Architecture faculty and students innovate for seniors’ final review

Seniors in the Architecture (ARCH) 415 class held their final project review Nov. 16 under unique circumstances. In a quarter full of uncertainty, ARCH 415 Professors Brad Deal and Thomas Provost were able to experiment successfully with the format of the review, ultimately hosting the students’ work and presentations on a website created entirely by Provost.

The review panel included 12 virtual critics from across the United States and Canada, each able to access the projects on the website. Students recorded their presentations two days before the feedback, meaning when the students, teachers, and critics all met on Zoom, the review was relaxed and engaging.

“Typically, we only get to hear from two or three jurors so it was nice having an ensemble of teachers, students, designers, and artists review our work,” said senior Jack North. “Having our projects posted together on a website allowed the jurors to be familiar with the work before the review. This format took some of the pressure off of us as students and really created a more comfortable and natural conversation on review day.”

Several students were able to have sidebar conversations with their critics via Zoom chat, allowing other reviewers to continue discussing the work. Thirty-six distinct projects were reviewed in just three hours, a feat that impressed Deal.

“The format leveraged all the benefits of compressing space and time and alleviated the long hours of conversation from voices they’re used to hearing,” Deal said. “Thomas deserves all the credit for building the website and organizing the majority of the guests. It was a genuinely refreshing end to a challenging quarter.”

ARCH 415: Core Design VII examines urban issues through considerations of site, program, culture, socio-economic factors in urban development and the design of public and civic space. In a degree program where much of the focus is on projects and presentations, this adaptive and innovative approach to a virtual review makes a difference for faculty and students alike.

You can view the ARCH 415 website and the students’ projects here.