Fay Jones School Hosts Summer Design Camp

Students work in the studio at Memorial Hall last month during the summer design camp hosted by the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
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Students work in the studio at Memorial Hall last month during the summer design camp hosted by the Fay Jones School of Architecture.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Filled with curiosity and creativity, 10 students attended the Fay Jones School of Architecture summer design camp last month to learn about architecture, landscape architecture and interior design.

Just as last year, the camp was open to boys and girls going into ninth grade. All of the boys who attended the camp were from Eudora and Lake Village, located in southeast Arkansas, and the girls were from Siloam Springs and Dover, north of Russellville.

Alison Turner, visiting assistant professor of architecture, Phoebe McCormick Lickwar, assistant professor of landscape architecture, and Aubrey Pate, adjunct professor of interior design, led the program with the help of two undergraduate teaching assistants, Ashley Sullivan and Hillary Ramsay.

In the four-day camp, held June 11-14, the instructors introduced the three design disciplines and showed the connections among them through the design process.

The students said, overall, they hoped to gain more knowledge about the three disciplines. Many wanted to participate in hands-on experiences and learn the basic steps involved in designing a project. These activities would help them decide whether they might want to focus on one of the design fields in the future.

After the students learned the particulars of the three design professions, they were introduced to their project: the Exterior Reading Room. They spent four days designing their projects, and they presented them to the group on the last day.

First, the students brainstormed and found inspiration for this project by creating individual collage boards. They made these using magazine clippings, cut chipboard sheets, construction paper, markers and glue. Each board showed the design elements from architecture, landscape architecture and interior design that each student wanted to portray in his or her project.

After finding inspiration, they walked across campus to the project site, a natural area on the hillside beneath Yocum Hall. They created quick sketches that included the existing trees, plants, landscape and a portion of the city bike trail that connects to Center Street. They also determined exactly where they wanted their projects to be located within the site.

Back in the studio at Memorial Hall, students were introduced to techniques for building models and learned how to use scale figures. One morning, they also toured the Keenan TowerHouse in Fayetteville, designed by Marlon Blackwell Architect, and the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, designed by the late Fay Jones.

The instructors said that it is important for the students to have a general appreciation for design. "Even if their future is not in architecture, landscape architecture or interior design, they are going to be the ones who hire us," Turner said.

The instructors also hoped the students started to understand the motivation that lies between a designer and their design, as well as the reasons why certain decisions are made.

Lickwar said that knowing more about the design process could help anyone because it fundamentally concerns knowing how to solve problems.

"It's learning to problem solve through a manipulation of materials or drawing. It teaches critical thinking and problem solving," she said.

Pate said it was interesting to teach this age group because the field is new to the participants. Many of them come into it without any preconceived impressions of the design disciplines.

"Because it is new information for the students, that is an advantage," she said. "Everyone is on the same page, and no one has skills above any other person."

This year the Alex Foundation paid for seven boys from the Delta region of Arkansas to participate in the summer design camp. The foundation supports students who want to pursue careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in architecture, art and mathematics. They focus on experiential, project-based, multidisciplinary learning opportunities.

 

Contacts

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu

Emily Lo, intern
Fay Jones School of Architecture
479-575-4945, exl004@uark.edu

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