Judson Architecture Students Design Shelters for Disaster Relief
(Elgin, IL - April 19, 2013) Judson University's sophomore architecture studio students are learning first hand about disaster relief efforts. The students are competing in the Disaster Shelter Competition, sponsored by World Vision and John Brown University, to design and build a prototype of an emergency shelter for rapid deployment and set-up in areas affected by natural and man-made disasters.
The semester-long project began in early January, and each student was expected to design a preliminary concept, followed by a critique to narrow down the choices. Once the top design was chosen and the teams of students merged into one, students were assigned to different task units including graphic design, mini-model construction, and full-scale build team. This week, the students constructed a prototype of their design in a timed session to prepare for the official competition on April 19-20 at John Brown University (JBU) in Siloam Springs, Ark.
This is the second year that Judson's sophomore architecture students have participated in the competition. For most students, this is their first opportunity to build their design to full-scale.
"I love that this project took us from the abstract projects we are used to creating to creating a real structure," says student Khin-Kyi Htet. "I have a passion for humanitarian architecture, which is what this opportunity is all about. I love that it is for a nonprofit organization and a good cause." Htet worked on the graphics team, drafting diagrams for the design.
"We're taking different concepts we originally had and making them into one full-scale structure," says student Lane Williams, who worked on the team that built the small-scale model. "Every structure we've designed prior to this has been turned into a mini-model or a picture, but this project turns it into a real-life structure and helps us understand all the hard work that goes into making a design a reality."
"This has been a great opportunity to not only design a structure, but to see it through to completion," says student Josh Tindall. "It was a lot more difficult to imagine my work on a full scale than any other assignments I've done. We usually make models, and all we need is glue or pre-built materials. But on a life-size scale, we have to manage a lot of different facets. For this structure we had to custom build different pieces, collaborate with a team of people, work in a tight timeframe and manage others' work." Tindall served as build team manager.
Several different collegiate engineering and architectural programs are participating in the competition at JBU, where each will construct their prototype in a timed session. Every structure will be tested for resistance to elements such as hurricane and earthquake conditions. The winning design will be used by aid organizations to respond to natural or man-made disasters anywhere in the world.