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CPP ARC Teams Win Honors at 2019 Design Village Competition

Student teams from the Department of Architecture brought home three honors from the 2019 Design Village, a statewide competition hosted by the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. For one weekend, April 26-28, about 400 students from 14 universities transformed nearby Poly Canyon into a temporary community of 52 shelters that honored the polytechnic philosophy of "learn by doing." 

Three teams of CPP ARC undergraduate and graduate students designed and assembled three structures: Canyon Crystals (2019 Best in Show and Crowd Favorite), Pick-Up-Sticks (2019 Honorable Mention), and Sinuosity. On April 30, CPP ARC team representatives reassembled their projects in front of Building 7 to present to donors who funded their 2019 Design Village participation:

  • Bob Kain ('73, architecture), AIA, ACHA, Senior Account Executive & Business Strategist at A3K Consulting, LLC
  • Raymond Cheng ('74, architecture), Associate Director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles
  • McCarthy Building Companies, represented by C. Patrick Peterson, Executive Vice President of Healthcare

This year's theme, "Synthesis," challenged student teams to build structures that integrated "the built and natural environment in a manner that creates a compelling sensory experience," emphasizing on sustainable design phases. The shelters -- which provided temporary housing for teams during the competition weekend -- were judged on craftsmanship, sustainability, design, public response, and in keeping with the year's theme.

CANYON CRYSTALS (2019 Best In Show and 2019 People's Choice)

Canyon Crystals explores sensory deprivation as the conceptual basis for doubling this project as a sensory experience and a viable temporary shelter.

A cluster of stark-white, tapered forms seemingly emerges from the canyon --100 feet away;

Three conjoined and monumental pyramids of elongated faces are steel-framed and braced as a tangible visual of resilience -- 10 feet away;

A view of square sky planes is framed by oculi amongst the surrounding bracing, made visually obscure by the white walls’ slight translucency -- inside.

In referencing American artist James Turrell’s exhibit Ganzfeld, constructing a space in which depth perception is lost through a white-out is explored  to create not only a self-immersive space but also a barrier from outside and in. Coroplast as the primary skin material forms the pyramidical volumes held together by 2-inch and 1/2-inch steel tubes. Using a modified diagrid structural system inspired by OMA’s CCTV, steel bracing connects at corners and is placed in higher concentration on outward-facing sides to direct load  to the ground and away from the center. This “floating” center is the communal space that formally and programatically connects all three volumes.

Team members: Kelly Bergin - Wiley Brouilette - Airene Dizon - Jose Hernandez - Pearson Lord - Klaude Matias - Luciano Nandino - Jean Olmsted - Julio Rodas - Antoinette Shapiro

PICK-UP-STICKS (2019 Honorable Mention)

Composed of three tensile structures, the project suspended three six hammocks above the ground, each adopting an atectonic stance to the site to allow it to float precariously above the ground. These primitive-style huts have been further compressed into a floating bed, rendered in contemporary materials. Rods were compressed in tight cables that connect them to each other, creating a surprisingly stable structure that can support the additional weight of its occupants. The project sought to consolidate public and private -- when an individual lays in the hammock, its fabric rises to create a semi-privacy that retain a connection to the outdoors. When used as seating with individuals facing each other, a communal space is created in the center of the structure. 

Team members: Ayda Abar - Joseph Doucette - Marc Martineau - Patrisha Mejia - Luciana Rahde - Liam Norconk - Jessica O'Brien - Ivan Panaligan - Christopher Thai

SINUOSITY (2019 Design Village Competition Entry)

Team members: Sarah Meyer - Sung Jin Park - Jake Chevrier - Debbie Wang - Yat Long Leung - Luisa Salazar - Joaqi Huang - Angel Terrones - Alexander Wu - Jose Leon - Vy Nguyen