Architectural students design ‘Trace’ newsletter

Abby Fisher

Sophomore architecture major Danny Wills often has to cancel lunch with friends to pour every ounce of free time into class projects and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design newsletter, Trace.

The monthly publication is in its second year and co-editors Wills and junior architecture major Hallie DelVillan have high hopes for creating a newsletter that will connect the college and inspire its students.

The first issue of Trace was published in December 2005 and DelVillan said it’s come a long way.

“I was a sophomore among five seniors when it started,” she said. “We had a fixed staff — one person did editing, another layout.”

Throughout the summer, the two decided to reformat the newsletter.

“Other architecture schools have some kind of publication,” Wills said. “We didn’t want this to be just a newsletter of events, but a publication with content — highlight what was new and happening in architecture.”

DelVillan and Wills see the publication changing every month — and anyone can write for it, they said.

“We can’t predict what’s going to be in it,” DelVillan said. “The goals change for every issue — it’s a very inspirational process.”

In preparation for each issue, DelVillan and Wills each brainstorm article ideas.

“Our ideas came from what we found was interesting,” DelVillan said. “The next issue will have a lot about green architecture and what we can do with it in our college.”

DelVillan and Wills meet regularly with students who are interested in writing for Trace.

All of the articles are peer-edited and DelVillan and Wills prepare the layout before printing.

Hoping for a growing readership with each issue, DelVillan and Wills publish 500 copies of Trace and leave them scattered throughout Taylor Hall.

“When an issue comes out, it kind of generates some hype,” Wills said, who leaves a copy on professors’ desks and the architecture library.

Trace is also published online in hopes of reaching alumni and other members of the college, DelVillan said.

A regular contributor, DelVillan’s next column will be about architecture majors who have minors — a rarity in the college.

“It’s a way to learn something else,” she said. “My minor is sociology, and it helps you look at different designs.”

Wills said architecture majors can find inspiration from anything.

“There’s more to architecture than model making and drawing,” he said.

To read an online PDF version of Trace, visit

Contact ROTC and College of Architecture and Environmental Design reporter Abby Fisher at [email protected].