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Home » News » Professor of Interior Architecture and Design Awarded 2021 Ralph Stair Prize in Innovative Education

Professor of Interior Architecture and Design Awarded 2021 Ralph Stair Prize in Innovative Education

Published May 11, 2021

The Department of Interior Architecture and Design would like to announce with great pleasure that Associate Professor Marlo Ransdell has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Ralph Stair Prize in Innovative Education award. This highly competitive award is bestowed every other year to an individual or collaborative team at FSU who has developed innovative education approaches that demonstrate the potential of having great impact nationally and internationally.

“Dr. Ransdell’s Studio D and virtual residency program speaks to the values of the Ralph Stair Prize in Education Innovation,” said Jill Pable, department chair of Interior Architecture and Design. “The program leverages technology in a creative way, boosting access to learning, dissolving the lines between access and physicality and holds the potential to impact thinking in 3D object production through its collaborative, connected approach for multiple learners in a variety of places.”

For the last decade, Professor Ransdell has worked to establish the widely celebrated Studio D program at Florida State University. For many, Studio D has become an inspirational hub focused on delivering the experiential essence of the creative design process. Students and faculty alike have flocked to Studio D to exercise the skill involved in creating three-dimensional furniture and other objects. Students utilize the Studio D makerspace as a resource to conduct critical thinking through problem identification, context research, client need analysis, as well as testing design concepts that often lead to the development of the full-scale production of three-dimensional projects.

With the onset of the Pandemic era, Professor Ransdell deftly adapted the Studio D program beyond the realm of a physical lab setting, evolving the strictly hands-on process of furniture making into an “anywhere or anytime” opportunity for learning and creating. By integrating communicative technology into the Studio D space, Professor Ransdell has opened up access to the lab for remote students. Tools such as web cameras placed strategically over mechanisms like the CnC router allow students to watch the digital files they sent in be cut out and their ideas become actualized. Students may also access lectures and demonstrations at any hour of the day, allowing the learning process to transcend standard classroom times.

“My role in the Department for the past 10 years has focused on founding, developing, maintaining, and growing the now 7,000 sq. ft. collection of spaces that Studio D: Design and Fabrication Labs house at the Carnaghi Arts Building. Makerspaces and the experiential pedagogies they support and present a unique opportunity in the era of authentic and meaningful distance learning,” said Ransdell.  “I have a long-term plan for the Studio D Institute that will lead in the field by providing design faculty and professionals opportunities to collaborate in real time with each other and machines remotely at the Studio D makerspace. I am honored to be one of the recipients for the 2021 Ralph Stair Prize Award.  I am grateful for the opportunities for collaborative work throughout the College of Fine Arts, and appreciate how this has impacted the growth, direction, and success of the Studio D labs.”

The success of Studio D along with the outstanding adaptability that Professor Ransdell has showcased during the pandemic has made her a more than deserving recipient of the esteemed 2021 Ralph Stair Prize in Innovative Education. Through her success, Studio D will transform into a virtual residency program debuting this summer, expanding its engagement far beyond the realm of Tallahassee, Florida.