A third-year class of Alfred State architecture students studying in Sorrento, Italy, recently participated in the second annual HOME: International Design Event developed and coordinated by architect and author Duo Dickinson, FAIA. Three Pioneers came away with honors, including a second-place award and two honorable mentions.
According to Dickinson, the purpose of the event was to study “The idea of home: its universality, its deep idiosyncrasy, its protection, its public face, its intimacy, its dependence on culture and context; the largest clothing we wear, the most expensive thing we may own or pay for, the most valuable asset many of us have and the greatest liability.”
The event drew more than 20 entries from programs across the world, including the Building Beauty program, Alfred State College, University of Hartford, and University of San Francisco. Following a lecture by Dickinson on the “Controversy of Beauty,” he reviewed each of the submissions in detail, and identified the top four student projects.
Alfred State’s Aga Jean Sarno, of Savona, was awarded a second-place book prize in the competition for her entry “A Sustainable Life: Zero Energy Modular Home.” Sarno’s concept statement described the focus of the design as beauty, sustainability, and function to identify the interwoven relationship between the outdoor world and the inside space.
Supporting the claim of sustainability, all the spaces were created by combining used shipping containers. Speaking about the project, Dickinson said, “The home is part of every human, and the use of shipping containers to make that home tests any designer’s skill to create beauty out of the mundane. Here, the brilliant planning and 3-D realization of the scheme made the home that resulted anything but generic.”
Honorable mentions included Alfred State students Brianna Swartz, of Fort Plain, and Caleb Boyce-Wright, of Buffalo. Now in its 11th year, Studio Sorrento at the Sant’Anna Institute is directed by Professor William Dean, AIA. The program is open to Alfred State architecture students in their third-year of study and provides participants a unique opportunity for a spring semester experience that includes courses in Urban Sketching & Journaling, Italian, and Archeology in addition to the design studio.
The HOME event was sponsored by the Building Beauty program at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. The Building Beauty program offers a post-graduate diploma in architecture that focuses on ecological design and construction process. The program explores the principles expressed in Christopher Alexander’s “The Nature of Order” through an integrated approach to hands-on making appropriate technology construction and self-aware design at the individual and community levels.