Architecture and art students worked in teams to transform automotive fluid containers into sculptures that encapsulated "plastic moments" as part of the Laskey Sophomore Design Challenge, which took place January 18-20 at the Sam Fox School.
Sponsored by Studio L, the intensive, weekend-long collaborative session honors Professor Emeritus Leslie J. Laskey and his singular approach to design education during his 35-year tenure at Washington University.
Mehrdad Hadighi—the founder and principal of Studio for Architecture, as well as the Stuckeman Chair of Integrative Design and head of the Department of Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University—kicked off the event by delivering a special presentation to introduce the design challenge.
Using the found object of an automotive fluid container, students were ask to use its structure as the inspiration for making a sculpture that reflected two kinds of visual moments: the analytical grid and the organic non-linear gesture. This moment—the plastic moment, happens to be represented by an actual piece of plastic—students sliced the container into two parts, in a non-symmetrical way, to prompt exploration of both its internal grid and how it breaks that grid.
Each team created a monolithic, monochromatic model of the entire artifact, as well as a two-dimensional collage documenting the artifact.
At the culmination of the event, a jury—composed of Hadighi, dean of architecture Bruce Lindsey, associate professors Igor Marjanovic and Sung Ho Kim, assistant professor John Hendrix, lecturer Hannah Roth (BA70/MArch74/Studio L), Angelyn Chandler (BA89/Studio L), and Warren Ashworth (BA78/Studio L)—presented awards.
The first place award of $1,000 went to the team of Casey Federbusch (art), Taylor Halamka (architecture), Edenton Lewis (art), and Caitlin Watanasiri (art).
Two teams will receive a Book Award, with Laskey himself choosing a publication that will be given to each of the team members. Those teams consist of the following individuals: Alexandra Chiu (art), Rebecca Curtis (architecture), Grace Davis (architecture), Shira Grosman (architecture), Isaac Howell (art), Patricia Kilbride (art), Wonjin Son (art), and Maya Theus (art).