Learn by doing has long been central to Cal Poly’s mission. In the Architecture Department, learn by doing often means an increased investigation into materials (metal, wood, plastics, etc). In the studio environment and practice-related activity projects, there has been a shift in recent years from the ‘final model’ to a continuum of sketch models focused on discovery within a variety of materials and scales. Parallel to this is the increased use of the shop as a place of investigation and a sense of the importance of this experience to the students. This can place pressure on students who have more limited financial means, and restrict their experience to less costly (and sometimes less authentic) materials, for example chipboard instead of wood for models. It may also inhibit their development of ‘detail’ models to support their projects. Such financial restrictions can also limit the student’s ability to participate in projects such as the Vellum Competition (a furniture design workshop/competition in its 4th year) as it requires costly materials outside the strict studio component.
A special fund to meet these needs would provide on-going assistance to assure that a student’s learning experience is not curtailed through limited financial resources.
The funding would be administered through the office of the Architecture Department Head and would be need based. Support of this fund will only be accomplished through your generosity.