Visit Cornell University
(via Architect Magazine)
Each spring, Cornell University’s freshman architecture and engineering students duke it out on the Ithaca, N.Y., campus—with makeshift constructions that liken mythical creatures crafted out of readily available materials provided by their departments. This tradition, which goes back more than 100 years, is “Dragon Day.”
Each year’s theme is unique and is determined by Cornell’s architecture students. “The first thing we do as a group is to choose a theme for the dragon,” says freshman student Kayra Cengiz, who is in charge of advertising for the event. “This year we chose ‘rebirth.’ Since Dragon Day is part of a long tradition, we thought rebirth would be a nice variation on last year’s theme, which was “doomsday.”
Appearance is a key way students today want to differentiate themselves from previous generations. According to freshman Silvia Galdamex, the co-president of Dragon Day, “This year’s dragon has many moving parts and will look different from what people have come to expect. We are avoiding black—architects’ favorite color—and the color will appear to change when you see the light reflecting off the dragon at different angles.” Photos from the event show this year’s construction featuring several broken, geometric shapes that follow in a continuous form, swathed in an iridescent material that reflects jewel tones when light hits it.