Today, I introduced our big building design project. In the past, students were required to design a building, any kind of building, using all the pieces that come in the Lego Architecture Studio box. Students were not allowed to create pools out of leftover pieces. What ended up happening last year is that students built their buildings without having a plan. This year, I decided to give them a purpose.
As an alumni of UC Santa Cruz, I receive some emails and news including the one about the university asking faculty members to open a room up to students due to the sever lack of housing available. Because this class is made up predominantly of seniors, I thought that this might be a good way to introduce buildings. I found an article of a study conducted by Hare Kiliçaslan (I tried to copy and paste the name from the article) of Design of Living Spaces in Dormitories. It’s a short and easy to understand enough article that I felt comfortable giving it to seniors without having to break it down as a class. They used the article to inform them of design choices.
Some of the students were excited by this endeavor and got to work by drawing on the whiteboards. Others were excited by the idea of creating a dormitory space in a part of their favorite city. Some students were more slow to start because it was overwhelming. One question in common was does it need to be affiliated with a school. Meaning, can UC Santa Cruz dorms be located in Kansas? We had to discuss accessibility to the school. Students are required to keep a daily log of their progress and thoughts. I’m super excited to see what the students come up with.