Jermaine Washington

Position Lecturer
Phone 805.756.2833
Office 34-220G
office hours

F23 Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 12:00-1:00pm 

       or by appointment 

Areas of Expertise

Beginning design
Urban design
Adaptive reuse


Following undergraduate studies, where he was part of Auburn University’s design/build program the Rural Studio, Jermaine moved to Barcelona and worked for an urban design office (Battle l Roig Arquitectes) and later in an interiors workshop (Casadevall Export SA).

After three years in Spain, he moved to Sydney, Australia for two years to work in an office focusing on residential and commercial design (Mark Hurcum Design Practice).

Later, along with a fellow colleague, he opened his own design practice, Regarding Architecture, which specializes in adaptive reuse projects in the City of Birmingham, Alabama.

Jermaine is now a part of instructing the beginning design curriculum at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Teaching Philosophy + Activities

For me, there are two very distinct but similar facets of teaching. Of course one component is the teaching, but the other side in fact is learning. And it is this learning that I feel is at the heart of teaching. I often reiterate to students how important it is to never stop learning. For this learning is a life long affair and it is self- evident that students must become familiar with the different processes used in applying that learning. 

I can identify my own teaching philosophy by stressing the reflections of student concepts and making sure that the understanding of how their own processes inform the projects that I teach. ‘It is the getting there’ that I am searching for and the knowledge gleaned from those actions and activities are the fruits of their achievement capabilities.

Understanding how our ideas change within any process is a valuable part of the education we offer as instructors. This ties into the manner that students need to recognize and appreciate the development of themselves and of their own ideas through the varying media typologies, design concepts and gestures.

For those of us involved in this particular type of academia, learning demands an iterative process in which skill is developed over time through repetition and practice. Trying and failing, sometimes dividing and conquering, but always repeating is the only path between where you are now and where you would like to be in the future. 

Thus far in my career, my teaching direction has focused on two divergent modules. One module, I implore to using smaller modeling and/or drawing exercises that allow for timely exploration and risk taking, along with the acceptation and/or rejection of numerous ideas and opportunities. In the second module I use a singular, more inclusive studio design problem for about three quarters of the scheduled term. This assists in allowing students to focus their skill set on transferring their ideas back and forth from their minds to their hands, through varying sets of apparatus, across different media types and different mindsets.

I also like to use students’ time to explore ideas and possibilities for design tools. As instructors, we come from different backgrounds and it is essential that we share the breadth of knowledge that we possess from various experiences to our own cohort of students. Design tools are always hypotheses that will differ in our environment and therefore should always be explored in terms of affordability, functionality, tectonics, etc. Always striving to redesign, always improving and attempting to make better and ALWAYS learning something new, no matter what the topic.

In a sense, there is such simplicity in this concept ... you get out of your education or learning what you put in to it. Fortunately there is always an underlying complexity to it as well. We have all of these ideas and we have all of these tools, but it is less about WHAT we make with those items and more about HOW we make those items in the beginning and intermediate design sequences. The possibilities and therefore the complexities are infinite. Consequently, how can these characteristics and aspects inform our decisions as designers of the built environment? 

My teaching philosophy stands as this - I enjoy being the creative facilitator within a creative learning environment and of all the nuances and complexities that arise from this unceasing and engaging ecosystem of education. I believe it is within this framework that students can then shape their own experiences through their own eyes and then ultimately teach themselves. Allowing them to continue the cyclical process of learning and fostering growth and knowledge for all of us who have a stake in both this constructed and natural climate. 


Educational Credentials:

Master of Community Planning, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Bachelor of Interior Architecture, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 
Bachelor of Architecture, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 

Professional Experience:

Regarding Architecture, Birmingham, Alabama, 2010-2013
Mark Hurcum Design Practice, Sydney, Australia, 2008-2010
Casadevall Export SA, Barcelona, Spain, 2007-2008
BattlelRoig Arquitectes, Barcelona, Spain, 2005-2007

Teaching Experience:

Lecturer, Beginning Design and Drawing Studio Sequence, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California
Architectural Practice Activity Course, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California 

Professional Experience:

Project Production, Greg Wynn Architects, San Luis Obispo, California
Project Manager/Founder, Regarding Architecture, Birmingham, Alabama 
Intern Architect, Mark Hurcum Design Practice, Sydney, Australia 
Product/Exhibitor Designer, Casadevall Export SA, Barcelona, Spain 
Project Designer, BattlelRoig Arquitectes, Barcelona, Spain 


Selected Publications and Recent Research:

  • Oppenheimer Dean, Andrea and Hursley, Timothy and Barthel, Elena and Freear Andrew.  “Rural Studio at twenty: Designing and Building in Hale County, Alabama.”
  • New York: Princeton Architectural Press, Essay ‘An Eye-Opening Classroom’ was featured in section of book entitled “Voices”.
  • Oppenheimer Dean, Andrea and Hursley, Timothy.  Proceed and Be Bold: Rural Studio after Samuel Mockbee. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2005
  • Highlighted the Newbern Little League Field.
  • Ivy, Robert.  “Samuel Mockbee: A Life’s Work, AIA Gold Medal Winner.” Architecture Record. June 2004: pages 185-198. Featured the Newbern Little League
  • Project as well as a timeline of other student works.
  • Davey, Peter. “ Field of Dreams.” Architectural Review. June 2004: pages 40-41. Highlighted the Newbern Little League Field in Design Review section.
  • Corrugated Bale Construction Reader, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies of Fine Arts, Oct 2004. Co-published a design manual on the conventions of constructing with corrugated cardboard bales, which normally fare found in landfills because of their impregnation with a non-recyclable wax product.
  • Moos, David and Treschsel, Gail.  Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio: Community Architecture Alabama: Birmingham Museum of Art, 2003. Featured the Newbern Little League Field amongst other student projects and the work of the late Samuel Mockbee.
  • Oppenheimer Dean, Andrea and Hursley, Timothy.  Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002
  • Featured the Sanders’ Dudley House.

Selected Activities:

  • Construmat Exhibition Barcelona, Spain June 2007. Universitat Poletecnica de Cataluña. Collaborated with a student ephemeral or temporary studio from the Fundacio
  • UPC, Universitat Poletecnica de Cataluña for the design and construction of an exhibition displaying local glass artist.
  • Self Help Continued: the Rural Studio Barcelona, Spain June 2003. Colegio de Arquitectes de Cataluña (COAC). Helped to design and construct an exhibition displaying student work from the Auburn University design/build program. This exhibition was done in collaboration with local design students from Barcelona.
  • Santa Barbara High School Architectural Design Competition March 2014. Guest critique event sponsored by the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara County.
  • Design Studio Critic Mississippi State University March 2013. Critiqued an architectural design studio III-B schematic design presentation and subsequent final presentation
  • Borderline Rural Southwestern Sydney Institute of TAFE June 2009. Invited to lecture about the student experience of the Rural Studio to a design class in Australia’s largest vocational education and training provider.

Selected Awards:

  • Community Development Work Study Fellowship January 2005. Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


Updated 08.23.17

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