In Spring 2017, students began their second architecture design+build studio, Digital Ceramics. This studio investigated the intersection between modern robotic manufacturing tools and fabrication processes and age-old materials of casting ceramics. The project addressed the issues architects face in introducing variation into typical standardized building systems and materials. Using new ways of making, including 3d modeling, parametric design, and digital fabrication with the use of a laser cutter and CNC router, students created functional, ceramic art, which was installed in Loring Corners near Loring Park.
Digital Ceramics 2017 Blog: https://digitalceramics2017.wordpress.com/
In the Fall of 2016, Dunwoody began the first studio in the 5-year Bachelor of Architecture Degree: Dining Wild. This ongoing project introduces students to the importance of site and precedent in relationship to architecture. Students are charged with the design of the new dining hall and gathering space at the Steger Wilderness Center, to be built in 2018. Polar Explorer and Founder of the Steger Wilderness Center, Will Steger, as well as experts in site survey, culinary arts, engineering, alternative energy, building and design will contribute to the student’s work.
Dining Wild blog: https://diningwild2017.wordpress.com/
Veteran’s Journey Home
In the Spring of 2016, students collaborated with the non-profit organization Veteran’s Journey Home to provide housing for returning veterans and their families. On a site in Vadnais Heights, the students developed, designed, and constructed documents for three duplexes, each maintaining an individual identity and each with a different program, to provide flexibility for varying family conditions. The homes are expected to break ground in the Fall of 2016.
In the Fall of 2015, Dunwoody Architecture initiated its first Bachelor of Architecture class. The inaugural studio featured a design-build project in collaboration with the Minnesota chapter of the Independent Filmmaker Project and MG McGrath. Responding to IFP’s need for better acoustic performance in their main galley, students parametrically designed, digitally fabricated, and installed a perforated aluminum composite panel with additional acoustic material.
The Skyway Open
In the Fall of 2014, students participated in the annual Skyway Open, a design-build competition with many of the leading architecture firms in the state of Minnesota. The project, a scale model of Hennepin Avenue, depicted different strata of information with different geometries and layers of wood. It was the first and only student-work to receive the competition’s highest honor, the Top Design Prize.
In the Spring of 2014, students in their final semester of the Architectural Drafting and Design program engaged the global wiki-house community through the design and construction of a new digitally fabricated structural system. Using the Dunwoody Digital Fabrication Lab, students CNC milled multiple pieces of plywood using complex wood joinery developed by the global open source network.