This past Saturday, the Sasaki office was transformed into a gallery of student work, showcasing architecture projects by graduate students in this semester's Comprehensive Studio at Roger Williams University (RWU).
Sasaki associate Roberto Ochoa has taught at RWU for over six years and coordinates the Comprehensive Studio. In this demanding course, students are responsible for resolving many of the critical layers of a project in a condensed timeframe, and create an interdisciplinary design for a particular site.
This semester, there were two sections of the course. The first, taught by Roberto, challenged students to design for either the Bloque de San Pablo in Cordoba or Yacimiento San Esteban in Murcia—both of which have a component of historical ruins. The second section, taught by Michael Giardina from Jacobs/KlingStubbins, focused on a project in Cambridge for Swissnex, which is part of the Swiss consulate in Boston. The students then presented their work in a gallery-style review at Sasaki, in which each student received four, 25-minute, one-on-one reviews with a critics or pair of critics. This semester, Sasaki professionals from a range of disciplines participated, as well as local architects from Hacin + Associates, Machado and Silvetti, Cambridge 7, Landworks, and many others.
"The reviews enable the students to refine their presentation skills and make valuable industry connections," says Roberto. "There are actually several former students of mine now working at Sasaki."
Furthermore, reviewers are able to see ways in which the next generation of designers are conceptualizing work. Sasaki principal Steve Brittan said, "The quality of design of the students I reviewed was exceptional. The students were highly motivated by the challenges of their project, each conducting in-depth analysis of their site, program, and context. What struck me was their ability to develop unique design ideas while still remaining true to the constraints of their brief."