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Public Interest Practices in Architecture

David Perkes is part of a four person national team with Bryan Bell, Roberta Feldman, and Sergio Palleroni to receive the 2011 Latrobe Prize from the American Institute of Architects, a biennial prize dedicated to broadening the perspective and scope of architecture to include cross-disciplinary fields and expertise. Their project is entitled, "Public Interest Practices in Architecture" and seeks to address three questions.

  • What are the needs that can be addressed by public interest practices?
  • How are current public interest practices operating?
  • What is necessary for public interest work to become a significant segment of architecture practice?

The Latrobe Prize is awarded by the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. Founded in 1952, this organization is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. The College of Fellows seeks to stimulate a sharing of interests among Fellows, promote the purposes of the Institute, advance the profession of architecture, mentor young architects, and be of ever-increasing service to society. Toward that end, the College seeks to encourage research that broadens the perspective and scope of architecture to include cross-disciplinary fields and expertise through its biennial competition: the Latrobe Prize.

David Perkes is a licensed architect and professor for Mississippi State University.  He is the founding director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, a professional outreach program of the College of Architecture, Art + Design, Mississippi State University. The design studio was established in Biloxi, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and is providing planning, landscape and architectural design support to many Gulf Coast communities and non-profit organizations.  The design studio has assisted in the renovation of hundreds of damaged homes and over two hundred new house projects in Biloxi and other communities.  The Biloxi house projects were awarded an Honor Citation from the Gulf States Region AIA in 2007, a Terner Award for Innovative Housing and a Mississippi AIA Honor Citation in 2009.  The Bayou Auguste restoration project received a Mississippi AIA Honor Citation in 2012.  In 2011 David was selected by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work on the Gulf Coast.

Before creating the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, David was the director of the Jackson Community Design Center and taught in the School of Architecture’s fifth year program in Jackson, Mississippi.  Under his leadership the Jackson Community Design Center assisted many community organizations and received numerous national and local awards, including a Mississippi AIA Honor Award for the Boys and Girls Club Camp PavilionDavid has a Master of Environmental Design degree from Yale School of Architecture, a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.  In 2004 David was awarded a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.