2010-2011 News & Events Archive

News & Events Archives

Architecture Students win Central Coast AIA Award

Photo of Christo DeSilva receiving AIA award

The American Institute of Architects Central Coast Chapter has announced their 2011 Design Awards.Photo of Russell Hilken receiving AIA Award Two Cal Poly architecture students have been selected for Outstanding 5th Year Student Thesis Project. Christo DeSilva (top left photo) for his project "Form Follows Fun(ction)"; and Russell Hilken (bottom right photo) for "Necropolis: The Living Cemetery."




Cal Poly Housing Collaborative Wins Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge

image of Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge student participants

SAN LUIS OBISPO – An interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students took first place in Bank of America's Low-Income Housing Challenge, beating out master's degree students fromUC Berkeley and UC Irvine in the final round.

The team partnered with developer Madonna Enterprises to create "Entrada Ranch." The proposed site features a 135-unit affordable living community in San Luis Obispo, adjacent to services and transportation.

The project supports healthy living through site design and sustainable building, and programs that foster community.

The team was comprised of 10 undergraduate and two graduate students: six from city and regional planning, three from business and finance, two from landscape architecture and one from construction management. The proposal included detailed plans, video and a website.

For details about the winning project, read Cal Poly's news release by searching the 2011 Public Affairs articles at Digital Commons for Bank of America Challenge. For more information on the Bank of America Challenge, go to the City and Regional Planning webpage.

The Cal Poly Housing Collaborative Team presented their project to San Luis Obispo's Planning Commission on May 25.


Congratulations CAED Grads! Stay in Touch with Fellow Alumni Through Lifetime Cal Poly Email...

Cal Poly graduates

Cal Poly's Commencement ceremonies are set for Saturday, June 11 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. CAED graduates meet in cap and gown by 8:00 a.m. in Mott Gym. Proceedings for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design and two other colleges begin at 9:00 a.m. Immediately following that, there will be a CAED Post Commencement Ceremony, also in Spanos Stadium. The day's events end with a reception in the Simpson Strong-Tie Demonstrations Lab.

See "Important Commencement Information" (below) for specific details about the CAED commencement process and subsequent reception.

Be sure to stay connected with Cal Poly and alumni. The PolyLink alumni community, University News, KCPR Radio, CPTV and Mustang Daily are just a few of the resources you can sign up for through the Alumni Association.

For general information about Commencement, go to the Commencement web page.


Important Commencement Information!

Dear June Graduate,

In advance of your official recognition on June 11, I want to offer my sincere congratulations to each of you on your fine academic accomplishments. My best wishes as you complete your final projects and exams. We all look forward to celebrating with you in June!

The following important information provides details of the Commencement and Post-Commencement Ceremonies and Reception to be held on Saturday, June 11, 2011. Please contact Ellen Notermann in the CAED Advising Center at 756-1325 or enoterma@calpoly.edu, if you have any further questions.

College of Architecture & Environmental Design
Spring 2011 Commencement and Post-Commencement Information for Saturday, June 11, 2011

All candidates MUST meet in full academic regalia (cap and gown) NOT LATER THAN 8:00 a.m. in Mott Gym, before proceeding as a group to the Alex G. Spanos Stadium Ceremony.

We need you at Mott Gym on time because we will be going over several details for the day, including the order for the processional line of march into the stadium AND the procedures for the CAED Post-Commencement Ceremony. In our single-file march to the stadium, we will meet up with another college along the way and will enter the stadium together. As a candidate for graduation, you will not be permitted into the stadium unless you are a part of the processional and in cap and gown. (The university ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. after we have all entered the stadium.) The estimated ending time of the ceremony is 10:45 a.m. The main Stadium Commencement Ceremony requires individual tickets for guests and you will be limited to a total of 10 guests.

The CAED Post-Commencement Ceremony will immediately follow in Spanos Stadium, and we are estimating our start to be no later than 11:15 a.m. in the Spanos Stadium and will last approximately one hour. Candidates will be entering the Spanos Stadium in two separate lines according to major. At the conclusion of the university ceremony, graduates will be asked to remain in their seating areas while the stadium clears of non-CAED graduates and guests.

