Architecture students construct living environments for sleep over

technically a building—Sync, the structure pictured above, represents technology with each point symbolizing an area on campus. CN/ Julie Santiago

By Luis Castilla

Students slept under the stars during the East Los Angeles College Architecture Department Structure Sleepover in the quad Monday night.

Environmental Design 102 students built their own living environments, which revolved around four themes: culture, science, art and technology.

Professional architects visited and critiqued the structures yesterday. 

The jury of critiques comprised Pablo Onate and Ron Hernandez, both ELAC alumni, and Bill Simonian, founder of the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

The four structures each tie the different themes into their design.

The structure that represents culture is called Reflections. 

“We were trying to bridge the cultures of the people on the campus,” Naomi Gonzalez, who worked on Reflections, said.

The inside of the structure is lined with mirrors, adding to the significance of the name. 

Gonzalez said the structure’s four points represent a compass.

Science is represented by the structure called Ascend and resembles a jungle gym. 

evolving—Evolution of Art is architecture students’ interpretation of what the idea of art would look like as a structure. CN/ Julie Santiago

Elijah Christenson, who worked on the structure, said one of the main themes his team incorporated into Ascend was childhood playfulness and community.

Ascend is a cubic structure that features upward-spiraling sleeping bunks. To reach higher bunks, a person must climb up the structure. 

“For us, play meant climbing,” Christenson said. “It’s an adult jungle gym that looks pretty.”

Christenson said everyone sleeping in the structure has a clear view of the stars.

The structure that represents technology is called Sync. Salvador Cardoso, who worked on Sync, said that each point on the structure represents one of the main entrances of different buildings on campus.

 The center represents the quad.Cardoso said he felt accomplished and was excited about sleeping in his team’s structure. 

“When you lay inside, there’s no feeling to describe it,” Cardoso said.

The structure that represents art is called Evolution of Art. Lawrence Anderson, who worked on this structure, said his group had to figure out what art is. 

“You have to take something abstract, like art, and put it into a physical form,” Anderson said.

The structure has an open, butterfly-style roof.

Anderson said Evolution of Art has two entrances, each providing visitors with a different experience. The first entrance is a simple white sheet. 

The second is three sheets of thin colorful plastic.

Anderson encouraged visitors to try both entrances so that they could feel the difference between the two.

The structures will be on display in the quad until Thursday.

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