Tag Archives: Architecture

Architecture students to design dining hall for Steger Wilderness Center

Renowned adventurer Will Steger to play key role in the design process.
Photo of Steger Wilderness Center

The Steger Wilderness Center, located in Ely, MN.

Architecture Instructor Molly Reichert had quite a surprise for third year Architecture students this fall semester: a chance to work with prominent wilderness adventurer and conservationist Will Steger.

Students were asked to help design and build a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an earth-friendly building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution. The dining hall, the latest step in the completion of the Center, will serve as a gathering place where center guests can eat, read, study, socialize, and meet. The dining space will be solar-powered and feature a full kitchen and rotating chefs.

Week-long studio prepares students for project

Students began the semester-long project earlier this year by spending a week up in Ely, MN, home of the Center. Completely “off the grid”, students spent their time touring the space, meeting with Will and Center staff, and fleshing out design ideas for the project.

Photo of Dunwoody students camping at the Steger Wilderness Center

Dunwoody students camping on the site of the proposed dining hall

The Dunwoody group even camped out on the site where the dining hall will be built to gain a better understanding of how the land worked in relation to the rest of the Center.

At the end of the studio, Reichert said it became very clear to her that the students were not only impressed with the space, but also with their client.

“It was very interesting and eye-opening for students to see the capacity that Will—just one person—has,” Reichert said. “From going on arctic expeditions, to designing buildings, building buildings, working on policy work and educating—I think they were all very inspired by him.”

“Many of the students described the experience as broadening, which I think is such a beautiful way to think about something.”

Final building designs to be presented in December
Photo of where the dining hall will be built in relation to the rest of the Center

Proposed dining hall program diagram

Since the studio, students have primarily been working on documentation, including gathering information on Will’s vision, zoning constraints, building codes for the area, kitchen requirements, etc. But now, Reichert said, they are ready enter the schematic design portion of the project.

“It was quite funny because everyone was so inspired and interested in Will and this project that it was hard keeping everyone at bay and to not get into design and to just focus on research and documentation. So, I think everyone is really chomping at the bit to just dig in. They can’t wait to get started.”

Reichert explained that students will have to learn how to design to the constraints and mission of the Center. This means taking into account the harsh winters and freezing temperatures of northern MN. The design of the building must also reflect the local ecosystem and speak to the other structures that are part of the Steger Wilderness Center. The entire design process is expected to take several weeks.

Photo of Will Steger at Dunwoody College working with students on design possibilities for the dining hall

Will Steger at Dunwoody College working with students on design possibilities for the dining hall

At the end of the semester, students will present their final designs to Will, who will then choose several designs, or portions of those designs, to move forward with. The final building design will be dependent on funding and community support.

The hope is to break ground as early as 2018.

Learn more  

This is the first design studio in the 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree at Dunwoody. The course aims to introduce students to the importance of site and precedent in relationship to architecture.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Monitor the project’s progress.

 

International, local Architects donate napkin sketches to scholarship auction

Dunwoody Architecture students and American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) chapter members have spent the last few months asking established architects for sketches of buildings—on paper napkins.

Kyle Huberty, James Matthes, Taylor Parker-Greene, Nick Schurhammer, Brenda Pliego-Geniz, Ryan Kelly, Devyn Smoter, Chris Eklund, Charles Evans  Bille (L to R) and Aaron McCauly-Aburto (not pictured)

Kyle Huberty, James Matthes, Taylor Parker-Greene, Nick Schurhammer, Brenda Pliego-Geniz, Ryan Kelly, Devyn Smoter, Chris Eklund, Charles Evans Bille (L to R) and Aaron McCauly-Aburto (not pictured)

The group of students voluntarily sent out more than 170 letters—reaching 25 different countries and 6 continents—to well-known architectural firms asking for architects to participate in their June 9 fundraiser: a silent auction event where attendees can bid on the one-of-a-kind sketches.

Proceeds from the event, which is titled “Process: Sketches from Masters to Students”, will fund study abroad scholarships for the Architecture students.

Why napkin art?

But, why sketches on napkins?

