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Architecture and Design

Shipping container provides hands-on experience for architecture students

Posted Date: Monday, October 27, 2014 - 11:00

Related news in the Evening Tribune

Architecture students in Design Studio 1 at Alfred State were able to actualize their plans for a housing-design project and gain hands-on experience thanks to A-Verdi Storage Containers, which let the students borrow a shipping container to use in their endeavor.

Architecture and Design Department Assistant Professor Terry Palmiter and Professor Richard Carlo tasked the students last month with designing a temporary living environment for a single family unit within the confines of a standard 20-foot shipping container. They were divided into 15 groups of three, with one student serving as the programmer, another as the client, and the third student as the designer.

students inside a container they utilized for a recent housing-design projectThe programmer interviewed the client, who created a hypothetical scenario based on what his or her future family would be like and what sort of housing that family would require if affected by a natural disaster. The programs were shuffled and handed out to a group member who would design a “house” based on the program he or she received.

Students then created real-scale household items out of cardboard, including a toilet, a tub, a refrigerator, and more. This, according to Carlo, allowed students to study human dimensions and the relationship to critical or essential residential living activities.

“The idea of making the cardboard items was so that they could just start to see the limits of what one container was like and maybe get a feel for the interaction of scale of standard objects based on human performance within a limited space like the container,” said Carlo.

The class was able to secure usage of the container because an uncle of one of Palmiter’s students, Robert Apgar, an architectural engineering technology major, from Waterloo, owns Savannah-based A-Verdi Storage Containers, the premier provider of storage and office solutions throughout New York State. After Apgar approached his uncle, Joe Verdi, about the possibility of letting the students borrow a container, Verdi complied.

The container gave students a chance to apply their plans to an actual, limited-space area.

“Normally, it’s just lines on a drawing,” said Alexandra DiMaria, a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) major from Orchard Park. “You can imagine it and picture it but it’s nice to be actually in a space with life-sized objects to kind of see how you can change your design and move things around and how things would work out better, what constraints you have. It makes the assignment more real.”

Adrienne Drumm, a BArch major from Tully, said the project allowed the students to think about space a lot differently.

“In most of our projects, we have an unlimited amount of space, we just have to come up with a good idea, so you just kind of make these giant rooms and do whatever, but once you actually are forced to fit within a 10-by-20 container, you really have to think about how you’re going to fit everything you need in there without having to climb over a desk, basically,” Drumm said.

Carlo said, “I think part of the reason that we do this project with a container is, if you say, ‘Design a house,’ people tend to fix on the mental model of the house they grew up in and they mimic that. But when we say, ‘Design a living facility for this imaginary program that we’ve made and, by the way, it has to be in containers,’ they have to rethink the entire idea of what a house is.”

Pictured above are several Alfred State sophomore Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) students inside the container they utilized for a recent housing-design project. The students borrowed the container from A-Verdi Storage Containers out of Savannah.


Architecture and Design Department educators and students take a bite out of The Big Apple

Posted Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 15:45

Three Alfred State professors in the Architecture and Design Department recently took some of their students on an educational one-day field trip to New York City, where they toured a number of sites such as the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

The group consisted of Professor Rex Simpson and his 16 fourth-year architectural technology students in the Urban Design Studio, Associate Professor Alex Bitterman and his 15 interior design students, and Professor Richard Carlo and his 15 sophomore Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) students in Design Studio 1. They departed for Manhattan on Sept. 15 and returned to Alfred in the early-morning hours of Sept. 16.

Simpson organized the trip because his students are participating in the Vision 42 Design Competition, which encourages architects, planners, and urban designers from around the world to develop creative proposals for remaking New York City’s traffic-clogged 42nd Street into a world-class pedestrian environment and public space.

“My students spent four hours photographing, measuring, and studying 42nd Street,” Simpson said. “They took 1,000 photos and then we went down to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, had dinner downtown, and then worked our way back up to 42nd Street.”

architecture students on an educational one-day field trip to New York CityAccording to Simpson, his students have been working on their project for the last four weeks and a group submission is due Oct. 1. Simpson said the majority of his students are from small towns in western New York and do not have a perspective on true urban life and the issues associated with it.

“The trip exposed the students to one of the most densely populated cities in the world and engaged the students in the competition,” Simpson said.

Simpson had sought others to accompany him and his students on the trip, so Carlo and Bitterman elected to go along with their pupils. Carlo said he and his students visited the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Times Square, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which included Memorial Park, the Freedom Tower, and the World Trade Center transportation hub.

One of Carlo’s students, Shirleejae Illsley, a BArch major, from Whitney Point, NY, said prior to going to New York City, she had done a research project on Daniel Libeskind, who won the competition to be the master architect of the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

“I thought I got the maximum education through researching all of his work, knowing his style and his career and the purpose of his master plan to redevelop the World Trade Center Memorial and then being able to visit the site and see the work first-hand,” she said.

