Whether on campus or working in the field,I find that the fluid creation of connections and interactions surrounding a location or an effort becomes pivotal in my approach.
Teaching at the university level, I design my syllabi to emulate professional practice. My 3D classes are required to create an outdoor installation following the steps for a professional design project from RFPs to completion and outdoor installation on campus. The class is divided into groups where they are provided with a small materials budget and present their proposals in a mock boardroom meeting. Outside professionals attend the meeting and rate each group on feasibility, concept and execution, presentation, and relevance. Dressed in business attire, the students demonstrate their ideas through formal presentations with macquettes (some opted for 3d prints) utilizing the current digital approaches available. Last semester my students petitioned to combine their efforts to create an exceptionally large labor- intensive project in response to escalating racial and sociopolitical tensions . They unanimously agreed to collaborate with over 135 children aged 6-15 from community programs in underserved neighboring communities. The final project consisted of 370 painted forms in an outside installation on campus. The young artists that collaborated with them felt such pride contributing their work with the knowledge it would be included in a public space on the university campus. Projects like this foster a competitive environment and at the same time forge a sense of community among their classmates as well as the rest of the campus.