Texas Tech University

Architecture Graduate Student Wins Prestigious Award

George Watson

February 4, 2015

Richard Lucio is honored for his work on urban design from Texas AIA Chapter.

Richard Lucio

Richard Lucio, a graduate student in the Texas Tech University College of Architecture, was recently awarded the Student Design Honor Award by the Fort Worth chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Lucio, a native of Ackerly, was honored for his work entitled “Reclaiming Urban Ecologies,” which is part of the college's Urban Design Studio led by assistant professor Jeffrey S. Nesbit. The studio examines the growth of Shanghai, China as it continues to build on lush surrounding marshlands in the Yangtze Delta, and students are tasked with addressing the myriad of concerns about the city's growth.

“Winning a statewide design competition is an honor that extends beyond personal accomplishment,” Lucio said. “Gaining recognition for Texas Tech and progressive leadership within the College of Architecture brings accolades to the potential that resides in this institution.”

In Lucio's project, he proposes the reclaiming of the marshland ecologies through horizontal manipulation by alleviating water pollution in a five-stage filtering process along the Huangpu River. The five stages are sediment ponds, terraced wetland, filtering wetland bands, sand for filtering water and cleansed water reservoirs.

Nesbit said the Huangpu River is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the world thanks to agricultural waste, sewage discharge and industrial dumping. But with a population of more than 22 million, the city is taking over these marshlands.

“The primary emphasis of Richard's proposal is to reintroduce natural marshland ecologies to cultivate landscape contexts that are native to Shanghai and demonstrates methods for natural water purification processes,” Nesbit said. “Furthermore, the proposal reinforces the argument against the drivers of capitalistic development pressures and allows for more fertile, future urban growth.”

Lucio said winning the award gives him a sense of accomplishment but also motivation to continue his project after graduation.

“Achieving the AIA Fort Worth Student Design Honor Award motivates an optimistic attitude on the impact I may have on the design community as I transition between my graduate studies into a professional career,” Lucio said.

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