Professor Miranda Shugars was awarded with a 2023 Course Development Prize in Architecture, Climate Change, and Society by ACSA and Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. The national award, which recognizes courses that challenge students to address sociocultural and ecopolitical dimensions of the climate change crisis, issues a cash prize to support the course at the faculty’s host institution and promotes the coursework with a presentation at the ACSA Annual Meeting. Syllabi for the courses are also published on ACSA and Buell Center websites.

Miranda and her course, “Unequal Cartographies: Mapping Climate Change in Appalachia”, was one of five winning proposals to receive recognition. A brief description of the class, which is offered at Virginia Tech under the course title “GIS for Designers”, is as follows:

“Unequal Cartographies will investigate relationships between historically-rooted inequalities and climate change impacts today using free, open-source mapping tools. Students will visualize complex urban issues using GIS (geographic information systems; i.e., digital mapping). The class will discuss how discriminatory government practices have relegated people to ecologically-vulnerable areas, how health impacts of heat and pollution disproportionately impact historically-marginalized people, and how the climate crises we now collectively face stem partly from deeply-rooted social ills.”

Student work by Michael Mattson (M.Arch ‘22)
Student work by Michael Mattson (M.Arch ‘22)
Student work by Leon Krug (B.Arch ‘22)
Student work by Ellen Holt (B.S. ‘22)