At the CAED ceremony we will take the opportunity to recognize and congratulate each of you individually for your academic accomplishment in earning your respective degree.

You will be brought to the stage in order that family and friends will be able to see you, and a professional photographer will capture the moment–­–your graduation. It is a special time for celebration. Guest tickets are not required for this ceremony.

All CAED graduates are highly encouraged to attend the main ceremony where our new President Jeff Armstrong will be making his first Cal Poly commencement address as a part of conferring degrees. Nonetheless, it is anticipated that a few CAED Candidates may not be able to attend the main Stadium Commencement Ceremony at 9:00 a.m., but wish to attend the CAED Post-Commencement Ceremony. Graduates that are not participating in the main ceremony are to meet in full academic regalia (cap and gown) at the Simpson Strong-Tie Building (Bldg. 187) courtyard no later than 10:30 a.m. These graduates will be escorted by major (single file), into the stadium as soon as possible after the conclusion of the university ceremony to join with the rest of the CAED graduates for the Post-Commencement ceremony.

The CAED Post-Commencement Reception with light refreshments will be held in the Simpson Strong-Tie Building courtyard Room immediately following the Post-Commencement Ceremony in the stadium.

Here are some additional points to make note of regarding the Commencement Ceremony:

  • Alcohol is not permitted at anytime before or during the ceremony. Any alcohol brought to the ceremony will be confiscated.
  • Seating for disabled guests will be available in marked areas at the stadium. We recommend that those guests arrive early to allow enough time to get to their seats. Disabled guests can be dropped off at the California St. side of the stadium.
  • You will receive your diploma by mail, two to three months after you receive a congratulatory letter from the university.

A link to the campus map have been provided below to assist you and your guests with the locations for parking at Mott Gymnasium and the Alex G. Spanos Stadium.


On behalf of myself, Dean Jones, faculty and support staff, please know that we are all very proud of you. My sincere best wishes to each of you as you leave us to begin your professional careers.

Kind Regards,

Richard Zweifel, Associate Dean


President Armstrong Visits CAED

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design was pleased to welcome President Armstrong during Open House on Monday, April 13, where he offered an eager group of over 100 students, faculty, staff and friends an open forum on the stairwell of CAED Building 05.   His two hour visit to the college for the express purpose of having direct interaction and dialogue with our students and faculty was part of his efforts to experience all six colleges, and give us all a chance to hear brief remarks about his vision for Cal Poly while devoting most of the first hour to taking questions from the assembled group.

image of Armstrong speaking at stairwell

Dr. Armstrong remarked that the large Agriculture College at Michigan State contained programs in Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Construction Management, so he appreciates first hand the nature of project based learning as essential for built environment education.

The President then toured an Architecture lab to get an inside glimpse of a typical project based lab which is a trademark feature of all five of our professional programs. There he visited with students who gave him an overview of a “Transition Housing” project they are designing for a site in Los Angeles, showing him drawings, models, and digital renderings of their work at a mid-quarter stage in the class.

Moving on to visit the CAED Open House/Earth Week exhibition in the Berg Gallery of work from every department on the theme of sustainability, he spoke with several groups of students about their class projects.   The visit included presentations by one set of students making class proposals to improve the landscaping and open space between Cal Poly buildings that are visible from President Armstrong’s office.

image of Armstrong with students

During his visit, Dr. Armstrong spoke to scores of CAED students and faculty with a clear understanding of the nature of our disciplines. As a final wrap up, he toured the national award winning full scale Solar Decathlon house.  This project was a collaborative design-build sustainable entry trucked to Washington DC for the Solar Decathlon in 2005, which over 100 students from our College and the College of Engineering created.

We thank President Armstrong for the opportunity we had to give him a tangible sense about the unique and nationally recognized excellence of our departments by meeting our enthusiastic students and talented faculty members.    It was a high-spirited interaction for all, and we look forward to further visits in the future.


