Students use architecture to help animals in need


The finished project, Kitty City, done for the Summit County Humane Society  in Spring 2017.

Madeline Pigott

 A student organization puts their knowledge and skills to the test by helping build sanctuaries for animals in need.

Kent State’s Barkitecture organization began in Fall 2016 by an architecture student who wanted to create environments for animals.

Joshua Myers, one of the founders of KSU Barkitecture, is a fourth year architecture student at Kent State. He, along with some friends, created the organization in order to help animals in need and put their creative talent to use.

“The main goal of our organization is to promote animal advocacy though design and to help animal shelters and non-profits,” Myers said.

Myers is the president of the organization and works alongside board members Gina Laudato, Hallie Schuld and Lindsey Reynolds.

Barkitecture started after Myers realized animals were vastly underrepresented in terms of architecture and design. As a team, Myers and the board planned to take their education and knowledge from the architecture and design programs to create animal sanctuaries.

Myers said he was personally influenced by Yona Friedman, a French designer and artist. He specifically focused on how architecture could “bridge the gap between human and animal.” 

Barkitecture is not limited to architecture and design students. “We wanted students from many backgrounds to solve unconventional design problems,” Myers said. The organization has had members who major in zoology, business and fashion as well as architecture.

During the Spring 2017 semester, the organization did a project for the Summit County Humane Society. The shelter needed a new living space for cats as well as a play area in the cat community.

The project was called Kitty City. The organization created a cat wall within a month and installed it in the shelter at the end of the semester.

Myers said the creation of Barkitecture was the biggest obstacle he has ever faced because it was very unprecedented.

Although Barkitecture has been inactive this semester, Myers said there is a future for this organization.

“Everyone and everything is equal” is the mantra that Joshua chooses to live by. He said “if we as people can begin to look at the needs of everyone and everything from a perspective outside of ourselves that is how we can begin to make a change.”

If you have any questions about Barkitecture, you can visit its website or email Joshua Myers at [email protected].

Madeline Pigott is the Mental Health and Social Services reporter. Contact her at [email protected].