Architecture Junior and Senior Studios Participate in Institute-Wide Capstone Design Expo

This spring, 236 teams from 11 schools and programs at Georgia Tech participated in the Capstone Design Expo. Historically, the College of Engineering has dominated the participation at the Expo, but in recent years, the School of Architecture has become more involved, further proving that Georgia Tech also produces a helluva(n) architect, too.

“Our interdisciplinary design studios are based in structured teamwork that includes students from other disciplines on campus,” said Julie Kim, Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Director of Undergraduate Program in the School of Architecture. “This is central to our curriculum, emphasizing design as a creative pursuit that requires integrated knowledge from various disciplines. With Architecture participating in the Capstone Design Expo, we have an opportunity to share the innovative and collaborative work our students produce to an audience that includes faculty, industry professionals, and students across the Institute.” 

Each semester, architecture students are required to take a studio as part of their curriculum. Juniors and seniors are organized into the Vertical Studio, and this year, 19 teams represented the School of Architecture at the Expo. 

“Our studios this semester took on the challenges of proposing satellite atria for collaborative learning spaces; interrogating maintenance and repair of structures as they age; designing for disaster, while also developing innovative systems in concrete; and considering global culture and community,” said Kim. “By participating in the Expo, our students engage in a larger conversation with their peers across the Institute. It is a reciprocal situation. Others gain awareness of the range of complex issues our students take on just as our own students see how their peers tackle allied concerns. The platform is, then, set for possible future collaborations.”

“Participating was an exciting experience!,” said Jane Ilyasova (Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture, ’19). “Seeing the range of work produced by other Colleges was eye-opening and made me feel proud to be a part of a community of students that work towards making a positive impact through innovation.”

“Typically, a lot of students and staff from other school departments are unaware of what we do as Architecture majors,” added Tia Calhoun, rising senior in the B.S. in Architecture program. “By participating in Capstone, we are able to give the school of Architecture the exposure and recognition  it deserves.”

Architecture is one of the categories in the Spring Capstone Design Expo. This year, Noah Sannes (B.S. in Architecture, ’19) and Christopher Tromp (B.S. in Architecture, ’19) took home the architecture prize for their project titled, “Coalescence.” Coalescence is a hypothetical proposal for a community recreation center within the city of Atlanta. The project is part of the ACSA Built-to-Last: Resilience Design Challenge, a competition focused on innovations in concrete construction.

“Our project specifically was put forth through the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and sponsored by the Portland Cement Company,” said Tromp. “It pushed for innovations in concrete, which we implemented in our project through innovative uses of existing materials and pushing for a new development of the material that could filter water. Our project had to take into account many different factors from understanding the socio-cultural demographics of the site, innovations in concrete, water management, social resilience, environmental resilience, disaster relief functions and accommodations, and accessibility for the neighborhood and then be presented in a architecturally coherent and aesthetically rich manner.”

“I believe that it is important for us architecture students to showcase our design work to a wide audience,” said Sannes. “At the Senior Design Capstone, I have had the opportunity to discuss sustainability and material innovations with professionals and academics across many fields. I have had the opportunity to receive crucial career advice from visiting architects, as well. My favorite part of Capstone is sharing with others about what architects do - we invent, create, make, model, and visualize!”

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  • Noah Sannes and Christopher Tromp at Capstone Design Expo

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