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    A Township of Urban Ambitions: A Student-Run Charette

    Nicole Doan
    Sep 4, '15 12:55 PM EST

    1 charette. 48 hours. 25 students. 25 town blocks. 50 ridiculous programs. 

    Nicole Doan's site plan for a religious center for those who need help choosing a religion

    For two days in mid-July, 25 students slaved away, designing absurd buildings such as a fire station that secretly burns books and a religious center for those who need help choosing a faith. A Township of Urban Ambitions (ATUA) acted as a theoretical city, consisting of a five block by five block grid, with each individual block reserved for one assigned program.

    Cal Poly Pomona fourth year student Franco Chen took inspiration from Chris Riley's senior project, which featured a flexible cityscape with interchangeable buildings, parks, etc.

    Chen explained, "Blocks could be rotated, shuffled, and removed all the while maintaining the integrity of the city beneath it... For ATUA, a charrette was the only way to go about it--to not want to make something inherently perfect or permanent, but rather to succumb to the messy and guerrilla tactics that we must employ to actually produce a product in the time span of two days."

    Chen and I brainstormed a list of odd programs and their counterparts to assign to the interested participants, who ranged from first to fifth year students. For example, we wanted to propose a cinema that screens anti-American propaganda, and its opposite was a cinema that strictly screens movies about love. We essentially created a list of 25 "positive" programs and another 25 of "negative" programs, but only half of these were randomly distributed to the 25 participants. 

    "Overall, I was pleased with the final outcome of the charrette, both because of the overall participation and also because of the breadth of ideas that were presented. Due of the nature of a two day design schedule, we see the direct result of gut instincts and first impressions upon these products. And it's always interesting to see first ideas. Sometimes those ideas aren't the ones we particularly like, but we have to make it work nonetheless," Chen said.

    You can view the outcome of these projects at Interim, Cal Poly Pomona's quarterly student showcase, on Friday, September 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. It will be held at the Interim Design Center, bldg. 89. Click here for more information on how to get there.



     
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About this Blog

Initially, I was going to name this blog "Architecture Will Kill You", but I thought better of it. Welcome to my five-year journey in undergraduate architecture school.

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