March 30, 2017 12:29 PM

Laney club bands together for building competition

Laney’s Architecture Club was granted $8,000 from the student government Feb. 23 to attend an annual design competition April 7-9 at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif. But collecting the ASLC funds in time to register for the event has proven to be a stumbling block.
“Every year, we go,” said Ron Betts, the club’s faculty advisor. Betts said that every year it’s a lot of work to get the funding. Club members are paying out of pocket, with the anticipation of reimbursement.
The club’s previous president, Dev Chand requested $8,000 of funding from the ASLC in February. This amount includes admission fees, transportation of structures and students, building materials, a tour of Hearst Castle, and other expenses.
“I am worried because I’m putting my own money into this,” Chand said. “It’s a hassle for everyone.”
At the time of Chand’s proposal, the ASLC did not yet have a treasurer, and it took about a month to find the appropriate funding line item for the Architecture Club. On March 9, the ASLC was unable to hold its meeting for two reasons.

Jorge Navarro

(Both images) team leader Jorge Navarro begins construction on his team’s entry for the annual Design Village competition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Students must live inside the structures they build during competition weekend of April 7 through 9.

The completed agenda was not sent on time, causing them to be in violation of the Brown Act; they did not meet quorum, meaning they did not have enough representatives present to conduct business..
Daniel Neely would have been appointed treasurer at this meeting, but instead was appointed the following week, when the ASLC was next able to meet.
However, a freshly appointed treasurer would not have had adequate training to solve such a problem in one meeting.
The registration deadline for the Design Village competition was March 18. Although the proposal had been approved in previous meetings, the Architecture Club had not yet received the funding, students to pay out of pocket and await reimbursement.
Julio Herrera is part of a team called TweeterGain2. This will be his second time participating in the competition, and to him the experience is invaluable.
“It was intimidating at first,” he said, because the competition is fierce.
But, he said, by the time they got there, it stopped being about whether their design would win, and instead it became about learning from the other contestants about their designs and building processes.
The competition challenges teams to build structures related to the theme and to live in the structures throughout the weekend.
The structures are partially built beforehand, and completed on-site in Poly Canyon Design Village, a grassy hillside not far from Cal Poly’s campus.
This space is already home to many unique structures, built by past architecture students, nestled into the landscape. The public is invited to vote along with those participating, and the winning entry receives an award.
Jorge Navarro is the team leader for TweeterGain2, which is creating a design that approaches the theme differently as the day goes on. This year’s theme is “Essence.”
“The essence of our project started off with space, so we’re still going with the essence of space, but we’re trying to incorporate [the essence of] geometry during the day, and since we’re adding lights, we’re gonna make it [the essence of] the atom during the night,” Navarro said.
For Navarro, the teamwork is the motivating factor.
“When we’re here [in class], you might sit next to them, and you don’t know that person for the whole semester,” he said, “but once you go on one of these activities, you get to know the person.”

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