"Passive Solar Architecture

Heating, Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows"

by David A. Bainbridge, Ken Haggard

No matter what climate you're designing for, new buildings can be solar oriented, naturally heated and cooled, naturally lit, naturally ventilated, and made with renewable, sustainable materials. In a comprehensive overview of passive solar design—the resurrected solar strategy that is sweeping through Germany and rapidly regaining popularity in the United States—two of the nation's solar pioneers give homeowners, architects, and builders the keys to successfully using the sun and climate resources for heating, cooling, ventilation, and daylighting.

image of solar house

Drawing on examples from decades of their own experiences and those of others, the authors offer readers overarching principles as well as the details and formulas necessary to successfully design a more comfortable, healthy, and secure places in which to live, laugh, dance, and be comfortable. Even if the power goes off. Passive Solar Architecture will also help readers understand "greener" and more sustainable building materials and how to use them, and explore the historical roots of green design that have made possible buildings that produce more energy than they use.

Fully illustrated with many diagrams and photographs, the book will help everyone involved in a building project best undertake a sustainable project, from planning and design, to building, remodeling, and operating the completed building.

Visit Chelsea Green Publishing to purchase "Passive Solar Architecture."

photo of ken haggard

Ken Haggard, formerly an architecture professor at California Polytechnic State University, is an architect and principal in the San Luis Sustainability Group. Since the late sixties, Haggard has designed more than 200 solar buildings, from homes to large commercial and institutional buildings—as well as the first permitted straw bale building in California. An active member of the American and International Solar Energy Societies, he received the Passive Pioneer Award from ASES in 1999 and was made a fellow of ASES in 2000. His office and home—in Santa Margarita, California—are passive solar, off grid, and straw bale.

Green/solar energy advocacy groups have developed on the Central coast under Ken's leadership. Margot McDonald, Professor of Architecture at Cal Poly, had this to say about his role in national solar energy activity:

Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper were joint recipients of the Passive Pioneer Award in 1996. This award is given each year by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) to honor those whose pioneering in the passive solar design field set the stage for others to follow. Honorees are men and women who developed the theories, early research efforts, new concepts, and opportunities for later researchers to develop. Their foresight, innovative thinking, and creativity opened doors for others. Their collective and individual accomplishments relative to solar energy in building design span over 40 years and include research, practice, and publications as well as teaching multiple generations of future practitioners in the aesthetics and feasibility of passive solar in buildings. Their achievements are and continue to be simply extraordinary.


Design Village 2011 "Social Parametrics" a Success

Over the weekend of Open House at Cal Poly, April 15-17, 2011, architecture students from several colleges teamed up for the Design Village "Social Parametrics" competition. Held annually at Poly Canyon's Experimental Structures Lab, students design habitable structures and physically transport them one mile to reach the canyon.

The event was organized by senior architecture student, Scott Mann, with many students, faculty and staff working behind the scenes to complete a successful learn-by-doing experience.

To view photos and read more about the 2011 Design Village Open House event, go to the Architecture Department Design Village web page.


Carson Starkey Memorial Scholarship

The CAED is pleased to announce that Mr. and Mrs. Starkey from Austin, Texas, have recently established two new scholarship opportunities for College of Architecture and Environmental Design students. These scholarships are offered in honor of their son Carson, a Freshman Architectural Engineering student, who tragically lost his life. Mr. and Mrs. Starkey's generosity is truly inspirational in sharing the legacy of Carson's giving spirit by providing these scholarships to assist CAED students reach their academic goals.

The Starkey's wanted all students to know that… Carson's family provides these scholarships in the spirit of the way Carson lived and loved life – helping others.

Carson looked at the world around him and saw limitless possibilities. His gifts were many; he was an accomplished student, cyclist, runner, tennis player, lacrosse player, outdoorsman, and activist. His most enduring trait was his uncanny sense of when others were in need and the ease in which he cared for them. These scholarships will be awarded to those who, like Carson, have a natural love of Architecture and are engaged in the world around them. To learn more about Carson's life please visit www.withcarson.org.

