|The students get ready for the day’s instructions|
On Tuesday, March 10th, fourteen Providence Engineering studentsâ€”our largest group to dateâ€”attended a county-wide High School Design Competition hosted by the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. Our students joined approximately 30 other students at 8am at Direct Relief’s global headquarters in Santa Barbara while a parallel section of the competition was offered at the same time at a location in the Santa Ynez valley.
Teacher Matt Eves prepared our students incredibly well. For the last three months, class time has been devoted to architectural study. Students have been learning how to use architectural drawing boards with t-squares and triangles, as well as how to draw to scale. Both of these skills were utilized in the competition, as students were engaged in designing floor plans, site plans, and elevation drawings.
On site, students were given a design challenge immediately upon entering the room. Historically, the Architectural Foundation has attempted to choose challenges that connect directly to current architectural challenges in Santa Barbara.
This year, the challenge was to design a â€œtiny houseâ€â€”a fully-functional home that is typically less than 600 square feet, with some as small as 65 square feet. You may be familiar with the â€œtiny homesâ€ that back up to the US101 North near the Salinas exit, one of several tiny-house projects in Santa Barbara born of a recent ordinance authorizing their construction in order to make use of unconventional plots of land.
Students were given a site plan that showed streets and a plot layout and were instructed to design a tiny house on it, and draw-to-scale some details including elevation and floor plan. While the students worked, professional architects circled the room acting as mentors and offering design advice.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Tang said of the competition, â€œThereâ€™s something about designing that is special. Although tasked to build a tiny house, there really was no ceiling to what we could do. It was so amazing to be able to design something from scratch with endless possibilities. I had such a fun experience and time flew by, but I think in the end, we all designed something that we were really proud of.â€
|Dozens of high schools from around Santa Barbara County
were represented at the design competition
We are incredibly proud of the hard work and creativity our Providence students demonstrated, and are so grateful for the opportunity they had to connect with architects in the city. For those who are interested in studying architecture, this experience will be a wonderful spring-board for their professional future! As sophomore James Loewen put it, “It has been a very fun experience regardless of winning or not!”