Urban Design Group Principal Mentors SCAD Senior

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Ken Rhyne contributes perspective of Native American designer and musician to senior’s capstone project.

Imparting his passion for design, Native American culture, and musical performance, Urban Design Group Principal Ken Rhyne is serving as an advisor to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) senior Leann Stafford. The mentor-protégé relationship will culminate in September 2012, when Stafford presents the final project of her undergraduate career to a panel of faculty and industry representatives.

Executed for a hypothetical client, Stafford’s intent is to repurpose an existing building in Athens, GA into a Native American-themed music venue. In addition to performance and rehearsal halls, the facility would cater to the peripheral needs of musicians through the inclusion of graphic design studios and a wellness center that serves as a resource for musicians dealing with depression or substance abuse issues.

“Athens is a leading music Mecca nationally,” notes Rhyne, “so this project has the potential of generating enough interest to become a reality.”

Rhyne, a noted Native American designer and award-winning blues musician, has served as an advisor to Stafford since early 2012.

Professional guidance has extended beyond the design of the project to include the usage of audio/visual technology during progress presentations, simulating the experience of a presentation to future clients.

About Ken Rhyne, Allied AIA, AICAE, Principal, UDG:

Principal of Urban Design Group, Ken Rhyne is a noted interior designer and pivotal part of the firm’s leadership team. He is a member of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers (AICAE) and is an Allied Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Rhyne has over 35 years of experience in conceptual architectural and interior design projects, including sustainable design, green architecture and the respectful infusion of Native American culture into his work.

Rhyne’s national portfolio includes the Museum of the Seven Feathers in South Carolina, Weedon Island Preserve Educational Center in Florida, Red Hawk Casino in California and the award-winning Cultural Resources Center for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Kampen Eagle Wing Center in Indiana.

Rhyne is also a talented blues singer and harmonica player and is regarded by many as one of the most accomplished blues rock/southern rock artists of our time. His album “Caught You White Handed” rose to #1 on the Canadian charts upon release in 2008, followed by an "Album of the Year" nomination at the Native American Music Awards. Rhyne’s music may be heard on AirPlayDirect at http://www.AirPlayDirect.com/KenRhyne.

Through his design, music and civic involvement, Rhyne has served as an advocate for Native American issues throughout his life. He is a Tuscarora Indian and a nationally-recognized designer with a talent for respectfully incorporating tribal culture into museums, cultural centers and other types of facilities. Rhyne is also a member of the Pfeiffer University Baseball Hall of Fame and was a minor league player for the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers.

About Urban Design Group:

Urban Design Group offers architectural, interior design and urban master planning services to its worldwide clientele from studios in Atlanta, GA, and Dallas, TX. A market leader in the application and advancement of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, UDG's personnel work on a wide range of projects from hospitality, resort, gaming design and Native American design projects to corporate, university facilities and urban mixed-use developments.

In the firm's 38-year history, Urban Design Group has completed more than $6 billion dollars in projects worldwide. The firm has received more than 80 design excellence awards and honors, 15 design competition awards and has been featured in hundreds of magazine articles, newspaper pieces and design resource books. For more information, please visit http://www.urbandesigngroup.com.


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Jana Rubin, CPSM

K. Ashley Roberts, CPSM, LEED AP
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