Bitterman said he and his students also visited the MoMA, the High Line, Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, and Times Square, covering six miles in 12 hours.

Carlo said the trip to New York City is part of a department initiative to “get the students out” of Alfred to places such as Philadelphia, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Rochester, where they can view impressive and noteworthy work by masterful designers and architects. The trips, Bitterman summarized, promote active and engaged learning.

“Our students, from ocean to lake in New York State, are out exploring the work of the masters that is in our backyard and at our back door,” Bitterman said. “Rather than just sitting in a classroom and learning about something, they’re actually standing in it and experiencing it.”


Bachelor of Architecture program formally granted initial candidacy from NAAB

Posted Date: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 11:00

Alfred State’s Bachelor of Architecture program has moved one step closer toward accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) after the board formally granted the program initial candidacy status earlier this month.

Dr. John C. Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology, said NAAB granted the status after approving the Architecture and Design Department’s accreditation plan and conducting an initial candidacy visit.

“That is the hurdle we have cleared, so now we are an official, formal candidate for accreditation,” Williams said. “In 2016, there will be a continuation of candidacy visit. Two-year intervals are required to check your progress as you move forward.”

Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “The programs at Alfred State are ever working to improve. This milestone of initial candidacy reflects not only a lot of hard work by faculty and staff, but is also a testament to the quality of our programs.”

Alfred State’s Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree is the only BArch in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It is also one of only seven BArch degrees offered in New York State.

Williams said the Architecture and Design Department hopes the BArch program will be accredited by 2018.

“That’s the goal. That’s our hope,” Williams said. “It’s most beneficial for our graduates. They would be part of our first graduating class to have completed the program in its entirety and then they would have the status of an accredited program. We’re really pushing for that.”

According to its website, www.naab.org, the NAAB is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.

“Most of the state registration boards require a NAAB-accredited degree to license somebody to be a professional architect, so that’s the impetus of having an accredited degree,” Williams said.

The Architecture and Design Department, Williams said, is very excited about the BArch program receiving initial candidacy status.

“It just shows the hard work, the quality of the program and the quality of the faculty,” Williams said. “They’ve done the lion’s share of the work, put in a lot of effort and a lot of work and continue to do so. It’s been a dream of the department’s. This was the first step. We’re making our way to accreditation. It’s within our grasps.”


Department of Architecture and Design Brings Award-Winning Architect Tod Williams to Campus

Posted Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 14:30

Architecture is a noun poster image, Entrance to the new Barnes Foundation Museum in Philadelphia designed by Tod Williams The ArtWalk Tile in Rochester, New York, a gallery style store with an inventory of luxury tile and hardwood displayed as fine works of art.


Designing for Hope

Posted Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 13:45

Kyle (Christian) PerrySenior Read more about Kyle.


New Alfred State Bachelor of Architecture Degree is a SUNY First

Posted Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 14:45

Alfred State is proud to announce the kickoff of a new admissions@alfredstate.edu.


Architectural technology students present designs

Posted Date: Monday, May 13, 2013 - 10:15

architecture and design student presentationOn May 9, Professor William Dean, Architecture and Design, accompanied two second-year architectural technology students to the First Presbyterian Church of Bath, NY for a public presentation of conceptual designs that included new signage and a veterans’ memorial that will welcome visitors to the village’s historic downtown. Katherine Dussing, Syracuse, and Taylor Woolf, Watertown, explained their proposals to the group of 25 residents representing different community groups around the village. The event, sponsored by CIVIC (Community Involvement and Volunteering Initiative Committee), provided the opportunity for residents to identify existing assets in the community and share ideas for future development. Alfred State’s participation is an extension of ongoing civic engagement efforts in the Department of Architecture and Design.


Urban Design Studio students present their work in Washington, DC

Posted Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 10:36

Six architectural technology students from Alfred State presented at the annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) conference last month in Washington, DC.

The six seniors presented on the work they did last semester as part of a course called Design Studio 5: Urban Design in which they worked closely with residents and community leaders in the nearby community of Bath. The students created architectural plans for the community which were well received and may be considered for future implementation.

Led by the Consortium of Appalachian Centers and Institutes, the ATP offers students a unique opportunity to conduct active community-based research on their campuses.

Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) conference

Caption – From left, ARC Federal Co-chair Earl F. Gohl; Alfred State architectural engineering professors William Dean (ATP Teaching Fellow) and Rex Simpson; students Matthew Sickles of Albany; Travis Monroe of Cattaraugus; Emily Connors of Spencerport; Thomas Button of Rushville; Anthony Vischansky of Elmira; Alfred State’s Craig Clark, executive director of the Wellsville campus and dean of the School of Applied Technology (ATP Teaching Fellow); James Marsh of Belmont; and architectural engineering assistant professor Jeffrey Johnston.


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