The scholarships are $5,000 each, one needs-based and one merit-based. All CAED majors may apply. The full description of eligibility criteria is found on the College's Scholarship web page.


ARCE Students Win AEI Competition

Several ARCE students represented Cal Poly at the ASCE Charles Pankow Foundation Annual Architectural Engineering Student Competition in Oakland on April 1. Competing against thirteen teams from other universities in five categories, our congratulations goes to ARCE students Dan Loesch and Brad Stevens who won the Structures Category and to Julie Bolanger and Linda Huang who won the Mechanical Category and were runners up in both the Structures and Building Integration categories.

The project involved a new contemporary art museum at the Presidio in San Francisco Bay, addressing sustainable design and seismic construction among other design issues.

Cal Poly was the only institution with two teams in the finals.

AEI news release available at Digital Commons, Kennedy Library, by searching under 2011 news articles.


Landscape Architecture Foundation Selects Cal Poly Student as National Scholarship Recipient

Hekili Lani, a 4th yearCal Poly Landscape Architecture student currently studying abroad in New Zealand, has been selected as one of three winners of the 2011 Leadership in Landscape Scholarship. This nation-wide scholarship recognizes students for demonstrated leadership and outstanding performance.

"The mission of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is to support the preservation, improvement and enhancement of the environment. LAF invests in research and scholarship to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability."

- www.lafoundation.org/about/

To learn more about the Landscape Architecture Foundation or the Leadershiip in Landscape Scholarship, go to LA Foundation.


Bay Area Summer Metro Program

Up to twenty-four students from Architecture, Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning will be selected to participate in an 8-week Bay Area Comprehensive Community Design Studio this summer. The program is coordinated by Pyatok and Associates and provides an integrated Metro Program experience. Students will earn a total of 12 credits for three courses.

Applications are due Friday, April 1, 2011. For more information or to apply for the program, contact Barry Williams AIA at 805-756-5990, e-mail bwilliam@calpoly.edu, or contact your college department.


Thomas Fowler Earns Distinguished Professor Award for Architecture

Image of Tom Fowler
Professor Thomas Fowler

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly Professor and Assistant Department Head for Architecture, Thomas Fowler, has recently been named a recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

The award is presented to academic professionals who have advanced architectural education through research, building design, teaching, scholarship or service. The Distinguished Professor Award is one of the ACSA’s highest honors. Full-time educators are nominated and selected based on criteria set forth by the ACSA and must have at least ten years in architectural education. Recipients of this award may permanently use the ACSA Distinguished Professor title, DPACSA.

Richard Zweifel, Associate Dean for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design had this to say about Tom Fowler:

His highly creative and intellectually stimulating studio projects consistently expand boundaries and open interdisciplinary opportunities for his students. He has an unparalleled talent for bringing the best out of his students, challenging and encouraging them to increase their breadth and depth of architectural connection and expression. The level of student work coming from his studios is exceptional.

In addition to teaching 3rd year courses, Professor Fowler directs the Collaborative Integrative Digital-Design Studio, which allows students to use a range of advance technology in developing community design-build projects. Papers have been published on his design studio teaching methods. Most recently, AeD Press published Fowler Studio: Selected Student Design Studio Work 2008-2010 and 2007-2010 Design Collaboratory.

Fowler has received a number of awards and recognition for teaching excellence and research including Creative Achievement Award, ACSA, 2009-2010, NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) Prize, 2007-2010, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Awards, 2008 & 2009, College of Architecture & Environmental Design Westley Ward Teaching Award, 2007, Architecture Department's Faculty Teaching Award, 2005, and Young Faculty Teaching Award, ACSA/AIAS, 1996-'97.

Fowler served on the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) and has chaired numerous NAAB visitation teams throughout the U.S. From 2004-2006 he served as the ACSA's Secretary to the Board. Cal Poly’s Architecture Department offers both graduate and undergraduate programs in architecture. ____________________________________________________________________________________

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education.

See the ACSA’s list of award recipients at the ACSA website.

