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Kent State Students Prepare for Architecture Integrated Design Competition

Posted April 30, 2012 | Katie Fickle 

Senior architecture majors Cassandra Warren and Jessica Stuck's office building design project will be displayed and judged among 40 other projects at the annual Architecture Integrated Design Competition on Monday, April 30.

In the Tri-Towers Studio, 80 senior architecture students are preparing for one of the most anticipated projects of their college careers.

Jessica Stuck, senior architecture major, carefully pieces small structures together while Cassandra Warren, senior architecture major, designs building structures. The two women are carefully analyzing every step of their design. They spend hours in their cubicle filled with small wooden structures and floor plans.

Stuck and Warren are working together to design a 2,000-square-foot office building, which will be displayed and judged among 40 other projects at the annual Architecture Integrated Design Competition from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 30, in the Tri-Towers Studio.

Charles Harker, associate professor, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, explains that the competition is an opportunity for the students to bring together all of their knowledge throughout the past four years.

The Architecture Integrated Design Competition has been part of the curriculum for more than 25 years. It takes place every spring semester. This year’s competition guidelines require students to design a 2,000-square-foot, energy-efficient office building in Pittsburgh along the Alleghany River. Students are required to consider factors such as national building codes and handicap accessibility.

To enter the competition, each team must complete a series of projects including:

  • 50 to 60 computer-generated sheets,
  • 16-inch scale model of their building,
  • A set of graphic boards, and
  • Floor plans and elevations.

“All of this by a two-person team in the time span of 15 weeks is extensive,” Harker says. “These students are top-notch if they are capable of pulling it all together.”

Stuck and Warren are designing an Adobe office building. Warren explains that the group chose the Adobe Company because the company is currently operating in energy-efficient buildings.

“When designing our building, we have to keep in mind that it must be completely sustainable,” Warren says. “We have to design a building that must have services, such as water redistribution and energy production on site. We have to try to build the most efficient building.”

Although it is a competition, it is still a team effort, and Stuck explains that all of the teams work together to reach their full potential on the project.

“We all take ideas from everybody,” Stuck says. “We don’t stay in our little bubble. We all need to work together. It’s not about winning. It’s about learning.”

Warren explains that the contest is broken up into different phases for the students to track their progress throughout the semester.

“This project makes us feel like we are going to be overprepared,” Warren says. “We don’t sleep, but it’s exciting. It’s great to see how far everyone has come. It’s hard, but it’s extremely rewarding, and this is what keeps us going.”

Warren explains that the competition can be stressful, but working with Stuck makes the experience exciting.

“We chose to work with each other because her strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa,” Warren says. “We teamed up for a previous project, and we worked well together, so we thought working together for this completion would be a strong fit.”

Warren and Stuck are eager for the competition, and they hope their project is the one to win it all.

“This building could turn into something that is actually built, and we will be the ones who designed it —that is exciting,” Stuck says.

The competition is free and open to the public. For more information about the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visit