Architecture club to compete in annual competition

Architecture club will be joining Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for the first time in an annual Design Village competition starting April 15 to 17.

“Every year, San Luis Obispo’s Design Village has a competition in which schools all over California participate,” said Architecture major Armen Dedeyan. “We each design our own structure, but every year the structure has a theme. This year’s theme is Aura.”

The members are required to build a structure that is big enough for them to sleep in and light enough for them to carry to their campsite.

“They’ll build it, they’ll stay in it and they’ll take it down. It has to keep them all under shelter,” said Beth Abels, advisor of the Architecture Club.

The competition will be held within Cal Poly’s outdoor Experimental Structures Lab in Poly Canyon.

“You sleep in your structure. You have to build it to accommodate all your members,” Dedeyan said.

According to architecture.calpoly.edu, the “Aura” theme explores the metaphysical properties of designed space.

“The metaphysical explanation that Cal Poly gave us is how we interpret what we don’t know,” said Xenia Bran, president of the Architecture Club. “It’s the definition we put behind unexplainable things. That’s what aura is essentially about.”

The Associated Students Organization (ASO) funded an estimated amount of $3,000 to the Architecture Club, making it possible for them to attend the event.

“The ASO funded as much as they could,” Abels said. “The ASO was really excited.”

The funds given by the ASO cover a $90 registration fee per person, material costs, transportation costs, and a membership to the HexLab MakerSpace in Chatsworth.

“The students put together their budget and they applied for it,” Abels said. “The ASO approved to fund it, and more students decided to join.”

The students attending the competition are divided into four groups. Each group is creating their own structure.

“I’m excited and a little scared because it’s our first time going to a competition. It’s a new experience,” said Bardia Shafiei, construction management major.

“It’s a tradition for architecture programs throughout the state of California to join, and it’s been going on since I was knee high to a grasshopper,” Abels said. “I’ve known about it for a long time, but I never had a group of students who were particularly interested in taking it on until now.”

Abels is looking forward to the knowledge the students will gain from the competition.

“They’re learning major collaborative skills, but they’re also learning about the design process,” Abels said. “They’re learning about how the materials work and the structures, it’s almost everything you could ask for in terms of curriculum.”

Architecture majors who attend the event have the opportunity to add this experience to their portfolios for future references.
“We’re pioneers. Architecture clubs in the past haven’t done anything at all, competition wise” Luis Martinez, architecture major, said. “We’re taking it to the next level and we’re excited about that.”