2014–2015 SoCal Student Charette Recap


The 2015 IIDA Southern California Chapter Student Charette took place this past November 15th at Tangram Interiors in Newport Beach. 35 students from 13 SoCal schools were divided into 7 teams, and were assigned the same project; a historical building in the Los Angeles area with an existing courtyard space, complete with a therapy pool that was not in use. The program focused on three types of companies that would be occupying the overall interior space and outdoor courtyard. The students were charged with finding the best use of space for each company, while fulfilling the program requirements which included the use of the courtyard as an integral collaborative area. As part of the challenge, the students had to present a creative concept using the entire space to accommodate the different users’ needs, while employing a defined strategy for how to overlap and resolve privacy requirements for each company.

The winning teams showed their understanding of each company’s needs and functions through careful analysis of the programming information provided to them. They also found innovative and creative ways to connect all three companies together in pockets of the space, inside and outdoors. The winners also used the time given most effectively, and demonstrated their individual skills used to solve and present their team’s solution.

Judges included Aram Arakelian, Affil. IIDA Founder, Environmental Contracting Corp. and Founder of the IIDA Scholarship Program; David Fridlund, IIDA, Past President, IIDA and Principal at Wirt Design; Scott Johnson, IIDA, CID, IALD, LEED AP, Past President, IIDA and Principal at Wolcott; Brett A. Shwery, IIDA, CID, LEED AP BD+C, Senior VP & Global Director, Strategic Accounts at HOK. The program was produced by student affairs co-VP Cassie Sanchez Agbada, IIDA, CID, LEED AP ID+C, EDAC at Gensler, Los Angeles and Trish Drummy at Pivot Interiors, Orange County.

Winners of the competition, Team 5 (Names from L to R) Afsoon Firoozeh, CSUN; Erika De La Parra, OCC; Raymond Tran, Otis; Eric Pelayo AIC-IE; Kerry Vandermuelen, IDI. Winning team members will collect their $10,000 prize money at the 2015 Calibre Awards and will represent SoCal at the Regional Design Charette in OC next April 11, and Regional team winners with represent the West Coast Region at the National Student Charette in June at Neocon in Chicago on June 16, 2015.

Susan Steinlauf

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