Teaching / Blog

Students Visit Olympia Oaks in Amherst

Published December 24, 2014 in Community, Education, Staff, Aelan Tierney, Teaching

Students ranging from sixth to twelfth grade from Renaissance Magnet School in Springfield came to Olympia Oaks to learn about how Housing Developments happen. The students were participating in a one week intensive about architecture and had spent the week designing, drawing, and building models of their "dream homes." The trip to Olympia Oaks included a tour of the site and community building, as well as one residence. HAP Housing Development and Management staff talked about how these projects get funded and managed.  KRA's Aelan Tierney shared the history of the development and the core concepts of the design and then spoke about architecture as a profession.

WMAIA “Architecture Through Film” series

Published October 10, 2014 in Education, KRA Extracurricular, Film, Staff, Andy Grogan, Teaching

This semester's "Architecture Through Film" series is happening, and as usual, KRA's Andy Grogan will be there!

Hosting the next generation (or two)

Published August 12, 2014 in Education, Staff, Aelan Tierney, Chris Farley, Chris Riddle, Teaching

We love it when students come by the office to learn more about what we do. It's an opportunity to share with those just starting to explore the field, and it's a good reminder of what inspired us early on in our careers.

With so many great schools in the area, we've been fortunate enough to spend time with students ranging in age from kindergarten to graduate school. This summer, we hosted students from UMASS's architecture school (right), Amherst Regional High School (below), and the UMASS Pre-College Summer Design Academy (bottom).


Architect’s Lecture Series

Published March 9, 2012 in Conferences, KRA Extracurricular, Staff, Ann Marshall, Sustainability, Teaching

Ann Marshall will be speaking tonight at Mount Holyoke College as part of their Architect's Lecture Series.  Starting at 6:00 pm, Ann will present a case study on our LEED Platinum building for New England Environmental.


WNEU students visit the office

Published November 3, 2011 in Education, Staff, Ann Marshall, Elizabeth Morgan, Teaching

Western New England University Associate Professor of History Meri L. Clark brought her students to our office last week to learn more about our Machu Picchu project in Cusco, Peru. Michael Hanke from Design Division, the co-designer of the original exhibit, gave a wonderful presentation on the Incas in Peru and Hiram Bingham’s expedition to the remains of their ancient city. KRA's Ann Marshall and Elizabeth Morgan discussed the new design for the exhibit which recently celebrated its grand opening.

Make No Little Plans

Published September 19, 2011 in Education, KRA Extracurricular, Film, Staff, Andy Grogan, Jonathan Salvon, Teaching

This semester's "Architecture Through Film" series begins Wednesday with Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City.  KRA's Jonathan Salvon will be introducing the film and leading discussion at the end.  The series is sponsored by WMAIA and the Five College Architectural Studies program.

Screenings begin at 6:30 pm in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather Hall) at Amherst College.

Will libraries endure?

Published September 6, 2011 in Education, KRA Extracurricular, Staff, Andy Grogan, Teaching

KRA's Andy Grogan is leading a studio this semester at Boston Architectural College in which students will explore the enduring idea of "the library," both as a public building and as a public institution.  The students' final project will be a design for a new public library in Holyoke, MA.

From the syllabus: With digital technologies challenging the traditional physicality of information and changing the connection of information to place, public libraries face many challenges to their traditional programs, and yet, as these challenges have emerged, library usage has increased.  How do libraries respond, innovate, and/or evolve in light of these changes?  How do you design an object for an idea that is changing but which also has endured through centuries?

The famous photo above, taken in September 1940, shows the remains of London's Holland House Library, the morning after a German air attack destroyed the building.

The Next Generation

Published July 18, 2011 in Education, Pro Bono, Staff, Aelan Tierney, Elizabeth Morgan, Teaching

The UMASS Pre-College Summer Design Academy is open to students who have completed 8th grade through 12th grade and who are interested in design.  Working with practicing architects and UMASS faculty, they spend time designing furniture, rooms, buildings, and landscapes with a focus on the elements that are common to all design projects: space, light, structure, scale and site.

Last week, we were pleased to host them in our office as part of their Pre-Professional component in which students learn about applying to design programs for college, visit a construction site and an architect’s office, and find out how to put together a portfolio of their work. KRA’s Aelan Tierney discussed how she became an architect and what it is that we do all day. KRA’s Elizabeth Morgan showed the students around our office, a former movie theater that once served as stables for Amherst College.

Join them (and us!) on Facebook to see what students have been creating.

Brought to you by the letter ‘A’

Published June 7, 2011 in Education, Staff, Aelan Tierney, Teaching

This spring, Scott Green’s 8th grade history and social science class at Hampshire Regional High School studied Islamic architecture and civil engineering. They produced plans and elevations for a mosque and built bridges and towers with straws, paper, and tape.

Mr. Green asked Kuhn Riddle’s Aelan Tierney to speak to his classes about becoming an architect. Thrilled to share her love of architecture with students, Aelan jumped at the opportunity. She shared the stages of her life that influenced her eventual pursuit of architecture, why architecture inspires her, what it takes to become an architect, and some of the exciting projects she has worked on.

I grew up in my father’s wood working design school, Leeds Design Workshops, in Easthampton, MA. Watching my father draw sculptural pieces of furniture and then turn them into reality inspired me to want to do something similar.

While in high school, I had the opportunity to participate in a program called SITE (Students Involved in Their Education) in which students could pursue internships with local businesses to gain experience in the real world. I knew I wanted to do something creative, so I opened the phone book (yes, this was pre-internet days) and, starting with “A”, did an internship in “Advertising.”  This was followed by an internship in “Architecture.” Fortunately, I wasn’t destined to become a Zoologist. 

Architecture stuck, and I choose to pursue my new-found passion at Carnegie Mellon University.  While in college, I had an opportunity to study abroad in Rome and then spent the summer traveling through Europe. This eye opening experience led me to want to travel and learn more about the world. 

Like many recent graduates in 1992, I found myself entering a job market in recession and without many prospects, a moment similar to today.  In order to put my architecture skills to work while also seeing the world, I entered the Peace Corps and worked in West Africa as a Health and Community Development Volunteer.

Through my Peace Corps involvement, I was able to put my architectural skills to work, providing drawings for renovations of several buildings into the Peace Corps Guinea Offices and Volunteer Housing; renovations of a storage building into a Lepi D’Mali Woman’s Cooperative, a school for girls and women teaching traditional indigo dying as well as tailoring; 10 public latrines for the Mali Public Market; and volunteer hut housing for Peace Corps volunteers.

Since returning to the United States in 1994, I have been fortunate to work on variety of projects, including residential, commercial and educational projects. As I told the students in Mr. Green’s class, I love my job because Architecture influences every aspect of our lives: where we live, where we learn, where we go to work, where we play. Every project is an opportunity to learn about people and how the spaces around them can enhance their lives.

Aelan Tierney

Back to School

Published September 8, 2010 in Education, Staff, Andy Grogan, Elizabeth Morgan, Teaching

  • Elizabeth Morgan will be teaching a junior-year writing class in the Architecture Department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst this fall.
  • Andy Grogan is a guest critic this semester for Boston Architectural College’s Community Design Center studio.