College of Architecture Earns National Award

University of Oklahoma Student Architecture Design Journal Award Center for Architecture New York

The Gibbs College of Architecture has been honored with a national award for its student journal, Telesis.

Norman, Okla. –  In its first year of publication, the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture student design journal has earned national recognition.

Recently, the Center for Architecture, a New York-based gathering place for all those interested in the built environment, announced the winner of the Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals. The award was founded to encourage student journalism on architecture, planning, and related subjects, and to foster regard for intelligent criticism among future professionals.

Based on these criteria, the Gibbs College of Architecture’s student journal Telesis was awarded the 2019 Haskell Award. Honorable mentions went to PLAT, published by Rice University, and Room One Thousand, published by the University of California, Berkeley. Past honorees include Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Michigan.

“The jury was particularly impressed with the fresh and relevant content included and the beautifully printed and created journal,” wrote Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, and executive director of the Center for Architecture.

Telesis is the brainchild of Emily Hays, a recent graduate who served as its student editor while a master of architecture student at the University of Oklahoma. Before starting the journal, Hays researched collegiate design journals with Dr. Angela Person, director of research and strategic planning at Gibbs College, for over a year. This research helped Hays propose a course that would allow OU students to publish their own design journal. In Fall 2018, Hays co-led the course with professor Tiziana Proietti. During the course, the students circulated a call for papers on the theme of “Design Against,” and the resulting journal, Telesis, was published by hand in April 2019.

“Due to the rigor of this process and the students’ motivation to produce an incredible first issue of the journal, they were able to attract the attention of Pritzker Prize-winning Alejandro Aravena’s firm, Elemental, which has a piece published in the journal,” said Person. “Including such established voices alongside the work of our students places them at the forefront of important conversations about the future of design. I think we can agree that this is an extraordinary inaugural issue.”

This is not the only significant honor earned by the OU architecture program this academic year. Design Intelligence recently ranked the program fourth nationally among “most hired from” programs its size. “These honors confirm what we’ve always believed,” said Hans E. Butzer, dean and Mabrey Presidential Professor of Architecture and Urban Design. “The students who come to the Gibbs to study architecture learn how to run with the big dogs.”

Hays was recently awarded the Architectural Research Centers Consortium’s King Medal for innovation, integrity and scholarship related to her work on Telesis. “It’s truly surreal to receive this recognition for our hard work. I always believed in the importance of Telesis, but to have others see this value as well is incredibly validating for me,” said Hays. “More importantly it’s validating for the students at OU who will continue speaking on this platform and change the landscape of design moving forward. I’m just deeply honored.”

Preview Telesis “Design Against” by clicking here.

Established in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting university and leader in research, health care, and academic activity impacting the state of Oklahoma and global community. The Norman campus enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City enroll more than 3,000 students and the OU-Tulsa campus enrolls more than 1,000. Of the 4,385 incoming freshmen in 2018, the average ACT score is 26.2 and is one of the most diverse and inclusive groups of incoming students in university history. OU began a new focus in 2018 to double research efforts in the next five years, promote OU Medicine as the health care provider of choice in the State of Oklahoma, and grow the university in northeastern Oklahoma.

The Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture, whose oldest program was established in 1916, supports a future in which all communities are designed for resiliency and empowered to maximize their social, economic and environmental well-being. The Gibbs College of Architecture educates more than 600 students through undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs across seven academic units in Architecture, Construction Science, Environmental Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Regional and City Planning.

Learn more about Gibbs College at gibbs.ou.edu.


Telesis student team: Emily Hays (editor), Emily Homan, Tanaka Kawondera, Jose Nava, Yeti Obasade, Evan Sack, and Magdalena Schaffernicht

Telesis course instructor: Dr. Tiziana Proietti

Telesis adviser: Dr. Angela M. Person