Second-year students in the fall 2014 architectural design III studio (ARCH 2001), taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Shelby Elizabeth Doyle and Adjunct Professor Kristen Kelsch, were required to design and fabricate full-scale study kiosks for the LSU quad using a 1:1 kit-of-parts. On Monday, September 8, the six student teams displayed their study kiosks in the quad outside of Atkinson Hall. The teams were judged by an interdisciplinary mix of faculty members of the LSU College of Art & Design, and—much like a reality TV show competition—classmates and passersby were invited to vote on the study kiosk they liked best.
The project provided students the opportunity to examine architecture as abstraction and architecture as construction through a digitally enabled design process and full-scale building project. The students were encouraged to recognize the common threads of intertwining the pragmatic and the imaginative while considering material qualities, rethinking details, and questioning how to anchor the construction.
“These projects are important because they give students a chance to test their ideas, skills, and space-making capacities. They may never physically build anything as a practicing architect, but they need to appreciate the complexity of building and the thinking that continues to occur as the full-scale construction emerges,” commented Professor Jori Erdman, director of the School of Architecture.
Each team was required to use the same 1:1 kit-of-parts, which contained 25 2″ x 4′ x 8′ pieces of lumber and two ½″ x 4′ x 8′ pieces of plywood, to design and fabricate a study kiosk to meet the following parameters:
- allow breezes to pass through the structure;
- provide a curated view of Atkinson Hall, the LSU quad, and the sky;
- provide some amount of shade from noon to 5 p.m.;
- accommodate two people at the same time (one standing and one sitting)—they must stay dry in a light rain;
- touch some part of an imaginary 10’ x 10’ x 10’ envelope;
- feature two replicated connections or joint details that relate to the project as a whole; and
- use the entire kit-of-parts.
As all of the parameters could not be met in entirety, Doyle and Kelsch asked the teams to prioritize constraints and to create a process of evaluating the success of the work in writing.
Several faculty members participated as judges for the project, including:
- Greg Watson, associate professor of the School of Architecture;
- Jeff Carney, associate professor of the School of Architecture and director of the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio;
- Tom Sofranko, associate professor of the School of Architecture and associate dean of the College of Art & Design;
- Patrick Jones, professional in residence at the School of Architecture;
- Rod Parker, associate professor and director of the School of Art; and
- Matt Dunn, associate professor of the School of Interior Design.
The judges were given ballots and asked to rate the performance of each group in 10 categories based on a scale of one to 10 (with 10 being the highest) for a total possible total score of 100 points. The projects were judged on:
- Craft & Joinery
- Structure & Stability
- Presentation Board Clarity
- Design Concept & Process
- Spatial Quality
- Drawing Legibility
- Comfort & Seating
- Curated Views
The ballots were tallied at the end of the critique, and the teams were evaluated on their built work, creativity, and images; drawings and diagrams; written explanation of process; presentation board; and collaboration. In the end, teams 4 and 6 were declared the project winners. All of the teams were given the chance to revise their project boards for a final display at Middleton Library.
This was the first year the competition took place, and the display in the quad received quite a bit of attention on campus. KLSU covered the display in a newscast, and Brittany Clark wrote a story for The Reveille. View more photos of the kiosk project on Flickr. For future studios, Doyle and Kelsch hope to gain community interest and to have the students work on different projects each year, according to the need of the community.
About LSU School of Architecture
LSU School of Architecture students develop a solid foundation of traditional design, hand building, and drawing skills and learn to use computer and technological resources. The architecture program at LSU provides a balance between broadening educational experiences and discipline-focused coursework. In addition to learning how to make buildings, students develop a sense of professionalism and leadership in shaping the world by learning how to see, think, and act creatively. For more information, visit architecture.lsu.edu.