Design Clinic at NewSchool of Architecture and Design Gives Students Real-World Experience Print
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 08:11


This spring semester, NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students can enroll in an 11-week “Design Clinic” that provides real world experience in architecture and design projects.  For more than ten years, NSAD has offered the “Design Clinic” for students to have a hands-on designed project while fulfilling their course objectives.  Several student designs have influenced local, national and international communities.
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NSAD Students have a range of projects to choose from including the on-going “I .D.E.A. District” design.  The urban innovation proposal is to create an 80-acre district intended to be a sustainable and create a community around the arts, education and community engagement.  The proposal will create multiple retail and restaurant options.  NewSchool students are conducting much of the initial research and master planning for the project.


Some of the previous “Design Clinic” projects have included:

The clinic’s most ambitious project, designed by four students from NSAD under the direction of Professor Adriana Cuellar, was the self-supporting village on 4,000-acres in Liberia, Africa.  It featured a construction plan for classrooms, housing, and dining and worship facilities. This past summer local residents started pressing natural mud bricks and digging foundation trenches.  NSAD student Paul Davis was awarded a scholarship from the Morweh Educational Institute Foundation to assist in the on-going design and construction.

NSAD’s students also worked on the Gateway San Diego, an Intermodal Transportation Center at Lindbergh Field. The center was a long-term development concept located on the north side of the airport that integrated all regional transportation at a single location.  In addition, it created a major urban park over the parking garage and provided a sustainable transportation solution that featured reduction in carbon footprint resulting from less auto trips. The project was the recipient of the 2009 San Diego Architectural Foundation “Orchid” for planning excellence.

Five NSAD “Design Clinic” students produced and presented their models and renderings of the 200,000-square-foot Automotive Arts Museum to auto enthusiasts during the annual Monterey Automotive Week.  The project was commissioned by the Monterey Automotive Heritage and Preservation Foundation . The Foundation is using their designs to obtain entitlements and funding for the most ambitious automotive museum, educational and restoration center in North America.

“The goal of the class is to increase performance, communications skills and ultimately to better prepare our students for the profession and beyond,” said NSAD President, Dr. Steve Altman. “Students must consult with clients, conduct the research and present their designs.  They learn further from the feedback they receive about their work. “

The Design Clinic class started under the guidance of Kurt Hunker, the graduate program department chair, in response to the damage caused by local wildfires.  The program has grown significantly as it has gained visibility.  This course allows NSAD to serve community partners while affording students the opportunity to design in an operating environment outside the classroom.

For more information about the Deign Clinic program, please call Chuck Crawford at 619-684-8791.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 February 2011 08:16