Kyle Martin, President of Martin Gardner Architecture, has been working with students at Iowa BIG on many different projects over the years. From a redesign of a pedestrian bridge to a reimagination of a bus stop, Martin Gardner is utilizing their partnership with BIG to create real community impact.

“As President at Martin Gardener, my role is to participate in the design projects and manage the rest of our team, making sure everyone is on task. Someone in our office knew a little about Iowa BIG, and thought it’d be a great opportunity to innovate within our firm. I have a background working with youth in the community, and I was very excited to be partnering with BIG. We started our partnership a few years ago with a recreational bridge design with students. We explored different ways of rehabbing and designing the bridge to allow that to happen. With the public process of this project the students’ design was submitted and went before the public for input. This year we asked students, “how do we make city transit better for the community?” Riding the bus in any sort of bad weather is just a bad experience. Our solution was to design a new bus shelter that is improved visually and keeps riders safe during bad weather. Iowa BIG gave us a space to explore this idea and the opportunity involve students who have interest in this field. As a firm, we struggled a little bit with Iowa BIG’s curriculum because we all come from traditional schooling background. But, as time went on we found out our project would touch on a lot of different subjects like government, financing, math, science, and engineering. Our partnership with BIG obviously resulted in something physical, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You can also have a project to raise awareness for something or to change a policy. Whatever you can think of can be made into something that impacts the community. That’s why Iowa BIG is so important.”

-Kyle Martin
President, Martin Gardner Architecture

You can connect to the community, just like Kyle.  Email our strategic partner development team to learn how you can create impact through working with Iowa BIG.  Email Amanda Zhorne – azhorne@iowabig.org – or Laura Seyfer – lseyfer@iowabig.org.