CBU architecture students win awards in competition

Senior architecture majors, Andriani Sugianto and Madysen Bellanca received first and second place respectively in the annual Student Design Awards Program, a competition held by the California Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH).

CASH is an organization focused on supporting construction and development in K-12 public schools throughout California. For the competition, students participating were asked to submit a design for a public education facility, complete with drawings and images, in addition to a written description of the project.

“For CASH, the competition promoted more interest in quality K-12 school design among the architects of the future,” said Caleb Walder, associate professor of architecture. “For the students, the competition was an opportunity for recognition and networking with prospective employers, along with cash prizes.”

To prepare for the competition, students produced a sophisticated design for a hypothetical proposal for an elementary school as a part of the advanced architecture course ARC410 Design Studio V. 

Walder said that because the students created the designs for class, they were encouraged to submit them into the CASH competition.

“I think the overall experience of the course and the competition was beneficial for the students as it prepared them to enter the architectural profession,” Walder said. “The process of developing the projects focused on how to reduce the negative impacts of architecture on the natural environment while increasing its positive impacts on the health and well-being of people. The competition provided the students an opportunity to be recognized for their work in the course by a larger group of professionals which puts them in a good position to make connections and find work with notable architectural firms.”

Sugianto said she worked on her design project beyond her studio architecture course to prepare it for the CASH competition. When Sugianto received first place, she also received a $2,500 scholarship and an invitation to present her project to professional architects at a CASH conference this summer.

“I was motivated to enter by the desire to share my work for the glory of God, the recognition it could bring to CBU’s excellent architecture program and the financial aid this project would provide towards my graduate year of schooling,” Sugianto said. “I also knew there was no loss in just trying.”

Sugianto said the project involved considering complex details including educational elements, ecology, water usage, economics, energy consumption, site conditions and sustainability. 

Sugianto began her project by analyzing needs for primary education, and then she considered sustainability and found ways to incorporate both ideas.

“The stringent process required a lot of strength to maintain a diligent pace and dedication to work,” Sugianto said. “This strength undoubtedly came from the Lord. He also has taught me that when I am faithful to him in abiding in him and seeking him first, he blesses and provides. I gained a bountiful understanding of sustainability and its application hand-in-hand with the various systems within the architecture field such as mechanical, plumbing, electrical and lighting. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of this project and the knowledge I gained from it.”

Bellanca said she chose to submit her work for the CASH competition because she worked hard on her design throughout the architecture course. 

When she won second place, she received a $1,500 scholarship. For her project, she focused on creating holistic designs that would encourage creativity in a learning environment.

“I created a school that is designed to push students to use their intuition to help them improve their learning experience,” Bellanca said. 

“By using color and program relationship, students can navigate around the campus by using these wayfinding strategies. Students are challenged to think for themselves through architecture to help develop their creative brains,” Bellanca said. “This project allowed me to design with a sense of empathy and passion I have not had with other projects. This project showed me that architecture can be playful and functional.”

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