Studio spotlight: ARCH 203 rethinks gas stations as sites of community resilience
ARCH 203: INTEGRATED DESIGN STUDIO
Instructors: Elizabeth Bishop, David Jaehning, Jasmit Rangr, Simon Schleicher, Dan Spiegel
As the design studio immediately preceding thesis in the MArch sequence, ARCH 203: Integrated Design Studio is structured to build upon the knowledge each student has accumulated through the program. Students work iteratively to develop design solutions that take into account a variety of factors (program, site, context) across a range of scales that make up the built environment.
What is distinctive about the integrated studio is that students also engage with the development of many of the more technical elements that make a so-called “real building.” The studio is taught in conjunction with the A207c Professional Practice Colloquium, which features interactive presentations from specialists in the disciplines of structural engineering, environmental design, mechanical engineering, building life safety, zoning/planning, and facade design. These experts join studio sessions for targeted design workshops in which they help guide the development of the building systems. These workshops are synchronized across the semester, enabling students to build up symbiotic layers of design responses into a well-integrated project. The result is a project that pursues a clear and compelling concept that is not just served, but advanced through these layers of inquiry and resolution.
In fall 2023, students used this framework to approach an urgent issue facing the architectural discipline: the electrification of the nation’s vehicular infrastructure. An overwhelming consensus of experts identifies “beneficial electrification” as critical to the future of urban sustainability. Car manufacturers are producing increasingly efficient and desirable electric vehicles at an accelerating pace. The need to charge these vehicles is a baseline requirement, but what else does the electrification of our vehicles require, and what opportunities does it afford?