Kansas State Students Design+Make with El Dorado

These 5th year Kansas State University Students partnered with local architecture firm (El Dorado) as part of the Design+Make Studio!

KState El Dorado

Kansas State Students Design+Make with El Dorado

Are you looking for hands-on building experience while you are studying architecture? These 5th year Kansas State University Students partnered with local architecture firm (El Dorado) as part of the Design+Make Studio! Read more about the partnership below!

(via el dorado blog)

Since el dorado opened it’s doors in 1996, we have been exploring the relationship between designing and making as a design studio. For us, the shop continues to play an important role in the creation of well-crafted architectural spaces—but it also is critical as a tool to prototype ideas and explore materials and connections. Designing and making are truly linked.

This is the fifth year of the Design+Make studio at K-State. The studio is an academic partnership between Kansas State University’s 5th year capstone architecture design studios and el dorado. Students follow a four step process, experiencing the challenges of seeing their projects come to fruition in a real-world setting: understanding, envisioning, documenting and making. As a studio, Design+Make provides students with a lens into the entire process of a project becoming a reality, from concept to construction to finished product.

JoCo-03 eldo3 eldo2 eldo1

The studio intentionally takes on a manageably scaled project to allow the students to complete defined tasks within two semesters. During this time, students learn valuable communication skills by having to present iterative design developments to actual clients, consultants and craftspeople. They also learn to navigate complex authorship issues with a project and process that intentionally deflates the notion of a single creator. Perhaps the most significant contribution to the students’ learning experience is connecting the abstraction of drawing, physical and virtual modeling with the constructive processes required to translate ideas into tangible form — moving students from thinking about abstract ideas to creating actual constructed forms.

In early January, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture awarded Kansas State University’s Design+Make Studio project Camp Daisy Hindman an award in the Design Build category. Each year, ACSA honors architectural educators for exemplary work in areas such as building design, community collaborations, scholarship, and service. According to the ACSA, award winners “inspire and challenge students, contribute to the profession’s knowledge base, and extend their work beyond the borders of academy into practice and the public sector.”


Camp Daisy Hindman shower facilities

The studio also was recently awarded the Kremer Prize, an award that recognizes excellence in collaborative design for students in their final year at Kansas State University, for their work this year on the Preston Outdoor Education Center. For the past nine months, the Design+Make studio has been working on the Preston Outdoor Education Station at YMCA’s Camp Wood in the Flint Hills in Kansas.

The project was originally proposed as a single shade pavilion that would serve as a gathering space to educate visitors and campers about the surrounding grasslands. The students took the original program and ambitiously expanded its scope to include multiple education stations that each tell a story about the prairie by incorporating materials that highlight different features of the surrounding landscape. The stations are connected by a pathway featuring a 300 linear foot dry stack limestone wall.


The Preston Outdoor Education Center thoughtfully integrates the natural layout of the landscape into the overall design intent by building into and around an existing ridge, maintaining a low visual profile, and sourcing materials from on site. “As architects, we are taught throughout our schooling to conduct in-depth site analyses that dig deep into the essence of place and can reveal aspects and opportunities for a design,” said Phil Macaluso, one of 13 students that were part of the project. “Through the process of designing with a conscious awareness of a place, an architectural work can also benefit sustainability practices, conservation efforts, and create beautiful, spiritual places.”


Sky station


Rock station


Grass station


Not only did the students thoughtfully design their project, but the ambition of scope and dedication of time and effort in the hands-on “making” process were truly impressive. Students involved in this years Design+Make studio included: Torrence Campbell, Tamra Collins, Luke Custer, AJ Henry, Brent Higgins, Daniel Johnson, Phil Macaluso, Alex Martinez, Kelsey Middelkamp, Jake Rose, Brianna Reece, Sevrin Scarcelli and Blake Toews.

(Read more via el dorado blog)

Interested in the Kansas State University Program? Check out their profile page on StudyArchitecture.com!