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School of Architecture & Design announces 2020 Alumni Awards

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design has announced the recipients of the 2020 KU Architecture & Design Alumni Awards. This year’s honorees for the Distinguished Alumni Award are Earl Santee, Bruce Smith and Todd Voth. The Young Architect/Designer Award has been given to Eddy Tavio.

The KU Architecture & Design Alumni Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership and made a significant contribution to the design and architectural professions. 

Distinguished Alumnus Awardees: 

Earl Santee, FAIA, received bachelor’s degrees in both architecture and environmental design from KU in 1981. Santee, a senior principal and founder at Populous, is recognized as one of the most widely acclaimed sports designers in the world. With a guiding philosophy that dictates that sites should shape a building’s design, Santee has designed award-winning projects that have been part of major urban renewal efforts across the nation, including in Minneapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, Houston, Denver, Miami and St. Louis. His portfolio includes 18 Major League Baseball parks, 40 spring training facilities and minor league parks. In 2014, he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the organization’s highest honor bestowed upon an architect. 

Bruce Smith received a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from KU in 1978 and has been in various design roles with Steelcase Inc. since 1986. Smith is currently Steelcase’s global design director and been responsible for numerous innovations in workplace product design. With a focus on innovation and sustainability, Smith takes a collaborative approach to product design that considers everything from materials, to user research, to manufacturing, to marketing, thereby utilizing the expertise of specialists at all stages of product development to improve performance and sustainability standards. 

Todd Voth, FAIA, received bachelor’s degrees in both architecture and environmental design from KU in 1981. Voth, a senior principal and founder at Populous, leads the firm’s convention center practice. He had led the design of hotels, retail facilities and 40 convention centers. Under his leadership, Populous has become a global leader in convention center design. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including a Historic Preservation Award; National Chairman, Young Architects Forum, American Institute of Architects; and a National Presidential Citation Award, American Institute of Architects. In 2017, he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. 

Young Architect/Designer Awardee: 

Eddy Tavio received a master’s degree in architecture in 2012. Tavio is currently a project designer and senior associate at Populous, where he focuses on conceptual design, 3D visualizations and innovative thinking to help clients see the future possibilities for their buildings and surrounding developments. He has experience working on a variety of project types spanning higher education, civic buildings, campus master plans and sports facilities, assisting with all phases of design. Since 2018, he has been an adjunct instructor in the KU Department of Architecture. 

Originally from Venezuela, Tavio is also a co-founder of the nonprofit Kinitiative, which provides humanitarian architecture to towns and villages in West Africa.


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