MSU Research Center, Partners Qualify for National Design Finals



STARKVILLE, Miss.–Members of Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast  Community Design Studio make up one of 10 design teams named finalists in the national “Rebuild by Design” competition.

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The GCCDS is one of three research centers in the university’ College of  Architecture, Art and Design. Learn more at

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the competition requires participants to develop a storm-resistant change and development project to protect and enhance affected Northeast communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

More than 140 teams representing more than 15 countries submitted competition proposals. Among them were top engineering, architecture, design, landscape architecture and planning firms, as well as research institutes and other universities.

“The selection of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio as part of one of the top 10 design teams from such a robust and well-recognized group of entrants is a further recognition of the quality and depth of work the GCCDS has performed since Hurricane Katrina,” said Jim West, CAAD dean.

“The expertise the GCCDS and their partners have demonstrated that covers such a wide gamut, including individual housing designs and new construction techniques for flood-prone areas and sustainable communities, was recognized and helped distinguish their team in this international competition,” he continued.

Other members of the MSU team include unabridged Architecture, a Bay St. Louis architecture firm, and Waggonner & Ball Architects of New Orleans, La.

Selection of the 10 finalists marks the beginning of the second phase of the competition that will ultimately result in resilience projects built or implemented in Sandy-impacted communities. The second stage will involve an 8-month process with two distinct parts: analysis and design.

In Stage Two, the GCCDS team will share $100,000 in funding provided by the New York City-based Rockefeller, JPB and the Deutsche Bank Americas foundations, along with the New Jersey Recovery Fund.

The GCCDS was established in 2005 to bring planning, landscape and architectural design services to low-income communities rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast region in late August 2005.

“We are pleased to be able to bring some of the lessons learned from working with communities on the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina,” said David Perkes, GCCDS director. “We have been fortunate to be part of many projects that aim to increase resiliency as our work and the work of our partners has evolved from rebuilding to long-term community improvements.”

More information on “Rebuild by Design” is available at or on Twitter at @RebuildByDesign.