communities.
    Professors Chere LeClair and Henry Sorenson continue to serve of the Board of Directors of the Montana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Adjunct Assistant Professor Chere LeClair will become the President of the Chapter on January 1, 2011. 
    Professors Chris Livingston and Bill Rea continue to serve of the Design Review Board of the City of Bozeman.
  • DCA Conference: MSU and the School of Architecture, headquarters for the Design Communications Association (DCA), The Design Communication Association (DCA) is an international professional society composed of graphics/design teachers from schools of architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, graphic design, and product design.
    Puposes of the Association:
    • The purposes of the Design Communication Association are:
    • To maintain a dialog among design communication professionals and educators concerning creative alternatives for teaching and promoting the concepts and skills of design communication.
    • To encourage design communication educators to keep teaching these essential skills by offering them the opportunity to present and publish the results of their teaching and research.
    • To improve communication and support among the various design professions and education levels based on our common interest in improving the way we formulate and communicate design ideas to our profession and the wider community.
    • Sorenson serves as Treasurer and Web-Site Editor of DCA; Juroszek serves as Executive Secretary and Proceedings Editor with Karczewska, who is also a Proceedings Editor.
  • Symposia: The school has recently established its three-semester graduate program and initiated three curricula themes: stewardship, visualization and craft. Adjunct Professor Barry Newton is proposing a series of symposia to investigate these themes. They will be explored and speculated upon in a series during the spring and fall semesters of 2011 and spring semester of 2012. We imagine that each theme can be approached from a variety of viewpoints and welcome the idea of critical positions that both support and call into question these ideas as vehicles for teaching and learning about architecture. We also recognize that there are many interesting areas of overlap among these topics. We are a school of architecture and so we are interested in these questions from the positions of an architectural pedagogy and a professional discipline. We are pleased to be able to give advanced notice of these events. Please contact Barry Newton. More information will be posted soon on the School of Architecture website.