McMahan and Urban Teaching at SDSU

Koch Hazard Architects has two staff members serving as adjunct professors in the Interior Design program at South Dakota State University. Stacey is instructing sophomores in an “Interior Design Studio” class, which explores conceptual thinking and placemaking through spatial articulation while emphasizing the elements and principles of design. Jacob is leading the junior class of Interior Design students through, “Design Presentation Strategies.” The course focuses on developing one’s proficiencies as a visual communicator through a variety of digital media.

The faculty features below were originally posted by the SDstate Interior Design group on Facebook in September 2020.

Stacey McMahan, AIA, LEED AP BD+CDirector of Design Operations and Principal at Koch Hazard Architects; NCARB National Council of Architectural Registrations Board Member; OCxP Qualified Commissioning Process Provider.

Instructor McMahan joins us with a Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University.

  • What drew you to design? A creative focus from youth, lover of nature and a desire to express design in the context of our natural environment.
  • What part(s) of industry have you worked in? Architecture and informal landscape.
  • What drew you to becoming an educator? The students in the program and a desire to share what I’ve learned.
  • What advice would you give to students? If you like what you are studying but are not in love with it, work hard and keep at it, the love will eventually show up!

Jacob Urban, Art Director at Koch Hazard Architects. Instructor Urban joins us as an experienced practitioner with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from South Dakota State University (whoop, whoop!).

  • What drew you to design? I can’t recall a specific moment in which I knew I wanted to be a designer, however in retrospect I think the inherent interrelation between creative expression and objective problem-solving is what appealed to me.
  • What part(s) of industry have you worked in? Currently, I’ve yet to work in any design-field apart from Architecture. Despite this, the work I’m involved in allows me to operate in many artistic capacities not immediately associated with architectural practice.
  • What drew you to becoming an educator? My interest in education came about as a natural consequence of my purported flair for providing exhaustive feedback. During graduate school, I worked as a teaching assistant for Jessica Garcia Fritz, Assistant Professor of Architecture at SDSU. In this role, I was uniquely responsible for developing the professional writing proficiencies of our students, a task I greatly enjoyed.
  • What advice would you give to students? My advice for design students currently engaged in their academic studies, would be to address your coursework as a means of developing your own personal thematics. Your time as a student imparts an unprecedented opportunity to explore your own interests and test the validity of your ideas against the backdrop of your project-deliverables. As counterintuitive as it might initially sound, your primary responsibility as a student should be to your own creative development.