Landscape Architecture 5th Year Student Show

Unfold art show design

You are invited to the opening night of "Unfold," the Landscape Architecture 5th Year Student Show on Thursday, March 10th from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. during Farmers’ Market at 1119 Chorro Street in San Luis Obispo. The show continues Friday, March 11th from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. with an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Projects will range from art installations to large regional designs.

Read more on the landscape architecture News and Events page.


CAED Open House 2011 Highlights!

image of two design village structures with students

You are invited to take a walk with us down the green carpet during Cal Poly’s Open House celebration, “Polywood.” The college will host several events (pdf) on Friday, April 15, for new Fall 2011 students, and on Saturday, April 16, for the general public.

Be prepared for spotlights as you stroll the “Green Carpet Showcase,” highlighting the sustainable design work of CAED students in a double feature with an Earth Week exhibit by the Empower Poly Coalition. A free shuttle through Poly Canyon will be available on Saturday for a behind- the-scenes tour of the colorful Design Village Competition. Also enjoy VIP tours of the multi award-winning Solar House, department exhibits and tours, the Hearst Lecture Series, and much more!


Fundraiser for CAED Student Council

image of pizza

Eat, drink, and raise money for student council on February 24th. California Pizza Kitchen is donating 20% of food purchases when you mention to your server that you wish to support the CAED Student Council. The CAED Student Council is made up of representatives from all of the ASI Chartered Clubs and Organizations in the college and sponsors a number of student-centered events during the year.

Present the flyer (pdf) when ordering.


Architecture Professor Thomas Fowler Receives Award

Faculty Member Thomas Fowler

Architecture faculty member Thomas Fowler has been named a Distinguished Professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The ACSA Distinguished Professor Award is bestowed upon a selected individual who has advanced architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research, or service and is one of the highest honors of the ACSA.

For more information about the ACSA or its Distinguished Professor Award go to their website.




Cal Poly Students Place First in NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition

Construction Management students placed first at the International Builders Show, the largest residential building industry tradeshow in the world. The show, which took place January 12-15 in Orlando, Florida, is organized and produced by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). One of the show’s highlights is the NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Management competition. Cal Poly’s interdisciplinary team of students devoted many hours to developing a hypothetical proposal to receive funding from investors for the construction of a project. The proposal included a business plan, financial analysis, market research, marketing and sales, project design and management, green building, cost estimate, and construction schedule for the model home and sales office complex of a real semi-custom and custom homebuilder in Yadkin County, North Carolina.

nahb student team photoPictured from left to right: Ryan Wenig, Laura McWilliams, Nick Turner,
Mat Dunlap, Michael Stone, and Mitchell Johns

In December, student teams submitted their proposals to company executives who served as judges. During the Builders Show, the team presented and defended their work in front of an audience. A total of 49 teams participated in the competition, 35 from four-year institutions.

“Through the Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC), we get exposure to the real world [and learn] how to put together a proposal and work as a team. The RCMC is a far different experience than we can get in a classroom,” said Michael Stone, one of six students who comprised Cal Poly’s RCMC team. “The proposal became a great learning experience for everyone involved...using skills we have developed in the classroom and applying them in [the] real world.” Students received a plaque for the Construction Management office and a traveling trophy for one year. Stone, whose major is architecture with a minor in construction management, also received an Outstanding Student Award at the ceremony.

According to Stone, the biggest challenge for the RCMC team of students was the financial analysis and development of a 10-year Pro Forma that demonstrated a variety of potential market outcomes. With no students on the team knowledgeable in business financial development, the creation of business projections and placing first overall was an accomplishment that exemplifies Cal Poly’s learn-by-doing philosophy.

Both awards can be seen on display in the Construction Management Department, building 186-A100.


Faculty Help with Haiti Built Environment Resource Ctr



CM Students Place 1st in NECA Green Energy Challenge!

First-time participants from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo were selected by NECA judges as the top winners of this year's student design competition. Cal Poly's National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) student chapter members Adam Fischbach (president), Alex Emerson (V.P.), Sean Melcher (secretary), and Tara Bonifacio (treasurer) performed an energy audit for Corbett Canyon Vineyards in Arroyo Grande and submitted a preliminary design of an energy retrofit for the facility that could include alternative energy sources.

