Architecture graduate impacts community

Urban Charrette Architecture
Urban Charrette Architecture

St Petersburg College’s Architecture programs don’t just provide a basic knowledge of architecture’s principles; rather, students learn how to see the world spatially. Just ask Joshua Frank, who earned an Associate of Arts in Architecture from St Petersburg College. He is now an urban planner and president-elect of the Urban Charrette, a non-profit group that  educates and collaborates with community, business, government, and educational leaders, cultivating knowledge of leading urban design practices to build vibrant cities.

In the first year of our architecture education, emphasis is placed on basic skills: learning to draw and build 3 dimensional representations of ideas.  Those skills are applied to observation and analysis: observing existing conditions (whether in a real context, or more abstract) and making them physically present, resulting in a unique solution from each student.

The second year begins to focus on applying those early skills to the design of buildings; invoking the same thought process, and also considering issues related to site, context within the environment and the mechanics of structural elements.

Joshua Frank used this foundation to propel him forward into his Master of Architecture AND his Master of Urban & Community Planning degrees at USF, and now works to help Tampa Bay build the kinds of structures that will work with and for the community. Most recently, he has been working toward an alternative to the controversial highway expansion program called TBX (short for Tampa Bay Expressway).

On Tuesday, April 18, Joshua presented his dream of “Bifurcation to Boulevard”, an excerpt from one of his Master’s theses, to a group of Tampa residents at a community meeting held by ‘Heights Urban Core Chamber’. His presentation discussed the culmination of more than a year of study into the potential benefit of replacing the Seminole heights and Tampa Heights portions of I-275 with “a wide, landscaped boulevard, featuring bike and pedestrian paths and even light commuter rail“.

It will be some time before Joshuas dream is either realized or scrapped altogether, but either way we’re so proud of the work our alumni are doing to make an impact and improve their communities!

If you are interested in learning more about the architecture programs at St Petersburg College, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to helping you to meet and exceed your educational goals!

Lara Sharp, Program Director,




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