180 Submissions for Peace Corps Commemorative Design Competition. 3 Stage II Finalists


The Peace Corps Commemorative national design competition received 180 submissions on June 12, 2015. From June 13 until Friday June 26, the 12 members of our distinguished Stage I Jury reviewed, 180 design concepts. This first round of reviews yielded a short list of 40 submissions. The Jury then convened in Washington this past weekend to review the short list, deliberate and recommend Finalists and honorable mentions to the PCCF board. https://www.peacecorpsdesign.net/

The Stage I Jury has recommended three Stage II Finalists:

* Jonathan Benner & John Bassett (BassettBenner)

* Laurel McSherry, Nathan Heavers & Rebecca May (VPI)

* Travis Price, Amir Ebadi & Kelly Davies Grace (Travis Price Architects)

Recommended by the Jury for honorable mention are the following:

* Benjamin Cadena (Studio Cadena)

* Jane Weinzapfel & Yu-Liang Hsu (Leers Weinzapfel Associates)

* Janet Bloomberg, Richard Loosle-Ortega, Matthew Dougherty, Jorge Concepcion & Andrew Baldwin (KUBE architecture)

* William Marquand, AIA

* William O’Brien, Jr., Justin Gallagher & Benjamin Halpern (Collective-LOK)


Robert Campbell in 1996 received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his writing on architecture in the Boston Globe . He has written over 100 articles for other publications, including a regular column, “Critique,” for Architectural Record magazine. The Chicago Tribune wrote that his book, Cityscapes of Boston: An American City Through Time , authored in collaboration with photographer Peter Vanderwarker, “belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who cares about the fate of the American city.” He has reviewed books on architecture, urbanism, popular culture, and poetry for the New York Times . A practicing architect and consultant to cultural institutions, Mr. Campbell is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was an artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome. As a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he won the Kelley thesis prize and the Appleton traveling fellowship, and he has taught architectural design at several universities.

Kelly Dianne Cook is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches landscape history, theory and design studios. Prof. Cook is currently working on a book entitled Ruins, Ruined Bodies: The Ornamental Landscape in Renaissance France . She recently finished initial research on paper streets streets planned but never built and vacant urban spaces, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. She has worked on numerous ancient garden excavations in the Mediterranean region and has conducted research in the Balkans, recently writing on Sarajevo as a unique urban landscape. Concepts of nature and environment in scientific and intellectual history comprise another of her research interests. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from SUNY Binghamton and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from SUNYESF (Syracuse, NY), Prof. Cook received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from Cornell University.

Charlene Espinoza is co-founder of Bosh Bosh, Inc., a nongovernmental organization that helps promote development and social welfare in Liberia through educating and empowering rural females. Through design, fabrication and sale of fashion products, Bosh Bosh provides employment and educational opportunities for women? offers programs in afterschool education? and grants full scholarships to female scholars. Growing up in California and Mexico, she received a B.A. degree in interior design and first worked as a commercial designer at an architecture firm before joining the Peace Corps and serving in Liberia. The Bosh Bosh idea grew out of her Peace Corps experience when, during efforts to improve the female dropout rate, she realized that many problems resulted from lack of funds. The Brookings Institution invited her to discuss community led projects focused on girl’s education, and during the launch of Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative, the President and First Lady of the United States recognized Ms. Espinoza at the White House for her involvement with Peace Corps and Bosh Bosh.

Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman holds the Dwight Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations at San Diego State University, and is a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Her books include: All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the 1960s , American Umpire , Major Problems in American History from 1865 to the Present, Broken Promises: A Novel of the Civil War, and The Rich Neighbor Policy. She served for six years on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department, and has received grants from the Fulbright Commission, Woodrow Wilson International Center, Organization of American States, American Philosophical Society, John F. Kennedy Library and other distinguished institutions. In 2008, she served on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in History. She has written for the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Washington Independent, San Diego Union, and Reuters .

Manuela King is a distinguished, award winning landscape architect and principal in the San Francisco based firm RHAA, where she has helped promote the firm’s growth and has led the firm’s diverse national and international landscape architecture practice for 29 years. Among her projects in Northern California are the Opus One Winery in Napa? the Mexican Cultural Heritage Gardens in San Jose? corporate campuses for Google and Yahoo? and Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe. Her landscape architecture work not only exhibits artistic expression and high design creativity, it also responds to specific and often challenging site conditions, achieves sustainability and proactively engages the community. A member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Ms. King earned a B.S. degree at Pennsylvania State University and subsequently Bachelor and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees at the University of Oregon.

George C. Koch is an artist, arts advocate and leader of arts organizations, and an experienced federal government agency official. He currently serves as Chair Emeritus for Artomatic, Inc. and is the CEO and President of the Center for the Creative Economy. Founder of A. Salon, Ltd., an artist’s service organization in Washington, D.C., he is also a founding member of the Arts and Culture Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFLCIO? the Cultural Development

Corporation? the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington? and the D.C. Fringe Festival. Mr. Koch served five terms as a Commissioner with the District of Columbia Commission on Arts and Humanities, D.C.’s State Arts Agency, and five terms as an officer of the National Artists Equity Association and Artists Equity Fund. After serving in the Peace Corps in Liberia from 1962 to 1964, he worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity. Subsequently at the Department of Labor, he held a variety of leadership positions advancing federal manpower and technology efforts. Then, from 2006 to 2011, he focused on education as Director for Government Implementation for the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-laboratory.

