News & Events
ARCE 316 Course Teaches Learn by Doing with K'Nex
The ARCE 316 course introduces architecture students to the interdisciplinary and team work nature of large scale building projects. The course, as taught by Dr. Craig Baltimore, has a significant Learn by Doing component whereby students must build a large scale project approximately 30' x 20' x 8' out of K'NEX plastic construction pieces measuring one to six inches. A typical project constists of about 10,000 to 15,000 K'NEX pieces.
The students are divided into teams and must work together to complete the project on time. Typical teams include design, facilities and permitting, documentation, and construction management. The summer session class project was to build a structure near the Performing Arts Center (PAC) that provides isolated views of interesting sights such as the Poly "P" and the peak of Bishop's Peak.
The College of Architecture and Environmental Design thanks K'NEX Brands for its support of engineering education.
LA 402 Students Design Public Park at Cannery Row
Fourteen 3rd and 4th year students presented on August 16 to community residents and Monterey City officials at the Hilltop Recreation Center in Monterey. The various concepts featured structures such as a visitor center for diving gear rentals, amphitheatres, sculptures, and an underwater aquarium.
Click here to read more and view student projects.
CM and CE Students Visit Calaveras Dam Replacement Project
Construction students in CM314 and civil engineering students in CM422 toured 18 major projects and companies in the Bay Area over a period of two weeks in July including Granite Construction, Hathaway Dinwiddie, DPR, Pankow, Overaa Construction, and Skanska. Accompanied by their professor, Barry Jones, they are photographed above at the site of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, which is under contract with Dragados USA.
The Calaveras Dam Replacement site visit offered students an opportunity to learn about large heavy civil projects and the practical applications of project and field engineers such as operations, estimating, budgeting, scheduling, safety and quality control. Students were tasked with a presentation to Dragados project manager, Alberto Benlloch and constrution consultant, Ken Bunker, explaining how Dragados integrates projects across various departments and roles, describing the estimating process that won Dragados the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, and reviewing the entire project cycle of the dam replacement from the award of contract to weekly planning to project completion. The students spent approximately three hours at the dam replacement site for a project overview, site visit, and question and answer session.
The Calaveras Reservoir is located in Santa Clara County, operated by the City and County of San Francisco, and provides drinking water to the San Francisco Bay Area. Built in 1925, the dam is named after the Calaveras Fault near which it is located. The dam has been found seismically unsafe with the amount of water the reservoir had originally been built to contain. The replacement dam is under construction nearby. Though the water level has been reduced as a safety measure, the new dam, with an anticipated construction completion date of November 2017, will enable the reservoir to resume its 31 billion gallon water capacity. When completed, the dam will measure 220 feet high, 1,210 feet long, with a base of 1,180 feet and will withstand a maximum credible earthquake. The old dam will be submerged under water.
"Doing this course in the summer gives us one of the few opportunities to visit so many companies and projects," said Professor Jones. "If I had my way, I would offer this course every quarter with the live project visit component. Student learning goes vertical."
Assistant Professor's Year-Long Project Displayed
Kennedy Library has a new wall fixture; a design by associate professor of architecture, Clare Olsen. Reflection, as it has been titled, is made of diamond-shaped aluminum modules and reflects light to help brighten the Kennedy Library stairwell. The piece will also display a variety of colors in congruence with the light outside.
Many of Professor Olsen's students helped assemble Reflection.
ARCH Students' Documentary Premiers at Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles
“CAPACITY,” a short film and research study by students Haley Coughlin, Derek McFarland and Katherine Quach, examines the inter-relationships of downtown Los Angeles infrastructure, natural resource consumption, and urban planning. The research and film seek to answer the question: What limits future urban development?
The film premiered July 15 at the fifth annual Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles.
Katherin Quach provided insight to her experience working on the project at Gensler's SLO_Gen studio:
1. What was the most interesting piece of the project?
I found the presentation format the most interesting part -- it still amazes me to think of how our project can be seen worldwide simply because it's on the internet, and how animation enabled us to present our findings in a way that engaged people outside the discipline of architecture as well as those within it.
2. What did you learn that had a lasting impact on you?
Creating that video became a project of its own -- although many aspects of the data remained to be investigated, at a certain point we simply had to agree to stop researching and focus on production. Many items were then cut in the process of tightening the narrative. It resulted in a stronger video, but the process was painful.
As for the data itself, I learned a great deal about scrutinizing sources and interpreting data. We found very little of our data in the benchmark (per person/per day) rates, and synthesizing those rates from multiple sources often required much discussion as to which figures and statistics meant what.
3. Did results of any data prompt further investigation?
I view the entire project as a prompt for further investigation -- we've barely scratched the surface! I'd like to see per person/per day rates for areas other than DTLA. Perhaps then we could have a more comprehensive comparison of different cities.
Read the full news release.
John Lawson Receives ASCE's ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award
John Lawson, Cal Poly alumnus and assistant professor in the Architectural Engineering program, recently earned national recognition from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for his teaching style. The Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award is given to individuals with up to five years of full-time teaching experience.
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