Architecture 335 add final touches to amphitheater project

Apr 6, 2023 | Design, General News, Liberal Arts, Partnerships

Louisiana Tech University’s Architecture 335 Design/Build class is putting the final touches on another creation.

This year’s project, an amphitheater, will soon take its place in the long line of award-winning projects architecture students have created for MedCamps of Louisiana, a free camping experience for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities that is hosted at Camp Alabama in Choudrant, La.

The Design/Build studio has been partnered with MedCamps for nine years, completing seven projects in that time, with the current project being the eighth. The project allows students to enrich the experiences of campers, give back to the community, and grow as students.

“The students are motivated by the cause that MedCamps represents,” Brad Deal, Associate Professor of Architecture and co-instructor for Design/Build Studio said. “We have other opportunities for other projects and partners that we could pursue, but the fact that the students are motivated to serve the children with special needs leads us to continue to work with MedCamps year after year, and it really is a great relationship.”

Not only does the project let students give back, it also provides them a unique college experience that can help them prepare for their future careers.

“It’s been very valuable and one of the biggest parts of my life so far. It’s something that has reassured me that I’ve chosen the right field,” Wanda Ryba, a third year architecture student said.

Design/Build studio begins the process in the winter quarter. Once an idea is chosen, the designing aspect of the class begins and in the spring quarter students begin the construction process.

“We went from 300 designs down to two then those two got merged together and became one,” Robert Brooks, Associate Professor of Architecture and co-instructor for Design/Build Studio said.

Students get the opportunity to see their designs come to fruition for the first time and also get valuable experience working with a team.

“The primary goal for the class is to teach students the consequences of their design decisions,” Brooks said. “We teach them to be designers and what it’s like to make their designs. As professionals, they’re going to be making instructions for people, so they should know what it’s like to design and build these projects.”

Design/Build offers students an unparalleled learning experience that enhances the lives of special needs campers and will continue to make an impact on future campers for years to come.

“We have been able to see videos and photos from past projects and the pure look of joy on the campers faces, and knowing I’ll be able to do that, and that the project will last forever,” Emma Wyatt, a third year Architecture student said, “Knowing that I’ll be making my mark in their lives and on the camp’s history is very rewarding.”

“I can not emphasize how much this collaboration has impacted not only MedCamps but also our students, our architecture program, and our University,” Karl Puljak, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and former Director of the School of Design said. “These kinds of experiences are the unparalleled educational experiences that we should strive to pursue. Design/Build Studio’s projects have been awarded state and regional awards by the American Institute of Architects time and time again. Students have learned about the values of community, collaboration, and craft. They will take these transformational experiences with them and into their future professional lives.”

This story was written by Communication student Brennan Hilliard.