Life at GPI: Reflections

Back in architecture school at the University of Cincinnati, my all time favorite project was what the DAAP architecture and interior design students lovingly refer to as “The Box Project”. The task was to design and build a nine foot cubic space in reaction to a piece of music- an intense violin concerto.  What did I love about this studio project so much?

1. Challenged us to translate an intangible abstract concept into built form.

2. We truly worked as a team– from project managers, shipping coordinators, detailers, 3D model builders, and physical model builders- 20 overworked design students attacked this thing in 4 weeks.

3. Being involved from concept through installation was incredibly rewarding.

4. Managing the project to stay on schedule and within budget (a huge learning curve for ambitiously creative freshman with little concept of real-world feasibility).

5. Working with the concepts of layers, tension, light, and transparency.

The most intense moment during the four week design-build duration was when the custom colored acrylic on order from Florida became lost in transport, and we had to make an exasperated last-minute trip to Pat Catans to buy stained glass paint and create the colored panels ourselves!

Looking back on my design career, I can see why my student experienced foreshadowed my exciting experience at GPI- collaborative teamwork, addressing a project from a multiple of angles, and exploring the manipulation of surfaces with reflected and colored light.  The similarities are eerily striking!

What educational experiences provided insight into your ideal career path?

By Caitlin Walsh, Design Director at GPI