2014 Sparking Innovation

Architecture students found magazine, find voice

Michael Savala and Elaine Stokes

Michael Savala and Elaine Stokes are two of the three co-founders of ISSUES Magazine.

“Architecture is something that people take for granted,” said Michael Savala, a senior architecture major in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. “But everything is a decision — even buildings. It’s important to understand what our built environment implies and how it affects everything else in our world.”

In 2012, Savala and classmate Elaine Stokes, along with John David Scott (BA 2012), co-founded ISSUES Magazine. Written, edited and published entirely by WUSTL students, ISSUES explores pressing social concerns through the lens of architecture and design.

“We focus on a different topic each semester,” said Stokes, who serves as editor-in-chief.

In the last two years, ISSUES published thoughtful articles on topics ranging from accessibility and homelessness to public transportation, urban decay and revitalization.

“It makes you be a little more aware of the environment you inhabit,” said Stokes, who will enter the landscape architecture program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design this fall. “And why you encounter the people you do where you do.”

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