SWC Architect Students Win Prestigious Cal Poly SLO Design Village Award

Team Transitory Stasis standing in front of their winning Architecture project.
Team Transitory Stasis standing in front of their winning Architecture project.

Earth Day Weekend Win for Southwestern College Architecture Students

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A team of Southwestern College Architecture and Design students earned recognition for Best Craftsmanship at the prestigious Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO) Annual Design Village competition recently.

The three-day event took place over Earth Day weekend, April 19, 20 and 23, in the hills adjacent to the Cal Poly SLO campus. The landscape is converted into a temporary city of unique, student-built shelters. Entrants bring designs that must be reconstructed in 12-hours or less, use off-the-grid electricity and provide shelter to the team for three days and two nights.

This year’s competition involved over 40 entrants from numerous California community colleges and universities. Southwestern College was only one of three schools presented with an award.

The winning team, calling itself Transitory Stasis (TS), was one of two competing for the Southwestern College Architecture Club.

The other Southwestern team was named Plastiq Village. The team members were Endo Rosales, Sabrina Aguiar, Suvin Choi, Vicki Sindac, Carlos Turrubiartes, and Enrique Rodriguez.

Planning for the competition started months ago, said team co-advisor and Southwestern Architecture Professor Eric Johnson.

“The students had to do fundraising, buy materials for the project and pay for the trip,” Johnson said. “There was also a big assist from Automotive Technology Professor David Preciado who welded most of the pieces together.”

Along with Professor Johnson, the team co-advisor was Grazyna Kubis. Professor Emeritus Corey Breineger volunteered to tow all the materials to San Luis Obispo.

The final proposal was narrowed from 12 proposals to two, one for each six-member team. Each team spent days building their design ahead of time on the Chula Vista campus during college hour.

TS was led by second-year Architecture student Anne Militante. Her team members were Juan Pablo Aldana, Marco Lopez, Edwardo Pallares, Ana Paez and Misaki Sano.

“The award really shows that even though we are second-year students, and community colleges don’t normally get the same recognition as universities, we are on the same level as those other schools,” Militante said.

Entries were judged on craftsmanship, sustainability, design excellence, public response and suitability to this year’s theme, “Balance.” Johnson said this was a defining moment for the students, a culmination of their hard work and studying.

“This is a signature moment for these students,” Johnson said. “The students worked well as a team to collaboratively develop their design.  Although they had some failures, it was their iterative process that helped push their ideas forward.  Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Design Village promotes learning by doing, and that is exactly what the students experienced.”

This is the second big Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Design Village win for the Southwestern College Architecture program in the past three years.

“I think the thing that made the difference is that we really considered what the organizers asked for, committed to a design early, and that allowed time for us to focus on quality,” Millitante said.