Read the Cal Poly news release at Digital Commons, Kennedy Library, by searching NECA under the 2011 news articles. For additional information visit the NECA website.


City and Regional Planning Student Participates in Sustainable Urban Management Project in Three Countries

GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT is part of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design's educational vision for its students. In the case of Erin Cooper, a CRP dual master’s degree student (MCRP and Transportation Engineering) this vision is now reality. Erin is part of a three-country project to understand the application of sustainable urban management practices in Puebla Mexico, Montreal Canada, and San Francisco USA. Erin was in Puebla in December 2010 to present her work, meet other students, and expand her knowledge of transportation systems in other countries. She traveled with CRP Professor William Siembieda, the US faculty member for this research project, which is supported by ColMEX, a Mexican research organization.

Erin Cooper Carmen Tzoni photo

Erin is shown seated with Carmen Tzoni (right), a student in the Master of Territorial Planning Program at the Benemerita Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP). Cal Poly's CAED established a formal student exchange, permitting our students to attend courses in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning at BUAP.

Erin Cooper photo

Erin also visited the low-income settlement of San Antonio de Abad, in the north of Puebla. She is shown standing with CRP professor William Siembieda, Antonio Telento, President of the Community Association, and Mary Lassard, Professor of Urban Design, University of Montreal (left).

Puebla Spanish colonial center is always full of cars and people, especially in front of the City Hall. Puebla has many small streets and early Spanish colonial buildings.

For more information about this three-country project, contact Dr. William Siembieda or the City and Regional Planning Department at (805) 756-1792.


ARCH and LARC Programs Rank Top in the Nation

Cal Poly’s Architecture and Landscape Architecture programs ranked 4th and 8th respecitvely in an annual survey of U.S. public undergraduate schools by Design Intelligence. Landscape Architecture also placed 2nd in the nation in the Sustainable Design Practices and Pricipals category. Architecture ranked 1st for Construction Methods and Materials.

Read the University news release at Digital Commons, Kennedy Library by searching for DesignIntelligence under 2011 articles or visit LARC's news and events web page to learn more about the survey. For additional information about DesignIntelligence view their website.


City and Regional Planning Professor William Siembieda Appointed to the Fulbright Specialist Program

The Council for the Internal Exchange of Scholars (CIES) administers the Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. The CIES has appointed William Siembieda, Professor in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo as a Fulbright Specialist. Dr. Siembieda will serve a five-year term on the Specialists Roster from October 2010 through August 2015. Foreign universities can apply to have Dr. Siembieda visit them. Such service demonstrates the CAED's faculty commitment to global engagement.

The Fulbright Specialist Program is designed to provide short-term academic opportunities for U.S. faculty and professionals. The Fulbright Specialists Roster, which was developed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), a non-governmental organization, was specifically designed as a tool for the Fulbright Specialists Program. It is a directory of U.S. scholars and professionals who applied through an open competition, were selected by a panel of their peers, and were approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Countries participating in this program apply to the US Consulate to have a specialist join a host university to assist in programs that help build university capacity in administration, research and instruction.


Cal Poly Dedication and Open House for the Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Lab

Photo of dedicationPictured from left to right: Dean R. Thomas Jones; President Robert
Glidden; Barclay Simpson, Chairman Simpson Strong-Tie; Alan Hanson, Sales Manger Simpson Strong-Tie; Devin Daniel, Student Council Chair; Jim  Doerfler, Assoc. Dept. Head ARCH; and CM Dept. Head Al Hauck.

Privately funded, the SImpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Lab is the final component of the multi-year project for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. It will serve as an interdisciplinary learning laboratory for the college’s five departments: Architecture, Construction Management, Architectural Engineering, Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning.

Students across those disciplines will be able to use the 5,000-square-foot lab to design, build and test a variety of structural components. The lab will also provide vital support for four adjoining labs in Cal Poly’s Construction Innovations Center.