Well, according to AIAS Treasurer Taylor Parker-Greene and AIAS Chapter President Kyle Huberty, napkin art actually dates back many years, evolving from the notion that writers, artists and architects can’t help but sketch ideas on any form of medium within reach—many times napkins.

“There’s an age-long history to the concept,” Huberty said. “It’s the excessively creative person that just can’t stop. They’re in a restaurant talking–but still drawing something.”

The students explained they were further inspired by the idea of a napkin sketch auction after learning that a few other colleges have held similar, successful fundraisers.

The process

The group began their request earlier last year by first compiling a list of architects to approach for the project—many of whom included students’ inspirations and personal favorites. The students then worked to draft their initial “ask” letter.

However, Huberty and Parker-Greene said their main concern was having the bustling architects even notice—let alone open—the letter.

“We didn’t want it to be just another plain envelope asking for something,” Huberty said.

“We wanted to catch their eye,” Parker-Greene agreed.

So, on each envelope the students sketched a famous building designed by the architect, hoping the personal touch would pique their interest.

Examples of the student-drawn envelopes can be found below.

The student’s approach appears to have worked, as the group has since received 25 sketches back—including art from big names like Renzo Piano (Italy), Tom Wright (United Kingdom), Christopher Charles Benninger (India), and Cesar Pelli (United States). The students are also in the process of contacting local architects in the Twin Cities area.

Parker-Greene and Huberty say they are very excited for the event and the funds it could bring to their program.

To be able to “go to a new place, take tours, meet other architects—it really enriches the student experience,” Huberty said.

About the auction

The auction is scheduled for Thursday, June 9, from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Independent Filmmaker Project: 550 Vandalia St #120, St. Paul. Tickets are $40.

For questions on the event, or to RSVP, please contact arch@dunwoody.edu.

Dunwoody Architecture students help create 8 affordable housing projects at Search for Shelter Design Charrette

Photo of Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty, and Gianna Madison

From L to R: Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty and Gianna Madison.

Dunwoody Architecture students Aaron McCauley-Aburto, Kyle Huberty, and Gianna Madison,  joined nearly 60 other students and professionals for a rigorous three-day, pro bono brainstorm at the annual Search for Shelter Design Charrette Feb 19-21.

The goal of the Charrette—organized by industry partner American Institute of Architects (AIA)—is to bring together architects, interior designers, landscapers, students, and affordable housing representatives to help generate housing solutions for the homeless.

Despite Search for Shelter beginning over 3 decades ago, AIA representatives say homelessness continues to be a problem throughout the nation—and right here in Minnesota.

The Dunwoody students volunteered their time and expertise to assist in the project, which could help participating affordable housing organizations to move forward with eight different developments.

The entire Search for Shelter event lasted around 42 hours.

For both the students and the future residents, however, the impact will last much longer.

Dunwoody students humbled by event

“Everyone participating at the event really came together to work for a common goal—one that didn’t have a paycheck attached to it,” Madison said. “It made it a very sincere, untainted and humbling experience.”

Huberty agreed: “I think the appearance of architecture is that sometimes it’s for only the 1% who can afford an architect to design a home–and that is somewhat a reality of the industry. And so, I enjoy when opportunities like this come along where we can serve people who couldn’t normally afford it,” he said.

Hands-on, technical education proved invaluable at event

When asked if a Dunwoody education helped prepare the students for the project, the answer “yes” was unanimous. The group agreed that had they not been receiving a technical education, actively participating in an event of this magnitude would have been nearly impossible.

“Our technical education allowed us to become valuable assets within the group, and to make meaningful contributions to the group—especially as relatively inexperienced students,” McCauley-Aburto said.

Huberty agreed explaining that because of his Dunwoody education, he felt confident in working and designing with the other practicing architects in the room—and in some instances, even felt on the same level of expertise as them.

“I think the impression with a technical school is that it limits your creativity,” Huberty said. “People think since you are focusing on the software, that that gets in the way of the actual artistic expression.”

“But I think it is the opposite,” he continued. “We have been able to get our technical foundation first so that we can jump right into the artistic expression–because we know our tools are sufficient to get us there.”

