Now under construction by Studio 804: The Forum at Marvin Hall

The Forum is a commons, exhibition, and 120-seat auditorium now being added onto Marvin Hall, the home of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning. Its flexible gallery and breakout spaces will foster the exploration, idea sharing, and engagement that are so much a part of the School’s educational culture.

Architecture students enrolled in the Department of Architecture’s Studio 804, designed and are building The Forum. By combining Marvin’s rusticated limestone walls with the region’s most sophisticated, naturally-ventilated glass façade, the addition builds on the past, yet takes advantage of tremendous advances in building technology available today.

The Forum will be a showplace for not just the School, but the University of Kansas as well, reinforcing the global reputation of KU and the School of Architecture, Design & Planning as two of the most innovative and ambitious educational institutions anywhere. For construction updates, information on Studio 804 and donations, please see The Forum website.


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Department of Architecture lecturer John Trefry has just published “Plats: A Novel,” his first. Trefry teaches first-year architectural design studio, and practices architecture. The story is set in Los Angeles, where according to a recent reviewer, “The reader floats through a suite of interchangeable women looking for escape in place-names, in the changing minutiae of their skin and clothing, in the hydrological cycle of a seaside desert, and in the possibilities apparent in one another's lives. They steal each other's shoes, mail, apartments, and identities with the hope of getting one step closer to distinguishing themselves from the refuse of the unchanging city.” Trefry explained that his career as an architecture and urban designer have been an inspiration to his fiction writing. “The novel has been a confrontation of American urban environments as a one-size-fits all approach to accommodating our infinitely varying personal preferences. Every person has their own uncontrollable urge to make distinct meaning of their experiences.” “I approach the practice of writing much more the way I approach architecture,” he said. “I work to create a highly structured space that contains an overabundance of potential, and embraces the inevitability of misuse. My perspective wasn’t directly a product of my practice of architecture, but I think it was absolutely born of involvement in the field.” Trefry is a founding principal of the work.group and a licensed architect. He spent 11 years with the firm Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects. His experience included managing projects such as the U.S. Courthouse in Austin, and master plans for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in New York City. He also taught at SCI-Arc, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Oregon. Trefry said that he has finished a rough draft of his second novel and has begun revisions. Plats: A novel is available through Amazon.com.

KU-Van Go partnership supports young people in need Van Go, a Lawrence social service agency, and student interns from the University of Kansas use art to teach job and life skills to high-needs youth. Since the program was established in 1997, hundreds of teens in crisis have found success as they create art for the community. In 2013, Van Go and KU received the inaugural Outstanding Community & Campus Collaboration Award at the Campus Compact Heartland Conference on Civic Engagement. The award recognizes an outstanding, involved, and sustained campus--community partnership.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$275 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times