Robert A. Peck is Director of Consulting for the Southeast Region of Gensler, an international design firm. A nationally honored advocate for high quality architecture, smart growth and sustainability, he served in the Clinton and Obama administrations as Commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service and helped launch GSA’s Design Excellence program, under which the Federal government returned to its lost practice of building buildings “worthy of the American people.” He has worked at the Office of Management and Budget, the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House and the Federal Communications Commission. An attorney, Mr. Peck was associate counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and was chief of staff to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (DNY). In the nonprofit sector, he served as fulltime president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade? vice president for public affairs at the American Institute of Architects? president of the DC Preservation League? and member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Named an Honorary Member by both the AIA and the American Society of Landscape Architects, he also received the AIA’s Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. A U.S. Army Reserve Special Forces (Green Beret) officer, he earned his B.A. cum laude with distinction in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Yale Law School? was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design? and was a visiting lecturer at Yale College.

Martin Puryear is a distinguished artist whose work has been exhibited the world over, including a 2007 traveling exhibition organized by The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Recently President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts. Born in Washington, D.C., he began exploring traditional craft methods in his youth. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from the Catholic University of America, he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Sierra Leone where he learned traditional woodworking techniques. He subsequently studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts and Yale University’s MFA sculpture program. In 1977, Mr. Puryear had his first solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship to investigate architecture and garden design in Japan and later a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In 20032004 he served as a juror for the World Trade Center Site Memorial design competition.

Joby Taylor is Director of the Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program, a graduate program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is also Affiliate Faculty in UMBC’s Language, Literacy, & Culture Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. He teaches diverse undergraduate and graduate courses incorporating service learning, place based learning and civic engagement as strategies to orient students toward lifelong learning and service with real, immediate applications. Mr. Taylor served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Africa, where he helped build an elementary school, and he has worked in diverse international settings since. He has published and presented on topics ranging from innovations in pedagogy to local histories of civil rights and peace activism. His book Metaphors We Serve By is a collection of essays on the history and future of national service and service learning. An active member of the National Peace Corps Association, he is currently Vice Chair of the NPCA Board of Directors.

Michael Vergason is a landscape architect recognized nationally and internationally for his unique talent, passion and sensitivity as a creative design practitioner and teacher. Especially notable are his exquisite, artfully hand drawn sketches. His beautifully executed, award winning work balances and enhances the relationship between natural and built systems, evidenced by projects such as the Petra Archeological Park in Jordan? the American Cemetery in Normandy, France? and the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, DC. He has taught design at the University of Virginia, in 2006 as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor in Architecture? at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation as the 2007 Kea Distinguished Professor at Harvard University and at Dumbarton Oaks. A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the American Academy in Rome, he holds degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture.

James Ward, a classically trained musician, is currently President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony Association as well as a partner in the venture capital firm, Alsop Louie Partners. He was President of Lucas Arts and Sr. Vice President of Lucas film, Ltd., where he promoted the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises. Mr. Ward’s 30 year career began in advertising, involving him in major global product introductions such as Apple Computer’s original Power Book, Microsoft’s Windows ’95 with the Rolling Stones and Nike’s introduction of Tiger Woods. A member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, he was a 2007 Emmy nominee as Executive Producer for a Prime Time Non Fiction Special. He is a board member of the Electronic Media Association and The Downtown Phoenix Partnership. His recognition include: a Top 100 Advertising Age Marketer? EPM’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year? and chair of the Group 2 CEO’s of the League of American Orchestras. Mr. Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College, where he is a Trustee, and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Donald Watson is an architect and urban planner, environmental design researcher and writer, and painter. A Peace Corps volunteer architect in Tunisia from 1962 to 1965, he subsequently dedicated much of his distinguished, award winning professional career to design education. He chaired for 20 years the Master of Environmental Design program at Yale University’s School of Architecture, then headed to Troy, N.Y., to serve as Professor and Dean of Architecture at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Retiring from academia in 2000, he continued working as a consultant to the United Nations, the World Bank, U.S. AID, Save The Children, and Mercy Corps, among others. He has worked in over thirty countries promoting sustainable development and design aimed at achieving natural disaster resilience. His authorship and editorship of professional reference texts include Time Saver Standards archival titles on Architecture, Urban Design, and Building Materials and Systems.



Leave a comment
  • What ever happened to “we are building people, not monuments?” I don’t understand the purpose in building a monument to the Peace Corps. When people ask “What did the Peace Corps do?” Where will they find the answer????

    I wish NPCA would take the money, instead, rent a storefront in their building next door to PC/DC Headquarters, have a reading room, feature RPCVs and sell RPCV books. At least there might be a chance for the public to learn about the Third World, its beauties and its problems.

    For reasons I don’t understand, Peace Corps proper can not do this.

  • The Peace Corps is not the only perspective Americans have on the third world. Millions of Americans have served there as soldiers, development workers, missionaries, educators, government officials, businessmen, entertainers, sportsmen and more. Our opinion of these lands comes from many sources.

  • Leo, I did not mean to be chauvinistic. You are absolutely right.
    However, I do believe that Volunteers bring an unique perspective because of the length of time spent innocently and the intimate immersion in the culture and its people.

    I learn so much about countries that I have not visited by reading books by RPCVs that celebrate those countries in a very special way.

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