The wood-framed learning laboratory building is located on South Perimeter Road, just west of the Graphic Arts building. The Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Laboratory includes the use of polycarbonate cladding on three sides, a translucent material that allows the structure to be visible from the outside. Under the leadership of Omni Design Group, the lab’s design evolved from a steel building to an exposed heavy timber brace frame structure.

Barclay Simpson, president and founder of Simpson Strong-Tie, said he believes the key to continuing to advance the design, building and construction industry is through education.

Cal Poly Architecture Department Students to Compete in 7th Annual Vellum Furniture Design Exhibition

7th annual vellum furniture competition ad image

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Vellum Design Build, a San Luis Obispo design and build firm, is partnering with the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly to host the Seventh Annual Vellum/CAED Furniture Design Exhibition, competition and silent auction. Events take place on October 29 and 30 at 848 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo and is free and open to the public.

This juried exhibition will feature design-build furniture by students of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Work may include but is not limited to tables, chairs, light fixtures, and other furniture design solutions. The designs must be original and fabricated by the students by themselves or in a team.

Please go to the Architecture Department website or contact Erica Jacobson of Vellum Design Build at (805) 784-0487 or ejacobson2@charterinternet.com, and Tom di Santo of the Cal Poly Architecture Department at tdisanto@calpoly.edu for more information on the 7th Annual Vellum/CAED Furniture Design competition, exhibit and silent auction.

ARCE Faculty Member and Students Return from Samé, Tanzania

Photo of 2010 tanzania survey group2010 Tanzania Survey Team (from left to right): Dan Baltimore,
Hannah Ellis, Craig Baltimore, Ashley Moraes, Nichole Brandt,
and David Lambert (ARUP)

Dr. Craig Baltimore, Structural Engineer and Associate Professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and three architectural engineering students, Hanna Ellis, Ashley Moraes, and Nichole Brandt have returned from Samé, Tanzania in continuing efforts with Dr. Baltimore’s Developing Nations Design Build Consortium and Instructionally Related Activity. The current project is to help design and build a polytechnic school in Samé, Tanzania. He and the ARCE students performed a site survey of approximately 300 acres. The survey will be used to assist in the land transfer, and the survey contour map will be used by future Cal Poly students to develop master plans, site drainage, and building layout, with industry professionals overseeing the process.

Life experiences for the travelers include witnessing local cattle and goat herders tending their flocks, encountering creatures not common in the United States such as spiders the size of a hand, and being stuck, scratched, and poked by thorny acacia trees.

Photo of Dr. Baltimore and Ellis with a Same nativeDr. Baltimore and Ellis discussing the project with a passer-by

Students learned about local living conditions, the Samé culture, and went on a safari.

The project is in its 5th year and its goal is to give CAED students real world experience and an opportunity to make a difference on a global level through technology and knowledge transfer to the rural communities of East Africa. A successful long-term knowledge transfer must be made in terms of the local culture and not in terms of Western culture. Thus, relationship building and a strong understanding of the local culture is a large focus for student learning.

The project is a collaboration of academia (Dr. Baltimore), NGO non-profit (The Mbesese Initiative), and industry (ARUP – Los Angeles).


EDES & CSI Club Scavenger Hunt October 16

EDES 101 and CAED students are invited to the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Student Club Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, October 16 at 12:00 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams! For more information or to register for the scavenger hunt, download the flyer (pdf) or email the CSI Office at calpolycsi@gmail.com.


Cal Poly Statement on Commitment to Community

The Cal Poly community values a broad and inclusive campus learning experience where its members embrace core values of mutual respect, academic excellence, open inquiry, free expression and respect for diversity.


ARCE Student is Cal Poly's 2010 Hearst Scholar

Pablo Ramos and daughter photo

SAN LUIS OBISPO - Cal Poly architectural engineering student Pablo Ramos, a young father who grew up in Santa Maria, has been named a 2010 Hearst Scholar.

Ramos grew up in a single-parent home in Santa Maria, where his mother worked hard to provide him with a solid foundation. However, living in a tough neighborhood made it difficult for him to focus on high school or think about the possibility of attending college. It was during an internship at an architectural firm while attending Allan Hancock College that Ramos discovered his career path.

