Budding architect helps create winning design

LONG BEACH - Downey resident Christie Bruno was one of two Cal State Long Beach students to capture second-place honors and a $6,000 cash prize at the 17th annual 1:2 Student Competition.Presented by the AIA Los Angeles Interior Architecture Committee, two students from interior architecture, environmental design and architecture departments from local colleges and universities are invited to participate, and $23,000 in prize money is awarded to the first- through third-place finishers of the all-day event. "Even though we presented first, we were very confident about our presentation and felt we had a good chance of winning something. We were the only group that did not receive any bad criticism from the judges," said Lindsay Sienkiewich, a 24-year-old senior interior architecture major at CSULB, and Bruno's partner. "It was a great experience. This competition gives you a lot of experience to the working world and connects you with working professionals. We feel extremely honored to have been part of the event." At the competition, the student teams have six hours to incorporate a design on to two 32-inch by 40-inch presentation boards, using only the manual tools of the trade to complete their effort. Students arrive with boxes of trace, magazines, tape, colored paper and all of the pencils, markers and straight rules of yesterday. At the end of the six hours, each team's boards are silently juried, and the 14 teams are whittled down to six finalists. The finalists then have 30 minutes to prepare a 5-minute verbal presentation to support their visual presentation. After the oral presentations, the jury goes behind closed doors and merges with three winners. This year's assignment was to design a project titled "Foodchain," an 11,000-square-foot cooking and health infill campus. Bruno and Sienkiewich came up with a concept they titled "Filter." Given the criteria, the two students said they dug deep for a concept that pushed the envelope a little farther than the other submissions. "We based our concept on the idea of a filtration system, hence our project name, 'Filter.' Our original idea was based on an oyster, and how this creature is rough, jagged and dark on the outside, but as it filters impurities and toxins within ocean water, a smooth luminescent interior reveals a pearl, in its purest state," Sienkiewich explained. "Our building acts as an oyster does while people act as sea water. As people move through the space, they themselves are being filtered through a sequence of learning areas." "This award is a great honor for all of us. Our students competed against teams from such institutions as the Art Center College of Design, the OTIS College of Art and Design, UCLA, Woodbury College and Cal Poly Pomona," said Dorothy Ottolia, associate professor and interim chair of the CSULB Design Department. "Several people went out of their way to mention to me that our students' quality is consistent and impressive each year."

********** Published: April 10, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 51