Students hope to continue with Search for Shelter, affordable housing

The Dunwoody students hope to stay involved with the organization, their projects, and the affordable housing movement. In fact, some of the students are even considering specializing in affordable housing work upon graduation.

And while the students don’t know their exact career plans just yet, the group agreed that no matter where life takes them, they are just looking to “do something meaningful.”

Madison is set to graduate in May 2018. Huberty and McCauley-Aburto follow in May 2019.

Learn more about Dunwoody Architecture.

Bachelor of Architecture Granted Initial Candidacy by National Architecture Accrediting Board

Dunwoody College of Technology’s Bachelor of Architecture has been granted initial candidacy by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). The candidacy comes after a site visit last spring by a visiting team consisting of representatives from national academic and professional organizations.

 Initial candidacy marks the first two-year phase of the program’s professional accreditation.  Future phases include initial accreditation which will be considered after the program graduates its first class of students in 2018.  As a candidate school, Dunwoody Architecture will submit and publicy share its Architecture Program Report, Visiting Team Report, and Annual Statistical Reports.

Dunwoody Architecture offers the only five year bachelor of architecture degree in the state, providing students with a short, clear path to becoming a licensed, practicing architect. In addition, Dunwoody is one of the only schools in the nation that allows students with two-year architectural degrees to transfer into year three of a professional degree program. Its degree employs a hands-on approach to architectural education that starts with two years of focus on employability through proficiency in design and building technologies. The remaining three years provide advanced skills in design and professional leadership.  Applications for Fall 2016 are now open.

Dunwoody students earn gold at 2015 SkillsUSA Minnesota contest

Dunwoody College of Technology students performed well again this year in the SkillsUSA Minnesota Contest held last weekend at various locations in the Twin Cities, including the Dunwoody campus.

Overall, 20 Dunwoody students competed in nine contests, including Architectural Drafting, Automotive Service Technology, Automotive Refinishing, Collision Repair Technology, Electrical Construction Wiring, Industrial Motor Control, Related Technical Math, Web Design and Welding.

Students medaled in five of the contests, with five in first place, two in second place and two in third place.

The following are the medal winners:

 

Architectural DraftingAdvisor: Paul Strother

1st Place: James Matthes

2nd Place: Chris Herd

3rd Place:  Celina Nelson

 

Web DesignAdvisor: Kevin Wendt

1st Place Team: Ryan Blaha & Eric Lorentzen

2nd Place: Joshua Eastwood & Nhia Yang

3rd Place: Casey Cross & Andrew Kinniburgh

 
Collision RepairAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place: Benjamin Meister

 

Automotive RefinishingAdvisors: Bruce Graffunder & Allan Zimney

1st Place:  Harrison Reget

 

Related Technical MathAdvisor: Polly Friendshuh

1st Place:  Matthew Shevich

The National competition will take place June 22 – 26 in Louisville, Ky.

For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, visit www.mnskillsusa.org.

 

Multiple programs benefit from new fabrication lab

Architecture student Roman Zastavskiy and President Rich Wagner assemble a chair model created using a laser cutter.

Architecture student Roman Zastavskiy and President Rich Wagner assemble a chair model created using a laser cutter.

Students in Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Management and Graphic Design now have access to a new, state-of-the-art fabrication lab located in Red 67.

Rocky Phandanouvong and Tyler Barres.

Rocky Phandanouvong and Tyler Barres.

The “fab lab”—also referred to as “digital fabrication lab” (dLab)—is a hands-on laboratory that provides students with the necessary resources for material testing, prototyping, product design and development, visualization, and digital fabrication at all scales.

“The fab lab fulfills Dunwoody’s mission to provide a hands-on education that serves the industries in need,” said Architecture Program Manager John Dwyer. “Architecture is expanding its role into computational design and digital fabrication to create buildings with greater performance.  This gives students the capacity to gain the skills for these emerging professional tracks.”

