The Design Semester

During the fall semester, students work in pairs to develop design proposals. The projects are presented at midterm and the team selects a direction. The chosen approach typically demonstrates a solid concept and incorporates ways for all team members to be involved.

URBANbuild provides the opportunity for students to experience intensive group work, with the entire team sharing one goal. While students develop and achieve impressive design results, equally important is time spent learning to work collectively and respectfully.

Concepts

The URBANbuild design semester begins with an exercise in research and analysis. Students explore the Central City area in order to become familiar with the context for their design/build project.

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“I once asked a student, what the greatest thing you’ve learned is. She responded: ‘After going through this process, I’m astonished to now understand how many drawings and decisions are needed to accomplish all that we want.’”

– Byron Mouton, Director, URBANbuild

Teamwork

After an initial phase of individual research and analysis, students are matched in pairs according to their expressed interests. As partners, they move forward with a design proposal for a home that blends their unique, individual perspectives and aesthetics in a unified response to the requirements of a designated program. Students work together in this process of design development toward the presentation of their schemes for critique at a mid-term review.

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CRITIQUE

Mid-term review offers students, peers, faculty, and community members an opportunity to critically assess each project for potential construction.

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MATERIALS

Students who are interested in material assembly and fabrication may elect to spend the latter half of the fall semester producing mock-ups and prototypes for details such as shutters and lighting fixtures.

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“Students gain confidence. Students become proficient at multitasking and managing a variety of roles, relationships, and responsibilities. They develop professional skills that help them succeed and become stronger practitioners after they graduate.”

– Byron Mouton, Director, URBANbuild

Documents

Producing a true permit set provides students with an opportunity to gain valuable, real-world experience in construction document preparation.

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