“In times of need, you have two choices: You can give up and go home, or you can challenge your mind and strive to better yourself,” said Ramos.

This past summer, Ramos attended the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he tested the response of bridges to earthquakes.

In 2007, he became a father, which added new challenges and rewards to his life. He sees his daughter as motivation to do well as he pursues his education and career. Ramos says his goal is to be a structural engineer with an emphasis on safer building and sustainable design for low-income housing.

Ramos will receive the award in a ceremony at Dumke Auditorium in Long Beach on Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. One student from each of the 23 CSU campuses has been selected to receive the award. He will be awarded $3,000 for exemplifying scholarship criteria including superior academic performance, exemplary community service, and significant personal achievements. The scholarship is a partnership between the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the CSU Board of Trustees.


Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Lab Ribbon Cutting, October

Construction Innovations Center image

Contact the Construction Management Department at 805-756-1323 with inquiries.


SOAR – Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration Starts

SOAR introduces new students to the business side of being a student and offers sessions on registration, academic advising, responsibilities as a student and more. This one-day program happens during the first two weeks of August with multiple choices of dates for students to register. Invitations to sign up for this program are expected to be sent in May and more details will appear on the SOAR website when available. Dates are available on a first come first serve basis. The date you attend SOAR does not have any effect on registration in any way. For more information https://orientation.calpoly.edu/.


METRO Program in Oakland, Soon to Be in LA

Students from Landscape Architecture and Architecture are participating in the Oakland Metro program this summer. In addition to the unique curriculum that focuses on the city —its architecture, history, urbanity, and culture—the program reaches out to the local community to enhance the learning structure through visiting lecturers, digital design workshops, internships, and public alumni events. The Metro programs are an important part of the College emphasis on providing an opportunity for all students to have an urban experience before graduation.

The Metro program is expanding to Los Angeles Winter 2011.


Architecture Students Honored in International Competition

Dekker Exoskeleton image

Dion Dekker and Cody Williams received national recognition for their projects exploring a variety of issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. Dekker was awarded third place in a competition sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). His project was titled “Exoskeleton: Reconfiguring Shipping Container Hotel.” Williams received an honorable mention for his design “project Iris.” For more information, go to Public Affairs' section of Digital Commons at Kennedy Library and search the 2011 news releases for Dekker and Williams.


Awards Showcase Work by CAED Students, Faculty, Alumni and Local AIA Members

Tara Bonifacio photo

The CAED collaborated with the AIA Central Coast Chapter to announce their 2010 Design Awards. The jury selected architecture students John Vierra for the AIA CCC Student Design Award, and shown here, Tara Bonifacio for the AIA CCC Scholarship. Download the AIA CCC News Release (pdf).




Paul R. Neel, FAIA Awarded 2010 George Hasslein Medal

Photo of Paul Neel

Paul Neel, FAIA, was the recipient of the inaugural George Hasslein Medal at the 2010 CAEDF Gala. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly in Architectural Engineering as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California-LA and Master of Architecture degree from the University of Sheffield.

Paul served as Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly from 1991 to 1997, prior to that he was Director of the School of Architecture and Environmental Design from 1968 to 1978. He was a professor of Architecture from 1962 until his retirement in 1997.

Among Paul’s many awards is the Octavius Morgan Award given by the California Architects Board for service to the people of California (2006). He was also named Educator of the Year, the highest honor bestowed on a California educator by California Council, the American Institute of Architects (1995) and was honored as Man of the Year by National Engineering New Record for contributions to the profession (1990).

Paul has also served as President of the California Board of Architectural Examiners (1986-1991), Chair of the Fellowship Jury, College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) (1991) and was President of the California Council of the AIA (1983), among many other appointments.

In remarks at the presentation of the Hasslein Medal, Paul was lauded as an extraordinary colleague and leader by his peers, former colleagues and former students. “The only person who could have received this first award of the medal,” said John Maple, president of CAEDF. “He has touched every aspect of this institution and then reached out into the community and across the country as an educator.”



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