Josh Kulus

Josh Kulus

Among the fab lab’s tools relevant to the architecture industry are: model making and prototyping tools (laser cutter/engraver, small sander, small table saw and dremel); full-scale fabrication tools (CNC router); and product design and development tools (3D printer). Future fab lab tools will include a large format laser cutter, vinyl cutter, mini mill and portable 3D printers.

Interior Design students will use the fab lab for prototyping and testing product concepts for improvements and innovations. “The actual making helps to reinforce a true hands-on educational experience unique to our college—and so important to our students learning,” said Interior Design Principal Instructor Colleen Schmaltz.

Construction Management students will focus on collaboration with other disciplines in the fab lab. Program Manager Heather Gay said: “We plan on working with Architecture, Interior Design, and Graphic Design on multidisciplinary projects such as model building, cost and buildability analyses, and full-scale construction.”

The Graphic Design department will use the fab lab to cut larger retail display components than their new Kongsberg V20 table can handle and also to possibly create 3D-printed prototypes to stand in as product samples and enrich the package design process.

“The other programs will be using Graphic Design’s new CAD table as well for their furniture design and model making when they can,” said Graphic Design Principal Instructor Pete Rivard. “Our table has expandable tooling options that extend it beyond paper and corrugated and allow materials such as plastic, vinyl, wood and aluminum to be cut so there are options available to Architecture and Interior Design to share the cost of tools while making the Kongsberg table available to more Dunwoody students.”

Rivard added that the programs all sharing materials will make the procurement of materials more cost effective for the College.

Laser-Cutter-and-ComputerThe fab lab was funded largely by private donations through the Dunwoody community of donors as well as a matching grant from First Technologies.

“We are applying for an annual grant to continue expanding the lab and are hoping to eventually integrate the fab lab with the materials lab, currently on the Green Level, and house all of them on the Red Level,” Dwyer said.

 

DUNWOODY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY LAUNCHES FIVE YEAR BACHELORS DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURE

Leading Technical College Rolls Out More Stackable Courses

Dunwoody College of Technology, one of the country’s longest running technical colleges, is to begin graduating bachelor degree students in Architecture. The announcement follows approval from the Higher Learning Commission and comes as part of Dunwoody’s plans to expand their selection of stackable education programs.

Dunwoody also received eligibility for candidacy with the National Architectural Accreditation Board, which will soon allow graduates to receive a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree and become licensed architects.

The College is currently accepting applications for freshmen starting in fall 2014 and will begin accepting current students, alumni and transfer students into year three of the program starting in fall 2015. All students will graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture.

“Dunwoody has a long history of training architectural drafters,” says Bridget Reynolds, dean of Construction Sciences & Building Technology. “Discussions with industry and alumni over the past few years have suggested that there is a strong need to bring the Dunwoody model of applied education to preparing students to become licensed architects.”

The program is structured as a two plus three stackable credential, awarding an Associate of Applied science degree after the first two years and a Bachelor of Architecture degree upon completion of the final three years.

In their first, immersive two years of study, students will become experts in current design and building technologies, making them ideal employees in building design and construction industries. In their final three years, they will then become leaders in the profession of architecture as well as in the advancement of design and building technologies.

“This method flips the standard model of architectural education,” says John Dwyer, Senior Instructor of Architectural Drafting & Design. “Usually it’s abstract thinking first, technical proficiency second. This model allows students to become very employable very early in their education. And, much like Picasso who began with technical figure drawing, it gives students foundational knowledge to draw from, giving them a stronger ability to apply abstract thinking. This way, theory, history, design, leadership, research and everything else can be taught within the hands-on, project-based Dunwoody model.”

Enrolled participants in the program will have the opportunity to collaborate with students in other Dunwoody technical programs such as Interior Design, Construction Management, and Machine Tool Technology. This will help them develop skills in communicating with professionals in other fields while learning to manage design challenges within real-world applications.

For more details on the program, visit:  http://www.dunwoody.edu/construction/architecture/

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About Dunwoody College of Technology

Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It provides a hands-on, applied technical education to men and women who go on to have meaningful and rewarding careers. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, the College is currently celebrating its Centennial year.

Dunwoody is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The commission’s web address and phone number are: www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org and 312-263-0456.