With the continued success of our students at prestigious national and international competitions, the department has initiated a series of quarterly portfolio workshops. These week long evening sessions regularly draw 30-40 students and are intended to deliver knowledge on the following topics:
While informal presentations continue to be regularly offered to our students, the department has invited a number of guests with their own particular areas of expertise –principally drawn from our alumni, to share their knowledge and direct understanding of what constitutes a strong portfolio.
The department recognizes that there has been a fundamental cultural shift in the tools students use to develop and represent their projects. Critical to the success of maintaining the quality of the undergraduate program is for students to understand the recent changes from analog to digital, and to be able to embrace and adapt to this ongoing revolution, yet, drawing as a process of thinking has almost disappeared from architecture programs.
It is the intent of the department to reestablish robust quarterly workshops that focus on traditional drawings techniques, sketching abilities, and color theory. The fundamental principles of drawing must be taught and the use of pencil, charcoal, pastels, pen and ink, and color theory, among other techniques must be part of an “act of resistance” to counter the benefits of a new and magical digital world. Freshmen students receive this basic education, but after the introduction of a variety of sophisticated software programs after their first year, many students find themselves longing to reengage with more traditional free hand drawing technique.
These workshops are intended for junior and senior students as rapid and concentrated “refresher” sessions.
Emerging technologies are altering the profession of architecture and therefore the education of architects. In response to this, the Architecture Department at Cal Poly is committed to exposing our students to a wide variety of technological advancements to gain an understanding of their use, benefits, and limitations. Already the Department is upgrading studio spaces to accommodate digital media and laptop computers to compliment more traditional means of design. Laptops have been required of all new architecture students as of Fall 2007.
Faculty are responding to the needs of the profession and incorporating digital tools into their curricula and it is therefore critical that the department provide not only up-to-date technology but a forum for learning this material. Since 2007, professionals have visited the campus to give workshops on topics including: Bentley MicroStation, 3DStudio Max, Maya, Rhino, and Autodesk Revit. The student interest and faculty attendance was overwhelming, clearly indicating the fulfillment of a need.
The workshop forum provides another benefit beyond the transfer of knowledge; it allows students and faculty from other disciplines in the College to join together in the learning process, thus fostering the cross-disciplinary environment, which is key to the future of professional life.
While Cal Poly is committed to acquiring the technological resources necessary to prepare students for their professional life, Technology Workshops are a necessary compliment to that acquisition. Your gift will enable the Architecture Department to invite professionals who are on the cutting edge of the current technology. This will give our students an important edge as they make the transition from academic to professional life.