Auburn University's NOMA Student Team Wins Second Place

Auburn University's NOMA Student Team Wins Second Place

Nov 9th, 2017

Auburn’s National Organization of Minority Architects student team won second place in the 2017 Barbara G. Laurie Student Design Competition. The design competition was part of the NOMA’s Annual Conference in Houston, Texas on October 11-14. The challenge was to design an Academy of Architectural Design and Sustainability for 8th-12th graders in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood. Auburn’s entry, “Sunnyside Seams,” was awarded second place among nineteen schools competing.


“Before starting the design, the team spent two weeks researching the site and its history,” says Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and team faculty advisor. "The students were careful to build on the social landscape of the neighborhood, and they connected the academy to a public park, public library, local churches and local businesses. The academy extends the public realm, and the students proposed it as a framework to strengthen the long-standing entrepreneurial spirit of Sunnyside residents," says Moore.


The proposed academy, which is named for the pioneering African-American architect John S. Chase, will provide students and residents of Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood with access to a secondary education as well as opportunities for adult educational programs and community events. Located 6.5 miles south of downtown, Sunnyside is poised for change. As team member Jania Washington explains, “The value of Sunnyside’s large numbers of undeveloped properties is its future vitality. Sunnyside is an adaptable neighborhood where residents should have a voice in an unpredictable future. The proposed school stitches itself to that potential by creating walkable streets, a civic edge of public services and a gateway to a reclaimed landfill.”


The panel of judges in this year’s competition included Houston architects, educators and community leaders who responded to the students’ plan to provide “school rooms in the community and community rooms in the school.” Team member Kayla Bailey explains the challenge, “While the school is only 40,000 square feet, the site is over 13 million. This challenged us to think strategically and consider the entire neighborhood. It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it!” Team members are Kayla Bailey, Mia Mazariegos, Sarah Shepherd, Jania Washington, Walker Waughtal and Paul Fallin.


In January 2017, Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction’s inclusion and diversity efforts were recognized by Metropolis Magazine in “Diversity Champions: 8 Schools that aren’t just Paying Lip Service to Diversity.” The NOMA student design completion is one piece of this effort. For more information about NOMA, please go to


To learn more about the 2017 Barbara G. Laurie Student Design Competition, go to:


NOMA Student team, left to right in the photo:

Jania Washington

Sarah Shepherd 

Walker Waughtal

Kayla Bailey 

Mia Mazariegos

Paul Fallin (not pictured)