Design/Build Professor Wins Inaugural AISC Award of Distinction

American Institute of Steel and Construction honors commitment to community and hands-on approach to design education

by Symone Daniels • April 27, 2023

For over 30 years, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design professor Patrick Peters has led the University of Houston's award-winning design/build program, but now the spotlight has turned from the program to Peters himself. The American Institute of Steel and Construction (AISC) recently awarded Peters among its first-ever AISC Awards of Distinction, recognizing individuals who have produced high-quality work in the steel industry.  

AISC Senior Structural Steel Specialist Alex Morales, Associate AIA, EDAC, LEED Green Assoc, felt it was important to nominate Professor Peters for this award because he believes Peters has created a long-lasting impact shaping the future of students pursuing architecture.

The award was a complete shock to Peters, who was unaware Morales had nominated him. One day during studio, Morales surprised Peters and his students with the award. Although the award was unexpected, the recognition affirmed Peters' work over his professional career, especially in an industry he was not directly involved with. 

TOP TO BOTTOM: Peters with students from the Graduate Design/Build program; An outdoor demonstration kitchen in the alief community garden

"Through his years of work in design/build, Peters has created an open lab affording real-world exposure and design experience to students constituting the future of architecture," said Morales. "This special approach is not commonplace in most architecture schools, and these actions forge cross-disciplinary collaboration essential for success in architecture careers."

Peters believes this honor is really about the students. He is incredibly proud of how the student's commitment and ambition reflect the quality of work they develop and bring to fruition. 

The Hines College's graduate design/build studio centers around working with regional non-profit organizations to develop design solutions and see those creations come to life. From initial conception to completed construction, students are able to engage in the design process from start to finish, giving them a more hands-on perspective as they prepare for their professional careers.

TOP TO BOTTOM: Peters with his graduate students and the students of frank black middle school in front of a new outdoor classroom; the amphitheater at T.H. Rogers School

Peters and his students recently completed a new outdoor classroom at HISD's Frank Black Middle School. Over the program's extensive history, its most notable projects include the T.H. Rogers School Amphitheater, Alief Community Garden, ReFRAME x FRAME for the centennial celebration in Hermann Park, and Centennial Gate Port of Houston.


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