Architecture. Grad School. The State of the Profession. Field Trips. Agony. Ecstasy. Life. Etc.

Architecture Addiction, The Official Blog of


unSchool of Architecture
suggested reading/bookstore
other blogs I like
my portfolio
events
fieldtrips & workshops*
categories | archives | search
contact | rss

University of Idaho students design/build in Panama
by Katy Purviance on 07/07/10 @ 07:17:17 am
Categories: Building | 720 words | 1409 views

I just read this article about my alma mater by Becca Johnson called “Building on an Architecture Degree with Service.”

The University of Idaho trains its students to be leaders and make a global impact.

This spring, eight architecture students and professor Wendy McClure traveled to a remote farmstead near El Cope, Panama, to help one community.

“Although the university’s architecture program has completed dozens of outreach projects with community partners in the intermountain west during the past 25 years, our brigade to Panama launched an exciting new chapter in this legacy of outreach by venturing into a partnership with an impoverished community in the third world,” says McClure.

Last fall, graduate student Tyler Macy founded the University of Idaho chapter of Global Architecture Brigades. GAB supports ventures in Panama and Honduras though student service-learning projects, and specifically design-build projects, for architecture participants.

GAB and its Panamanian partner organization, Patronato de Nutricion, assigned the university’s chapter a priority design-build project on the farmstead Granja de Loma Bonita.

After arriving in the country, Idaho brigadiers hiked to the farm carrying packs on steep terrain, slept in tents and lived in relatively primitive conditions for six days. This didn’t stop them from accomplishing a great deal during their stay.

Three elderly people, who also are siblings, manage the farm and participate in the Panama government’s program to promote better nutrition in rural areas and organic farming practices.

“Though skilled farmers, they cannot keep up with needed repairs to facilities. They lack places to store and dry crops and must sleep in separate huts under leaking roofs,” says McClure.

During daylight hours, the team repaired leaking roofs, built a solar greenhouse dryer out of materials found on site, hoe rice paddies and built a new iguana cage. At night, the team worked by headlamps supplemented by a small generator to design a new community meeting room and living quarters for local farmers.

“Our aim for this trip was to not only help out a community in need, but also to learn about their way of life and design appropriate architecture for the rural area using traditional methods and locally available materials,” Macy says.

The construction required the team to use creative thinking to scrounge for local materials, such as bamboo and green rough-cut lumber, and to employ primitive tools, such as hand saws, machetes and twine, to accomplish the simplest of construction tasks.

“Taking part in and actually seeing your design built is an amazing feeling that most architecture students do not experience,” says Macy. “This design/build experience is very valuable in our field of study, and to do so in a culturally different and economically restrictive environment makes it all the more challenging and worthwhile.”

A second brigade of University of Idaho students will return to Panama this August to construct new housing, crop storage and community structures.

“The approaching rainy season makes their lives even more challenging,” says McClure. “Our spring brigade’s primary purpose was to gather site information and input from community partners in support of upcoming design and construction. Given the pressing need for shelter from the elements, participants became quickly engaged in making emergency repairs to address the most basic needs as communicated by the farmers through a translator.”

“This experience was transformative for all of them. They worked effectively as a team and accomplished significant tasks using a minimal amount of available technology and resources,” McClure says.

“When you commit to helping someone, you are a lot more likely to get out of your comfort range of skills to get a job done,” says Molly Marineau, sophomore architecture student. “Volunteering is a really good way to learn skills from meeting new people and new cultures to making adobe. Service work also makes trusted connections between people, which I believe is important in a quickly globalizing world.”

The project received support from the school, friends, family and local businesses such as Moscow Building Supply, Wheatberries and Moscow Food Co-op. However, most of the money for the spring break trip was raised by McClure and the individual students.

“Our students were stellar ambassadors of the university,” McClure says. “They exhibited an unusual degree of commitment under extremely difficult circumstances. As their faculty adviser and co-worker, it was truly a privilege to be part of their team.”

Source

Bookmark and Share Send Feedback | Permalink

Pingbacks:

No Pingbacks for this post yet...

Previous post: Dwell on Design 2010: 2 videos & 0 pictures
Next post: ANNOUNCING IBE'S ANNUAL ELECTROMAGNETICS SEMINAR!

Categories
our sponsors
Other Blogs I Like
GSD Blogs:
Ben in Paris
A Large Lumpy Rock
Wayfinding with Waxman
Other Blogs:
Saved By Design
Jetson Green
Core 77
Archinect
Rammed Earth is for Everyone
Raw Design Build
Lloyd Kahn's blog
Ouno
Form Follows You Home
Burning Down the House - Radio Architecture
Unhappy Hipsters
Design Vote
Talkitect
Truly Minimal Plan
Archives
August 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 << <   > >>
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Search

Search

Me on Burning Down the House
The VERB School
August 18 2010

GO HOME!
October 20 2010

Licensure in the USA
November 17 2010

Become One of Us...Subscribe to Architecture Addiction
Donate
Give the gift of an architecture book to Architecture Addiction
Radio Architecture
Listen live to Burning Down the House, Wednesdays 4PT/7ET
Or download the podcasts from iTunes
Blowfish
 

our sponsors
It's Finally Here
unSchool of Architecture is here. Enter your name and email below to learn more.

Architecture School Survey
Contact
Hi. My name is Katy. I like it when you write to me and tell me about the cool stuff you're doing in architecture. Yes, I write back.* I may publish your letter and my reply on the blog. If you don't want me to do that, you can just ask that I withhold your name, or if you're really serious about keeping your letter a secret, you can ask me to just not publish it at all. Of course I'll still write back to you. * I hope you'll take this opportunity to share your thoughts with our worldwide audience.

[Fields marked (*) are required]

Subject:

Your Name:*

Your Email Address:*

Your Question or Suggestion:*

After you click Submit, you'll come right back to the blog!

* Unless you spam me.

Created by Contact Form Generator

places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

suggested reading/bookstore

Need more? Visit our bookstore

where is everybody?
Locations of visitors to this page

Who's Online Now?

  • Guest Users: 17
random quote generator

Give me another

our sponsors