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March 2, 2006
Contact: Philippe Barriere, School of Architecture and Urban Design, (785) 864-4993.

3 KU architecture seniors to exhibit photos documenting Kenya trip to design center

LAWRENCE — Three University of Kansas architecture seniors will exhibit photographs of a recent trip to Kenya to help design a center for an AIDS-stricken village. The exhibit will open at 7 p.m. Monday, March 13, in the Jury Room of Marvin Hall, home of KU’s School of Architecture and Urban Design. It closes March 18.

Dan Bedard of St. Louis, Mo.; J.J. McAllister of Minnetonka, Minn.; and Tyson Pyle of Halstead traveled Jan. 5-20 to assist in the development of an AIDS community center in Kenya being planned by Comfort The Children International, based in Dallas, Texas. The KU seniors traveled with Philippe Barriere, assistant professor of architecture, who teaches their fifth-year architecture design studio for this project.

The group’s goal is to design a complex for the village of Maai Mahiu that will include a community center, market, café, chapel, traveler lodging, AIDS counseling and staff housing. Maai Mahiu is located along a major trade route known as the AIDS highway that links Kenya’s capital city Nairobi to Kampala, Uganda. As a principal truck stop on that road, the village experiences high rates of prostitution and AIDs in addition to poverty.

“The human contact and the level of poverty that they (the students) saw really moved them,” said Barriere.

Because of globalization, it is important for architecture students to look at the world as their extended community, Barriere said. “They should be aware of what is going on in the world as a whole, as well as being able to serve their community.”

The KU students documented their visit with photographs as they traveled in several cities to learn about Kenya’s people, government and history. They met with local officials and with the Kenyan attaché to the Minister of Health in Maai Mahiu. In Nairobi, they met the dean and chair of architecture at the University of Nairobi. They also visited hospitals in the towns of Kijabe and Naivasha and open markets, as well as western-style shopping malls. They toured Kiberia, an improvished area of Nairobi, and the port city of Mombasa.

Barriere’s students began working on the design project last fall and are continuing their work on the design with CTC International this spring. All three will graduate in May with a bachelor’s in architecture.

“CTC international has given us a wonderful opportunity. Our trip to Kenya will undoubtedly elevate our conceptual designs of last semester to a clearer vision for this semester,” Pyle said.

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous provided $1,000 each to help the students with their travel expenses for the trip.

HARVEY COUNTY
From Halstead
Tyson Robert Pyle, senior in architecture, son of Kevin and Mary Jo Pyle, is a graduate of Halstead High School.

MINNESOTA
From Minnetonka
John Carlton “J.J.” McAllister, senior in architecture, is the son of John McAllister and Jim and Debby Martinson, all of Minnetonka. He is a graduate of Minnetonka High School.

MISSOURI
From St. Louis
Daniel F. Bedard, senior in architecture, son of Steve and Jane Bedard, is a graduate of St. Louis High School.

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