University of Kansas Students Showcase Innovative Designs in Dezeen School Show

From a solar-powered home to a visually impaired school, students at the University of Kansas display their talent and creativity in Dezeen’s latest school show.

The University of Kansas is renowned for its School of Architecture and Design, which prioritizes design education through hands-on experiences, collaborative research, and community engagement. In a recent showcase on Dezeen, students from the university’s various design programs presented their innovative projects, ranging from sustainable homes to transportation hubs. These designs not only demonstrate the students’ creativity but also their commitment to addressing real-world challenges. Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout projects from the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design.

Haven Studio: A Sustainable Demonstration Home

The Haven Studio, designed and built by students, is a small, solar-powered, net-zero energy home that showcases innovative construction techniques. The studio prioritized natural lighting, utilizing a glazed south facade protected by an overhang to enable passive solar heating without overheating in the summer. The use of prefabricated floor and walls maximized construction precision and minimized waste. With the integration of a mini-split heat pump and an energy recovery ventilator, the home produces more energy annually than it consumes.

River Rock Elementary School for Visually Impaired: Navigating a Unique Journey

Liz Putman and Bridgett Espino designed the River Rock Elementary School for Visually Impaired, recognizing the unique challenges faced by the visually impaired population. The school emphasizes reliance on the other four senses and draws inspiration from Colorado’s diverse landscapes. Through the strategic use of color, texture, light, and materiality, the design creates wayfinding strategies to help visually impaired students navigate the spaces effectively.

Link KC: Connecting Communities through Aerial Lifts

Aaron Michalicek’s project, Link KC, explores the socioeconomic impacts of connecting Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, with an aerial lift across the West Bottoms neighborhood. This innovative transportation solution aims to bridge the gap between the two cities, which are currently separated by a lack of public transit options. By utilizing an aerial lift, the project offers a cost-effective way to reimplement public transit infrastructure while providing recreational amenities to the surrounding community.

Vitality: Redefining Stroke Rehabilitation Facilities

Madeline Bradley and Bridgett Espino’s project, Vitality, focuses on rethinking how stroke rehabilitation facilities are designed. By integrating evidence-based design principles, the project aims to create spaces that support the health and well-being of stroke survivors. The design considers the unique challenges faced by stroke survivors, such as problems with speaking, thinking, and moving, and aims to provide a supportive environment for their recovery.

Hospitality for Holistic Wellness: A Healing Journey

Laura Aykroyd and Isiah Gallegos designed a luxury hotel in Seoul that offers a culture-based healing journey. The hotel’s design combines traditional Korean and modern minimalist elements, creating a harmonious space for guests to balance their energy, essence, and spirit. The design incorporates calming aesthetics, natural elements, and guiding light paths to foster holistic wellness.

432 Indiana Street House: Sustainable Living in Pinkney Neighborhood

Studio 804, a final-year option for the Master of Architecture program, designed and built the 432 Indiana Street House in Lawrence’s Pinkney neighborhood. The sustainable house incorporates several environmentally friendly features and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The project aligns with the City of Lawrence’s long-term mission to support sustainable development and create a sustainable community for the future.


The University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design’s students have showcased their talent and dedication to innovative design in Dezeen’s latest school show. From sustainable homes to inclusive educational spaces and visionary transportation hubs, these projects address real-world challenges while pushing the boundaries of design. The students’ commitment to sustainability, accessibility, and holistic wellness is evident in their thoughtful and creative solutions. As these students graduate and enter the professional world, their designs have the potential to make a lasting impact on the built environment.






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