Architecture professor named one of 40 Under 40

Apr 23, 2014 | General News, Liberal Arts

His work and concern for the community is being noticed across the nation. Kevin Singh, an associate professor of architecture at Louisiana Tech, was selected by Building Design + Construction magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2014. This is the ninth year the magazine has held the 40 Under 40 selections.
Kevin Singh

Kevin Singh

Singh joined the Tech faculty in 2006 and is director of architecture’s Community Design Activism Center and also developed the South of California Avenue project, which allows architecture students an opportunity to work with the community. “I thought I was a long shot to get selected having only taught for seven years and making a mid-career change from design to teaching,” Singh said. “I have always seen my work as a ‘bridge’ between education and practice. Leading the Community Design Activism Center and teaching professional practice courses keeps you connected with the public, the profession and the process of design. I’m honored to be included with this peer group of talented individuals. They are accomplished professionals of the AEC [Architects/Engineers/Contractors] industry and are leading their respective organizations.” Karl Puljak, director of the School of Design, said Kevin has used his experience to make his courses interactive and informative. “Since his arrival to Louisiana Tech University as a member of the School of Design faculty, Kevin has utilized his extensive professional experience as an architect and has merged it with his passion for service and activism,” Puljak said. “He has demonstrated in his work in the design studio and in the seminar room that well-designed buildings and spaces play a significant role in the social fabric of our society.” One of his service activities includes the SOCA project, which Singh is working on with volunteers and students. “Currently I am working with a core group of 20 volunteers from the city and SOCA neighborhood to design and build the Friendship House in the neighborhood,” he said. “We are meeting at all four churches in the neighborhood to get input and feedback and will then establish a Board of Directors and submit for 501c3 status. We hope to begin construction sometime next year. It is really fulfilling to get to this point after working with the neighborhood for six years. None of this would have been possible without the continuing efforts of my CDAC students [which is more than 80 students].” Puljak said Singh’s service focus helped the students recognize where they needed to go. “Kevin has led our students to the noble practice of serving the underserved and to the understanding that good architecture and good design must not be reserved exclusively for those with the means to obtain it,” Puljak said. “Professor Singh’s work and the work of his students have sought to assist our community in places where many leaders simply prefer not to go, namely, in places of poverty and in neighborhoods where time and attention is most needed.” As part of his award, Singh will attend a leadership development summit during September in New York City. “I look forward to networking and learning from my peers,” he said. “I actually know four of them from my time serving on the Young Architects Forum of the American Institute of Architects.” Regarding the future, Singh already has some plans constructed. “I’m currently working on a paper to disseminate my process and experience regarding design-build work in the community,” he said. “It’s about social design intervention and how to work with the community — including participation — as you build.”